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Google’s AMP Update: What it Means for Your Website

Google AMP Update

First announced in October 2015, “AMP” stands for Accelerated Mobile Project, and it’s a Google’s project to fast render all web pages for mobile from within Google, like Facebook’s Instant Articles. As Contently.com reports:

As mobile becomes the dominant way that people consume content, AMP is Google’s initiative to speed up the mobile web by allowing links from search results to load directly on Google’s platform. AMP-supported pages will load extremely quickly (median load times are under one second) and consume 10 times less data than normal web pages, according to Digiday.

This might be good news for many webmasters, even bloggers with a small audience that rely on Google, and it might help choose a simpler (and Google-friendly) mobile format than the many available. Indeed, the AMP Project website states that AMP consists of 3 parts:

AMP HTML is HTML with some restrictions for reliable performance and some extensions for building rich content beyond basic HTML.

The AMP JS library ensures the fast rendering of AMP HTML pages.

The Google AMP Cache can be used to serve cached AMP HTML pages.

In other words, it means publishing mobile-optimized content that only uses essential HTML, no fluff, no addons and nothing that could slow down page loading, including Java — and it displays within Google’s carousel.

Google’s AMP update is the implementation of a protocol that makes it easy to render web pages fast from Google, and Google seems to be actively encouraging all webmasters to optimize their websites for mobile with AMP.

Does AMP Influence the SERPs?

Google stated that there won’t be currently any ranking benefits for webmasters choosing to implement AMP on their websites, but there is everything to gain in terms of user experience in doing so, as well as advertising (if you use AdSense or other dynamic advertising systems).

As you know, users have been complaining about slow page load for years, and modern web technologies finally make it possible to publish great, nice looking content without affecting usability and accessibility.

So, while AMP is not a ranking factor per se, it is in terms of mobile optimization, faster load speed and user experience, which are ranking factors at Google.

And, of course, you don’t get penalized for not implementing AMP!

Also, AMP is analytics-friendly and it will not interfere with your marketing efforts.

What Should You Do On Your Website

From all the above, it follows that AMP is completely optional to implement, but in the long run your website will definitely benefit from making your mobile users’ life easier.

If you use WordPress, download the AMP plugin or get it via GitHub, install it and follow the instructions. BrandBuilders’ “Google AMP – Hype Or Hope?” post contains a tutorial for the plugin that you may want to read before and after installing the plugin.

If you are doing it manually, make sure to use the AMP validator to check for errors before launching your new mobile version of the site.

Julia McCoy at SmartInsights shares 3 simple tips to adapt your content for AMP, plus more insightful advice to why and how to use AMP.

More Reading About AMP

In addition to the already cited links, check out:

Are you going to implement AMP on your website?

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4 Social Analytics Tools You Can’t Do Without

Social Media Analytics

Websites analytics are well known, and every marketing blog seems to devote a few posts to Google Analytics, Piwik, Clicky and others.

However, data from your social channels is not less important than what comes from your website — in fact, the analysis social interactions and traffic is vital for a good marketing strategy because it indicates the interaction patterns of your audience on the channel, what they are interested in and what you could work on to increment it.

As precious as this data is, I selected 4 social analytics tools (that I personally tested) for this post that will help you get the most out of your channels with no extra effort.

1. Followerwonk (Twitter)

URL: https://moz.com/followerwonk/

In its free version, this tool by MOZ allows you to search for Twitter users and find influencers, followers, and other helpful statistics. In other words, you can do 2 things for free:

  • Analyze users a Twitter profile follows
  • Analyze the followers of that profile

The good news is that you can do that also with our own account! The screenshot below shows the report I obtained when I looked up my own Twitter profile:

Followerwonk Twitter Profile Data Overview and Map

Followerwonk shows me some profile stats and my Social Authority (39 in my case), then it gives me a world map with the location of my followers, so I have an overview of their geolocation and I can decide if I want to use this information to create culturally diverse content.

I’m also given an overview of the times of the day my followers are mostly active, so I can know when to publish content for better visibility (6 PM for me).

Other data in the report include: keyword/word cloud of my followers’ interests (for example: marketing, blogger, social media), locations per keyword (example: US, UK, India, Italy, China), age and gender demographics, and distribution of social authority among your followers. All this data can help better targeting your marketing efforts.

The other tool is the Twitter profile and bio search. If I search for profiles talking about “digital marketing”, I get a list — ordered by followers and social authority — of users with similar interests. This is a good tool to use when you want to find influencers and professional contacts. Here is an example:

Followerwonk Search by Keyword or Topic

My advice is to start with high social authority but approachable users rather than VIPs, unless you can touch upon topics you know they’re really interested about and you have something to offer that they don’t already know.

You can look up max 50 profiles a day and up to 100 keyword searches a day.

2. SimplyMeasured

URL: http://simplymeasured.com/free-social-media-tools/

SimplyMeasured Tools

SimplyMeasured offers a range of free social media analytics tools about all major social networks — Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Google+ — plus tools that connect to Google Analytics to find out how social media impact your website performance.

Here is an example report for my character blog EileenSON.org — I used the Google Analytics tool provided by SimplyMeasured to analyze the social impact of this blog:

SimplyMeasured Twitter Analysis Example

If you choose the Facebook page analysis tool, you will get a report of the engagement and performance of your page for the last two weeks, how your content is faring and how engaged your audience is. The tool works with pages up to 150,000 likes.

All these tools are available after signing up for a free SimplyMeasured report and send a pay-with-a-tweet app tweet in lieu of payment.

3. Cyfe

URL: http://www.cyfe.com/

The tool has a simple dashboard with settings, users, and widgets — which are the core of the tool: there’s a widget for each social network you want to monitor.

Register a free account, go to your dashboard and click on Add Widget (the 4-squares icon on the top bar, next to the dashboard’s name, “Dashboard di Luana Spinetti” in my example below) and add the ones you want. In this example, I added widgets for my Facebook page and Twitter account:

Cyfe Dashboard

There are various widget categories you can choose from, not just social media: blogging and advertising are also included.

This is a very good tool for multiple account management, all free, so definitely a must-have among your analytics suites.

4. Klout

URL: https://klout.com/

I already wrote about Klout and how to use it to generate blog post ideas, but here I want to focus on its analytics features.

Under the Measure tab, Klout lets you have an overview of your performance across the major social networks and it gives you a score based on engagement, frequency of posting and an analysis of topics by in-content keywords or tags. On the sidebar, Klout also shows you a graph of your contributions per social network — that is, where you are mostly active overall.

Also under the Measure tab is the list of Expert Topics, ordered by rank, that you can use to target most of your marketing efforts and that you can offer more often on your blog and social channels.

The Explore tab gives you an insight into what content is relevant to your channel and it also gives suggestions on what experts you could get in touch. It’s a good idea to take the suggested content under this tab in consideration, because Klout calculated how much interest your audience may have in these topics. See the Disney Channel title in the example below, and Klout’s On Target label for it:

Klout Explore Topics

Klout definitely provides plenty of data and suggestions to use for marketing and the development of your website.

Other Tools

Google Analytics is still your friend, whether you run it from SimplyMeasured or from your GA Dashboard. It’s all free and data is known to be reliable, so it’s good to exploit this tool.

Also, make use of social networks’ own analytics, like Facebook Insights, Twitter Analytics and Pinterest Analytics. These suites come free to all platform users, and sometimes they also make their API available to create customized widgets for your website.

Which tools do you use for social analytics? Let us know in comments.

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