Should you give up AMP? 4 considerations to help you decide

This post is sponsored by Clickio. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the sponsor.

Across the industry, the media is depositing AMP, as many believe it can increase revenue without it.

Some major publishers, such as Vox Media LLC and BDG, have moved away from AMP and are using dedicated resources to develop their own solutions.

Additionally, smaller sites are also looking to invest in different alternatives to AMP, such as making use of tools like Prism.

But since every publisher and website’s needs are different, it’s worth asking if AMP is really as redundant as it sounds.

How to use an AMP alternative, such as in-house development or a tool like Prism?

At Clickio, we work with many publishers who still use AMP, as well as others who have moved away from it.

Here, we share what website owners should consider when deciding whether to switch.

Consideration #1: Will an alternative to AMP boost search rankings?

Google has confirmed that AMP is not a ranking factor, as AMP links no longer need to appear in top stories from Google.

Any fast webpage with good user experience can be distinguished and ranked easily.

Your website speed is the ranking factor here.

Although AMP easily gives you a webpage that loads faster, there are downsides, such as lower revenue from ad placement restrictions, reduced visual branding, and user experience layouts that aren’t limited to your business.

Long story short, using Core Web Vitals (CWVs) to help you improve your site, rather than AMP, will give you a better chance of increasing ad revenue, maintaining awareness of your brand, and staying ranked in Google.

How can I boost search rankings without AMP?

CWVs give you the ability to get a real-time assessment of the speed, interaction, and visual stability of pages, making it easy to speed up your entire website overall.

When considering switching from AMP to real website optimization, you’ll need to prioritize requirements for CWVs:

  • Performance: How quickly do items load on the screen?
  • Response: How quickly does your page react to user input?
  • Visual stability: Do the elements on your page jump a lot while loading?

Clickio Prism, for example, is a portable, cloud-based template designed with these metrics in mind.

Screenshot from Clickio Prism, June 2021

Your pages will always load quickly, no matter where the end user is, due to Prism’s ability to speed up your mobile site using a global content delivery network (CDN) and full site caching.

Prism also uses lightweight page designs that eliminate long JavaScript tasks and complex CSS code.

Intelligent lazy loading of images and ads helps prevent unintended layout shifts that can ruin user experience and affect a site’s CLS score.

92% of Prism sites are fully compliant with CWVs, compared to just 36% of all sites globally, according to figures from the Chrome User Experience Report.

Whether you choose to use an existing tool or create your own solution, it is important to check its impact by setting up real-time monitoring of your CWVs.

Services like Clickio Web Vitals Monitoring track visitors’ actual page experience in real time.

This means that you can immediately see how changes to your site affect your results.

This helps you check the source of any issues and take action quickly.

Should you give up AMP?  4 considerations to help you decideScreenshot from Clickio Web Vitals Monitoring, March 2022

Consideration #2: Does an alternative to AMP improve user interaction?

AMP is designed to create sites that display well and load quickly.

However, the user experience is more than just a fast website.

Visitors who enter your site using an AMP page usually face a challenge when trying to navigate to other areas of your website, which leads to high bounce rates.

Plus, out of the box, there are a few ways to include ways to capture and convert your AMP audience.

To create a positive user experience and maintain a high search ranking, you should also consider incorporating features that encourage interaction and improve navigation, without reducing site speed.

With website speed covered by CWVs, how can I improve user engagement?

To improve user interaction, it is important to implement features that your audience uses and trusts daily.

Many users are now accustomed to the kind of navigation that appears in apps, such as the ability to swipe across the screen to instantly go to the next article.

The post includes this feature, along with infinite scrolling – which keeps loading more content as the reader moves down the page – and a swirl of related articles showing similar stories.

These engagement features help keep your audience on your website for longer.

Should you give up AMP?  4 considerations to help you decideScreenshot from Clickio Prism, April 2022 and June 2021

All this makes it easier for users to view more of the content they are interested in.

With Prism, it’s also easy to see the impact of this by running a free A/B test against the standard mobile version of your site.

Should you give up AMP?  4 considerations to help you decideScreenshot from Clickio Platform, March 2022

On average, publishers who run this type of test see that users spend 45% more time on Prism than the standard mobile version.

Consideration #3: Will an alternative to AMP increase revenue?

AMP lacks flexibility and often limits the monetization opportunities for publishers.

This is because you can only use functions that are implemented in AMP libraries.

In addition, many rich media and video suppliers do not fully support AMP.

PreBid.js, the industry standard for bidding, doesn’t work in AMP – a major monetization flaw.

As a result, many sites continue to run their original page alongside AMP, which means additional work and more complex analytics.

How can I reduce workload and increase revenue?

When you create CWV-compliant layouts, you can remove duplicate AMP pages while giving your site access to more ad networks and better bids.

Prism gives publishers access to the full ad ecosystem, including open and vertical bidding, as well as more flexibility in ad placements and ad formats – helping drive revenue.

Publishers can also use many non-standard ad formats, while dynamic layout automatically adapts ad positions to article length, device type, and connection speed.

This partly explains why publishers see an average increase in revenue (as measured by session RPM) of 59% using Prism compared to their benchmark site.

Whatever options they choose, Clickio publishers can easily track their revenue from different sources and versions of their sites, through the Clickio platform.

Should you give up AMP?  4 considerations to help you decideClickio platform, March 2022
Should you give up AMP?  4 considerations to help you decideClickio platform, March 2022

Consideration #4: What alternatives to AMP are easy to set up and use?

Initial setup of any technology is a major question for publishers, and AMP is undoubtedly easy to integrate, without much technical knowledge.

The simplicity of AMP is a big reason why some publishers continue to stick with it, especially if they lack the means to integrate other solutions.

But alternative options, such as Prism, are also easy to use – from setup to maintenance.

Prism can be installed via the WordPress plugin or Clickio’s CDN, with free support and integration.

Since there is no additional development required, this can save a lot of pressure and cost for smaller publishers.

Furthermore, each publisher who uses Prism is assigned an account manager, to support them during the setup process and help them get the most out of using it.

With this in mind, the perceived headache of preparing and using a new product should not be a concern for those publishers seeking to move away from AMP.

What is best for your site?

AMP continues to be a useful aid to ensure a great web experience for mobile users, and for many small publishers, it remains a good choice.

However, technology has evolved since AMP was first introduced.

Publishers frustrated with its limitations can now take advantage of tools like Prism to maintain site speed and search rankings while also boosting revenue growth opportunities.

As with many aspects of web development, testing is key.

See the difference an AMP alternative can make

With Prism, we offer free A/B testing against your current mobile location, so you can see exactly what difference it makes.

click here To request a free A/B test for the publication – or call us If you want to discuss the best option for your site.

Request a free PRISM test

photo credits

Featured image: Shutterstock image. Used with permission.

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