PRODUCT UPDATE: As of September 2021, AMP Wizard for Yahoo! Store has been discontinued and is no longer available. Existing Yahoo! Store merchants using AMP Wizard will continue to receive support and security patches/updates as needed. However, no further enhancements or new sales for this product will be available after September 2021.
Today I’m pleased to announce the latest product to come out of our Development Lab. It’s one that has been in the works for several months and is what I consider a “game changer” for Yahoo! Store owners.
Introducing AMP Wizard!
Before I dive into the technical details and how you can be one of the first to get it, let me talk a little bit about AMP in general.
In 2018, Google released what has been called the “speed update.” This adjustment to their algorithm was made due to the increase in mobile searches and specifically targeted slower loading websites.
Prior to the speed update, Google took site speed into consideration when displaying search results. Simply put, faster loading sites were given priority over slower loading ones – but only for those users searching from desktop computers.
With mobile searches rapidly on the rise, Google decided to not only take site speed into consideration for desktop searches but for mobile ones as well. This change meant site owners needed to find a way to speed things up so they wouldn’t get lost pages deep in search results.
Google’s recommendation for combating the speed update was to implement Accelerated Mobile Pages – or AMP. AMP is not a separate website, is not a replacement for a responsive designed site, and is not a mobile app, m-dot domain, or anything like that.
“The Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) project is built on top of existing web technologies to enable blazing-fast page rendering and content delivery.”
AMP works in the background taking your existing website, creating a new lightning-fast version of it, minus the bells and whistles that add to load time and serves up these pages to mobile searchers.
Those who click thru to an AMP page will immediately notice just how fast these pages load – sometimes 4 to 5 times faster! Go ahead, take a minute to grab your phone, go to Google and search for “why use amp pages.” You’ll probably see the same search results I received in the screenshot below:
The search results that have the lightning bolt icon next to the site name are AMP pages. Click on one! You’ll immediately notice the minimal design and just how fast they load.
As eCommerce store developers, we’re always looking for ways to improve the customer experience while increasing conversions and sales. Having a fast loading site for mobile shoppers looking to buy from you is key. Not to mention the obvious benefit of an SEO boost from Google for using accelerated mobile pages.
Now that I’ve given you some background on AMP, let me share with you just how AMP Wizard for Yahoo! Store works.
Like I mentioned previously, this is not a replacement for a responsive website or any other mobile solution you have for your store. AMP Wizard works in the background and only serves up pages for mobile search users. Customers who go to your site directly will be shown your main website.
Your store’s AMP pages are stored on our server and are synched with your store so they are always up-to-date. Google then caches these pages to further reduce load time. Like all our Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) products, our servers are load balanced and monitored 24/7/365.
TAKE A PEEK! Want to see what an AMP site looks like? Click here to see the AMP version of our website.
AMP design is all about speed, so there may be functions on your main site that will not carry over to the AMP version. But that’s by design… keep speed in mind here and save those features and functions for your main site. If you have something that you feel you just can’t live without on your AMP pages, we may be able to carry it over, but additional programming may be required.
As part of the install process, we will set up a custom header and footer, include your store’s logo, and pull in custom fields from your Yahoo! Store such as featured products if you’d like them visible on your AMP pages.
One thing to note, if a user decides to use your store’s search function from your AMP page, the search results will be from your main site’s search system, whether it’s the default Yahoo! search, Nextopia, Search Magic, etc. (An update for this may be available in the future.)
So after reading all this, you may be wondering why do I need AMP?
The answer is simple – for better SEO! Simply put, AMP is an SEO play. Sites that employ AMP are going to be ranked higher in mobile search results. Mobile users stay on sites longer when they load quickly which leads to increased conversions and higher ticket values.
Whether you have a responsive site or not, AMP is for everyone!
I would be remiss if I didn’t take a moment to say congratulations to our App Development team under the direction of the Mad Wizard himself, Don Cole. He along with Brett Britke and Mike Bostone have been knee-deep into the development of this product for months and it’s exciting to finally see it come to life.
Great job team!
In the meantime, if you have questions about AMP, feel free to reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll be happy to answer them for you!
General Manager, YSW
P.S. For those on Big Commerce and Shopify, stay tuned! We’ll be rolling out AMP Wizard for those platforms later this year.