Home Digital Story Complete Guide to Google Web Stories

Complete Guide to Google Web Stories

Digital marketers and content creators have embraced and appreciated the stories since the advent of the format. For unversed, I am talking about the same tappable story format from your favorite social media platforms. Anyone who has been into social media knows about the story format for sure. The popular story format can be understood as Instagram Stories, WhatsApp Status, Facebook Story, and Snapchat’s ‘Our Story. 

On social media, the stories are vertical, full-screen multimedia, images, and texts that sit aside from your regular feeds. The stories usually sit at the top of the page or app. The stories posted by you disappear after 24 hours. You can, however, save them for later viewing if the platform facilitates it. For instance, Instagram allows its users to separate their stories for later viewing via ‘Highlights’.

The stories are the online publications that combine videos, audio, animations, images, texts, etc. They provide the users/viewers with a unique user experience. 

The concept of the Stories initially rolled out when Snapchat launched it’s Our Story’ feature back in 2013. ‘Our Story’ was a unique way through which the users could post their snaps. The difference being posts in Our Story would be visible only 24 hours while the regular posts would be accessible as long as the user wants. In no time, Snapchat’s Our Story was a great success. Eventually, other leading social media platforms acknowledged the potential of the Story format. Soon, they were releasing their own version of Stories.

That being done, it was only about time that Google came ahead and drove the concept of Stories to another level. Since Google synonymizes the Internet (web), the Stories on Google are called Google Web Stories. The Google Web Stories are a completely new league in the story format. Here’s a complete guide on Google Web Stories.

What is Google Web Stories?

Popularly known as web stories, Google Web Stories are the web-based version of the story format. Published directly on the web instead of any particular social media platform, the Google Web Stories can be discovered by Google Search and Google App. 

If you are to get into the literal meaning of what the google web stories are, here’s what they mean.

The Google web stories are yet another prevalent visual format of web publishing. They consist of pieces of content, usually the images and videos embedded with texts and audio. The tappable stories are split and sequenced (in an order specified by you) to be scrolled by the audience. 

A google web story can have a strong (and desirable) influence on your audience. It can help you in introducing a new concept (product or service) while entertaining, informing, and engaging them. The ability of a web story to not disappear after 24-hours allows the publishers (you) to create evergreen content. Embedding the stories on your web pages facilitates your users to come back and enjoy them anytime. 

A very unique feature of the Google web stories is that you can insert them into your web pages. While the social media stories are owned and hosted by the social media platforms, the Google Web Stories belong to its creator, i.e., you. In contrast to regular social media stories, web stories are more diverse. Since the stories on Google are open-source, no one dictates or censors the content you create (or share). Because you own your stories and host them on your server, you can make money through them. It means you can monetize your google web stories via Ads. 

In short, you can think of the web stories on Google as yet another publishing format on the web. 

Read about the ways to monetize your Google Web Stories in the later sections of the blog. 

What Do Google Web Stories Look Like?

Wondering about how Google Web Stories look?

google web stories look like
google web stories look like

Here’s the food to your imagination.

The Google web stories are full-screen visuals that are combined in a book-like format via a tappable sequence. They are aggregated in a portrait mode and take up every bit of your screen just like the social media stories. Each visual (or story) is visible for a few seconds until the next one opens. The users can choose to tap and move to the adjacent story too. 

To move from one story to another, the users shall either wait until the next one comes up or tap on the <> (arrow icons) on their screen. Unlike the regular social media stories, google web stories can stay on your website forever or as long as you want. 

Take a look at the examples of what do google web stories look like.

Their Features

While the key concept of the google web stories revolves around the social media story format, there’s still a lot that can differentiate the two. Read on to discover some unique features of the Google web stories.

  • Crawlable by search engines

As you read above, the web stories are a unique web publishing format. Eventually, they are crawlable by the search engines. When I say the web stories are crawlable, I mean that your stories can be fetched and discovered by the web spiders. The web spiders assist your web stories in crawling up for SERP rankings based on their optimization and visibility. As a result, the web stories help you in attracting web traffic.

  • Indexed by the search engines

Crawlability and indexing go hand in hand with the search engine. The google web stories being crawled indicate that they are indexed and assigned a rank on the SERP. The web stories can be discovered by your target audience for the relevant searches through indexing by the search engines. 

This feature of the web stories is an indicator that you must invest in web story optimization to ensure higher traffic. 

Read about the Google Web Stories Optimization in the later sections.

  • Can be shared

Google may not be a social media platform, but it works just as well. You or your users can share your web stories efficiently via its unique URL.  

