AMP For Shopify – Boost Mobile SEO And Page Speed With Accelerated Mobile Pages

Today, some of the biggest problems facing Shopify store owners are SEOpage speed, and bounce rate.  Most site owners aren’t SEO experts or developers, and hiring your own development team or SEO agency can be an expensive endeavor.  On top of that, many Shopify plugins or themes are simply not ideal for mobile phones, leaving shops with an incredibly high bounce rate and painfully slow load times on mobile devices.

In today’s market, over 50% of all internet traffic occurs on a mobile phone.  Neglecting your mobile presence and mobile optimization is the most common way that many store owners lose out on potential sales and lifetime customers.

Google’s solution to slow mobile pages

Image result for google accelerated mobile pages image

Years ago, In 2015, Google released a framework to combat this mobile optimization problem, promising load times of under 1 second, and allowing web developers to create pages that would actually be served directly from Google’s own cache – making load times nearly instant.  Google called this framework “AMP” or “Accelerated Mobile Pages“.  Google asked that web developers adhere to the AMP guidelines and code their pages using the AMP framework, and in return, mobile visitors would see an instantly-loading page often placed higher in Google search results.

News publications and blog authors were quick to adopt the AMP framework.  For these websites, views skyrocketed and bounce rates dropped dramatically.  AMP was easily adopted because of WordPress plugins that would quickly convert a static page or blog post into AMP, and everyone was happy.  Traditionally, however, it has been very difficult to convert a rich, dynamic page or an ecommerce website into Google’s AMP spec.
Until now.

Shopify adopts Google AMPAMP pages using the AMP by Shop Sheriff Shopify app.

AMP pages using the AMP by Shop Sheriff Shopify app
The promise of instant-loading mobile pages and preferential mobile search-placement is now possible on Shopify.  Instead of hiring a developer to re-code your Shopify pages in the AMP framework, there’s now an app that will do this for you, and it will do it for you well.  Really well.

In the past, we have seen a few apps attempt to enable AMP for a Shopify store with little success.  In 2016, Shopify even attempted to release AMP as a built-in solution to their entire platform.  The project was abandoned at alpha and never resumed.  Today, 4 apps exist that claim to deliver an AMP experience, but AMP by Shop Sheriff is the most advanced among them

The AMP by Shop Sheriff app automatically parses a Shopify store’s code and renders it in an accurate mobile format, perfectly adhering to the AMP specification.  The app has a host of unique customizations built into their AMP dashboard which gives you an abundance of control over your mobile page optimization.  Every feature has been thought out and optimized for mobile phones.

Loading time of the AMP pages

AMP pages are notoriously fast – but just how fast are they?  It was quite obvious that the pages were loading near-instantly on our phones and browsers, but to shed some more light on the speed, we ran a few tests.  And we got some impressive results.

PageSpeed Insights 99% Page Speed with AMP by Shop Sheriff
99% Page speed on Google Page Speed Insights

We tested multiple websites all set up with the plugin and the results were incredibly favorable.  Using various features like Related Products or Product Reviews would obviously make a slight difference on the page speed and amount of resources loaded, but what was perhaps most impressive is the small footprint of the pages – here coming in at only 644 kB and 746ms load time.

746ms load time on Pingdom Tools

Keep in mind that the average webpage size in 2018 is 3MB, and 70% of all cellular network traffic will occur at 3g or slower speeds through 2020.   That’s a lot of data to download on a slow connection! It’s no wonder why pages with the AMP icon get clicked on more often through Google search results – people know they’re fast!

98% Score on GTMetrix

Perhaps the best thing about the app is the customer support.  AMP is a bit on the technical side for most Shopify users, but Stephen from Shop Sheriff has been notoriously helpful to users interested in getting their feet wet with AMP.

But will AMP work with my Shopify Shop?

It is highly likely that AMP will work with your Shopify shop.  However, the one downside to AMP is that in order to be fast, AMP doesn’t allow third-party Javascript on the page.  A savvy developer will know that Javascript is the code that makes most Shopify plugins run.  AMP does allow Javascript, but it must be coded using specialized AMP components, like an amp-carousel or an amp-image.

To make up for this, AMP by Shop Sheriff is able to convert common elements like YouTube embeds into AMP, and the app has fully integrated with 6 of the most popular reviews providers, but for the more niche-oriented javascript-heavy apps (like uploading an image as part of a product customization), you will have to wait for the team at Shop Sheriff to create a customized integration around that plugin.

The upside with having less Javascript is that many plugins like popups and exit-intents are not ideal for mobile users anyways, and AMP is a great way to give users a clean, blazing fast experience of your product offering, without all the clutter.

SEO Benefits

For many shops, the SEO and conversion benefits have been amazing.  Pork Barrel BBQ (A company that had much success on the popular TV show “Shark Tank”), has reported an over 100% increase in sales conversion rates within 2 weeks of their AMP pages hitting Google.

Case study with AMP and Pork Barrel BBQ

But the SEO doesn’t just stop at mobile!  With higher CTR and conversion rates come more repeat visitors and overall brand recognition.  Because of this, Google tends to also rank AMP-enabled websites higher onthe  desktop. AMP-enabling your Shopify store might just be the secret sauce you’ve been missing this year.

So how does AMP by Shop Sheriff work?

The app is incredibly easy.  Once installed, you’ll be given a very modern interface to fine-tune your AMP pages.

You’re essentially given a second theme editor – something you’ll be familiar with if you have used Shopify to customize your pages.  The AMP app requires no knowledge of coding and is just about as easy (yet customizable) as they could have possibly made it.  Change colors and add features and you’re set.  The app reads your original products, collections, and blogs, and does all the hard work for you, converting your pages into AMP, giving you a nice mobile menu, and even enabling some features that your current theme might not have, like an announcement banner and “sticky” add to cart button.

Then you click “Activate“, and the app adds the necessary tags to your website that tell Google you have AMP enabled.  When Google crawls your site, they will see you have AMP enabled, and they will begin to index these AMP pages.  Users who find your site through mobile search will see the lightning bolt next to your search results, indicating that this is a blazing-fast AMP page.  Cheers to simplicity!

Rich customization options

  • Mobile banner messages for announcements like “10% off” or “Free worldwide shipping”
  • Sticky “Add to Cart” button
  • Sticky header
  • Fully integrated mobile menus
  • Full-featured integrations with 6 of the most popular reviews frameworks
  • Touch-enabled related products carousel
  • Customizable trust and payment icons

All within a blazing fast AMP page that scores incredibly well on all benchmark speed tests.

What does AMP by Shop Sheriff cost?

The app boasts a free-for-life plan for unlimited AMPed products.  If you want to make the most out of the features available, however, you’ll likely want to upgrade to the Hobbyist plan at $9/mo or the Company plan at $29/mo.  Every paid plan comes with a 14-day trial so you’ll be given a fair amount of time to test out your AMPed results and determine if AMP is right for you.

Is it well maintained?

The app is extremely well maintained.  The team updates their changelog every few days with updates that are sourced by the users themselves.  Every month there are new customizations being added to the dashboard, and thousands of Shopify users are finally being introduced to the speed and benefits of AMP-enabled pages.

Get AMP for Shopify

Ready to try it out?  You can download it straight from Shopify app store or visit their explainer page to learn more about what the app has to offer.

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