Why are Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) a Must-Have for Your Magento Ecommerce Store?
While waiting for a webpage to download on a mobile phone, a second may seem like an eternity. For any Ecommerce Store page load-time is the holy grail, as it directly impacts the user-experience.
There is also an abundance of literature on the internet that indicate the correlation between page load time and conversions. On an average, if your website takes longer than 3 seconds to load, you could lose about 40% of visitors!
We know that web pages download at a slower rate on mobile phones when compared to desktop computers. The Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) framework was implemented by Google in order to fix this specific issue.
What are Accelerated Mobile Pages?
Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) are essentially a web component framework that help in creating user-first websites. This is an open source library that significantly improves user experience on mobile phones.
When a user performs a search on Google, the Search Engine Results Page (SERP) will display AMP along with regular web pages. Accelerated Mobile Pages can be identified with a lightning bolt sign and the letters “AMP” next to the title.
On clicking the AMP link, the user experiences optimised page loading speed. The HTML and CSS of the page are stripped-down and streamlined to achieve this.
What are the Advantages of Using AMP on Your Magento Website?
Website owners can benefit in the following ways through the implementation of AMP:
- Improved Page Speed – Page load time is usually higher for websites that are hosted on underpowered or sharing servers. Accelerated Mobile Pages are extremely useful in such cases, as these load instantly when compared to normal HTML pages.
- Boost in Organic Rankings – Multiple website owners have reported spikes in organic rankings and traffic post the implementation of AMP. This is primarily due to the fact that reduced page load time is an established ranking factor for search engines.
- Support for Ads – When AMP was first introduced, landing pages built using the framework would load faster, but the ads on those pages were slow. This resulted in users navigating to a landing page and scrolling down much before they ever saw the ad on the top of that page.This issue of ad blindness was resolved when Google introduced AMP-enabled ads on AMP-constructed pages. The ads on these pages would load in the blink of an eye and facilitate a streamlined experience for users.
- Improved Visitor Tracking – At the time AMP was introduced, there were concerns over inaccuracies in Google Analytics data. Artificially higher user/session counts and bounce rate were observed for specific user journey. Also, page views per session and session duration showed lower values in these cases. These issues were addressed by Google in a timely manner and today, we have enhanced AMP analytics that provides data with improved accuracy.
- Ability to Set Colour Schemes – Website owners can configure the colour scheme for AMP so that it aligns with the theme of the website. There are multiple AMP plugins that facilitate this.
- Ease of Configuration – There is no need to submit a separate XML sitemap file for Google to identify AMP versions of web pages. Google will automatically recognise the AMP version.
In effect, it makes sense to implement Accelerated Mobile Pages on your Magento ecommerce store if it is too slow or you are looking to improve its search engine performance. Websites with poor mobile responsiveness or high mobile bounce rate can also explore utilising this feature.
Understanding the AMP Framework in Detail
The AMP framework consists of the following elementary parts:
- AMP HTML – As indicated above, the AMP HTML is a lighter version of HTML. In AMP, there are several restrictions on the usage of HTML elements that can increase page load time.
- AMP Content Delivery Network (CDN) – This is an optional component of the framework, and it enables website owners to store cached versions of their web pages on Google servers. These cached web pages are then displayed to users within milliseconds.
Extensions for Accelerated Mobile Pages for Magento 2
Listed below are some of the popular extensions for AMP on Magneto 2 platform:
- Accelerated Mobile Pages by Plumrocket
- Supports all Google AMP tags and components
- Supports Google Tag Manager
- Related Products and Upsells are included on the AMP Product Page
- Accelerated Mobile Pages by Templates-master
- Autogenerates AMP version of product, product comparison and category pages
- AMP page can be customised based on themes
- Customer behavior can be tracked using Magento Google Analytics
- Accelerated Mobile Pages by Bsscommerce
- Supports styling through custom CSS based on page type
- Allows Search and Subscribe newsletter block for specific sites
- Provides AMP-standard widgets such as iframe, banner, video, image, etc. for customising AMP homepage and CMS pages
Magento 2 Implementation of Accelerated Mobile Pages
We now come to the most anticipated question – Since AMP offers a lot of advantages, is it beneficial to implement the framework on all pages of your Magento 2 website?
The answer is No. You need not create AMP versions of all web pages on your Magento ecommerce store.
The first step in the implementation of this framework would be to update some of the pages and observe the results. If you see an improvement in conversions, you can proceed with the remaining pages in batches.
In Magento, it is recommended to use the AMP framework only on the following pages:
- Category Pages
- Search Result Pages
- All CMS/Static Pages
- Product Pages (for all types of products)
One of the primary advantages of AMP is the fact that these pages have improved discoverability on Google. Since Checkout and Shipping pages do not appear in search results, there is hardly a need to convert these into AMP.
Will You Experiment with AMP?
After the introduction of the AMP framework, billions of pages and thousands of websites have benefited from being armed with the lightning bolt badge! If you are a retailer looking to improve sales during the upcoming festive season shopping, you can seriously consider incorporating AMP in your marketing strategy.