What Is Google AMP and Will It Help My Squarespace Website Get Found?

 Using Google AMP on a Squarespace Website

Using Google AMP on a Squarespace Website

Google AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages) creates lighter versions of web pages that load faster on mobile devices.

AMP prioritizes mobile Google searches and the results appear as “Top Stories” with headlines and thumbnail images. Website visitors then click on a result to view the AMP version of the page. Why not help your audience quickly locate your blog posts by enabling AMP on your Squarespace site?

Superior Readability & Simplified Design

Squarespace founder and CEO, Anthony Casalena, was eager to jump on board. “We’re committed to adopting all technologies that help people share their content wherever people are reading it,” he said. Google AMP is now available to all Squarespace users. Presently, current Squarespace customers should go into their settings to enable AMP; future customers may have the feature turned on by default.

With increased speed comes less design, but the faster load time should pay off. Most users abandon websites that take more than 3 seconds to load. The average load time for mobile pages? Eight seconds. By eliminating Javascript tags and creating a bare bones version of mobile, load time is much faster. Pinterest product engineer, Jon Parise, said early testing of Google AMP found that pages loaded four times faster and used eight times less data than traditional mobile pages. Obviously, a faster mobile website is better for users, publishers, and platforms alike.

AMP and Search Engine Optimization

For now, AMP is not an organic SEO ranking factor. However, it does affect clicks, impressions, and user experience, which in turn affects SEO. Google considers a faster loading AMP page that gets more clicks and fewer bounces to be of value to users, so it’s likely to rank higher in search results. With Google reporting that more than 50% of global searches happen on mobile, it’s plain to see why consumers crave speed.

How to Implement AMP in Squarespace

Businesses, bloggers, and more can now generate mobile-optimized blogs using the AMP format in Squarespace. It isn’t difficult to implement. Keep in mind that for now, AMP formatting is only available for blog posts, and its visibility is limited to Google mobile search results. Fortunately, if a mobile user views your site via another search engine, your blog posts retain their original appearance. AMP does not support CSS or other custom code, so page visitors should visit the full version of your site to see any code integrations.

You can easily enable AMP in your site’s Blogging Panel:

  • In the Home Menu, click Settings
  • Then click Blogging
  • Scroll down to Accelerated Mobile Pages and select AMP enabled

There you have it! Google will now index your optimized blog posts.

How Does AMP Changes Blog Posts?

AMP formatting works by stripping down a page’s HTML to its bare essentials. What does that mean in Squarespace? Simply that some blocks won’t appear on AMP posts. The blocks that do appear include audio, embed, gallery, image, line, markdown, quote, text, and video. All other blocks are hidden, with visitors to your site clicking on a link that directs them to the full post.

The AMP design itself is standard for all blog posts and is unrelated to your template style. There are a few minor format changes:

  • The text displays in the Muli font.
  • The page margins readjust.
  • The supported blocks stack into a single column (which is already standard for all mobile Squarespace sites).
  • The post includes a “Discover More” link to your full site.

 All AMP posts are automatically formatted for a user’s best mobile visual experience, so you cannot change their design. You can, however, change the order of your blocks by opening the blog post editor and rearranging them. How to Preview AMP Posts Once you enable AMP, the AMP version of your URL will automatically generate in mobile Google results. To preview an AMP post, just add “?format=amp” to the end of the URL. To illustrate: If your standard blog post URL is http://myblog.com/blog/2016/2/19/mypost Use http://myblog.com/blog/2016/2/19/mypost?format=amp There’s no need to use this URL when sharing AMP posts with visitors.

The Final Word on Google AMP

Time is critical when it comes to mobile page loads. AMP allows you to optimize content for mobile, creating a better web for you and your audience. If you still haven’t made your website mobile-friendly, now’s the time. Over half of all the searches on the web are from mobile devices. If you’re committed to delivering the best user experience for your customers and want to get found online in search engines, get your website up to speed with Google AMP today.

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About Michael Conway

I'm the owner and strategist at Means-of-Production. My firm builds Squarespace websites, Houzz profiles, and content marketing and advertising solutions for architects, interior designers, design-build contractors and landscape design firms. Our all-in-one marketing tactics attract the right clients with exceptional architectural photography and brand messaging that sets you apart from the competition. Click here to schedule a call.