After Google’s announcement stating that more than half of all Google searches are from mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets, it is now apparent to marketers that SEO takes a big leap towards making web pages mobile friendly. Accelerated Mobile Pages is a feature is arguably the best way to get a page ranked high on search engine charts. It is in accordance to reports from Google that it had developed a new algorithm that prefers sites that are optimised for mobile use.
AMP stands for Accelerated Mobile Pages, a Google-backed project. It is an open source project that is aimed at delivering faster and smoother mobile web pages. Accelerated Mobile Pages enables your pages to be loaded faster by your users. The purpose of accelerated mobile pages is quite self-explanatory; to provide a consistently fast experience for your customers. In exchange for a mobile-friendly platform, you get to keep your customer base as they are satisfied with their experience on your site.
How AMP can Help E-commerce
A research conducted on US citizens shows astounding facts on user speeds. Amazon, in 2012, estimated that they could lose $1.6 billion each year on every second added in the speed of their pages. AMP was initially created for faster blog pages and articles. However, over the years, Google AMP has eventually developed into a stage where even ecommerce is highly recommended to utilise this feature.
However, ecommerce has a slightly different approach in the implementation of AMP. There are a few ways that this feature helps a page load faster which is a factor that can be utilised for ecommerce. These are:
- Without any assistance from resources, AMP can load sizes and structures of pages. Usually, browsers do not have the capability to tell how long the page structure is. However, with accelerated mobile pages, a browser seamlessly determines the content and ad size and even visualises size.
- Accelerated mobile pages can help in prioritising resource loading. Prioritisation of resources helps an ecommerce web page load essential elements like images, content or videos quickly and at later stage ads. Ecommerce pages can then showcase their products to their users much more efficiently using accelerated mobile pages.
- How AMP Works for Ecommerce
Modern ecommerce pages, unlike traditional ones, are recommended to use accelerated mobile pages. Even though accelerated mobile pages was initially developed for blogs and articles, using this feature for ecommerce pages is a very wise choice. Ebay is an example of a website that uses this feature to power its pages. Google ranking is now using accelerated mobile pages as one of its major ranking factors. When users search a keyword on Google, pages powered with AMP have a much better chance of ranking high on the SERPs.
AMP’s prioritisation in loading elements in a web page, suits perfectly with any ecommerce product page. This feature powers the page so it can identify the crucial components on a product page and delivers them first.
Getting Started With AMP For Ecommerce
There’s one encouraging factor about accelerated mobile pages, which is the fact that you do not have to configure your whole site all at once. You can begin with the key pages. Those that will help you realize the goals of your organisation easier or those that encourage the user to keep surfing your website. The answers to which pages to optimise first will become clear from your SEO strategy in regards to focus keywords and pages. Google analytics can also be a great helping tool in optimisation the pages in your website with room for improvement and those pages that will be most beneficial if preferred in optimisation.
You could also start with the core departments of your ecommerce store in integrating accelerated mobile pages. What this entails is amalgamating the pages on your site that have the highest rate of click-through. Google analytics could help you in this, but in most cases, the store owner is well aware of which departments are core to the store. Remember to provide an option to the user to revert to using basic HTML as Google does on its email app for users in places with very low internet speeds.
Add Accelerated Mobile Pages to Homepage Layout
The majority of traffic directed to your store will land directly on your website’s homepage then browse deeper into product pages. Besides having quality content, you’d want your customers to have an easy time surfing through the layout. A smooth and straightforward design will not only reduce bounce rates but also improve the impression that the user has on your store. To counter static homepages, utilise amp-carousel to the elements on the homepage. Doing so will be crucial in improving loading speeds.
Build Product Category Pages
Google is encouraging the use of accelerated mobile pages by advertisers for landing pages. There’s not enough transparency within the ecosystem of advertising in regards to performance, and it, therefore, becomes tough to analyse the reason why your page is slow. However, if your landing pages are powered wisely, the advertiser will have succeeded in his endeavour. Among the landing pages for any ecommerce website are product category pages. Accelerated mobile pages enable you to design faster product category pages.
A product page is composed of a mix of text content with a collection of rich images. Accelerated mobile pages that are used to power ecommerce product category pages are a very wise choice since it provides your visitors with all necessary functions like filtering and sorting. Most people will ask how Google delivers updated and dynamic content if it uses cache to load pages. Well, here’s the answer; Google accelerated mobile pages work on a “stale-while-update” mode if changes in the page are dynamic. The accelerated mobile pages will collect the most recently updated pages and render them. This action serves to hide the outdated and stale data from the user in less than 15 seconds.
In a nutshell, it is in the advertiser’s interests to create super-speedy landing pages to increase conversion rates and improve the user experience.
Ecommerce Product Pages
It is easy to build product pages for ecommerce websites using accelerated mobile pages. They can be implemented on product pages by applying various components like amp-bind, amp-carousel, amp-access, amp-selector and several others. There are a few fields that this feature will aid in building product pages. These include:
- Product Gallery
- Add to Cart
- Product Configuration
- Star ratings
- Comments and Reviews
Page speeds for mobile devices have become a more significant factor in user experience than any other. Utilising accelerated mobile pages in powering your ecommerce site is therefore not only a smart choice but a necessary one. Furthermore, Google’s algorithms are getting smarter, and the websites with the best user experience will always rank higher.
It is now possible to enable caching of your website using Amp-install-service worker on the user’s browser in Google’s ecommerce framework. The caching service will, however, work on only three browsers. These include Mozilla, Chrome and Opera. It also applies to PWA (Progressive Web App) based websites. The AMP service worker fetches the page from the user’s browser, therefore, decreasing the page loading time.
