Recently, Google updated its official Web Stories WordPress plugin. This plugin allows website owners to embed their content into Google search results, an important thing to consider when managing how your company website is presented online.
The Web Stories plugin makes robust content creation tools accessible for WordPress website owners. You can now generate Web Stories and embed them in your site or via other sites to get more web traffic flowing your way. Along with easier embedding, the WordPress plugin update can also integrate Web Stories into theme customizations.
The Web Stories plugin will help developers to successfully use WordPress’s built-in integrations to boost your SEO and generate more traffic to your company website. Learn how to maximize your use of this tool to create more dynamic web content.
What are Google Web Stories?
WordPress offers developers an opportunity to customize sites with easy-to-use dashboards, as well as move beyond the basics and use more advanced web-building strategies to customize their sites. Web Stories is one such advancement, allowing developers to make visual stories for their sites directly from the WordPress Plugin.
Google introduced a beta version of the plugin earlier this year that allows users to incorporate additional features. It’s now easier for developers to create stories that Google will pick up to be displayed in search results.
Web Stories can provide greater visibility to your brand, since these stories will be published on a separate carousel in Google Discover. This means brands and marketers will have more opportunities to create SEO-ready content to attract more organic traffic. SEO is vital for brands because they offer targeted content and make it easy for viewers to find solutions instantly online.
If you’re already familiar with WordPress, you’re in for some good news. The Web Story plugin acts like a drag-and-drop template interface that can be optimized with images and videos. Once you create your blog or news content, the plugin will instantly turn it into a story that’s ready to be published.
Whether you’re a writer, graphic designer, or web developer, embracing Web Stories can be a great way to improve your design strategy. It can help to bring valuable content to your audience, as well as boost your rankings online and diversify site traffic.
Benefits for Content Creators
Web Stories are an interactive way to communicate with your audience using visual story-telling techniques. It allows content creators to compose narratives through animations and short videos to foster a fast-loading and engaging on-screen experience.
Here are a few benefits of using Google Web Stories in your content creation:
Creative Flexibility: Web Stories offer users the opportunity to create content using multiple templates and layouts. It also provides standardized UI controls for editorial freedom and branding.
Story Analytics: Creators can use Web Stories to track user analytics and site data to improve traffic, viral sharing, and monetization. Knowing who is visiting your site is important for optimizing your content to get even more web traffic down the line.
Engaging Content: Web Stories use animation, graphics, and bite-sized content that makes it easy for readers to understand and retain information. It breaks away from the monotony of simple text and makes the site more compelling.
Fast Loading: Internet users are inundated with content on their newsfeeds, so most prefer to read and watch content that provides instant gratification and solutions to their problems. Even a one second delay can drastically reduce page views and decrease customer satisfaction. Web Stories have lightning-fast loading speeds and provide valuable content to your audience instantly.
Diversifying Sources of Web Traffic
If you’re aware of Instagram, Facebook, and Snapchat stories, you might be wondering how Google Web Stories are any different from those.
For one thing, unlike Instagram and Facebook stories that can only be viewed from that particular platform, Google’s Web Stories are discoverable across the web. This makes them ideal for SEO purposes since they can be used more widely to generate site traffic.
Here are several ways content creators can use Web Stories to boost SEO:
On your website: Since Google’s Web Stories can easily be seen across the web, it can give designers more creative freedom with their content. They do not have to restrict their content to a particular platform’s specifications and can instead include whatever they think is most engaging. It also attracts more traffic from various sources without the restriction of being on a particular social media app.
In search results: Perhaps the most significant advantage of Google Web Stories is its accessibility from SERPs. Since they can be picked up by Google and discovered as a web page, they will pop up in search results when your audience searches for similar content. This is why it is crucial to optimize your stories for SEO by adding relevant images, hashtags, videos, and links.
In your online publications: Since you are creating your stories on your website, the content can easily be recycled across multiple digital assets such as email marketing campaigns, newsletters, or digital brochures. This is particularly useful because you can use these avenues to expand upon the content for better viewer comprehension, making it more precise and impactful.
Across multiple devices: Although Web Stories are created using AMP technology optimized for mobile devices, they can easily be viewed on phones, tablets, and desktop browsers. This makes your content device-friendly, unlike other platforms where each story’s content has to be optimized for different devices.
The goal is to bring in additional traffic from Google Discover other than your dedicated customers and followers. For this reason, all your Web Stories must have a CTA at the end to encourage readers to visit your site. There are numerous success stories of how this type of dynamic web content can help companies with their online persona and marketing strategies.
Remember, Web Stories do not monetize as easily as regular blog posts. These stories are there to direct traffic towards your website or blog post. Your aim should be to attract readers to your blog post using Web Story as a means to an end.
Getting Started with Google Web Stories for WordPress
You should always be strategic about plugins on your site, and the Web Stories plugin is a great new tool to consider. Instead of using third-party integration tools, use the official Google Web Story plugin from WordPress.org to create stories directly from your blog.
Here is how you can install the plugin:
- Log into your WordPress site and go to Plugins > Add New
- Use the search box to search for “web stories“
- Look for the plugin created by Google (it should be the first result) and click the button to install
- When your plugin is finished installing, it will show an ‘installed successfully’ icon. Don’t forget to activate the plugin after you’ve installed it.
Once you have installed and activated, it is now time to create your first story. If you want to create a new story, the Web Story interface opens with a blank template. The asset manager on the left side allows users to upload images, videos, and other graphic content. The ‘T” icon indicates adding text, and the triangle symbol opens different shapes to add.
Users get three options to choose from when embedding content on their story:
- Latest Stories: This displays their most recent stories, providing users with multiple filtering and sorting options.
- Selected Stories: This displays a list of carefully chosen stories. These can be used for marketing a specific blog post or niche topic.
- Single Story: Embed a single story by providing its URL.
Site owners can also select how to display their stories – in a carousel, grid, or list form. And be strategic about the content you choose for your stories. Images and videos must be optimized to have maximum impact for viewers.
Tips When Using Google Web Stories
Here are a few things to keep in mind when creating your first Web Story:
Don’t abuse the ‘add’ feature: Adding content is okay as long as your story does not seem cluttered. Too many elements at one time are likely to confuse the audience. Make sure to add only purposeful and high-quality images and videos.
Keep it interesting: Avoid using too much text, and keep the title of your stories short and precise. The point is to be visually engaging and catch the viewer’s eye.
Use the drag-and-drop interface: This will allow you to take complete control of your editing capabilities, such as image masking, adjusting gradients, image contrast, and hues.
Be careful with your linking: Link to other relevant parts of your website, and avoid putting too many external links. Also, keep in mind that WordPress Web Stories include the URL of the images in your XML sitemap. However, if you’re using third-party tools, remember to include the URL in your XML sitemap.
Google Web Stories are an interesting new addition to your content marketing arsenal that can strengthen your digital marketing strategy and make your brand more attractive to your audience. Unlike other social media visual stories, Google Web Stories are not bound to a limited period or a platform. It is an evergreen content form that is accessible for everyone.
Of course, not every business may need this type of visual story-telling, but it is worth looking into the possibilities for broader brand exposure. There are no limits to the opportunities you can take to monetize your website and diversify your brand image with well-curated and visually dynamic web content.