Google Stories, also known as AMP Stories and web stories, is a newer feature that Google has been testing the waters with, likely due to the rise in popularity of the “stories” format that has been adopted by Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, and other social media platforms.
This new form of web content can help you get more traffic to your eCommerce site and even help sell your products, but you have to know how to optimize them first. With the right Google Stories SEO techniques, you can capitalize on this new form of content, bring in more traffic, and potentially promote your brand in the process.
What Exactly is Google Web Stories and How Do They Affect SEO?
A couple of years ago, Google rolled out a new form of content that was known as AMP Stories. Using the accelerated mobile page format, this new form of visual-based content was designed to tell a story using high-quality photos and videos, with text playing a supplemental role. In this way, they were almost the inverse of a blog article, which tends to focus on text and use media to supplement the message.
As of a few months ago, AMP Stories received an overhaul and went mainstream with the release of Google Web Stories, a more robust version that still uses the same AMP technology but with more room to create higher-quality content.
There’s a good chance you have already viewed several Web Stories without even realizing what they are. They often appear on smartphones when browsing through Google, especially in the “Discover” section as well as the Image Search. Google has implied that the stories will start appearing in more locations as the platform expands.
Google Stories offer a new way of providing your users with information and can be used to promote your products and services. They have a very minimalist look and feel to them because all of the other elements of a typical web page are not present. When viewing a Web Story, only the content itself is displayed, all other elements of the website, including the header and footer, are not accessible. This means the content not only stands out, but it’s also the only game in town.
When it comes to SEO, Google Stories offer quite a bit of opportunity. As with any web page, they feature a custom URL, a meta title and description, title tags, and body content. According to Google, a Web Story can be indexed and rank in search results alongside ordinary content.
It is also worth noting here in terms of Google Stories SEO, that Google themselves have stated that “The same SEO best practices for web pages also apply to Web Stories. A Web Story is still a web page.” It would seem then that if you want to make use of this new form of content that Google is pushing, you need to pay attention to your search engine optimization.
Tips for optimizing your Web Stories using SEO:
- Make sure the URL is concise and contains your chosen keyword or key phrase.
- Do the same for the title of the story.
- Include relevant keywords throughout the titles and paragraphs of the story, but keep in mind that it should sound natural. Avoid using keywords for the sake of using keywords.
- Include the proper Publisher Logo and Author information.
- Don’t forget to include a call to action button or link at the end that will lead the user to the appropriate product page, form, or page where they can find more information or the product in question.
- Once published, make sure that your story is valid using the Google AMP Test tool.
How Can Google Web Stories be Used in eCommerce?
Like any page on your site, the Web Stories format can be used to gain brand recognition as well as for promoting your products. Stories can act almost like an engaging landing page that can highlight the features of a product or explain how to use it.
Google has stressed the importance of quality when it comes to Stories. This is especially true if you want this content to rank anywhere. If you want your Web Stories to rank, you have to make sure that they actually provide real value and relevant information to your audience. You should think about how you can tell a story or provide an in-depth visual “how-to” or explainer that really drills down into the meat of a subject.
“Thin content” is certainly out of the question here. You want high-quality photos and videos, comprehensive instructions, references, and plenty of detail. The information you provide can be in text format or can be completely visual, but either way, the content needs to be engaging and useful, otherwise, it won’t keep users interested.
Not unlike a blog, a Web Story typically concludes with some kind of call to action that will prompt the user to stay on the website and either investigate a service further, sign up to a mailing list, contact the business, or purchase a product. You can insert links into text, buttons, and visual elements that the user can follow once they are finished reading or watching the story.
For example, you might want to include a link to a specific product that the Web Story features or highlights. If you are creating a recipe, for example, you can include links to the ingredients at the end or throughout the story. This may seem “salesy” but in all actuality, it is providing direct value to the user, because if they like what they see, the last thing they want to do is click out of the story and hunt through your website just to find the item in question.
This reflects the impact that platforms such as Instagram and Pinterest have had on eCommerce. These social media platforms allow you to view a photo or story, and actually click links to the products being promoted by influencers right in the photo. Web Stories function much in the same vein and allow for a great amount of versatility when it comes to how you can promote your products and interact with your audience.
Getting Started With Google Stories For Your Business
If your platform supports Web Stories, all you need to do is download the appropriate app or builder, or use a 3rd party service such as Makestories.io, in order to start creating. At the moment, WordPress and Shopify are the two main eCommerce platforms that support Web Stories, but more are sure to roll out as Google expands their functionality.
You may want to take advantage of this new form of content for your website but aren’t sure how to go about it. Even though it’s relatively easy to cook up a decent-looking story, actually getting one to rank or bring in traffic is another matter. In order to make sure your Google Stories SEO is properly implemented, you may want to give us a call. We are a veteran eCommerce SEO agency that knows a thing or two about getting web pages to rank.
Don’t let your online store miss out on using Web Stories to drive traffic and get more attention. This is another avenue of digital marketing that is set to take off going into 2021, so if you want to be a part of the action, give us a call at 888.982.8269 and we will help you craft beautiful stories that will engage your users and boost your sales.
- Matt Lovett
- December 18, 2020