This feature will also help you create custom web pages based on your client’s personal preference. You can use the amp-access component to tell if a particular user is logged in or not. Additionally, it comes with the amp-analytics component that helps you figure out what kind of visitors are surfing on your platform.
Plugins for an Ecommerce Store
You do not have to set up accelerated mobile pages on your website manually. All the top platforms in ecommerce including WooCommerce, Joomla, Magento, and many more, have plugins available that will automatically add accelerated mobile pages to your ecommerce store. Some of the useful plugins include:
The free WooCommerce plugin automatically optimises your ecommerce store for accelerated mobile pages. The paid premium feature is called WP AMP.
A popular extension for Magento is Magento 1 that adds accelerated mobile pages to commerce stores in a few clicks.
There are numerous plugins provided by Joomla to its users. An example is AMP that creates the accelerated mobile pages’ version for every web page. Another one is “Accelerated Mobile Pages for Joomla” that generates mobile optimised pages instantly and automatically.
What does an increased speed in ecommerce pages mean for you?
Pros of AMP in Ecommerce
Lightning Fast Pages
Accelerated mobile pages are the best option to improve your web page speeds on mobile devices. It achieves this by changing the page architecture and using service workers to add client-side cache. Furthermore, site administrators could use accelerated mobile pages CDN to speed up their websites further.
Increases Mobile Ranking
Since Google is now using page speed as a significant ranking factor, it is in the interests of all SEO marketers to get hold of the AMP in their websites as it plays a crucial role in increasing page speed. Furthermore, there is a lightning symbol now for all powered sites on the SERPs, so users know which sites have better speeds.
Improved Conversion Rates
It’s needless to insist that faster pages mean faster click-through rates. You would not want to buy your goods on a site that lags every time you click on a link. Most users that find themselves in a slow page end up going back to the SERPs (Search Engine Result Pages) to find a page with the best user experience. With a faster webpage, your bounce rates decrease, meaning more money for you.
Less Abandoned Carts
A lot of shoppers will abandon their carts if the latency in a page is too high. It takes too long to purchase goods and somewhere along the purchase journey, the user leaves their shopping cart. To avoid this, power your pages with accelerated mobile pages. With a seamless user experience, customers can buy goods in a matter of seconds. The customer ends up happy, and the seller is busy counting his profit.
Maintain Control and Flexibility
Ecommerce sites that chose to implement this feature on their pages get to maintain their imprinting and tooling. They also have over 40 analytics integrations and embeds at their disposal, and much more can be built. While adopting accelerated mobile pages, basic coding concepts like CSS can be used to customise the styling of the pages and dynamic data to get the latest data on your content where needed. You could also use A/B testing to experiment and to build the best possible user experience for your users.
Maximization of Sales
Accelerated mobile pages are preferred for their fast speeds. When accelerated mobile pages are adopted users can browse your pages at high speeds. With higher speeds, higher conversions and engagement rates are achieved on the page. Analysis shows that users are willing to return to e-commerce sites that perform well. It doesn’t matter if you are a small, medium or a large marketplace, this feature will help you make better conversion rates on your web page.
Cons Of AMP In Ecommerce
Hard to Implement
If you are not a developer, then you might have a hard time implementing accelerated mobile pages on a web page. However, if your site is available on WordPress, you can breathe a sigh of relief since all you have to do is add accelerated mobile pages for WordPress and you are good to go. WordPress will take care of the rest.
Doesn’t Necessarily Guarantee High Rankings
Getting a high ranking in the SERPs involves much more than just high speeds. Therefore even though you might have your site enabled with this feature, you might find it ranked very low by Google. You will also need to take other major ranking factors into perspective to get your site high in the SERPs. These include; long and quality content, images, keyword optimization, search intent optimisation among others.
Question: How do I make sure my website is AMP-enabled?
Answer: Accelerated mobile pages features an AMP Validator that helps the administrator of the site to check if the accelerated mobile pages’ framework has appropriately been deployed on the website. You can find it at this URL: https://validator.ampproject.org
Question: Will this feature improve my search ranking?
Answer: Accelerated mobile pages will definitely have a positive impact on your search ranking. The impact is however not direct since Google has numerous factors to consider. Since speed is one of the significant factors, accelerated mobile pages can influence the search ranking of your web page.
Question: Which is the best way to track accelerated mobile pages?
Answer: Accelerated mobile pages have a built-in tracking tool known as the amp-analytics. By adding it to your site, you can easily track any user activities including clicks and scrolls. You could also use Google analytics or Google Webmasters to know how your pages are ranking on the SERPs and where your website gets traffic.
Question: Is it possible to add product reviews in accelerated mobile pages on ecommerce?
Question: How do I add product related information on AMP-enabled pages?
Answer: Accelerated mobile pages has a feature called an amp-accordion that you could use to organise static product information like specifications, descriptions, and shipping info. The snippet can display all the pertinent information you want to be shown on the product pages.
The 52 percent of total internet users that use mobile devices to surf the web today will increase to 80 percent in the next two years, according to Statica. This statement alone is enough to scare SEO marketers who are not utilising AMP on their web pages into taking optimisation for mobile devices much more seriously. The article has been clear enough on the pros and cons of utilising AMP on an ecommerce website and it is a little obvious that the pros far outweigh the cons.
Although SEO marketing involves much more than page speed, without it, a webpage isn’t entirely user-friendly. Furthermore, Google will rank your site lower on its SERPs if this feature does not power your pages. It goes without much emphasis that future generations will continue to prefer mobile devices for searching and purchasing goods online and so will Google. Need I emphasize any more how important it is and will continue to be for ecommerce websites to utilise AMP? Well, I hope this comprehensive article provided all you need to know on accelerated mobile pages on ecommerce websites and how to use it efficiently.