  • Be Backlinked and embedded into the web pages

As the creator, owner, and host of your google web stories, Google gives you every right to do what you want to do with your stories. You can choose to keep your web stories live as the stories or embed them into the web pages of your website. 

  • Do not disappear automatically

There’s this feature of the regular social media stories that make them stand out. It is that they disappear automatically after 24-hours. Contrary to them, the web stories do not disappear after a day especially if you embed them into your web pages.

  • Stay live as long as you want 

Being the host and the owner of your Google web stories means you can choose to keep them live for as long as you want.

  • Multimedia can be included

Your google web stories can either be a sequence of videos, images, texts, audio, graphics, or a combination of all. Just be mindful to make them creative, appealing, and entertaining.

  • Each story has its unique webpage and URL

Each web story of yours has a unique URL (eventually a web page). The URL facilitates the users in sharing their stories online. 

  • Can be featured in the search snippet

The ability of a potential web story to be published in the featured snippet enables them to boost your website traffic.

  • Drive massive web traffic

All the features stated above indicate that as long your google web story is optimized and of quality content, it can drive massive traffic to your website. 

Where Do Google Web Stories Appear?

Having read so far, you know what is Google web stories. You have also read about the features of google web stories. The next in line is where google web stories appear. The answer follows below. 

The Google web stories that one publishes appear in four places online. Them being: 

  • Google Discover

In Google discover, your web stories appear in the carousel format just as is Instagram and Snapchat. Google Discover also presents the web stories in Single Card format. You can download Google Discover via Android and IOS play store. 

  • Google Search

Them being the web stories, it is only evident that the Google Web Stories would appear on the Google Search. The web stories on Google Search appear in the grid view and single result style. 

  • Google Images

Your web stories can also appear in the Google Images. This works in the same manner as the search option.

  • Website

While a typical Google web story appears only in three places online (Google Discover, Search, and Images), it can also appear on your website. However, it shall be your call whether or not to insert the web stories on your website. 

Benefits Associated with Google Web Stories

Being open-source, google web stories offer a wide range of benefits in contrast to regular social media stories. They offer the flexibility to create stories as per your needs and convenience. They offer an interesting opportunity to extend your reach to your audience. 

Take a look at the benefits of the Google web stories.

  • Since the web stories are crawlable, they are easy to be discovered both by the search engine and potential audience. As a result, the google web stories are an easy way for the users to find you (or your business/website).
  • Just as you read above, unlike the social media stories the creators own their web stories and not the platform.
  • When combined with attractive videos, images, texts, and audio, the google web stories can be pretty entertaining. And they can still be informative and interactive. In short, web stories can be fun for viewers. 
  • The web stories can efficiently optimize the users’ experience on your website and pave way for enhanced website traffic.
  • The google web stories can be monetized through ads. They create a path for Unique Ad Opportunities.
  • Monetization of the google web stories lies entirely in the hands of the publisher. Any ads that appear on your web story are to be controlled by you. Eventually, the ad revenue generated via that story is yours.  
  • The google web stories have no restrictions for external linking. You can out-link any webpage (yours or of a third party) in your story. Likewise, you can link your stories to multiple websites and web pages.  
  • The google web stories have their own URL and webpage. It means they can be linked to the analytics platforms just as any other webpage. Linking web stories to google analytics offers an enhanced level of tracking performance. 
  • The web stories offer freedom of flexibility and creativity. You can customize them in accordance with your needs. 
  • Google web stories offer better reach. They are highly interactive and crawlable on the search engine. As a result, they offer massive growth in website traffic.
  • To monetize your web stories, you can add ad content to them. And them being owned and hosted by you with no third party into action, the whole ad revenue belongs to you.
  • A well-optimized web story works just as efficiently as any other webpage on your website. It offers an SEO value with the potential to raise your ranking on the SERP.
  • They do not disappear after 24-hours. You being the owner of the stories gets to decide for how long shall your stories stay live. 

Google Web Stories Ad Opportunities 

An ideal way to earn money through your google web stories is through ad opportunities. And so, I thought Google Web Stories and Ad Opportunities deserved a dedicated section in the blog. So, here it is.

The idea of generating revenue by selling ad spaces has been older than the internet itself. The ideation first rose to prominence through the print newspapers. Gradually, the same concept was adopted by online news blogs and then website owners of all sorts. 

The Google web stories utilize the same concept in the form of programmatic ads. The website owner can create web stories that include ads. The advertisements will be a sort of story and can flow with the rest of your web stories. You can add a Call-to-Action box, and embed links to products/services and landing pages in the ad story. 

As the story goes live, you can secure the revenue earned. 

Why Do I Need Web Stories?

