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All About BigCommerce AMP: Google’s Preferred Method for Mobile Optimization

December 15, 2017 | |

Get A Faster Buying Experience for Your BigCommerce Customers

Is your BigCommerce site mobile-friendly? Hopefully, you have a flexible, responsive design. But there’s one important part of responsive design (and its associated positive effect on SEO) that you’re probably missing out on if you’re still on Blueprint: Google’s Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP).

What is Google AMP? Have you ever Googled something from your phone or tablet and seen a little lightning bolt icon next to the top-ranking results? That icon means that what you’re looking at is an AMP, or Accelerated Mobile Page. AMP are part of Google’s initiative to make the web mobile-friendly.

Basically, AMP are extremely stripped-down versions of the pages on your site with no Javascript and somewhat minimal HTML and CSS. They are super-fast, optimized for mobile conversions, and smiled on by the Google bots. AMP only appear in searches conducted from mobile devices. However, even though they are separate pages, having AMP is not the same as having a separate mobile site, which is not so great for usability and SEO.

Google AMP Increases Ecommerce Conversion

When Google AMP first came out in 2015, they were mostly adopted by publishers like Conde Nast, who wanted content like time-sensitive news to rise to the top of Google. But, after seeing the huge results media companies were getting with AMP, major ecommerce players started to get in on the action, too. Here are some facts about AMP and ecommerce:

  • AMP have a median load time twice as fast as traditional mobile pages.
  • On average, users spend 35 percent more time on AMP than on conventional mobile sites.
  • Ecommerce giants Ebay and AliExpress (the so-called “Chinese Amazon”) were two of the first companies to adopt AMP and have made them a major part of their successful mobile strategy.
  • Wego, the largest travel marketplace in the Middle East and Asia Pacific, saw a 95 percent increase in conversion rates and tripled their ad conversions after adopting AMP.
  • Greenweez, a major retailer of organic food in Europe, saw an 80 percent increase in mobile conversion and a 66 percent decrease in mobile acquisition costs.

With numbers like that, it’s no wonder that ecommerce retailers of all sizes are rushing to get on-board.

Google AMP Helps Your Site’s Rankings

It’s clear that the increased page speed and streamlined pages of AMP lead to more ecommerce conversions but what about SEO rankings? Google was initially cagey about whether AMP would affect SEO but the program has demonstratively led to better rankings for the companies that adopted it.

To begin with, fast pages always rank higher on Google. In fact, increasing page speed is one of the best things you can do to improve your BigCommerce SEO. Since AMP are faster, they will be naturally ranked higher irrespective of whether Google’s bots give them increased ranking weight.

AMP also appear differently on your search page, in a carousel or row of boxes above the traditional list of search results. Since they’re above the fold, they’re more accessible. Plus, Google’s users automatically trust them. Even if they aren’t familiar with what AMP are, users understand through design cues that these boxes mean the content advertised is more relevant, faster, or more up-to-date.

Finally, AMP are part of Google’s own initiative to make the web better for mobile, not a “hack” to get around what its bots want. It will always be better to work with Google than to work around it. And, most recently, Google has promised that AMP will continue to get what it calls “expanded exposure” across the Mobile Search Results platform, making it a great time investment in your mobile strategy.

How To Get Google AMP On Your BigCommerce Site

Update 4/11/2018: BigCommerce has become the first ecommerce platform to natively support Google AMP! Merchants who are on Stencil can now turn on AMP from the control panel

However, you may need help managing your CSS styles and any custom add-ons, which may not automatically translate over to AMP. IntuitSolutions developers can help you do this, whether you are on Stencil already or want to move from Blueprint.

Read more about switching to Stencil and why it’s one of the best things you can do for your BigCommerce business here.

Sell More With Google Amp for BigCommerce Today!

Ready to upgrade to Stencil and get Accelerated Mobile Pages right out of the box? Call us today at 866-590-4650

Emma works on IntuitSolutions' internal resources and marketing initiatives. Previously, she taught ESL and worked as a freelance writer on a variety of subjects ranging from healthcare to education.