Web Stories: Rank social media stories on the web & get more organic traffic.

It’s amazing how Google is keeping up a healthy rivalry with the advertising giant, Facebook. Just when social media marketing was picking up pace, Google came up with another master stroke which no one saw coming.

Just like stories on social media, now you can create web stories, which will not only rank in search engines, but it will not disappear like it does on social media.

The best part is, web stories will feature ads for both the publishers & the advertisers. This post is for those who’re already making money online, this can be a fresh way. Furthermore, you can even promote affiliate products in web stories. How cool is that?

With that said, let’s dive right in.

What are Google Web Stories?

Web stories are a part of the AMP framework, which is an initiative by Google & managed by the Open JS Foundation.

AMP stands for Accelerated Mobile Pages, which is nothing but an HTML framework that loads the webpages lightning fast, just like instant pages on Facebook. If you’re curious, check out more information on it here.

Web stories, on the other hand, are just another form of AMP webpages that can be used to create information in the form of visually appealing stories.

Picture, stories of Instagram, just that it doesn’t disappear in 24 hours. Here’s a sample of web stories I have created for this btricks.

One of the best parts of using a web story to promote my content is that I can repurpose in the form of stories. You can attach a link to the stories, which can drive traffic to your blog pages.

So, apart from being a great tool for monetization, this is a great tool for more organic traffic & better SEO.

Here’s a sample of a story that I have created for one my premium blogs.

The whole point of web stories is to provide a rich experience to the end-users by serving visually appealing tappable stories.

Unlike long form content, the web stories do not support a lot of content, a maximum of 10 words per slide & a maximum of 30 slides can be added per web story.

These stories are meant to be consumed on a mobile phone, so it’s responsive adding a rich experience in shortest format.

As a publisher, you can monetize the slides with your affiliate links, Google Ad Manager & Google DV360 (Beta).

The idea is to create stories someone can consume waiting for their coffee or maybe walking their dogs.

Benefits of using web story

You, as a publisher can make use of web stories to create shackable content. Just when stories are becoming mainstream for consuming information, Google came up with this.

Since the web stories are rolling out to Google News & Google app, it is becoming significant to implement by more publishers.

Here are some benefits that will tempt you to implement it right away:

  1. You can create amazing & engaging content in a few clicks.
  2. Flexible creatives for you to keep the audience engaged.
  3. Shareable & embedable links for open web
  4. Detailed analytics to help you decide based on numbers.
  5. Lightning fast loading time, thanks to AMP framework behind.
  6. SEO friendly stories, bringing in organic content.
  7. Monetizable content to make money for their attention

You can you make use of image, videos, GIFs, audio & text to tell stories. You can create stories in any app like Canva or professional tools Illustrator.

But if you want to animate & stylize text, you have a limited number of words that you can add.

How to implement a web story for a WordPress blog?

AMP has been closely working with WordPress since beginning. Therefore, the developers have come up with a beta version of the plugin.

The web story WordPress plugin is a simple editor tool that will help you as shown in the image below.

For now, the editor is very basic, but the updates will be released pretty soon. Bug fixes & performance upgrades will be delivered in the updates.

Note: You can download the plugin from the official source from here.

Creating web stories for WordPress blogs

I have created the sample that I shared above using Canva. I simply created the slides using an Instagram story template & uploaded it as an image in the web story WordPress plugin.

Since the plugin is in beta, there aren’t many customizations, but you can create custom graphics in any tools like Canva or Illustrator. Size remains the same as an Instagram story. You can also check out the full list of tools that can help you create web stories here.

How to make money using web stories?

This is the fun part. That’s why you’re here. As I mentioned above, that you can monetize your web stories by running ads & affiliate links.

Since the framework is pretty new, placing ads isn’t as straight forward as placing Google Adsense code on WordPress.

I’m still digging exact steps to integrate ads in web stories. It is stated that at present Google Ad Manager, Google DV360 (Beta) are supported for ads that aren’t very beginner-friendly.

More ads servers will be integrated soon, I’m anticipating Google Adsense will also be on-boarded soon.

There’s very limited resources to integrate ads, however, you can link the post promoting affiliate products in the web stories.

Now the fun part is since the feature is pretty new, it will organically boosted a lot.

The idea is to create stories with top the point information & adding a CTA that links back to the original blog post.

Note: I will keep this section updated as & when there’s some clarity on integrating ads with web stories. Make sure you keep in touch on social media & subscribe to the push notifications.

Web stories best practices

Web stories is pretty infant to be super effective. However, you can make most out of it by keeping these best practices in mind:

  1. Have a dark background to make the text readable. Drag the image to the edge of the storyboard to set it as a background.
  2. Add a solid gradient to make the text effect look crisp. The required editing tools are readily present in the editor of the WordPress plugin.
  3. Make use of shapes & masking available in the plugin. There are limited shapes, but you can get creative enough with those. You can mask an image or a video by bringing it to the edge of the shape.
  4. Enable the safe zone toggle to keep the most important elements inside the safe zone so that those do not get cut while in action. The safe zone is simply the markers set by the tools for optimal display size.
  5. Always preview the story before publishing. You might be blocking some parts of the story by story system icons like sound & share buttons.

Frequently asked questions

Should I download WordPress plugin for web stories?

Yes. If you have a WordPress blog, you need to install the web stories plugin to publish stories on your blog.

How to report a bug or request a feature for web stories?

You can reach out to the team here to report or request a feature or any other clarification.

How to install web stories plugin on WordPress?

1. Navigate to Plugins > Add New.
2. Click the Upload Plugin button at the top of the screen.
3. Select the zip file from your local filesystem.
4. Click the Install Now button.
Note: After the installation is complete, you’ll see “Plugin installed successfully.” Click the Activate Plugin button at the bottom of the page.

Final thoughts

Web stories are a significantly the newer feature. There will be a lot of changes but this feature will not be scrapped. Though you may not be able to make money now, you can definitely rank higher than others.

As I said already, the web stories are being served on Google News & Google App, so I won’t be surprised to them on the SERPs & once it happens, every story of yours will be ranking at the top since there aren’t many creators doing it.

So that was on the web stories. Feel free to share this post on social media & among your friends. I request you to join the newsletter to stay in the know.