Stories are the latest video marketing trend. Described as snackable tap-through mobile video content, stories were first introduced on the social media platform Snapchat in 2017. Since then, the stories feature has appeared across multiple platforms, with many brands hopping on the bandwagon. But this format isn’t just for social media – Google introduced its own answer to the trend called Google Web Stories, formerly known as Accelerated Mobile Pages or AMP Stories.
This content type and feature enables “dynamic consumption experiences” through the popular tap-through stories format. What’s great about Web Stories on Google is that you can optimize them just like any other web page and leverage them to drive online engagement.
The idea is to take your editorial piece and transform it into an easily digestible and immersive Web Story that drives engagement, conversions and lead generation. To ensure this content is quickly and easily found by your target audience, employ search engine optimization (SEO) through Web Stories SEO techniques.
Anyone with a basic understanding of social media content or digital marketing tactics can create Web Stories – it’s a simple and fun exercise. However, having a video marketing company by your side gives you the upper hand. A team of experts will assist you in creating the best possible content to bolster your business activities and growth goals while helping you make the best use of webstory Google tools.
Let’s look closer at what Google Web Stories are, how to use Google Stories to your advantage and how to optimize your Web Stories for search.
What Are Google Web Stories?
Google Web Stories takes editorial content to the next level by turning ordinary news stories and blog posts into an immersive and engaging experience for your audience. A Google Web Story blends videos, images, audio, text and animation to create a compelling narrative broken up into seconds-long parts – making it easy for users to skip ahead or go back to the parts they’re interested in.
A great example of maximizing a Web Stories format is a travel blog using a story to spotlight a travel destination. Instead of a two-minute video that might seem too long for some viewers, they could highlight the best things about the location in a five-part Google Web Story. The user would get an instant glimpse of what the story contains and decide if it’s worth viewing.
Why You Need Web Stories on Google
Video has always been an effective medium, but Google Stories provide a captivating viewing experience like no other. Creating mobile-focused content helps you meet your target audience where they are and increases your chances of engagement. A Google Web Story is also a trendy way to share your brand’s message through highly innovative and creative mobile video.
How Web Stories Elevate Your Video Marketing Strategy
• Improved Online Visibility
Google Web Stories are, essentially, hosted web pages that use the stories format. Web Stories on Google are treated similarly to regular web pages – they are crawled, indexed and ranked by search engines. Web Stories increase your brand’s discoverability by driving traffic to your site, and you can monitor their performance on Google Analytics.
Unlike social app-based stories, Web Stories are available on the open web without any ecosystem restrictions. They can appear on Google Discover, Google Search and Google Images, or you can link to them directly. Video SEO techniques amplify your online presence – and, conveniently, video SEO best practices hold true for Google Stories.
• Available to Anyone, Anywhere
Anyone with a device connected to the internet can view Google Web Stories. Your viewers don’t need to be signed in to any app to view your content, and your Web Stories don’t expire. You can freely share your Web Stories on other platforms by embedding or linking to them.
Google and WordPress experts mutually advocate for open access that benefits both users and creators. The Web Stories WordPress plugin is specifically designed for the widely used WordPress content management system (CMS) to make it even easier to embed and integrate your Web Stories into your strategy.
• Unmatched Creative Freedom
User-friendly tools, such as the official Web Stories WordPress plugin, enable you to easily choose your layout, fonts and more. WordPress experts can even code Web Stories from scratch. If you’re not on WordPress, you can use a third-party Web Stories app or visual editors such as MakeStories or Newsroom AI.
Social app stories might limit your creativity, but that’s not the case with Web Stories. You can set up your Web Stories to link out to external content or web pages, and you can monetize your Web Stories. But best of all, this content is easily created at no cost, so there’s no reason why you shouldn’t try out Web Stories.
How To Create an Impressive Google Web Story
Every brand has a story to tell, with a million different ways to tell it. Google Stories, formerly AMP Stories, enable you to create content that is authentic to your brand. Take note of webstory Google guidelines to develop and optimize Web Stories to your full advantage.
Create a Google Web Story the right way in four simple steps:
STEP # 1: View Existing Google Stories
You need to understand the platform to maximize it. Find a Web Stories example that aligns with the way you want to tell your story. For instance, a good Web Stories example is a Lonely Planet listicle on five kid-friendly wildlife destinations. Instead of having users scroll vertically through a page alternating between text, images and video, they tap or swipe through a captivating visual journey.
