How to Get Started with Google AMP in WordPress
Accelerated mobile pages or AMP is a way to make your website load faster on mobile devices. Websites that load faster offer better user experience and can improve your website traffic. In this article, let us see how to set up Google AMP in WordPress.
What is Google AMP?
Google AMP stands for Accelerated Mobile Pages. It is an open source initiative supported by Google and Twitter. The aim is to make web content load faster for mobile users as for a lot of mobile users, reading on the web is often slow.
The Google AMP is very similar to Facebook Instant Articles. However, Instant Articles are limited only to Facebook’s platform, more specifically to their mobile app.
Accelerated Mobile Pages are platform-agnostic and can be used by any app, browser, or web viewer. Currently, it is used by Google, Twitter, LinkedIn, Reddit, and others.
Limitations of Google AMP
SEO experts claim that Accelerated Mobile Pages will help you rank higher in Google, and it improves the user experience for mobile users on slow internet connections. However, they are several challenges for web developers and bloggers.
While Google AMP supports Google Analytics, it does not support many other analytics platforms. Same goes for advertising options which are limited to select few advertising platforms.
Despite its limitations, Google is pushing AMP pages by giving them a boost in mobile search.
If a significant chunk of your traffic comes from mobile searches, then you may benefit from adding AMP support to improve and maintain your SEO.
Setting up Accelerated Mobile Pages or AMP in WordPress
The first thing you need to do is install and activate the AMP plugin.
Upon activation, you can head over to Appearance » AMP page to see how your site looks on mobile devices using AMP.
You can change the header background and text color on this page. The header background color you choose will also be used for links.
The plugin will also use your site’s icon or logo if your theme supports it.
Don’t forget to click on the save button to store your changes.
You can now visit any single post on your website and add /amp/ at the end of the URL. Like this:
This will show you a stripped down AMP version of the same post.
If you view the source code of the original post, you will find this line in the HTML:
<link rel=”amphtml” href=”http://example.com/2018/10/first-blog-post/amp/” />
This line tells search engines and other AMP consuming apps/services where to look for the AMP version of the page.
If you see a 404 error when trying to view the amp version, then here is what you need to do.
Visit Settings » Permalinks page in your WordPress admin and click on the ‘Save Changes’ button. Remember, don’t change anything here, just press the save button. This will refresh your website’s permalink structure.
View Accelerated Mobile Pages in Google Search Console
If you want to know how your Accelerated Mobile Pages are doing in Google Search you can easily check this using the Google Search Console.
Log in to your Google Search Console dashboard and then click on Search Appearance » Accelerated Mobile Pages.
It is possible that your AMP results are not visible right away. It may take a while for Google to index your Accelerated Mobile Pages and then show data in Search Console.
Customize Your Accelerated Mobile Pages
The AMP plugin for WordPress comes with very limited customization options. However, you can use some other WordPress plugins to add few more customizations.
It is an add-on plugin for Yoast SEO and AMP plugins. Upon activation, you need to visit SEO » AMP page to configure plugin settings.
The plugin allows you to enable AMP support for other post types.
On the design tab, you can choose colors and design options. You can also upload a logo and a default header image which will be used when a post does not have its own featured image.
You can switch to the Analytics tab to add your Google Analytics ID.
Don’t forget to click on the save settings button to store your changes.
There are many more plugins which will allow you to add related posts, footer widgets, and even social media icons to your AMP pages.
However, you need to make sure to validate your AMP pages after you install any addon plugins.
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