Google Stories: What They Are and How to Use Them

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People love browsing stories on their mobile devices. A Google Web Story is specifically for users searching the Internet on mobile devices. Your story will answer a reader’s question in a quick, interactive, and visually appealing way.

Keep reading to learn more about Google Stories and the benefits of using them!

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What are Google Stories?

A tappable story is a post that users can tap or swipe through. It can be a series of photos or videos or a mixture of the two. Google Stories are part of what’s known as accelerated mobile pages (AMP).

Stories are not just images or videos viewed when scrolling through the Google Images page. They fill a user’s screen, play audio or music, and include buttons.

The tappable story is all over social media — it went from Snapchat to Instagram and Facebook. If you’ve seen stories on other sites, you’ll be happy to know that Google Web Stories are nearly identical. The main difference between these stories and those found on social media platforms is their location.

Where can I find Google Web Stories?

You can find Google Web Stories in several places across the Internet, each of which benefits your search engine optimization (SEO).

1. Search

Stories can occasionally appear on Google Search on mobile devices. There will typically be a grid titled “Visual Stories” somewhere on the page that shows the popular stories for your search.

To see an example of this, try typing “Things to do in Phoenix, Arizona” into the search bar on a smartphone. The Web Stories grid will appear with four Google Web Stories from different publishers. Stories can also show up when people search for specific publishers, such as your company.

There are also instances where a single story can display on a Google search.

Google Story featuring information about animals

2. Images

Users can also find Web Stories when they do a Google Images search. Here, they will appear in the search grid as usual. The difference is that there will be a small icon on the image that tells searchers it is a visual story. The user will know it’s a story because the icon moves to mimic the motion of tapping through a story.

If a user clicks on an image with the Web Stories icon, it will display a “start story” button. Click that button, and it shows the story like it would from a regular search.

Carousel of Google Stories

3. Discover

People who use Google Discover on iOS or Android may see a stories carousel at the top of the feed. There are several story categories on the Discover page, including:

  • Celebrity
  • Fitness
  • Lifestyle
  • Opinion
  • Entertainment
  • Wellness
  • Beauty

In some cases, a single story may appear anywhere on a user’s Discover feed.

How can you make a Google Story?

Making a story for Google is different from making one on social media platforms. However, Google’s innovative solutions make Web Stories accessible to almost any business.

1. Decide what story to tell

Before you start filming and editing, determine what content you should release. What will your audience enjoy? Think about your brand voice and overall goal. Write down some ideas and create a plan for your story.

2. Start developing the story

Once you have the story you want to tell, you can start creating. While you could code the entire thing yourself to create and format a Web Story, it’s often easier to use a third-party app. Some choices include:

3. Choose your visuals, then publish the story

If you need to film, schedule ample time to shoot and edit. Maybe you need to select photographs or other content, such as GIFs and small images. Upload anything you need for your post into the platform of your choice and start editing it together.

Once you have your pictures and videos edited and in order, you can post them.

4. Check the metadata

Analyzing metadata is crucial when creating and uploading stories. If you want each one to appear in a Google search or on Discover, you must ensure it meets all the metadata requirements. These include:

  • The publisher’s logo in the top left corner of the preview
  • The poster — sometimes referred to as the “cover” or thumbnail
  • A story title
  • The publisher’s name

You can run your story through the Web Stories test tool to ensure the preview will display correctly.

Homepage for the web story test tool

5. See if Google has indexed your story

Your story will only appear in a search or Discover if Google has indexed it. You can use the AMP Test or the Google Search Console Test to see if your story is indexed. If you find that Google hasn’t indexed your story yet, follow some best practices for putting it on the map:

  • Add your story to your sitemap
  • Ensure your story is canonical
  • Check that Googlebot doesn’t block it

5 benefits of using Google Web Stories

Stories on Google offer several advantages. They allow you to:

  1. Use them on your site: You can input stories directly into your website so a visitor can see all of them in one convenient location.
  2. Incorporate ads: You can include direct-sold and programmatic ads in your stories to further promote your company.
  3. Link to other content: You can add links that lead to an article, a video, your product page, and more to boost traffic to your website.
  4. Immerse users: You can entice your audience with a new, interactive, and exciting experience on a Google Web Story.
  5. Track it with Google Analytics: You can analyze viewership data by hooking it up to Google Analytics to make adjustments to improve your stories.

Make compelling Web Stories with WebFX

Are you ready to start producing Google Web Stories that increase brand awareness and engagement?

Our marketing strategists will help you create, develop, and manage Web Stories using all the best practices. With over 450 marketing experts working on your campaigns, you can feel confident we’ll drive the results you desire!

Contact us online today or call 888-601-5359 to get started!

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