An AMP Case Study
About JM Bullion
Founded in 2011, JM Bullion is an online, precious metals retailer that offers gold and silver products from bars and rounds to coins. The corporate headquarters is located in Dallas, Texas.
Basics of Implementation
JM Bullion's website was built using WordPress and WooCommerce and has more than 25,000 pages. There are about 4,000 product pages on the site, and the AMP implementation was performed by WompMobile, a development agency and software platform. All upper-funnel, organic landing pages were converted to AMP and implementation began in October 2016.
Like any website, over time, the architecture evolved. As such, JM Bullion moved to combine AMP with Progressive Web App (PWA) technology, bringing together the discoverability of the web with an app-like user experience. The marriage of these technologies enables the PWA to reuse AMP pages as the data source (i.e. the content pages). This approach, known as a Progressive Web AMP (or PWAMP), speeds-up site performance in two major ways:
- The AMP pages provide a very-fast experience for users arriving at the site from the Google SERPs.
- The PWA’s service worker preloads page components prior to user requests, resulting in continued fast performance throughout the buying experience. The PWA app-shell acts like a wrapper to call and display AMP pages, as users navigate the site, delivering pre-fetched, fast-loading page transitions.
In an AMP-plus-PWA application, AMP pages are not set up as an alternate to the canonical site. Rather, AMP pages are re-used as the default pages within the mobile website – carrying over all the performance benefits.
This AMP and PWA implementation was completed in June 2018 and took six weeks.
To compare pre- and post-launch results, a performance benchmark was set before AMP pages went into production. Organic, mobile traffic landing directly on product-detail pages, prior to AMP implementation was 4.6% of total, organic traffic. After AMP implementation, traffic increased to 12.3% and occasionally pops up over 32%. This is good for the business, as these are the highest-converting landing pages.
When AMP pages were launched in early 2017, JM Bullion saw a strong improvement in average mobile position (as seen in Google Search Console), moving from position 8.8 to 5. And a couple of key search terms moved from position #5 to position #1. A few months later, rankings settled close to the pre-AMP levels. It’s not clear if this was because of a change in the Google algorithm or due to the competitive landscape. JM Bullion continues to measure better, overall ranking on mobile than on desktop, with AMP pages ranking 21% higher. Other benefits include:
- 25% increase for time on site
- 12% decline in bounce rate
- 63% increase in pages per session
Like any retailer, conversion rate is one of JM Bullion’s main performance indicators. Since the combination of AMP and PWA, smartphone conversion rate is 28% higher.
On the JM Bullion site, spot pricing updates as often as twice a minute. AMP relies on a cache for much of its performance benefits. It was challenging to get the AMP pages to show the real-time pricing. To do this, WompMobile used AMP list and AMP bind components to fetch new prices. They created an endpoint that returned pure JSON directly from the JM Bullion database.