It’s Time to AMP It Up!

November 10, 2016 Stephen Galgocy

The Why & How of AMP Pages for Higher Education

Last month, Karine Joly wrote an article for University Business that clearly explained why all colleges and universities should enable their websites to publish AMP pages as soon as they can. Today’s blog post supports Karine’s recommendation with additional details including the benefit to enrollment marketing efforts and instructions for setting up AMP pages on Drupal and WordPress sites.

For non-commercial searches (those with few advertisers), AMP pages appear at the top of Google’s search results. They are streamlined pages with limited technical functionality that are intended to quickly and seamlessly provide answers to search queries.

AMP Pages Are Ideal for Quick, Consumable Bits of Information

Currently, we see editorial-style pages indexing well in the AMP space at the top of the search results. Most commonly for higher education websites, this content is going to come from your blog.

Anything that answers common questions (or search engine queries) is going to do well as an AMP page. That means content in the format of how to guides, FAQs and opinions should be set up as AMP pages, whenever possible.

AMP Pages Aren’t Lead Generators… But They Can Be Part of Your Recruitment Strategy

Because AMP pages do not allow for any JavaScript code (without workarounds that impact SEO performance), forms do not show within them. As a result, you are unlikely to generate a lead directly from an AMP page.

But AMP pages can still be significant contributors to your student recruitment efforts. Make sure your AMP pages link out to related non-AMP pages that include forms. Although it’s an extra step in the user journey, with your AMP pages showing at the top of search pages, you may be surprised at the volume of inquiries achieved. Just make sure your Google Analytics are set up to track the conversion path correctly so you can analyze and optimize your content to continually enhance performance.

Setting Up AMP Pages Is Easier than You Think

As Karine Joly mentioned in her article, if your website is built on Drupal or WordPress, setting up AMP pages is pretty streamlined.

Setting up AMP pages on Drupal websites:

It’s as simple as installing the AMP module and enabling AMP for pages or nodes (groups of pages). Don’t forget to test your AMP pages (which will appear at the regular URLs with “?amp” at the end) to make sure everything looks as it should. Here are the instructions from Drupal.

Setting up AMP pages on WordPress websites:

There’s an open-source WordPress plugin that dynamically generates AMP-compatible pages once installed. Here’s a link to download it. Go to the regular URL with “/amp/” at the end to test WordPress AMP pages.

Here’s a link with instructions for validating your AMP pages. Because AMP pages are so new, validation is not yet an efficient process. But it’s worth the effort.

 

Need help AMP-ing up your website?

Contact the DMS team today.

 

About the Author

Stephen Galgocy

Stephen Galgocy is the Senior Organic Search and User Experience Specialist at Digital Media Solutions (DMS), an industry leader in providing end-to-end customer acquisition solutions that help clients grow their businesses and realize their marketing goals. In this role, Stephen handles search engine marketing (SEM), which encompasses search engine optimization (SEO), user experience (UX), multivariate testing (MVT) and conversion rate optimization (CRO). Since its inception, DMS has evolved into a full-service performance marketing company that services firms within highly complex and competitive industries including mortgage, education, insurance, consumer brands, automotive, jobs and careers. DMS has achieved incredible year-over-year growth, which has earned recognition on the Inc. 5000 list in 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017.

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