TikTok, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat – pretty much all social media platforms now have some version of the famous “Stories” feature. In fact, 500 million people use Instagram stories daily.
Following this, Google also launched its own version of Web Stories in 2018, previously called AMP Stories. These immersive snippets act as ads for your actual articles and encourage readers to find relevant content.
Google’s web-based version of the Stories incorporates audio, video, images, text, and animation to produce an engaging user experience for the viewers. With the visually attractive format, you can explore content however you like moving from one piece to another.
These use AMP technology and provide a full-screen and immersive experience that can be hosted on your website.
The significant difference between web stories and other social media platform stories is that you can post them on your own website. You can also add CTAs, Google AdWords, and links in them. With the help of separate story panels, including graphics, videos, and other features, you allow users to access your brand’s narrative with a storytelling experience.
You can leverage SEO opportunities when you own your web story content and fully utilize this interesting storytelling feature.
You can find web stories on your iOS and Android Google Discover in the Google App feed.
Additionally, you can also see it on Google Search’s grid view in the US. For instance, a search query like “clubs in New York” will display content from different publishers in the grid.
Users can use Google Images to look for Web Stories regardless of the region they are in or the language they are using. The web stories icon will show the image card.
Whether it is a web page or a web story, SEO is always helpful, and the same best practices apply to them to optimize them.
There are various limitations in different regions and language usages for content to come up. However, with their popularity, these stories can move across globally in the future.
Here are some of the ways you can create SEO-friendly web stories:
If you make Google believe that you are well versed on a topic, it will obviously have no trouble trusting your expertise.
Your web story acts as a trailer for your top content, which is beneficial for two reasons: firstly, this web story has better chances of being ranked well, and secondly, this is another way for Google to highlight your expertise.
With web stories, you can get Google Discover’s additional traffic that just your organic ranking could not have garnered. Even if you are ranked at the top for some specific content, you still get more traffic overall.
Create your web story by coding it yourself with the help of online tutorials, or you can use third-party tools like MakeStories and Google’s Web Stories Editor that works well with WordPress Content Management System.
As we have mentioned, web stories are like trailers for your actual content. The more links you add to your main article, it’ll make it easier for your readers to find the content.
You can make use of content fragmentation to boost traffic towards your article. You can guide your readers towards the highest value-providing content if you use your Story to link out to particular sections of other articles or blogs using direct links.
If you use WordPress, you can use Google’s Web Story editor to create jump-links with URL addition in the Link option. You can add links that direct right to the internal sections of some webpage.
While it is essential to have SEO optimization for your page title, you must ensure that you don’t create your website’s duplicate page titles.
It’s not enough to kick start the duplicate title filter of Google Search. You have to be smart about the name you pick to target a keyword, but it is also different from your post’s name. Ensure that it is highly attractive as it will be visible in Discover over your Story’s cover image.
No matter what you do for a better ranking, good content is never going out of style! Google suggests having a mix of text, images, and videos on the screen to make it more attractive to the readers.
A good web story should also provide value to the readers instead of just directing them to the main article. There should be enough relevant slides that create a valuable user experience and not just force the readers to visit the website for all the major information.
A good approach is to use stories to deliver information about your article from a different perspective while also having logical and value-adding content.
Additionally, since the content is essential, you have to create a lot of it. Make stories for all your top articles and for any new post that you come up with.
It really helps to add numbers to every step of your Story to make the positions more understandable and content highly scannable. It is best to follow the “quality over quantity” mantra and keep minimal content on each slide so viewers can generally read within 10 seconds.
Like any content, do not go with large text blocks, but make it straightforward with valuable content.
User interests play a significant role in making Google leverage the Knowledge Graph’s Topic Layer for predictive search. While topics related to relevant knowledge are essential to tap into, it is also necessary to bring different perspectives to the reader.
For instance, if I want to focus on SEO as my main topic, I can write an article about its new developments to appeal to a larger audience. Discussing recent trends, studying old fashions, and covering a topic holistically will get you the attention of various audiences.
Since content quality is essential and a web story is like an ad for your main article, you have to make sure you properly use it. Keep in mind to present complicated meanings engagingly.
Of course, condensing so many ideas and words into an interesting slideshow can be difficult. But you can use different visual forms like animated objects, visually appealing video backgrounds, etc., and be creative to utilize your readers’ focus fully.
You have to show your complete command over the topic you are writing about because Google’s automated system prioritizes articles showing expertise, authority, and trustworthiness (E-A-T). In the case of Web Stories, the E-A-T principles follow these guidelines:
Direct links for your web story are preferable to include in the relevant article than embedding it. When you feature the embed, your page will slow down collapse them into a single URL.
Additionally, an embedded web story will serve as its preview within the article, which doesn’t make sense, affecting ad monetization and user experience.
Furthermore, there is no point to embed because when you run the plugin, your Story will get its permalink on the website and have a shot at ranking on its own.
It is always a good idea to include dedicated sitemaps for your web stories. If you run a plugin like Yoast, it is great at managing XML sitemaps, and you can have one for your web story too.
However, if that is not the case, ensure you generate them by configuring your SEO plugin and then submit them through Google Search Console.
With a separate landing page for Web stories, you can add navigation links to it from your homepage or site wide links. It acts as a page to feature all other web stories’ links.
You can use the default landing page that WordPress makes to build links. Consider linking out to it in your sidebar. It won’t be as noticeable but will get traffic regardless.
You want your viewers to keep going through your stories, and one of the best ways to do so is by linking them to one another. If they like the first web story, there is a higher probability of them moving on to the next one, and a convenient link increases the chances of that happening.
It is essential to stay up to date with upcoming technologies and use them to their maximum potential. This is key to getting the most from your digital marketing efforts.
Web stories are great at storytelling, giving readers access to your website, creating brand awareness, and promoting your image as an expert at what you do.
Through web stories, you can be sure to leave a mark on your viewers’ minds with the help of the visual cues you provide to them.