Google Web Stories represents a new way to get more organic traffic. Supported by Google search engine themselves, it’s high time you learn how you can enable it on WordPress and what are the tricks to create an engaging web story to drive more traffic to your blog.
Just when you thought you had mastered all the popular formats of content creation, Google has introduced a new kid down the block called Web Stories.
Okay, wait. But Google Web Stories is not entirely new.
Web stories were actually rebranded from Google’s Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) story format that was introduced back in May 2020.
Google often refers to them as snackable content and explains that this content is meant for mobile users who are looking to consume content at a glance while riding on the subway or during lunch.
If you’re like me and feel that you’re late for the party with this story content, no worries!
This post will get you familiarized with everything you need to know about Google Web Stories and how it is all the rage these days!
What are Google Web Stories?
Google Web Stories are mini-AMP pages.
Think Instagram or Facebook stories but for the web. The Google Web Story example above should also give you a quick illustration, but to simply explain…
Google Web Stories are short, slideshow-style sequence of visual content with text and or audio that allows users to explore at their own pace by swiping through it.
It allows people to interact and engage better with the content on their mobile devices, and when everything’s over, it should usually wrap up with a nice little Call-to-Action (CTA) that encourages audiences to visit a landing page or website for more information.
Essentially, Google Web Stories format is made for publishers to tell a story directly on the web, allowing readers to consume the content from the publishers’ website without the need for another mobile application.
But that’s not all.
Google Web Stories SEO benefits
You may still be wondering, why should you care about Google Web Stories? Could it be just another content hype?
Well, unlike other types of content, Google Web Stories have a couple of things that make them impactful to your SEO and traffic.
First of all, Google Web Stories are designed to be a mobile-first type of content and this is a strong opportunity for publishers to appeal to mobile viewers that are increasingly making up the majority of organic search engine visits.
As of 2020, Quoracreative reports that 62% of users accessing the internet are doing it from their mobile devices.
With Google Stories, the search engine is directly supporting publishers to make the shift towards meeting the need for the newest-slash-mobile story consumption.
In fact, the support from Google is so strong that upon creation, you will just need to live your web stories on your own mini-pages, and you don’t even have to embed them or send them traffic yourself.
They will appear naturally in Google Discover to relevant users, which brings you potentially thousands of new visitors given that your stories entice readers to click on your CTA.
And this opens up chances for monetization as well.
In other words, it presents a brand new opportunity for publishers to get even higher organic search traffic for their top content, and mind you the figure is no small amount.
According to Casey Markee from MediaWyse, publishers are seeing high numbers from Web Stories, adding that the results have only been amazing and that one of his clients actually generated 20,000 clicks from Google in a single day from Web Stories.
Web Stories has a widespread placement
Beyond Discover, Google Stories have a widespread placement and can show up in a variety of places. It can also land you at the top rankings of Google search, Google images, and also in Google App.
Of course, the main traffic is still derived from the fact that Google Web Stories have their own dedicated carousel in Google Discover.
And this is native to the Google mobile app which is used by 800 million people worldwide every month.
So why not give it a chance? Especially If your website is powered by WordPress, creating stories then would be as easy as pie.
Google Web Stories on WordPress
Google has released an official Web Story plugin for WordPress, which allows publishers to create stories effortlessly using a drag-and-drop style. This gets even easier with the tons of ready-made templates to help you get started.
Above all, everyone who downloads the Web Stories plugin will have access to growing libraries of free photo and video material thanks to the partnerships Google has struck with Coverr and Unsplash.
To get started, just log in to your WordPress sites and follow these steps:
- From the menu, select Plugins > Add new
- Search “web stories” in the search bar and install the Web Stories plugin
- Once activated, you will see a new “Stories” option
- Open the Web Stories dashboard and start by clicking “Create New Story” or choose to “Explore Templates”
Additionally, the tool also allows you to add your Google Analytics tracking ID in your editor settings to get access to your Stories data.
Google Web Stories on Shopify
On the other hand, if you are an eCommerce marketer looking to leverage Web Stories for your product, the Shopify platform also has a supporting app called Product Stories.
Similarly, the Shopify app is easy to use and can create or convert your Shopify product pages into beautiful AMP story widgets and Web Stories.
By chance, if you are not on either WordPress or Shopify, another powerful Web Stories builder we recommend is MakeStories. It’s also a handy drag-and-drop editor which will allow you to create Google Stories for all kinds of web pages.
How to get traffic from Web Stories?
Now onto our main goal. So how do you build Web Stories for Google that gets traffic? We are glad you asked.
Here are some of the best practices to help optimize your marketing using Google Stories.
