News & Insights


Telling Your Tale with Google Web Stories

pwd staff OLIVER WOOD
Oliver Wood

|3rd August 2020

Bold. Visual. Lean on words. High on impact.

Google Web Stories, the newest WordPress Plugin now in beta, provides one more tool to help you capture your mobile audience’s attention, keep them engaged, and turn them into customers.  

If you don’t know about Google Web Stories, here’s a new “Once upon a time” for the online age. Learn about the benefits of Web Stories as well as how you can optimise them for SEO.  

They promise to work some modern magic for your business. 


What Are Google Web Stories? 

Once upon a time . . .  

That phrase has captured the attention of readers for ages. These days, if you want to hook a reader, though, you need more than magical words.  

Google Web Stories is a new type of AMP (accelerated mobile pages). It provides a way to present web content in brief, bite-sized segments—ideal for an audience constantly on the move. The stories you create will be similar to those you see on social media platforms such as Instagram and Facebook. 

This engaging, tap-through format can use any combination of photos, graphics, audio, video, and text.  

Above all, a Google Web Story is an immersive experience. The reader may be waiting for his kids after school or taking a break at work. Maybe she’s scrolling while waiting for a cab.  

You want your readers to lose themselves in the story for just a few quick moments—and find themselves on your website, wanting to do business. That’s the happily ever after. 

Some Google Web Stories Guidelines

Google Web Stories should be visually appealing, interactive, accessible narratives. The font should be at least 24 points and should contrast in tone with the vertical background image. If users need to struggle to read your text, they won’t! To be mobile-friendly, create your stories in portrait mode. 

Visuals (videos or stills) dominate, with text as brief subtitles—10 words or less than 200 characters.  

Stories give users the ability to read, listen to and/or watch in short bursts of attention. Captions are essential for those times when a user’s volume has to be on mute. 

Less is more. The suggested length for Google web stories is four to 30 pages. Google suggests the ideal length for a story is 15 seconds, max. 

Stories should be tappable and interactive. If you have more to say, and you think your audience needs to know more, then link to longer-form narrative content.   

Add a call to action, guiding potential customers after they get hooked on the story you tell. 

What Are the Benefits of Google Web Stories?

Every story has a unique URL, so businesses can embed the stories on their websites and share them anywhere on the web via a link.  

Users can find them on the website, on social media, or via a search on Google, Google Discover, and Google Images. 

Since any user can find the stories on Google, Web Stories can be a game-changer. People don’t need previous knowledge of your business to become immersed in your story.  

Behind the scenes, you the publisher can tell how much traffic comes to your site as a result of your Google Web Stories. You can add code to measure engagement and determine the type and length of stories to which your users respond the most, guiding your future storytelling strategy.   

Though Google created the brief story-bite concept with mobile phones in mind, they’re compatible with desktop devices and tablets, too. 

Another benefit is that you can monetise Google Web Stories using affiliate sales or ads. Just remember the balance between engaging your audience and selling to them. Google suggests one affiliate link per story. Keeping it simple is important, since too much clutter can drive users away instead of to your business.  


How Can You Optimise Google Web Stories for SEO? 

Your SEO strategy for Google Web Stories should go hand-in-hand with your SEO strategy as a whole. Most importantly, your stories should always contain high-quality multimedia content, not merely some combination of words, magical or not.  

As with any other web content, you should rely on SEO industry best practices. Be sure to link your Google Web Stories to your website, giving bots and users the ability to track them down. Put your stories in your sitemap, if you’re using one.  

The ability to affix metadata is built-in for Google Web Stories so they can work well with search engines.  

Since each story has a URL and is, as such, its own website, links from your webpage and to other sites enhance search results. The URLs themselves should be part of this strategy.  

PWD Can Help You Tell Your Google Web Stories  

Every business has a story to tell. If you’re ready to tell your tale with Google Web Stories, contact us at PWD.

We’re experts at storytelling in a digital space. We offer a full slate of web design, SEO, and branding services. If you’re not sure what your story is, we’ll help you figure it out.  

Once upon a time . . . PWD helped make your online presence more engaging and helped you discover your business’s happily-ever-after with Google Web Stories.

Find out more about Google Web Stories through the Google Search.