A Deep Dive FAQ on Progressive Web Apps and Accelerated Mobile Pages

A few weeks ago we shared our Introductory FAQ to Progressive Web Apps (PWA) and Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP). Now that you have a basic understanding of AMP and PWAs, let’s dive deeper into some of the questions that come up regularly during the evaluation of these two technologies. This FAQ will discuss analytics and tracking challenges, customer acquisition benefits, and frameworks for implementation.

What analytics solutions are compatible with a PWA?

Progressive Web Apps are a web technology so any analytics solution could be made to work, however, there are components of a Progressive Web App that complicate tracking. Offline Mode, server-side rendering and client-side rendering, are some of the components in a PWA environment that can break tracking.

It’s important to create a central dispatch event system that manages state changes inside of the application and notifies the relevant third party at the right time, or holds back information if the device is offline.

Be sure to consider a digital experience platform that has simplified analytics integrations and that provides testing frameworks for your team to use before launching your PWA.

Will a move to HTTPS hurt my SEO?

In 2014, Google rolled out updated algorithms in favor of HTTPS websites, and now, we see a strong correlation between HTTPS sites and first page search rankings.

Do Progressive Web Apps work with paid campaigns such as AdWords and Facebook ads?

Yes, PWAs work with paid campaigns because they preserve the URL structure and query parameters of the existing site. Since PWAs offer a better customer experience and more conversions, they help generate a higher return on investment for paid acquisition channels.

Are Progressive Web Apps good for my SEO?

If your Progressive Web App is fast, accessible, and follows SEO best practices, you will see high page rankings. However, there are some complexities of building a single-page app with new JavaScript and Service Workers that require an understanding of a unique set of best practices.

Work with a partner to ensure that your pages are: rendered correctly by search crawlers; meet the key SEO criteria for mobile-friendliness, performance, and accessibility; can provide content for Search Engine Result Page “rich snippets”; and facilitate the crawler’s semantic understanding of your content.

What are the benefits of combining both Accelerated Mobile Pages and a Progressive Web App?

Retailers who launch both AMP and a PWA are able to deliver instant page loads from initial discovery to checkout. In other words, it enables them to “start fast, and stay fast.”

AMP ensures that shoppers can access your site instantly through landing pages that are cached by search engines. This reduces visitor drop-off and maximizes investments in SEO, SEM, email and other customer acquisition channels. Subsequently, a PWA offers a fast experience as a shopper navigates through your site. Instant page transitions, app-like UX, and engagement tools like web push notifications keep the shopper engaged until checkout.

These are the AMP and PWA load benchmarks that you can expect.

First Page Load with AMP

First Page Load with AMP

Subsequent Page Loads on PWA

Subsequent Page Loads on PWA

We recommend building both AMP pages and a PWA to ensure that your pages have the same level of performance and UX design throughout the entire experience.

Should I use React, Angular, or Polymer to build a PWA?

Progressive Web Apps are not deliberately prescriptive about which framework to use, so there is no “right” answer. When deciding, start by considering the skillset of your team and the availability of talent in your area. Look at frameworks with large, active communities and extensive training material. At Mobify, we use React because of the large developer community and specific technical features of the language. React uses a one-way data binding methodology that simplifies debugging, reduces developer errors, and guarantees polished UI performance.

Is a PWA compatible with my current JS framework?

Yes, a PWA will be compatible with your current JavaScript application framework, however, unless you’ve designed your current experience to be “app-like,” you will need to rebuild to ensure that your PWA is highly performant. Bolting Progressive Web App features on to a current website will not give you the results of a best-in-class PWA.

What website model makes the most sense for my PWA? (Single page app, server-side render, client-side render, blend?)

These models aren’t mutually exclusive. You should use a single page app, server-side rendering, and client-side rendering to build a performant PWA.

Here’s why:

  • A single page app will dramatically reduce customer journey time across the experience.
  • Server-side rendering should be used for the first page view to expedite page load.
  • Client-side rendering will reduce bandwidth requirements and the requirements of the single page app with respect to subsequent page views.

Which PWA features should I implement first?

Use your analytics tools to identify the user journeys where your visitors are spending most of their time and where there may be friction. Entering and exiting a Progressive Web App experience can be “jarring,” so we recommend completing the entire ecommerce experience and making iterations post-launch.

How can I compare the performance of my Progressive Web App and native app through paid clicks?

To test the performance of your PWA and native app through paid clicks, your app will need to support deep linking. You can setup two campaigns, one that will target your app by the deep link, and another that will target your PWA. To understand the validity of your results, you will want to make sure that your analytics team understands analysis of variance and statistical power.

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