We all witnessed the virtual takeover of Instagram stories, in favour of static posts and videos. With 86.6% of Instagrammers posting on Instagram Stories, suffice to say, it’s a hit! The image-led, swippable, bitesize format of stories engages users who are looking for information on-the-fly.
It therefore comes as no surprise that the latest Google news is that it has harnessed this new way of conveying information with the new search feature: Google Web Stories.
What are Google Web Stories?
Google describes Web Stories as:
“a visual storytelling format in Google Search results that immerses the user in a tap-through full-screen experience.”
You are likely to already be familiar with Snapchat, Instagram and Facebook stories, and Google Web Stories are a very similar concept and format. Check out our Webstory we have created below which explains the top 5 features of Web Stories:
While Instagram Stories and Google Web Stories function in a similar way, businesses are likely to be using them differently, depending on their objectives. Most importantly to us, is that Google Web Stories have a huge bearing on website SEO rankings, and should be used in a way that capitalises on this. In short, Google Web Stories is a great way to get you seen on Google and get additional traffic flowing to your website.
Where are web stories shown on Google?
As of yesterday, users in the United States, India and Brazil are seeing Web Stories displayed via Google Discover. For UK companies, it is only a matter of time before this technology comes overseas.
A new WordPress Stories plugin
The exciting news for us at Solve is that Google has released the full version of the Web Stories for WordPress plugin for use on WordPress Websites.
The Web Stories for WordPress plugin provides a drag-and-drop, WYSIWYG interface for making full-screen, tappable content similar to Instagram and Snapchat.
How can I use Google Web Stories effectively to improve my SEO?
We think one of the best ways to use Google Web Stories is by incorporating it into your blog. Consider using it at the top of your posts to give users a quick overview of the points covered in the blog. This is great for users who don’t have time to read the entire story and also provide a highly interactive, shareable item.
Google has some technical guidelines that can help your Web Story succeed on Google. Like with most things SEO-related, Google will favour online-content that follows these as much as possible:
Make sure that your Web Story is complete, tells the full story, and isn’t overly commercial. Here are some examples of what to avoid:
- Web Stories that require users to click links to other websites or apps to get essential information.
- Web Stories that have more than one outlink or attachment per page. The outlinks and attachments must include the appropriate disclosures.
If you use affiliate links in your Web Stories, Google recommends that you only use one affiliate link per story.
Google recommends a wide range of between 5-30 pages, with a suggested target of 10-20 pages.
Use shorter titles. We recommend that your title length be less than 40 characters.
Keep the text on each page short (less than 200 characters per page). Focus each page to a single idea. With the click-through nature of stories, it’s fine to spread your content over multiple slides.
If you use videos in your Web Stories, we recommend that videos be less than 15 seconds per page, and definitely less than 60 seconds per page. We also recommend that you provide captions for the video.
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