Google AMP

What is AMP and why is it useful for my Shopify store?

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What is AMP?

AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages) is an open-source framework developed by Google in collaboration with Twitter.

AMP creates better, faster experiences on the mobile web. At its core, the framework allows you to build lightweight experiences for mobile by simplifying the HTML and following streamlined CSS rules.

These are the words from the official website.

In layman terms, AMP allows to speed up your website by following a specific technical format.

AMP can be used to build websites, ads, email or web stories. Since its launch in February 2016, more than 25 million domains have published with more than 4 billion AMP pages.

Why is it useful for my Shopify store?

AMP helps online stores giving users faster mobile web experience.

AMP pages load roughly 4 times faster than standard webpages, plus users engage 35% more with AMP pages than with standard mobile web pages.

What are important for ecommerce are the conversion rate and bounce rate.

According to a research by Google, as page load time goes from one second to 10 seconds, the probability of a mobile site visitor bouncing increases 123%. Similarly, as the number of elements—text, titles, images—on a page goes from 400 to 6,000, the probability of conversion drops 95%.

bounce rate changes versus page load time

Similar for conversion rate, the faster the website the better it is. According to skilled.co,

  • Pages that loaded in 2.4 seconds had a 1.9% conversion rate
  • At 3.3 seconds, the conversion rate was 1.5%
  • At 4.2 seconds, the conversion rate was less than 1%
  • At 5.7+ seconds, the conversion rate was 0.6%

The largest retailer, Walmart, found that for every 1-second improvement in page load time, conversions increased by 2%.

In other words, a faster website will give you a higher conversion rate and reduced bounce rate, resulting in more business. With AMP, the load speed is vastly improved, thus enhancing the overall user experience.

In 2020, Google has just included website speed as one of the key factors to rank your store: Speed is now a landing page factor for Google Search and Ads. So it will definitely boost your SEO with AMP.

How it works?

AMP pages are built with 3 main components:

AMP HTML

AMP HTML is basically a simpler version of regular HTML. Some restrictions are added to ensure reliable performance. To ensure fast page load, certain HTML elements like forms are not allowed on AMP.

AMP JS

The AMP Project provides its own open-source JavaScript code called AMP JS.  You can create animations, load content dynamically, modify layout, and more using AMP’s vast component library

These scripts are important for increasing web page load speeds. Unfortunately, since AMP can only be used to create static pages, you won’t be able to embed third-party JavaScript in it.

AMP Cache

AMP Cache is a content delivery network built specifically for AMP pages. You don’t need to utilize it to make use of AMP pages, but it can significantly improve the performance of your pages and it allows you to cache them, making them easier to share.

How can I implement AMP?

If you are a Shopify store owner and you don’t want to get your hands dirty, you can use a Shopify app on the AppStore. The plans range from $9 – $99 / month.

How can I measure my website performance?

You can adopt one of the many available performance tools (e.g. PageSpeed Insights or Lighthouse). Simply enter the URL and hit “Analyze”. Then you can get a detailed performance report as below.

Test amp.dev on Google PageSpeed Insight

Any drawbacks for AMP?

Extra effort & investment

First, there will be an extra effort to implement AMP for your store. Even you use an existing Shopify app, you still need to invest time and effort in the technology. It can be quite complicated if your store is bundled with many apps.

No 3rd party Javascript

Without 3rd party js, many Shopify apps will not be compatible with your store. Speed comes with a price of functionality. Think about the pop-ups you are using like live chat widgets, social proof notifications, shipping notification bar, etc. They are all made with 3rd party js.

Technical Debt

Your store will be depending on AMP. If you ever need to upgrade your apps, there may be incompatibility issues. It can cause you a headache if a developer is taking over your store.

Is AMP still popular in 2020?

Definitely a big yes!

Since Google makes core web vitals as an SEO ranking factor, speed & mobile website performance will only be more important in the future.

If you are looking for expanding in mobile commerce, AMP is definitely noteworthy in 2020!

About Our Shopify App – SEO Product Optimizer (SPO)

SPO helps more than 1,000 Shopify stores to market niche products with all-in-one SEO features. For more info, please visit our official website.

If you want to have a free trial, please install our app listing on the Shopify AppStore.

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Benny Chan
I am the Cofounder of SEO Product Optimizer and SillyCube Technology Ltd. who loves diving and reading. Follow me @BennyyChan

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