AMP-lify Your Website: Is AMP a Ranking Factor in 2019?

AMP-lify Your Website: Is AMP a Ranking Factor in 2019?

Digital marketing head honchos are teaching us something different every year.

With Google’s all-too-regular release of new algorithms, one bird is telling us one thing and another bird is telling us something else. How can we keep up? Which advice should we listen to?

This year, 3 little letters are on every marketer’s lips. AMP. Is amp a ranking factor in 2019 and if so, how do I make sure it helps my website?

We’re clearing that up for you and answering your main questions, namely what we actually mean by AMP and whether it’s important today.


What is AMP in SEO?

AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages) is basically an open-source coding framework that is applied to your site to help it load more efficiently on mobile devices.

AMP has been utilized since we understood the critical nature of mobile, as a user-experience feature. It is only more recently that Google is encouraging every website to follow suit and AMP up their coding for their users on-the-go.

There are two main benefits to AMP that we currently know (or think we know) about:

  • It is used to make mobile content render almost immediately, providing the fast info that consumers want and need. As in, right this second!
  • Google has said in the past that AMP doesn’t affect ranking factor, but rumours are flying around SEO-land that might suggest otherwise.


How does Google AMP affect SEO?

So, what do we already know about AMP?

It made its debut in 2015, where publishers immediately took a liking to it. This would make their mobile sites load faster and allow them to get breaking news out rapidly, maybe even more rapidly than their competitors.

Sites with AMP implemented would get to Google’s Top Stories carousel, which would be a major traffic generator for news sites.

If you’re not a news publisher, what can AMP do for your SEO?

Potentially a few things. Though Google still hasn’t come out and confirmed whether AMP is a ranking factor, we can see a few reasons why marketers are implementing it, just in case.


1. More engagement & more revenue

Most of us haven’t got the patience to wait for a website that takes its sweet time loading.

But a fast-loading site isn’t just good for the user. The research found that AMP leads to an increase in time spent on a page - double the time, in fact. It also found that eCommerce pages with AMP implemented received a 20% increase in conversions compared to pages without.

Time on page and conversion rate tells Google your site is relevant and in time, you’ll be rewarded for that.


2. Pages are cleaner & users are more likely to click

Pages with AMP are a “stripped down” version of other pages. It’s like using the bare bones of HTML - and hardly any CSS - to get just the vital information across to the user.

It’s purely designed for readability purposes, which is another reason online publishers were quick to adopt AMP.

You’ll notice some Google search results offer an AMP link, so users can get straight to the facts, if they prefer. Following on from a survey by 9to5google, it turns out that the majority of users are more inclined to click on an AMP link compared with a regular one.

You can see the current results below.


3. Page speed became an official ranking factor in July 2018

Google’s Speed Update was a major turning point for sites that already gave a damn about how fast their mobile site was loading.

They said, at the time, that it would only affect a small percentage of sites, namely those that were delivering the slowest experience to users.

In short, you’d be punished if you were in the backend of the speed race. If you were already kind of doing okay, you probably wouldn’t notice the impact.


Is Google AMP a ranking factor (for SEO)?

If you’re wondering whether you should invest in AMP, it might be worth running a test on your own site. Those resistant to AMP are wondering if it would be a waste of time and resources; couldn’t they just build fast-loading mobile pages, without the AMP addition?

Despite the fact that AMP will outperform pages without it - no matter how they were built - you can conduct small-scale tests to be sure you’ll get the boost you’re looking for.

To find out how to run a simple test through your own Google Analytics, Search Engine Land has laid out some easy steps.


Should you adopt AMP?

There are both negative and positive opinions to adding AMP to your site. News publishers now have little choice in the matter: if they don’t implement AMP, they won’t show up in Top Stories carousels. However, Accelerated Mobile Pages takes some extra work. You have to create a simpler version of each web page.

That said, mobile searches are heavily outperforming desktop searches and it’s imperative you’re doing all you can to improve your page load speed. If you think AMP will boost your site’s engagement and conversions, AMP it up!

Remember, there are so many other ways to improve your SEO, which Google has confirmed are important. Let’s focus on those first. Contact Impressive to find out how we can fill in the holes in your SEO strategy.