One of the best reasons to use the google web stories is the format’s ability to provide exposure, visibility, website traffic, and eventually ROI. If you are wondering, why you need the web stories, read on.

After an intense reading, understanding, and working with google web stories for a long time, I have come to realize that web stories are the need of the hour indeed. There is an extensive list of reasons why you would need the web stories. And might I add, all of it can be summarized into the following:   

  • Improved Online Visibility

Web stories are crawlable, indexable, and discoverable. It means if they are optimized properly, the web stories can enhance your online visibility.

  • Immense Room for Creativity

Creating and publishing google web stories is like getting hands with a new publishing format. There’s freedom and flexibility to play with your creativity. You can use any media (or multimedia) to create a web story.

Just be mindful to ensure that it is impactful and entertaining.  

  • Available to Anyone

While the regular social media stories are available only to the people you are engaged to, the web stories have no limit when it comes to extending your reach. 

As long as there is a relevant search, and your web story qualifies the SERP rankings, the user would discover you. So, in short, the google web stories are available and accessible to anyone, anywhere. 

How Do I create Web Stories?

The google web stories are web-based, hence the name.

They are powered by the accelerated mobile pages (or the AMPs). And they are so damn easy to create. From the available lot, you can take any route to create your web stories. However, be careful to choose a medium that benefits your business and works best with the available resources. 

In the following section of the blog, I have talked about the three means via which you can create the web stories. 

  • 3rd Party Web Stories Authoring Tools

The first one on my list are the 3rd party web stories authoring tools. You can resort to any authoring tool (visual) to create your google web story. Once the story is created, you can embed the code given on your website. 

Two most commonly used web stories authoring tools are Newsroom AI and Make Stories. 

  • CMS Web Stories Plugins

If you are willing or in need to create web stories content for WordPress, then there awaits a good news for you.

Google offers the WordPress Plugin for you to create stories for WordPress. The web story editor brings together a set of story creation ability in a user-friendly tool. The story creation tool is based on the What-You-See-Is-What-You-Get concept.  

  • Custom Coding Google Web Stories via (Google’s Detailed Guide on Web Story Format)

For a website owner who wishes to indulge himself in some coding and not use the third-party web story authoring tools, google offers a unique way out.

You can create a story through custom code (and functionality). You might, however, have to spend a great deal of time in this (well, unless you are a website developer).

Tips: Create Impactful Google Web Stories

Whether or social media or the google, at the end of the day, the stories are a visual experience. And thus, they are to made creative and visually appealing. But that is not all. Your web stories must communicate your message very clearly without compromising with the visual aesthetic. So, here are some tips to create impactful google web stories.

  • Make them visually appealing.
  • Plan your story before you start creating one.
  • Though the need is to use attractive font, it should be clear and readable.
  • The web stories are like micro-blogging. You can only use limited characters to convey yourself. A web story should have less than 280 characters.
  • Using images, videos, audios and multimedia adds a sense of visual appeal. And web stories should be attractive. 
  • You must specify a clear CTA box to ensure your audience does what you need. If the web story is an ad, embed the affiliate links or landing pages in the story.
  • While the portrait-mode google web story can convey your message clearly, not everything that you aim to communicate can be adjusted in the visual. That’s when the captions come into action. 
  • Use varied text sizes to highlight what part of the story is more important than the other. The bigger font catches ones’ attention pretty quickly. So, use the enlarged fonts for more important message.
  • Once the story is created, you should not rush into publishing the same. Run it through the google web story tool. It shall ensure that the story is valid to be shown.
  • The AMP of your Google Web Story should be valid to be accessible via mobile phones. So, do not forget that part.
  • To allow your web story to get indexed in the search engine, you should provide the correct metadata.

Easy Steps to Create Your First Google Web Story

Now that you have come so far into reading the blog on what is google web stories, you could be wondering about how to create one. And that is exactly what we have discussed in this section. Here, I have elaborated the easy steps to create your first google web story. So, without any ado, let’s get to it.

  • Choosing Visual Editor

The visual editor (or the web story authoring tool) enables you to combine your visual elements of the story together. The majority of the visual editors offer built-in templates with easy functionalities. So, choose whichever tool you are comfortable with. 

And remember you do not need to be a video-editing expert to create a google web story. 

  • Drafting the Web Story

An ideal web story is a narrative. It flows just as any narrative in a sequential manner. And because all the stories are published at once, you should draft the web story ahead of time to ensure, it follows the sequence you have in mind.

Plan each page’s contents, visuals, texts, graphics in a script.

  • Curating (or Creating) Visual Assets

Once you have drafted your story, the next step is to find and collect the visual assets. This could probably be the most troublesome and time-consuming task. 

