Google Web Stories: Providing New Visual Search Experience for Users
By: Shreoshe Ghosh
August 29, 2022
Table of Contents
If you have used AMP stories before, then you already know that Google renamed them as web stories recently.
AMP stories was a visual-content feature that was launched in February 2018 and it was similar to the stories that one could find on social media, especially in Instagram and Facebook.
However, in 2020 Google decided to rebrand this into a feature that provides a tappable visual story narration and called it the Web Stories.
What are Google Web Stories?
Web Stories is an upgrade of AMP Stories and it gives a full-screen visual experience to the users by utilizing Google’s own AMP technology.
The ability to post Web Stories on your own website is what makes them different from Facebook or Instagram Stories.
Moreover, you can optimize your Google Web Stories with links, call-to-actions and Google AdWords.
Check out this video:
You can share your brand content using individual story panels featuring videos, graphics and more, which the users need to click-through to interact with.
Along with viewing these interactive stories on your web pages, you can also experience them in Google Search Results, and Google Images, as well as the “Google Discover” app available on Android and iOS.
Google Web Stories allow brands to leverage maximum SEO opportunities to create the most immersive storytelling experience for their users.
Examples of Great Google Web Stories
Brands can utilize Google Web Stories to share heartwarming and inspiring stories or events around the world.
Nowthis has shared the story of a paralympic swimmer who built his own pool to practice when his usual training pool shut down during the pandemic.
Another Google Web Story shared by Refinery29 shows how money is made.
Isn’t it an exciting and intriguing thing to learn? If you want to see more such examples check out this official Web Stories page of Google that features some of the amazing stories created by top publishers.
How to Create a Google Web Story?
Before you jump on to create a Google Web Story, think for a while to reflect on your brand image.
This will help you determine what stories you should be telling to your audience.
Storyboarding helps you put together different elements of the story and visualize it before making it live.
Decide on the CTAs and their placement in your story. Also, decide where to put your ads.
Google stories are code-heavy, for which you’ll need a coding engineer to help create the story for you.
However, they need to be familiar with the AMP framework.
If you’re not a developer but want to create Google Web Stories for yourself, you can take help from several tools.
How to Enable Web Stories on Google?
Here’s how you can create web stories on Google.
Create a web story
Pick a third-party tool to create Google Web Stories without any coding involved.
Review the best practices to create Google Web Stories here.
Ensure the Web Story is valid AMP
Once you’ve created the story, make sure that it is a valid AMP.
This allows the story to be served via the AMP cache to offer the best experience to your users.
For your stories to appear on Google Search and Google Discover, use the necessary metadata so that your story appears in the preview.
You can use the Web Story Google Test tool to ensure that your Web Story preview appears correctly.
Check if the web story is indexed
Check to see whether Google has indexed your Web Story.
Use the URL Inspection tool to submit individual URLs or review status using Sitemap Reports if your URL isn’t indexed.
Tools for Creating Google Web Stories
For creators who don’t have much experience or knowledge with coding can use third-party apps to create their own Google Web Stories.
Web Stories by Google Plug-In
This plugin allows you to create Google Web Stories within your WordPress website CMS.
Being integrated into your website, your WordPress media library is available to your Google Web Stories.
With this official web stories plugin, you can easily drag and drop creation and publish your story directly to your website.
You can also access different templates to assist you with your web story designs.
Newsroom AI allows you to create Google Web Stories for free and comes with several features.
With the free version of this tool, you can embed stories on your website and start getting them out on Google.
The Analytics report feature allows you to track and analyze the performance of your stories on the web.
Creating stories on this free tool is quick and easy. You need to set up your account using a Google account and click on “Create Story” to begin with.
You can choose from multiple templates to create your web stories.
Each template can be modified to change the text, image and other visuals.
If you want more options to explore, upgrade to a paid version for unlimited access to all features of this tool.
One of the main benefits that the paid account offers is allowing you to leverage Google ads for yourself, which is worthwhile if you want to make money from your Google Web Stories.
Newsroom AI also offers Getty Images integration that allows you to access creative commons images on the platform.
However, the paid versions will get you access to the Getty editorial image library and Getty videos, which is beneficial for brands associated with history and culture.
Make Stories offer easy to use features just like the above two tools.
This tool has a catalog of free images, icons, symbols and templates.
The drag and drop interface makes it easy to customize your Google Web Stories the way you want.
They have WordPress integration, but you can export each story in a zip file and choose to publish it to your FTP on your website or embed it in iFrame.
Benefits of Using Google Web Stories
If you still haven’t realized the benefits that Google Web Stories offer for your brand, let’s look take a look again and assess why Google Web Stories can be a better alternative to some of the social media platforms.
It is a new way to discover your site
Since Google has a powerful search engine capability, the opportunity of your Google Web Stories to be seen on the SERP or in Google images is a reason strong enough to consider trying them.
It is also a way to amp up your SEO game. Moreover, since these stories are customizable, you can add CTAs and drive more traffic to your website.
You own the content
Content ownership is one feature that differentiates Google Web Stories and social media.
Since Google Web Stories are created using AMP technology on a third-party website, it’s up to you to decide how you want your stories to be.
You can embed the story on your website or choose to share it wherever you like. The choices are limitless, and you get the creative freedom to present your stories that meet your brand image.
They provide immersive experiences to your website
Google Web Stories can add a new dimension to your website by offering an engaging and full-screen immersive stories carousel.
This feature is available for both mobile devices and desktop users, which allows the readers to really feel your story.
They are interesting for your users
Dynamic stories are a relatively new concept that can keep your audience hooked to your website.
Unlike social media posts, this full-screen experience offered by Google Web Stories can break the monotony of how people consume content.
Google Web Stories are fun to make
Many creators may find the ideas to start creating Google Web Stories fun because there are so many tools at their disposal, which can be utilized to create amazing content.
With multiple free features, creators may find themselves pushing their creative boundaries and coming up with unique ways to present their content ideas.
They bring ad opportunities
Google Web Stories can be integrated into Google AdWords and other ad opportunities.
Therefore, besides creating immersive content, you can include ads that can flow well within your content.
Depending on the story format you are working on, you can add CTAs that take users to your product or landing pages.
Sharing your brand stories through Google Web Stories can increase your online followers and boost your brand awareness.
It is also beneficial in building your reputation and trust in your customers.
Although the process of creating Google Web Stories is code-heavy, there are several tools at your disposal that allows you to create content independently, as well.
Do you think Google Web Stories can transform how businesses engage with their customers?
Let us know in the comments below.