Semalt Explains How Web Stories Can Improve Inbound Traffic
Google may be planning on improving Web Stories' reach and effects if more site owners begin to use them. To facilitate the adoption of Web Stories, Google has rebranded its AMP story format making it better, more interesting, and attractive.
At Semalt, we recognize the importance of these stories. They aren't just a tool to put in extra keywords, but they are also a gold mine for those who truly understand the potential benefits of its features. Web stories provide a unique opportunity for internet users to connect with brands through content that is more friendly and personal.
Today, we've seen the "story" feature get accepted on many social media networks. We can consider them to be first-class citizens over at Google.
What Are Google Web Stories?
These are short visual slideshow-styled contents similar to the story feature on Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram, and recently Twitter. Google officially released an official Story plugin for WordPress, which allows website owners on that platform to create stories to be featured on their websites. We find this to be a significant development, especially because stories aren't monetized, just like posts. This makes it easier to take stories as they are. A friendly teaser to the posts featured on the website. In this article, we will be showing you how you can keep your website stories short and simple.
Think of stories as a series of short and attractive videos or images arranged like a slide show which users can flip through and understand. One common practice is to include a call to action at the end of this story that encourages your audience to read the full post. This is one unique advertisement medium that you should try out.
Imagine having lumps of texts or videos on your website, and you need a way to describe what information this content carries. With stories, you can pick out the most interesting parts of the video and offer them as snippets. Once viewers come across these stories, they become interested and decide to watch the video. The same ideology applies when using stories to advertise products, contents, etc.
How To Make Web Stories
Web stories is not a feature that is available for every type of website. At the moment, web stories are targeted at websites that are powered by WordPress. Google officially released a web story plugin for WordPress based website. This plugin is what enables you to be able to feature stories on your website. The plugin is basic to use; it's a simple drag-and-drop interface that also comes with a template to guide users.
Once to drag and drop what you would like as your story, the plugin creates a new web story custom post that you can publish.
Note: doing this wouldn't make your story appear on your homepage feed just yet.
The next question is, where will your audience be able to find this story, and how can you get traffic to it?
Getting People To View Your Web Stories
Here, we will answer the question thrown above. Web stories have been designed for existing on special mini pages within WordPress. This means that you don't have to embed or send traffic to them yourself. That is because these web stories aren't designed to be monetized as well as typical blog posts. Instead, these stories serve and snippets to the blog post. For this reason, you do not want to be overzealous with your stories and end up diverting traffic from your blogs to your stories. It is because of this; we usually do not recommend embedding web stories.
Web stories have one primary goal, which is to bring in as many visitors as possible to the original posts from Google Discovery, which is why it always has a CTA and a hyperlink to the original post at the end.
If this sounds like something you would like to try, here is a guide on how we optimize web stories and make them appealing to your target audience.
How To Create Excellent Web Stories
Create Stories For Top Posts First
This may sound counterintuitive, especially because you would be looking to advertise your most recent content. However, trust that we've used this feature, and we wouldn't recommend it if it truly didn't have its many benefits.
Creating web stories for a top post is the same strategy as making a recipe card or a video for the top posts of your site. Behind all the technicalities, you are only making an ad for your best content.
Doing this has two benefits, the first is that you are more likely to rank well on web stories, and the second reason is that this is a new feature on which websites can showcase their expertise to Google.
The additional traffic this provides from Google Discovery is more than the traffic you generate from organic SERP ranking alone. The more inbound traffic, the better. The earlier, the better, and publishers who use this are already seeing results from web stories.
We recommend that bloggers or e-commerce websites create stories for their top stories and products. Many fail to understand that you can get up to 20,000 clicks a day from web stories if done right. Many have shared stories of generating up to 50,000 clicks in total in a month from stories.
Do Not Embed Stories In Posts
Google advises that you embed stories into your posts, but there are some challenges with this recommendation. The first problem websites face by embedding stories on their post is that it slows down the page. Additionally, creating stories in its optimal way wherein they help improve both user experience and ad monetization is by creating them as content teasers. For this reason, putting the story in the content itself doesn't make any sense.
Finally, when using the official WordPress plugin, you get a permalink for each story on your site and its chance to rank. They don't have to be embedded to be able to rank.
Link To Your Web Story
Google has also recommended that we use deeply integrated stories in such ways as linking them from your homepage or relevant category pages. This is good for you, especially when you have a consistent homepage or category pages. That is because it's simple to add unique content.
Suppose you do not have an easy way to link from categories or to avoid having too many stories at once. As with organic search, Google is still trying to learn how Stories interacts with its users based on what external and internal links go to it. Your story will also be very similar to the content you're teasing. By linking stories from your posts, you make it easier for Google to find them without the disadvantages of embedding.
Linking Your Web Stories To The Landing Page
Google advises that professionals create separate stories for their landing page, which feature links to all of your other web stories. From this, you then link it to that landing page from your homepage. We recommend that you do this with the default landing page provided by WordPress. The chances are that it wouldn't be as pretty as you may like, but it will surely get you the links you need. Because of this, we try to link this page in the sidebar as it is less prevalent than your top navigation, but it is still noticeable enough to perform as expected.
The goal here is to ensure that your stories are two clicks away from the home page.
Submit Your Web Story XML Sitemap
If you're running a Yoast plugin to generate XML sitemaps, we advise you also have one for web stories. As an alternative, you can decide to ensure your SEO plugins are configured to generate them and submit them via Google's Search Console.
Naming Your Web Stories
This is one of the trickiest tasks you undertake when creating the perfect web story. It is important you optimize your Web story page title and also remember not to create a duplicate page title on your website. One simple solution is to use the same title but includes "story" to its title. With this, you can create stories for all your top posts and upcoming posts without having to brainstorm for an optimized topic.
As mentioned above, Semalt is here to help you improve your website in all aspects. For this reason, we are always on par with the latest developments in SEO techniques. We are also always careful to experiment with these processes to draft the best and safest ways to stay ahead of your competition while optimizing your website.