If you’re familiar with WordPress, you may have heard about the new Google rollout known as “Web Stories.” Google Web Stories are currently in beta mode, but we already see so much potential for this shorter story-form content. So today, let’s examine the history of Google Stories and discuss how it could impact marketers, specifically with SERPs and SEO content.
What are Google Stories?
Anyone with an Instagram account knows the appeal of the story format. It’s just plain fun to share updates in bite-sized video or photo formats. And IG stories don’t require the pomp and circumstance of an actual post, making them great for on-the-go mobile users.
Google Web Stories are a bit like that. They’re visual, easy to tap through, and often informative. And just like IG, they allow users to add text, audio, pictures, GIFs, and other multimedia for a more immersive story experience. That being said, what makes Google Stories different from its Instagram counterpart? We’ve compiled a list below to show you the basics:
- Each Google Story has its own URL. This allows Google to rank stories in Google Search, Images, and other areas of the search engine. Digital marketers, did the word “rank” set off excited bells and whistles in your head, or was that just us?
- Stories allow 30 words or less of text. The minimalist approach allows your words to pack a punch. Of course, that means being deliberate about what words you do choose for your Google Story.
- Google Stories require a WordPress plugin. First and foremost, you’ll need to create an AMP page with what’s known as an “amp-story component.” Go on, download it here. And with that, you’re all set; you can now create web stories on your WordPress site! Keep in mind, however, that this plugin is still in beta mode. Check back regularly throughout 2020 for additional Google Stories features.
What’s With the Popularity of the Short Story Format These Days?
We’ve spent a lot of time comparing and contrasting Google Stories to Instagram stories. In other words, short story content is huge right now—but why?
For one, there’s a lot to stay informed about these days, whether in world news, pop culture, or even our own social circles. The short story format allows us to digest a lot of information quickly. If we’re particularly interested in a cause, event, or person, we can take a deeper dive by reading articles, messaging another user, etc. But in many cases, the short story format is more than sufficient.
Short stories also allow for creativity. It’s why short videos on TikTok (and formerly, Vine) have been so popular. You have a limited amount of time to show your stuff, and who doesn’t love a good creative challenge?
Finally, short stories are engaging. For marketers, the short timeframe around when the story is published creates hype around whatever you’re promoting. Purchases are made more decisively, and sweepstakes are entered more quickly. And don’t even get us started on Q&A sessions with limited time windows!
What Does This Mean for Digital Marketers?
Let’s return to the IG stories comparison. Five hundred million people use Instagram stories every day. In fact, users tend to interact with IG stories even more than they scroll through their feed! There are 1 billion IG users. That means that exactly one-half of users interact with stories in some shape or form. That’s quite the reach.
Now, let’s do a little math and compare that to Google and WordPress users. WordPress has over 409 million viewers per month, which means around 13.6 million viewers per day. That’s not quite as high as Instagram, but it’s pretty dang impressive. Pair the number of users with the popularity of the short story format—and the odds that your stories get seen look pretty good.
Of course, you can’t just post a story and expect the views to roll in; you have to utilize digital marketing tactics and drive traffic in the process. Specifically, we’re talking about tactics for SEO and SERPs.
SERPs for Google Stories
Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs) are the pages that search engines such as Google show in response to search queries. Pretty straightforward, right? Some of these search results are organic, but some, naturally, are paid. Think of those Google PPC ads that stand proudly at the top of the page, the ones you just can’t take your eyes away from. Imagine what you can do by pairing those PPC ads with stunning visual story content.
SEO for Google Stories
Remember what we said about Google ranking stories based on URLs? They can do that for stories, too, as long as you’re utilizing the best keywords.
How does SEO work in the story format? Hashtags, for one, are always a great option. So is tagging other users and geographical location tagging. These techniques allow users to find you in response to specific search queries based on location, interests, and more. Reexamine your target demographic, conduct some keyword research, and insert those words into your Google Stories today.
Snap, Your Business, and 409 Million Eager WordPress Users. Talk About a Promising Combination.
Want to get ahead of the Google Stories trend even before it’s out of beta mode? Or perhaps you want to get a leg up on the fierce digital marketing competition with SEO, PPC, and short story content? Partner with us today. We’ll master the latest digital trends together before they even fully drop.