Seo is getting closer and closer to the world of social media and Google pushes to offer its users a fresh, quick and engaging fruition. One of the great innovations of summer 2020 is that of Web Stories, successors to Amp Stories. Now you can easily create them thanks to the new official plugin released for WordPress.
What are Web Stories?
Web Stories are Amp-format multimedia content designed for mobile and distributed across different Google channels. These are high-impact visual narratives that have few elements to tell something about. Somehow it resembles Snapchat and stories on Facebook and Instagram, but the distribution channels are Google’s. Web Stories are a great opportunity for anybody works on content and have interesting stories to tell.
Where Web Stories appear on Google
Web Stories are indexed on Google. Being in Amp format, they are designed for mobile, but they also manage to index themselves for desktop searches and can be an important source of traffic.
Web Stories on organic Serp
They currently appear in classic Serp and Image Search. In the first case, the display is similar to that of any Amp result. In the second case it is interesting to note how it integrates between the results of the images and especially in the new snippet with the categories of images that Google has introduced in Serp and that seems oriented to develop further.
In the United States, the integration of Web Stories into the grid formatis being tested. The first arranges content in a snippet that responds to specific queries such as “What to do in New York” and allows you to choose from the content of different publishers.
Web Stories on Google Discover
Web Stories test is also involving Google Discover,so this format is attracting the interest of publishers. These Web Stories are about news content and insights that Google suggests based on users’ interests through the Discover feature. For now it is active in the United States, India and Brazil. This is a carousel very similar to that of Instagram that allows you to scroll through and delve into the most interesting topics.
The WordPress plugin to create Web Stories
Google has announced the release of a plugin for WordPress (initially in beta version). You can download it from GitHub. This plugin allows you to create Web Stories directly from the Cms through an editor. We recommend that you install it after you upgrade WordPress to the latest available version.
How to optimize Web Stories
We’ve seen that Web Stories are distributed through Google’s search engine and that they feature more immediate and emotional content. For indexing, you must apply a mix of Seo and social media techniques. Technically, we have to think that this content is designed for mobile and therefore we have to try not to weigh too much the page load speed. Let’s see some suggestions.
The user’s path starts with a Google search or a push notification on Discover, then there is a click on an interesting content and the fruition of it. We must therefore search for keywords exactly as we do for any article positioned organically or in the news. Relevance and search intent are the key.
Thevisual impact is very important because it immediately attracts the user’s attention, but we also need to take care of the storytelling that binds the pages together, in order to decrease the bounce rate and increase the pages views.
A web story can contain between 4 and 30 pages and can have links to in-depth pages on the same website or external. Remember that it is a format designed for mobile and also outgoing links must be mobile friendly.
On site Seo
Seo techniques are the same as other web pages. It’s very important to also include Web Stories in your sitemap to suggest a navigation path to Google crawlers, and we have to take care of incoming and outgoing links by reasoning from a user perspective and trying to offer relevant insights. We always have to remember to provide the publisher’s name, author name, and date because they add authority to the content.
Texts must be visible and readable. The minimum recommended size is 24 px, but can be expanded as long as it remains clearly visible on the screen. The text should stand out from the background (video or image): we can use colors to increase contrast, or highlight it.
Texts should only be a nibble,so it is advisable to stay below 200 characters per page and not take up more than 10% of the space available for the full story.
Visual impact is very important and images are at the heart of Web Stories. Due to the nature of the channel, images should be full screen and not cropped and inserted as an additional element. The recommended resolution is 828 x 1,792 px.
Web Stories content is very fast, so videos can take up to 15 seconds. It is advisable to shoot with a high-end mobile device and orient it vertically. The video must have a definition of 480p and a frequency of 24 frames per second.
Animations allow you to give movement to images:different effects such as fly-in, rotations or fade-in are possible. They can be very useful for livening up content, but we shouldn’t abuse it.
It must be an element that adds value to content and does not distract. A simple animation should not last more than 500 milliseconds, but the time can be expanded if it is a background. You can also add different animations to multiple elements on the same page to have a more impactful choral effect.
How to make money with Web Stories
Web Stories allow you to insert links to internal landing pages or affiliate links and then to use lead generation strategies,but also to use the classic advertising formats through ads like those of Instagram.
The format is called Story Ads and allows you to insert a display advertisement on a single page that appears within the story. The advertising platforms used are Google Ad Manager and Google Display&Video 360 which is currently in beta.
Web Stories in your marketing strategy
Who should use Web Stories as part of their marketing strategy?
Online publishers or bloggers who post daily information content should be the first to take an interest in Web Stories because they are a growing source of traffic for cold content and especially for news that will soon have more chance of indexing on Google Discover. The ability to enter advertising counters is an additional source of revenue for news sites and bloggers.
Companies that produce a lot of content and use storytelling in their communication can also benefit from Web Stories. Who has only a showcase website and an Facebook page occasionally updated, instead should first develop a structured communication plan and then think about whether it is appropriate to add this very useful tool as well.
Web Stories are reccomended to letting live emotions,so you can tell the story of a car, the characteristics of an electronic device, the curiosities about a movie or book, the method of producing a pizza or a homemade ice cream. They are also suitable for companies that work in tourism and in the promotion of the territory because they manage to tell and make live the beauty of a place.