Once you are done curating the visual assets, format them vertically for full-screen adaption. 

  • Creation (of your Google Web Stories)

As soon as you have your google web story planned and assets collected, you should move to the next step. The next step is to create the web story. 

The google web stories being interactive, you can add quizzes and polls in the stories just as well. It shall increase the interaction and engagement of your web stories.

  • Publishing

Now that your web story is created, check if it has everything at the right place. Ensure it resembles the story you have in your mind. 

Once you are satisfied with your story. Publish it.

  • Check Index Coverage Report 

Now check the index coverage report after a week or so to see how your web story is performing online. 

How to Optimize Google Web Stories?

Seeking proven SEO methodologies to optimize your google web stories?

If yes, keep reading to discover the methods to optimize your google web stories. In this section of the blog, I have emphasized on the three SEO tips to boost your web story performance. These tips are approved by Google.

  • Use Test Tools

Though the web stories are open-source and you can practically create and publish any sort of content, theirs is still something you could be missing. 

The google web stories test tool allows you to check if your web story matches the minimum requirements. To do so, you will be required to pass the google web stories test tool. Passing this test would indicate that your story has a valid AMP, is served via the AMP cache, and has required metadata.

  • Web Stories SEO

The web stories SEO strategy shouldn’t be much different than your traditional SEO formula. Prioritize what is important, i.e., the user. Keep in check the following points to create and publish SEO optimized google web story.

  • Relevant content
  • No abrupt ending
  • Titles, descriptions, and captions
  • Embedding landing pages
  • Avoid truncation
  • No text on the portrait poster 
  • Story title less than 40 characters
  • Poster aspect ratio – 4:3
  • Optimized Multimedia

The video and image files should be optimized for quick loading, better indexing and enhanced user experience. Keep in mind the following points to optimize multimedia:

  • Recommended dimensions 1080x1920px
  • Do not load entire image.
  • Crop and load only the desired part of the content.
  • Image file format – .jpeg
  • Non-image file format – .png
  • Do not use GIF 
  • Use video 
  • Add alt text to images

Takeaway

Sharing your story through google web stories can be your way to narrate your story, because why not!

It can assist you in attracting potential audiences, improving your online reputation, and building brand authority within your niche. 

All you need is to understand the web stories well and create the ones that can attract and hold your target audience.

Frequently Asked Questions on Google Web Stories

1. What is Google Web Stories?

Google web stories are the web-based story format just like the regular social media stories. Instead of a dedicated social media platform, they are published on the web (or Google). 

2. How Much Does It Take to Create Google Web Stories?

Several third-party platforms offer you to create google web stories for free. The cost of the paid platform can vary from one platform to another.

3. How to Interact with Google Web Stories?

The google web stories are the full-screen, portrait mode visual sharing means. Interacting with the web stories is pretty easy. Tapping on the story shall take you deeper into what the published has to offer. When you click the CTA box, you could enter the linked webpage or website.

4. Is Google Web Stories Free?

Google doesn’t charge a publisher to publish any content online. So, publishing the google web stories is practically free. However, you might have to pay a certain amount to the story creator unless you create them on your own or use a free third-party platform like Newsroom AI. 

5. How to Use Google Web Stories?

Unlike how it sounds, using google web stories is quite easy. All you need to do is follow the given steps and boom, you can use the web stories at your resort.

  • Create a web story using any third-party platform (Newsroom AI, Shopify, Word Press, etc.)
  • Ensure that your web story has a valid AMP
  • The next step is to verify the data
  • Check the google analytics to see if it is indexed  

6. Are Google Web Stories Worth it?

If you are seeking better exposure and aim to create brand authority, this could be your queue to try the google web stories. One of the biggest advantages of investing in google web stories is their ability to offer online visibility and ranking.

And trust me, the web stories are so much worth consideration. 

7. How Can I Monetize my Google Web Stories?

The google web stories can be monetized using multiple methods. The most commonly used ones include:

  • Programmatic ads
  • Directly sold ad spaces
  • Sponsorships
  • Affiliate links

8. How do Web Stories Make Money?

An ideal way to make your web stories make money is to insert ad units in your web stories. 

Digital Danishhttps://thedigitaldanish.com
Danish Khan is the owner of Digital Danish, Co-Founder and leads SEO trainer at India's fastest growing e-learning platforms, Digital Marketing Certification and Workshops (DMCW) For the past four to five years, Danish has been working as an SEO expert, blogger, and organic marketer. In today's world where digital marketing is one of the most in-demand skills, Danish is one of the very few people who believe that anyone with a passion can learn and gain skills. A vision of making this possible drove him to found DMCW in 2021.
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