STEP # 2: Plan Your Content
Google is all about putting the user experience (UX) first, and relevant, informative content is king. A Google Web Story containing lackluster content will fail. Despite otherwise extraordinary visual elements, your story would not be of interest to your audience. Make sure to include a complete narrative in your Web Stories by enlisting professional content writing services. A video marketing company can ensure your Web Story has an outstanding title, a great story arc and superior copywriting.
STEP # 3: Select Your Preferred Web Stories Tool
You can choose the Web Stories tool or Web Stories app that suits your needs the best. Creators using the WordPress CMS have Google’s official Web Stories WordPress plugin. Choose from many other Web Stories tool options or even code your Web Stories from scratch.
STEP # 4: Start Creating
Make your Google Stories the best they can be for your target audience. Proven video marketing tactics will work for your Web Stories – include value-adding content, choose an attractive thumbnail, keep it snappy and pique your viewer’s interest. Reap the benefits of Web Stories SEO when you create with your specific audience in mind.
4 Expert Tactics on How To Optimize Web Stories
With Google bringing stories to the open web, we can expect the popularity of mobile video to increase and the capabilities of Google Stories to expand. As the platform evolves, applying webstory Google best practices will help you optimize your Web Stories effectively, stay ahead of the competition and pivot your strategy when needed.
Leverage and optimize Web Stories with these Google-approved tips
1. Use the Google Web Stories Test Tool
Passing the Google Web Stories Test Tool means you meet the minimum requirements for Google Stories, such as having the required metadata, being a valid AMP and being served via the AMP cache.
2. Prioritize Web Stories SEO
The best thing about Web Stories is built-in capabilities that help your SEO efforts. Your Web Stories SEO strategy will be very similar to how you optimize any other web page on your site: Put the user first and improve your search rankings in the process.
• Make sure your Web Stories content is relevant to your audience.
• Don’t cut off your Web Story to bring the user to another page.
• Include great titles, descriptions and text captions.
• Link to your Web Stories from other parts of your website.
• Include your Google Stories in your sitemap.
• Implement other digital strategies to drive traffic to your Web Stories.
• Keep your publisher name under 20 characters to avoid truncation.
• Your publisher logo should be at least 96px by 96px with an 8px padding.
• Don’t embed text into your portrait poster.
• Keep your Web Story title under 40 characters.
• The recommended aspect ratio for your portrait poster is 4:3.
3. Optimize Your Video Files
While your Web Stories can be viewed on any device, the stories format is primarily intended for mobile viewing. Use vertical videos that maximize the screen space instead of a landscape video awkwardly taking up a portion of the screen. Ensure your views load quickly or you will lose viewers within a fraction of a second.
• Keep your video under 4MB, 720p or smaller, and under 10 seconds viewing time.
• The video container should be MP4 or WebM.
• Codecs should be H.264, VP9 or AV1.
• Don’t place burned-in text on your video files.
• Layer semantic images on top to be read by search engines and screen readers.
• Use the title attribute to describe the video and improve accessibility.
• Include video captions to make it usable without sound.
4. Optimize Your Image Files
Just like your video files, you want to optimize your images for fast page loading, improved indexing and the best UX possible. Any reputable video marketing agency will tell you never to use your images in the resolution they were originally taken in to avoid slowing down your load time.
• Recommended image dimensions are 1080px by 1920px.
• Crop your images to the desired size and don’t load the entire image.
• Image file format should be .jpeg if it’s a photo and .png if not a photo.
• Don’t use GIF for animation and use a video instead.
• Add alt text to your images to support accessibility and indexability.
Get Started With Professional Video Production Services
While you should focus on the details of every Web Story you create, it’s equally important to look at the big picture. Having a video marketing strategy in place makes your Google Web Stories content intentional and results-driven. You avoid wasting valuable time and resources on video production services that don’t contribute to your specific business goals.
Professional video production services align your Web Stories content with an overarching video marketing strategy. With an experienced video marketing agency on your side, you can be sure your Web Stories reach the right audience, and your efforts contribute to growing your business.
Thrive Internet Marketing Agency is a video marketing company growing businesses of all sizes and industries since 2005. We create engaging Web Stories and implement tried-and-tested video SEO techniques to boost your video marketing results. Our WordPress experts maximize the built-in Web Stories app capabilities to create high-quality content for both your viewers and search engines.
Schedule a consultation with our video marketing agency to learn more about using Google Web Stories to propel your brand.