Google Web Stories: A Practical Guide to Providing Fully Immersive Experiences
This article explains what Google Web Stories are, why marketers should use them and how to create them.
In this day and age, we as consumers want to digest content as quickly as possible and preferably with very little effort.
That’s why Google introduced their own version of short-form content called Google web stories.
But what are Google web stories and how do they contribute to a more immersive and personalised experience? Why use Google web stories and how can you create your own?
This practical guide will help you better understand the benefits of using these web stories and how to utiltise them for your needs.
What are Google Web Stories?
Web stories are full-screen content for the web that’s visually rich and allows you to tap or swipe from one story to the next. It’s exactly like Facebook and Instagram stories. There are over 20 million web stories that are online in total and since October 2020, 6,500 new domains have published their first web story.
They can provide another form for consumers that engage with content during their morning commute or aimlessly scrolling on their phone whilst sitting in front of their telly. As a business, it can be helpful to reach your target audience, especially with Google’s influence.
Why Should you use Google Web Stories?
So why use Google web stories? They’re an advancement to Google search that can be great for pulling in more traffic and to give your web content more of an opportunity to be seen.
There are many benefits of Google web stories that can come from using them and they’re worth the effort needed to create them from scratch.
1. Gives a Boost to your Rankings
The competition to rank on the top pages of Google is fierce. Only 5.7% of pages will rank in the top 10 search results within a year of publication, according to Ahrefs.
Google web stories give you an opportunity to rank first in the search results. Making use of Google Web Services, in general, can help you rank your business on the SERPs. Doing so can bring more traffic and hopefully, more sales!
2. Content is Easily Shareable
One of the major benefits of Google web stories is that you can share the content very easily with friends online, family and work colleagues.
Each web story can provide meaningful content that the user can easily share without having to do any tweaking or editing before they click share.
3. It Provides Maximum Reach Across the Web
Google web stories is a feature that has been made specifically for mobile websites in view. Similar to both the Instagram and Facebook stories, it can provide a great opportunity to create and add stories to their WordPress websites as well as other integrated applications.
The stories are shown on search results that are available for millions to click on them, rather than just a small handful of people.
4. Great for SEO Best Practices
Search engine optimization is important for many individuals and businesses when trying to better their online presence. 70% of online marketers say that SEO is better than PPC for generating sales.
Google web stories SEO integrates best practices by creating more engaging content that will rank not only on Google Search but via Google Images and the Google App.
5. Web Stories can be Monetized
Google web stories offer the opportunity for publishers to monetize the content with the help of full-screen advertisements and affiliate links. Advertisers can benefit from this too, providing a more visual experience through video storytelling.
6. Helps Track User Experience and Measures Performance
Through this type of content, publishers can easily track user experience and allow them to measure the performance of each story they hit publish on.
You can also link these to platforms like Google Analytics, which is great for gathering information in general for your website.
7. Provides an Interactive and Immersive Experience for your Users
One of the major benefits of Google’s web stories is that it provides an interactive and immersive experience for its users. It gives the publisher the option to include interactive elements like quizzes and polls, which can tell you more about your audience.
Where are Google Web Stories Seen?
Web stories can be explored when on Google across their search pages, Google Discover or Google Images. However, it’s worth noting that Google web stories can only be seen currently for US, Indian and Brazilian users. It’s only a matter of time though until that expands further afield.
If you are lucky enough to be in one of those three countries, then it will likely show up at the start of your search results. As it’s easily accessible, you’ll have no trouble finding it.
How to Create Google Web Stories
Creating a web story doesn’t require you to have a huge amount of design or technical experience. Just like any of the social media platforms that have a story feature, it’s pretty easy to create one. Here are a few tips that you can refer to when creating your first web story.
- Use a visual editor - Web stories WordPress plugin is a good place to start.
- Brainstorm a story - Create a storyboard and note down your intentions or goals for the content.
- Create the web story - Pull your available resources and record/compile the story and use the visual editor to create it.
- Publish the web story - Publish the story on Google and watch the traffic fly in.
Examples of Google Web Stories
It’s worthwhile to have some Google web stories examples so that if you decide to create them yourself, you have a springboard of inspiration to work from. Here are a few examples to start you off.
VICE took inspiration from the pandemic and those cooking from home with a quarantine cooking series as shown above. A great way of catering to a wide demographic, rather than just their target audience.
Seeker created the middle web story, aimed at sharing the knowledge of science but the imagery and text used didn’t give too much away. It meant that more were likely to click on it to satisfy their curiosity.
Finally, Nylon’s educational resource that it provides with the above web story offers a dynamic experience for users not just from a visual angle but it also provides value.
The features of Google web stories are a great way to share information in an interactive and exciting new way. Whether you’re a consumer, publisher or advertiser, there are benefits to using Google’s immersive storytelling format that is its web stories.