No Instagram, YouTube, or LinkedIn Stories, but Web Stories! If it were up to Google, we will soon also see this new way of sharing content in the search engine. The first number 1 positions for this story form have already been spotted. What exactly are Google Web Stories, how do you create them, and how do you combine Web Stories and SEO so that your stories also appear at the top?
As an SEO and content specialist, I am always looking for new ways to market qualitative information (via Google). Web Stories is such a new form of content that makes me very happy. It is contemporary, fast, indexes well, to the point and above all: very easy to make!
What exactly are Web Stories?
Web Stories are a slideshow in the form of tappable content, which we now only know from social media. They are separate photos, videos, and/or texts that together form a story on a web page. By tapping on a story, you go to the next slide. Unlike stories on Instagram, Snapchat, and YouTube, these stories don’t disappear over time.
In fact, informational stories can reach the top of Google and attract a lot of traffic in the long run. This feature was available in the beta version in recent months, so we have already tested a few things. The plugin has been available to everyone since last week!
Benefits of Google Web Stories
There are a lot of reasons to get started with Web Stories:
- The most important: it’s super cool! Stories make your content look a lot more attractive than an old-fashioned webpage. And for my part also better than all online magazines that are now offered;
- It is the ideal content for smartphones: the slides are vertical and work on AMP technology so that they also load super fast on phones;
- The stories can be embedded and therefore reused on multiple pages;
- It is a modern way to share content and information with your target audience. Almost everyone already knows the principle of stories from social media and is used to absorbing information in this way;
- Stories on your website are interactive because you have to click, listen, and watch. This makes your message stick better with the user;
- It is in line with Google’s trend to display results that quickly answer a search query;
- The attentive reader already noticed: it is not for nothing that they are Google Web Stories. This is Google’s answer to the fast content of social media. The search engine itself has developed a handy plugin for this content form, making the stories easily indexable and quickly rank in the search results!
The first # 1 positions in Google for (English) Web Stories have already been spotted.
Sure, this is a very specific search term. The nice thing about this example: the story is above a branded (disqus.com) result! This shows the enormous potential of these stories. The content is easy to handle and thus perfectly meets the search intent.
How do you make these Web Stories?
Google makes it very easy for websites that run on WordPress to create Web Stories. They have developed a special beta plugin, which makes putting the Stories together super easy.
Getting started with Web Stories, but you don’t work on WordPress?
Google has now built a handy plugin for WordPress. If you don’t work with this CMS, there are fortunately other ways to create Web Stories! For this, it is good to know that stories work via AMP technology. This means that there are options for every CMS to get started with these visual stories. Send this link to your web builder, and he will arrange it for you.
How do you make your stories attractive?
Just like on Instagram, you can easily make your stories dynamic and interactive by adding fun extras per slide. Think of:
- Images, gifs, and even videos. Make each slide visually appealing by adding the right visuals.
- Combining text with audio. Be careful with this, as most users are never so fond of unexpected music from their speakers or in their earphones. Still, audio is a nice addition if you want to record additional information with a slide if you want to record additional information.
- Animations and interaction. You also keep your stories attractive by animating text and images via the plugin. And ensure a good follow-up step in your last slide. This way, you serve the users even better.
How do you combine Web Stories and SEO?
Of course, creating a Web Story does not mean that you will automatically find your story at the top of the search result pages (SERP) of the keywords you desire. Therefore, make your story SEO-proof. Google has listed several tips for this:
- Integrality. Make sure your story is around one. In other words: if your slideshow turns out to be a disguised ad after 5 taps, you will not rank. So do not put any links in your articles that refer to other websites or apps.
- Maximum one affiliate link. If you want to refer readers to a marketplace so that no more than once per story.
- The number of slides. Minimum 5 slides, maximum 30. Google recommends that you keep between 10 and 20 pages.
- Title length. Keep a maximum of 40 characters.
- Text. Keep a maximum of 200 characters per slide.
- Video. If you use videos in your stories, make sure they are around 15 seconds per page. And that the videos you use are subtitled.
- AMP test. Test your story in Google’s AMP tester. This way, you can be sure that your story is properly indexed.
- Structured data (optional). Add structured data to your story so that Google and other search engines better understand what the content is about. The following 4 mark-ups are possible for stories:
Want to see the possibilities of Web Stories? There is already a lot in circulation. For example, check the story of:
- BBC about what people left on the moon
- USA Today about Beyoncé
- The Atlantic about the gold rush in the Amazon
I am convinced that we will see Google Web Stories a lot in the search results! Do you also want to get started with this? I would be happy to help you with this.