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What you need to know about monitoring your AMP website

by Becky Cable ON Aug 09, 2019

AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages)

I'm not going to go into a whole thing here about AMP-powered websites.

Hopefully, you've arrived here as you already have an AMP website, or are about to. If you are still in the dark about AMP, start here, and come back to us in a minute.

Having an AMP website for your business is excellent. Great decision. However, you can't just AMP-up and hope for the best.

There are lots of great ways to maintain your AMP website. Read on.

Step 1 - ​​Install AMP Validator 

AMP gives you a tool to optimise your website. To be AMP-compliant, each page of your site must pass through a Validator.

The AMP Validator tool helps you identify and remove any errors or issues from mobile web pages, so they are AMP-compliant.

Each page is checked for AMP validation, and reports if the page passes (green) or fails (red) via the extension icon.

If there are any warnings or errors it'll list the number underneath the extension icon, and clicking the icon will display the warnings and/or errors.

The AMP Validator is not just a convenient tool for you to experiment with during post-click landing page development. It’s a necessity.

That's if you want your page to appear in the Google AMP Cache, and if you want it to be discovered and promoted by 3rd party websites like Google and Twitter who serve AMP pages on their platforms. Which I'm going to go ahead and assume that you do.

If the AMP Validation tool detects anything wrong with your page, you lose the speed benefits of the cache, and your page won’t be seen in as many places.

Lots more information on how to use the AMP Validator can be found here.

Step 2 - Check out Google Search Console

To help deploy error-free AMP web pages, Google has added an error report designed for AMP publishers in the Google Search Console.

The AMP error report gives an overview of the overall situation on your site, and then lets you drill down to specific error types and URLs.

This process helps you quickly find the most common issues, so that you can systematically address them in your site’s AMP implementation.

Another important benefit with Google Search Console, is that you can also see how AMP is growing your organic search traffic, as well as compare search performance between AMP and non-AMP pages.

Step 3 - Run a Lighthouse Report

The Lighthouse Tool lets you can choose from different audit categories:

  • Performance – checks how quickly the page loads (Fun fact - having an AMP website will automatically improve your website's performance, because it will be so much faster)
  • Accessibility – checks website friendliness for non-typical users (such as those who are colour-blind)
  • Best Practices – checks for web application development best practices
  • SEO – checks that the page is optimised to perform well in the search engine results pages (SERP's)

With Google Lighthouse, you are provided with one of the best review tools available that helps give you detailed reports when it comes to your website’s SEO. This data improves your understanding of how your website is performing.

We cover some more on Lighthouse reports here.

But what about just having some AMP pages?

AMP can be activated on a website in two variations:

Paired mode - allows you to keep the original non-AMP version of your web pages while having an additional, lighter AMP version. The pages are ‘paired’ through a special code, which lets Google know there is an AMP version available.

Search engines crawling the website will see the paired AMP version, and send mobile users to the AMP page as opposed to the ‘canonical’ non-AMP, whereas desktop users will be sent to the canonical non-AMP webpage.

A downside to this paired mode means more to manage and open to more errors.

If you have paired mode, you have to ensure your canonical tags are set up correctly.

If you don't, not only will your AMP pages not be recognised, but you may also be serving duplicate content, at massive detriment to your SEO.

Native AMP
- this means that there is only one page which is built entirely in AMP. In this case, the AMP page links to itself as the ‘canonical URL’.

Native is the recommended approach. Your canonical URL is AMP, and there’s no non-AMP versions of your pages. Pages can be served directly from the AMP cache.

There are no worries about serving duplicate content with Native AMP.

Native is the recommended approach. Your canonical URL is AMP, and there’s no non-AMP versions of your pages. Pages can be served directly from the AMP cache.

There are no worries about serving duplicate content with Native AMP.

Having just some AMP pages isn't necessarily going to get you the results you want.

This is why we build everything primarily AMP, as then we only have one version to take care of.

The upside of AMP, blazing fast performance, isn’t something site owners just want for a select few pages for select mobile visitors. We want that for the whole site!

A single site, built on AMP, for all device types and all visitors. Blazing fast across the board. Yes, please!

What next?

Make use of your AMP status; optimise your site via the methods above and experience the amazing power of this technology.

Handily enough, all websites we develop are AMP-powered.

Get in touch for a chat about your business, and how to approach this level-up to your website.

And if you want to know more, you can download our definitive (free!) guide to AMP-lifying your website.