People nowadays tend to love watching short videos or stories more than just texts, and that probably explains why “stories” on social media platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, and Snapchat are getting more and more popular. And many of you must be really familiar with these already.
Some platforms provide this kind of feature, but do you know Google actually launched this as well? As a matter of fact, Google provides its own version, and it is called Google Web Stories. Sounds interesting and you want to dig deeper into it? Let’s take a look then, and see what Google Web Stories has to offer.
And as a bonus, we also look at the free WordPress plugin Google created for its web stories!
What exactly are Google Web Stories?
Google Web Stories are basically the free, immersive, and full-screen web-based format of “stories” that contain video, music, images, animation, and text to let people explore the content and get quick information by simply tapping through it, going forward and backward, or swiping from one page to another.
With this, you can easily share brand narratives that users can click through to experience the stories you want to tell.
A Web Story can appear in Google Search, Google Images, Google Discover, as well as on external sites by embedding a page. It can be compared to, for example, Instagram stories or Facebook’s events, to further clarify the concept.
Google announced that the Web Stories WordPress Plugin has been available since June 2019, and this plugin has made it really easy for users to publish content in the Google Web Stories format and attract visitors and audiences.
As we can imagine, you may find “Web Stories” really familiar, but the thing is, it is not just a copy of Instagram stories. The biggest difference between them is that you can post Web Stories on your own page, customize and modify them more, such as adding links or Google AdWords to your Google Web Stories.
With all of these, your Google Web Stories will also be indexed and appear through the Google Discover app, available on Apple and Android devices. You can also get Google Web Stories to appear in search results in Google’s search engine.
We believe that this is one of the greatest value of using Google Web Stories, and its great potential is that it can help drive valuable traffic – in relation to the effort required to launch it on your site. With Google Web Stories, you own your stories and that means you can deliver full SEO to your exponents.
So, why don’t we take a look at the intro to Google Web Stories to get some more information?
Examples of Google Web Stories
Each brand or product has a different story to tell, and Google Web Stories allow you to tell yours within this platform. No matter what kind of story you want to tell, you can use your creativity to build your own unique and eye-catching Web Stories.
There is a great example of Google Web Story from Lonely Planet: 5 destinations to see wildlife with your kids. With these vivid pictures and videos, readers get to experience the wildlife through the Web Story, which literally gives a completely immersive feeling and makes people feel as if they are physically there.
There is another well-demonstrated Web Story example called The Burger Sister of Kenya. It is mainly talking about two sisters from Kenya who run the burger place named Mama Rocks Burger. Through the first-person narrative way, the Web Story has successfully given the audiences the sense of immediacy, and the background music has made it even more impressive.
Just a head-up that no matter how smoothly Google Web Stories flow and how they mimic previous experiences on Instagram, they are on private websites.
How to install Google Web Stories WordPress plugin?
Implementing Google Web Stories is really easy! Google has been really generous to develop a WordPress plugin, which also indicates that Google has probably started to prioritize Web Stories to a greater extent than before!
So, let’s look at how to implement it.
1. Go to the website to download the plugin. You can either click the button “Get the Plugin” or “Download Plugin”.
2. Go to your WordPress admin site, click on “plugins” in the menu, then “add new” and upload the plugin and then install.
3. When the installation is completed, choose to activate it at the bottom of the page.
How to create Google Web Stories?
There are some different ways to create your own unique Web Stories. If you are familiar with coding and want to build Web Stories this way, you can check out AMP. However, if you are not comfortable with this, don’t worry, there are several tools that you can use without writing a single line of code.
To create Web Stories in WordPress, you can actually use the simple drag and drop tools created by Google. The plugin provides a variety of options to build really user-friendly Web Stories. You also get access to the WordPress media library to create your Web Stories.
On the other hand, if you have your own developer, you can build your own from Google’s own tools, but if the page is on WordPress, there are faster ways. Google knows that many of their users are not developers, so they offer a number of third-party suggestions for developing Google Web Stories.
So, let’s take a look at how to create a Web Story and what features you can use.
1. Cover page
You get to edit the first page of the Web Story and add a heading.
2. The user interface
Here you can find the title, trash, copy, add a new page, undo, and redo. You can also save your draft and preview.
3. Adding text
You can create your content here and you can find the options to change the alignment, colors, size and position, layer, style, and so on.
4. Bringing your own design
You get to design and adjust the elements here, such as changing the color of the background.
5. Using templates for faster web stories
If you don’t want to create the Web Story from the very beginning by yourself, it is totally fine! You have a lot of different templates and various options to choose from.
After you are done editing all of the content, you can then publish your unique and the only Web Stories. Don’t forget to preview and double-check before you make the Web Stories to the public.
Just a reminder that Google also provides the following guidelines that you should be aware of:
- It is required that a Web Story is at least 5 pages long and consists of a maximum of 30 pages.
- Try to keep the text under 200 characters on each slide.
- The information conveyed on each page of a Web Story should be in its entirety. For example, no cliffhangers that require you to click on the next page.
- You can only place one link per page. For instance, if you have a Web Story for 5 pages, you are only allowed to use a total of 5 links in this.
- You can only place one affiliate link per Web Story, no matter how many pages it consists of.
Also, there is something that involves SEO as well. Keep in mind that it is as important as ever to use well-optimized titles. For Google Web Stories, it should be relatively short and include what is presented in a story. For example, you should keep the title as “Sweden’s best tourist destinations 2021”, “5 ways to peel an onion without crying”, and so on.
Why use Web Stories
The audiences nowadays lack time and attention to read long articles or watch long videos, so the most effective and fastest way to reach out to the readers is to create a way to catch their eyes in a short time, with a lot of elements. In this case, Web Stories are actually the best solution.
Moreover, it is worth mentioning that Web Stories are put at the top of the search result page in Google, under the section called “visual stories”. You can now actually find a section for Web Stories on the official Google app, and they can boost traffic and reach great SEO.
Advantages of using Google Web Stories
There is a long list of upsides that Google Web Stories provide for both creators and readers. Let’s talk about some benefits of using Google Web Stories and why they might be a better option than other social media alternatives.
1. Build a good-looking layout and well-engaging content easily
You can build professional-looking Web Stories as easily as possible without any coding ability, and you get to create engaging content with your readers by using the features as well.
2. Flexibility to create and edit the Web Stories
The Web Stories format comes from already-built templates, but you still have a lot of freedom and flexibility to create and edit the stories whatever you like from the templates for your layout. Moreover, there are some components to add and share in your content.
3. Share and link the Web Stories on the open web
Since Web Stories are a part of the open web, you can actually share and embed them across the websites and different apps to make them not restricted within a single form of system.
4. Track and analyze the stories
You can also keep tracking of your stories with analytics and see what you can improve next time.
5. Gain attention and engage with readers with storytelling
Posting Web Stories is no doubt a relatively new, effective, and a great way to convey the information to your audiences and reach out to the readers directly. No matter what you want to do such as marketing or branding, you can utilize Web Stories and engage with your readers by immersive storytelling.
Google Web Stories are a relatively new form of creation that is designed to serve shorter and informative content, and they have been more and more popular recently.
No matter you want to promote a brand or a product, or you simply just want to convey a piece of information to the public on your website, you can use Google Web Stories to tell the stories via this platform. If you are looking for an effective way to reach out to more readers, look no further.
We definitely recommend trying out Google Web Stories and let your imagination and creation compressed in it.