Over the past month, you may have seen a lot of talk online about Google Web Stories. While Web Stories have been around for a while under various names, they are now gaining more popularity and traction thanks to a revamping from Google. In this article, we’ll discuss the basics of Google Web Stories: what they are, how to make them, and their benefits.
What are Google Web Stories?
Google Web Stories are similar to other popular story formats on social media platforms like Facebook or Instagram. The basic premise is a fullscreen, visual slideshow made up of images, videos, and text that make up a “story” that users can click through. You can also include links to other articles or websites relevant to the topic, as well as a Call to Action (CTA) to encourage users to visit your website.
However, Google Web Stories are meant to be evergreen, telling a complete and whole story that can live on the internet forever without losing relevance. Web Stories are meant to stand on their own and be a more accessible form of your content, but not completely replace your original content. They also belong to the open web, so they are not confined to one social media platform.
More specifically, Google Web Stories are mini-AMP pages that you create for specific posts on your website. For example, if you have an article on your website titled “How to Make the Perfect Grilled Cheese,” you could create a Web Story for that article highlighting the recipe by using images of the dish along with text instructions for the recipe. This presents users with a quick yet valuable piece of information that they can actually use to learn something, like cooking the perfect grilled cheese.
Additionally, you can include the link to the full article on each slide, easily accessible by swiping up from the bottom of the page. On the final slide of your story, you can include a call to action like, “For other recipes, visit us at www.yourwebsite.com,” as a way to urge readers to visit your website.
How Do You Make Google Web Stories?
Google has developed an easy-to-use WordPress plugin for creating Web Stories, which is the method this article will focus on. If your website is powered by WordPress, all you have to do is download the plugin and you’re ready to go. If you’re not using WordPress, then you will have to use a third-party app to create a Web Story.
Once you’ve downloaded the Web Stories plugin on WordPress, you can use built-in templates to get started right away. The Web Story editor also includes a drag-and-drop function making building a new Web Story even simpler. The Web Story editor lets you build different layers and add images, videos, text, and other forms of multimedia to create an immersive, attention-grabbing story.
For a more in-depth tutorial on building Google Web Stories, check out Mediavine’s article.
What are the Benefits of Google Web Stories?
You may be wondering why you should start using Google Web Stories if they are so similar to other stories on social media platforms. Well, there are several big advantages that Google Web Stories have over the stories on other platforms.
These advantages include:
- A wider audience. The biggest advantage of Google Web Stories is that they are not limited to one social media platform or to just your followers. They are singular pieces of content on the open web that are accessible by all users on the internet.
Additionally, Web Stories are located in their own carousel on Google Discover in the Google app. This means your story could show up on a user’s Discover page as a recommendation based on their search history. This is crucial since you’ll be reaching new users organically and hopefully encouraging them to visit your website through your useful content.
- You own them. Unlike stories on Instagram or Facebook, you host your Web Stories on your own website which means that you control the code and every single aspect of your story.
- Fully customizable. Since you create your Web Stories from scratch, you have full creative control over everything that goes into them and can make them look however you’d like. You are not limited in what you can do like with other stories on other platforms.
While it is not an advantage, it is important to keep in mind that Google won’t rank low-quality teaser Web Stories. This means your story won’t be ranked if it promises content and never actually delivers, instead just trying to force users to visit your website. Make sure you are creating useful, informative, and complete Web Stories that will benefit both users and your company.
Google Web Stories are still new but are being adopted by more and more websites as they realize the greater accessibility and reach these stories have compared to normal blog posts or articles. This article lays out the basics of Google Web Stories, but the most important thing is to download the Web Stories WordPress plugin and start creating your first Web Story today!