Looking to set up Google AMP on WordPress? AMP puts mobile browsing experience a step forward by dramatically boosting the page speed of your website. In this article, we’ll explain what is AMP and how to enable it on your WordPress site.
What is Google AMP?
Google’s Accelerated Mobile Project (AMP) is an open source initiative with the goal of making web content load faster for mobile users.
You may know that most page speed tactics focus on optimizing your existing website to make your site load faster. But, in order to boost page speed, Google AMP pages use a separate lightweight and stripped down template to serve your web page. They also use a separate streamlined version of CSS and lazy load images to reduce loading time.
That being said, AMP pages do not automatically display to your visitors when they visit from a mobile device. Instead, they are handled by AMP consumers such as Google Search.
For example, when you’re browsing Google on mobile, you may have already noticed the AMP signal beneath some search results.
It tells you that clicking on such search results will direct you to a streamlined version of the original page.
Take a look at the difference between a normal mobile web page and an AMP enabled page.
Benefits of Setting Up Google AMP on Your WordPress Site
A few benefits of setting up Google AMP on your WordPress site are:
1. Drives More Organic Traffic
Before setting up Google AMP on your site, probably the first thing that comes to your mind is whether Google AMP is a ranking factor that will boost your search engine rankings.
While Google AMP is not yet a ranking factor, in reality, it does affect impressions and CTRs on search results, which can affect your rankings.
For example, you may have already noticed that Google is currently holding the news carousel above the fold on mobile, therefore pushing down organic search results. So, if you’re looking to drive more organic traffic to visitors, you should enable Google AMP on your site.
According to Gary Illyes, 90% of publishers are seeing higher CTRs and 80% of publishers are getting more views after enabling Google AMP.
2. Reduces Page Abandonment
Did you know that 53% of visitors abandon a website if it takes more than 3 seconds to load?
So, if you’re after a surefire method to boost page speed tremendously and reduce page abandonment, you should enable Google AMP on your site.
Now that you know the benefits of Google AMP, let’s take a detailed look at how to enable Google AMP on your WordPress site.
Step 1: Install the AMP Plugin
The easiest and the most recommended way to enable Google AMP is to install the AMP plugin on your site. The AMP plugin is released by Automattic, the team behind WordPress.com who are also the official partner of AMP project.
If you need assistance, you can read how to install a WordPress plugin.
Installing this plugin on your site will dynamically generate AMP compatible versions of your site that are accessible by appending /amp/ to the end your post URLs.
For example, if your blog post URL is http://example.com/your-blog-post/, you can access the AMP version at http://example.com/your-blog-post/amp/.
Step 2: Add Google Analytics to Your AMP Pages
To track how your visitors interact with your website, you need to add Google Analytics to your AMP pages.
Adding Google Analytics to your AMP pages can be tricky and complicated. You’d actually have to modify the Google Analytics tracking code manually. Even then, sometimes it still requires some troubleshooting to get it to work right.
For example, when a user visits an AMP page and then a normal page (or vice versa), Google AMP Analytics counts it as two different sessions.
How can you fix this tracking issue and count it as a single session?
If you’re using WordPress, the easiest way to do this is by installing MonsterInsights.
MonsterInsights is the only WordPress plugin that lets you properly add Google Analytics to your AMP pages and also supports Google Optimize, the free A/B testing and personalization product by Google. It also makes it incredibly easy to add Enhanced eCommerce tracking, author and category tracking, file download tracking, and much more.
After installing MonsterInsights, all you need to do is to install and activate the Google AMP addon.
For a step by step tutorial, read how to add Google Analytics to AMP pages.
Step 3: Fix SEO Issues
The official AMP plugin gives you only a basic AMP template for your site.
That means if you want to make the AMP version of your site unique, you’ll need to customize your AMP pages. The plugin also adds a standard meta tag in the head of your normal pages telling Google and other AMP handlers that the AMP version of that page is available.
The problem is that the default set of metadata used by the AMP plugin is not the most optimal metadata especially if you’re using an SEO plugin like Yoast.
After activating the Glue plugin, go to SEO » AMP » Design. Then, make any customizations you want on your AMP pages.
Keep in mind that you shouldn’t add AMP specific tracking code in this plugin or else it will interfere with tracking and skew your data of AMP pages.
We hope this guide helped you to properly set up Google AMP on your WordPress site.
If you liked this article, you may also want to read how to set up Google Optimize the easy way.