Google Web Stories, what they are and how they work

What are Google Web Stories

Google Web Stories are a web-based version of the format that is becoming popular on Instagram and TikTok, which combines video, audio, images, animation and text to create a dynamic and engaging experience.

This “new” visual format allows you to explore content by touching or scrolling and was introduced in the Google app for iOS and Android , which covers a user base of around 800 million people per month.

Web Stories can appear on Google in Search, Google Discover and Google Images.

Cosa sono le Web Stories di Google

Users will see the Web Stories row at the top of the Discover tab, where with a tap they can access the full-screen story experience.

As in the stories of the other social networks, also in this case we can touch to go on reading a Google Web Story or scroll to go to a different story in the carousel.

Web Stories can contain a maximum of 30 pages of content.

Although Web Stories follow the trend of the most important social networks ( after Snapchat, Facebook, Whatsapp and Instagram, the stories have recently also arrived on Twitter and Linkedin ) they are the evolution of a format born in 2018, the AMP Stories , based on the technology developed for Google’s Accelerated Mobile Pages project, which aims to encourage the Internet to be more mobile friendly and includes an open source HTML framework that allows developers to create lightweight pages with fast loading times. ( AMP criteria are not a factor of ranking SEO , but fast loading speed is rewarded by appearing higher in search results) .

How to create your first Google Web Story

Getting started with a Google Web Story is simple.

Web Stories are open to anyone, creators and digital publishers. At the moment, more than 2,000 websites have already published stories that have been indexed by Google.

You can use very simple drag-and-drop tools like the Web Story Editor for WordPress, MakeStories and NewsroomAI which make the process of creating Web Stories a matter of minutes to do on a website. / p>

Developers, of course, have the ability to program and customize Web Stories independently.

More information on how to create high-quality Web Stories can be found on the new site. Google has also created a YouTube tutorial series called Storytime.

Web Stories are in fact web pages and therefore must follow the same guidelines as for the publication of standard web pages. In this regard, you can consult the best practices for creating web stories.

What are the advantages of Google Web Stories

Web Stories are a “new” format from Google

As they are a new product of Google’s offering, they are likely to be prioritized in search results. This makes them an easy way to outrun the competition and prove we’re ahead.

Also, since they’re a new format, it’s not that popular yet. This indirectly is an advantage, because it means that producing engaging web stories is a surefire way to rank high with our keywords.

Google Web Stories are fun to read

Because it’s easy, fast, and fun, our readers might like it a lot. A good Web Story transforms the reading of an article into an experience similar to the one we can have on Instagram, so it is a great way to engage users. Google describes them as a way to “ interact with your audience through the power of storytelling on the open web “.

Google Web Stories are easy to make

With small tweaks they can be re-shared as Instagram and Facebook stories. This means that we can use Web Stories to boost our social networks, making sure that a small piece of content can have a very long life.

Also, each Web Story has its own URL , so it is very easy to share and link to other content.

The differences between the Web Stories of Google and those of other social networks network

  • In Google’s Web Stories we are the owners of the content. We can modify the code and embed it within our sites.
  • Google’s Web Stories have much greater potential reach. Google is integrating web stories more and more into its ecosystem, so we will be able to reach anyone in the world and not just our followers as it happens in other platforms.
  • Also, because web stories are just an extension of a website, publishers can reuse them for any purpose, share them in newsletters and as links in social media, or display them on home or other landing pages. >

The WordPress plugin for Google Web Stories

Launched in beta in early 2020, the Web Stories for WordPress plugin is an app that we can easily install on the WordPress dashboard with a built-in WYSIWYG editor and instant integration between web stories and our site.

With the WordPress plugin, we can create and edit Web Stories and then publish them directly on our site.

How to install the WordPress plugin for Google Web Stories

To install the Web Stories for WordPress plugin, you need to log into the WordPress dashboard and click on Plugin> Add New . Searching for “Web Stories” we will easily find the Google Web Stories plugin. Just install it and then activate it.

Come installare il plugin WordPress per le Web Stories di Google

The interface is simple, but as the plugin has just been released, there may still be some minor bugs.

By clicking on Stories in the menu, we will be redirected to the Web Stories dashboard.

Here we will find the Web Stories in Draft and the Published ones. If they do not appear immediately, we can recall them by clicking on “All stories” in the drop-down menu.

Creating a Google Web Story in WordPress

Creare una Google Web Story dentro WordPress

To create a Google Web Story in WordPress, just click on Create New Story, choose one of the available templates and then use simple drag-and-drop tools until our web story is complete.

We will also have access to the WordPress media library. A rich gallery of free photos and videos has also recently been integrated thanks to Google partnerships that we can use to enrich and engage our web stories.

The characteristics of a good Google Web Story

If we use the WordPress plugin or a wizard in creating our Web Story, we won’t have to worry. If, on the other hand, we want to customize it by working directly on the code, there are rules that should be respected.

The dimensions of a Google Web Story

The dimensions are 720 x 1280 px.

But you have to pay attention to a “blind zone”: the top and bottom of a web story are less legible: it is 83 px from the top and bottom, so you have to avoid putting anything important in those sections .

Words and font size of a Google Web Story

Google recommends using 200 characters or less per page and 40 characters or less for your title. The minimum font size is 24px.

Optimal length of a Web Story

A Google Web Story can be up to 30 pages and must be at least 5 pages long. The optimal length should be between 10 and 20 pages.

Videos and images of a Web Story

If we want to integrate videos into our web story, they should be short and less than 15 seconds long.

Images should be high quality and vertical.

We remind you that it is also possible to draw on a library of free photos and videos, such as those offered by partners such as Unsplash, to enrich and make our Web Stories engaging.

How to test and validate Google Web Stories

Once we have created our Web Story and generated its URL in the permalink section of the Document tab, we can test it to see if it passes the AMP criteria. It is advisable to always do this: this is the address of the AMP test where we can enter the URL of our web history.

Do Google Web Stories improve SEO?

The answer is yes.

The story format is fast becoming more and more popular with users who know it. So we can assume that when the Stories format shows up in Google search results, we might see higher organic click-through rates.

In addition, Web Stories come with metadata that webmasters can configure.

The first and most obvious benefit of implementing Google Web Stories is the fact that they are optimized for mobile devices, also showing full-screen content that loads quickly.

How to do marketing with Google Web Stories

Google’s Web Stories can also allow us to monetize traffic.

First, by adding affiliate links, which can be embedded via the scroll up feature or as a link on pages.

Secondly, we can place ads within Google’s web stories, which will be displayed on a single page. For this purpose, you can use Google Ad Manager, which will decide when and how many ads to place in web stories.

But Google’s Web Stories can make a difference even if we simply use them to increase a site’s organic traffic.

Certainly one of the most frequent uses is the one that uses Web Stories as a teaser for our posts link “> blog .

One of the main objectives, therefore, becomes to attract thousands of visitors to Web Stories through Google Discover: the call-to-action at the end of a web story should entice readers to learn more and visit our site.

There are already creators, brand and media companies that are experimenting with Google’s Web Stories. But it is still early to say if they will be a success and will keep pace with social networks. The potential is there.

And you, do you plan to integrate web stories into your personal or business communication? Let me know what you think in a comment below.

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