How to create a Google Web Story
With proven web traffic increases that are sometimes in the thousandth percent, the hot topic on every blogger’s mind is: What are Google Web Stories and How can I publish as many web stories as quickly as possible?
At Nicole Barker VA, we are right there with you. We want to see our bloggers succeed on every platform, and Google is a big one. So where do you start?
Choose Your Web Story Platform
If you are looking to publish web stories on your own, we recommend using the Google plugin, Web Stories.
There are two third-party platforms for stories that Google has listed, News Room AI and MakeStories.
We found that both platforms have great interfaces and some nice functionality. However the downsides are that News Room AI is expensive. They have a free version if you want to publish to their domain, but if you want to publish to your own domain, you’ll be paying $499/month!! MakeStories is totally free, and you can publish to your domain. This tool has a lot of potential and can make very appealing slides. We did find though that Makestories has several bugs that they are still working out. So for now, we recommend using the Web Stories plugin.
We also tried using both MakeStories and Web Stories and found that they will not work in conjunction, so if you want to test them out separately, we’d recommend doing them on separate websites or uninstalling whichever platform you try first. Do not expect to publish stories from both tool though….it will not work (we speak from experience….grin)!
Installing the plugin
|To install the Google Web Stories plug-in :|
Choose Editor Settings
|Once you’re in Web Stories, you will see a side-bar that looks like this:|
Before creating a new story, we’d recommend filling out the “Editor Settings” section. This will add your blog’s information into the program. When we first started testing Web Stories, we initially worried about branding, where to place logos, and your site information. When you fill your information out in this section, Google will add your logo and website title for you. Here’s a picture from Discover. I would normally link the photo here to the web story, but remember, web stories only show up on Android or IOS phones, not the PC Google search function.
We recommend browsing through the Explore Templates section next. In this section, you’ll see about eight different templates that you can customize. When you drill into the template, you’ll notice that there will be nine pages that are already present. These pages are great for giving you a starting point for ideas about how you can create a web story Google likes.
It’s also good to note here, that you’ll need at least nine pages if you want ads to display. (You want ads to display!!)
Creating Great Web Story Pages
Add Beautiful Images and Great Text
- If you choose not to use a template, simply click on “Create New Story.” From here, you can start completely from scratch. OR if you already have a Pinterest Pin created, you can use this as a quick guide for creating your page. For best practices, DO NOT upload images with words already in them. Google will not be able to read those words and will not be able to recognize and index your page. We recommend using your favorite pins as a guide to recreate a page, but don’t upload pictures Google can’t read.
- Do upload your amazing photos. Include hero shots and process shots.
- Be careful that your fonts are readable. Sometimes overlaying a font on a picture won’t work with the colors. You can use the “shapes” function to layer in a backdrop shape that will help your font pop.
- Minimize. What’s cool about Web Story pages is that they can be minimalistic. Think Instagram. All you need to do for one page is place a great quote or create a “Serves 8, Time 40 mins.” Fewer words, bright beautiful pictures, and a call to action is what you need.
Call to Action
Every web story should have a call to action. We like to put them on as many pages that make sense to do so.
- For DIY’s you can start with you finished product shot and move through some of the steps in the web story. The same goes for food. Don’t add in all of the steps. You want the user to click through to your site. Make it a teaser story.
- For other bloggers like travel, show the user through images of your latest post. Add quotes and favorite pictures, but give the user a reason to click through to your site. For example, you could say, “for the full article, click here.”
- For fashion blogs, you can show them through your closet or some of the latest trends, then say something along the lines of “to see the hottest new shoes, click here!”
Don’t Forget the SEO
Before you finish your web story, make sure to check that you have your SEO in place.
- Check that your images are alt tagged.
- Fill out the Sidebar under Document on each page:
- When your web stories are published, run them through the Amp validator. We like this site called AMP test. You can add your url into the search engine and check that Google sees your web story.
- We also think it’s best practice to submit your sitemap with your new web-stories URLs to Google through your search console. Check with your SEO specialist for strategy.
Read more about The What and Why of Google Web Stories.
Check back for additional articles on how to track web stories, how to optimize them for SEO, and more.