1. Create Stories for Your Top Posts first
Hear me out. If Google thinks you’re an expert in a particular topic, it would make sense that they are going to think you are an expert in a Web Story about it too.
Naturally, this will give you an edge on Google Discover, and in turn, the search engine will most likely give higher visibility to your Web Stories for relevant audiences who have shown interest in your topic.
In any way, creating Web Stories for your top or important posts is the same strategy as creating an infographic or video for it. They should act as an advertisement to draw traffic to your actual content or website.
The thing is, Google Stories can especially be a good feature to your 3000-word cornerstone content as it provides a quick snippet to pique interest among your audience before they head over to read your entire article.
Note: The recommendation is to start creating web stories for your Top 10 high traffic post first. However, do not embed your stories into your post, as it might slow down your page and divert traffic away from the main focus which is your post.
2. Avoid Trailer Content
In Google’s best practices advice, they recommend not to create teaser or sneak peek content when you are crafting your story.
Google warns that stories with only 2 to 3 slides preview are seen as “forcing the readers” to the website and often do not result in a good user experience.
So instead, the search engine recommends having 10 to 20 slides with brief text and focus on the visual content.
However, most importantly, it stressed that the story should contain value for the reader on its own. A good rule of thumb is to always make sure that your stories flow from the beginning to the end.
3. Link to Your Web Stories
While it’s not wise to embed or link your Web Stories in your post, there is still a need to consider the linking profile of your stories.
Because ultimately, Web Stories still works very much like our regular posts where Google understands them through your external and internal links. That’s why linking to stories from the post you’re writing them about will help Google discover them more easily.
Besides, it would also be great if you have links to your web stories from the homepage or relevant category pages. One tip here is you can also create a dedicated landing page for Web Stories and then feature links to them.
4. Follow Google’s Best Practices
Web stories are content that is meant to be consumed in small chunks, and who understands what audiences are looking for than Google.
So here are some of Google’s recommended best practices for creating web stories:
- Web Story should be between four to 30 pages
- Videos and audios used are recommended to be in portrait mode
- Your videos used should be no longer than 15 seconds and should feature subtitles
- Text included should be a minimum of font size 24 and each page should contain no more than 200 characters
- Keep your titles under 40-characters long, and use contrast and highlighting to make your text pop-out
- Use only a maximum of one link per page and include disclosure for outgoing links
Note: Your images come first, and text comes second. You can be informative, funny, or witty with your text, but focus on ramping up your image game first. Still, with stories, you need to make sure they are the complete package while making them short and sweet.
5. Submit Your Web Story XML Sitemap to Google
Assuming you already have the habit of generating XML sitemaps, you should have one for your Web Stories as well to submit them via the Google Search Console.
6. Keywords in your Web Story Title
It’s obvious to say that your Web Stories should be SEO-optimized, and this works just like any other page on Google.
So make sure you implement all the best SEO practices from using image alt text to properly adding relevant keywords into your content.
Name your web stories with titles that are enticing to click but also include your target keyword.
To help guide you find the right keyword to target is our BiQ Keyword Intelligence.
It’s easy to use and you can simply type your keyword in to see details like search volume, trends, competitiveness, and more to determine the right keyword to target. With the tool, you can also set your location and language pairing to get more targeted results.
One important note when creating your story is to avoid creating duplicate page titles on your website. Many users often resort back to the same title as their post which might lead to the triggering of Google Search duplicate title filter, and you want to make sure you avoid that!
Extra Tip: Content is still King
Still, the secret to a ranking Web Story is content. This can mean both for your web stories and your blog post or content. It takes both working in sync to boost rankings and discovery.
That’s why before you create stories for your Top 10 blog posts, you should also be reoptimizing your content if they are not ranking in the Top 3 positions.
You want to make sure they are optimized and ready before sending a surge of traffic in from Google Discover. To help you with reoptimization, we definitely suggest you use our BiQ’s Content Intelligence!
It helps compare your content Word Vector to the Top 10 ranking results for your target keyword and provides you easy suggestions to reoptimize your content’s contextual relevance and gap for better ranking.
Once you are done with reoptimizing and creating web stories for your Top 10 blog posts, you can also replicate the process with other blog posts as well!
Just reoptimize for better potential ranking and create a web story for it to drive traffic. Yes, this may sound like a lot of work, but once you see the traffic, everything will be worth it!
Again, with Google pushing Web Stories in front of more prominent visibility throughout its search platform, it’s time you adopt this new story format to gain that primer spot of discovering and meeting intent with a product.
You simply can’t ignore Google Web Stories, so start experimenting and telling your stories today, and soon you will witness the boost in traffic and customer engagement.