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

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

In all corners of the industry, the media are say goodbye to AMPmany think they can increase their income without it.

Some large publishers, like 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 using tools like Prism.

But since the needs of every publisher and website are different, it’s worth asking whether AMP is really as redundant as it seems.

How does an AMP alternative, like in-house development or a tool like Prism, work?

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 need to consider when deciding to make the switch.

Consideration #1: Will an AMP Alternative Boost Search Rankings?

Google has confirmed that AMP is not a ranking factor, as AMP links are no longer required to appear in Google’s Top Stories.

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

The speed of your website is the ranking factor here.

Although AMP easily gives you a faster loading webpage, there are downsides, such as lower revenue due to ad placement limitations, reduced brand visibility, and experience layouts. user that are not unique to your business.

In short, using Basic Web Vitals (CWV) to help you optimize your site, instead of AMP, will give you a better chance of increasing ad revenue, maintaining brand awareness, and consistently ranking well on Google.

How can I boost search rankings without AMP?

CWVs allow you to get a true assessment of page speed, interactivity, and visual stability, making it easy to speed up your entire website.

When considering moving from AMP to true website optimization, you should prioritize the requirements of CWVs:

  • Performance: How fast do items load on the screen?
  • Responsiveness: How quickly does your page react to user input?
  • Visual Stability: Do your page elements jump a lot when loading?

Clickio Prismfor example, is a cloud-based mobile model that was designed with these metrics in mind.

Screenshots from Clickio Prism, June 2021

Your pages will always load quickly no matter where your end user is, thanks to Prism’s ability to accelerate your mobile site using a global Content Delivery Network (CDN) and full site caching.

Prism also uses lightweight page designs that eliminate time-consuming JavaScript tasks and complicated CSS code.

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

92% of Prism sites are fully CWV compliant, 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 verify its impact by implementing real-time monitoring of your CWVs.

Services such as Clickio Web Vital Signs Monitoring track the actual page experience of your visitors in real time.

This means you can immediately see how changes to your site impact your scores.

This helps you find the source of any problem and act quickly.

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

Consideration #2: Will an alternative to AMP improve user engagement?

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

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

Visitors who come to your site using an AMP page typically face a challenge when attempting to navigate to other areas of your website, resulting in high bounce rates.

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

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

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

To improve user engagement, it’s important to implement features that your audience uses daily and trusts.

Many users are now accustomed to the type of navigation seen in apps, such as the ability to swipe the screen to instantly move to the next article.

Prism includes this feature, along with infinite scrolling – which continues to load more content as the reader moves down the page – and a related article carousel showing similar stories.

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

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

All of this makes it easier for users to see the content that interests them.

With Prism, it’s also easy to see the impact 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 of the Clickio platform, March 2022

On average, publishers running this type of test find that users spend 45% longer on the Prism site than on the standard mobile version.

Consideration #3: Will an alternative to ART increase income?

AMP tends to lack flexibility and often limits monetization opportunities for publishers.

This is because you can only use the features implemented in the AMP libraries.

Additionally, many rich media and video providers do not fully support AMP.

PreBid.js, the industry standard for header bidding, doesn’t work in AMP – a huge downside for monetization.

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

How can I reduce workload and increase income?

When you create your own CWV-enabled layouts, you have the ability to remove duplicate AMP pages while giving your site access to more ad networks and improved bidding.

Prism offers publishers access to the full advertising ecosystem, including open and header auctions, as well as greater flexibility in ad placements and layouts, which helps increase revenue.

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

This partly explains why publishers are seeing an average increase in revenue (measured by session RPM) of 59% with Prism compared to their standard site.

Whichever options they choose, Clickio publishers can easily track their earnings from different sources and versions of their site, within 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: Which alternatives to AMP are easy to set up and use?

The initial setup of any technology is a key issue for publishers, and AMP is undoubtedly easy to integrate without a lot of technical knowledge.

The simplicity of AMP is one of the main reasons some vendors continue to stick with it, especially if they can’t afford to integrate other solutions.

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

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

As no additional development is required, it can save a lot of stress and cost for small publishers.

Additionally, each publisher using Prism is assigned an account manager, to support them during the setup process and help them get the most out of their use.

With that in mind, the perceived headache of setting up and using a new product shouldn’t be a concern for publishers looking to move away from AMP.

Which is best for your site?

AMP continues to be a great help in ensuring a great web experience for mobile users and for many small publishers remains a good option.

However, technology has evolved since the introduction of AMP.

Publishers frustrated with its limitations can now use tools like Prism to maintain site speed and search rankings while increasing opportunities for revenue growth.

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

See what a difference an AMP alternative can make

With Prism, we offer a free A/B testing compared to your current mobile site, so you can see exactly what difference it makes.

Click on here to request a free Prism A/B test – or Contact us if you would like to discuss the best option for your site.


Image credits

Featured Image: Image from Shutterstock. Used with permission.

About Nereida Nystrom

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