How to Use Google Web Stories to Gain Traffic
With Google Web Stories, there’s a lot of potential to share your story, encourage people to connect, and gain traffic to your own website. Here’s why you should be leveraging them…
Every known culture in human history has stories to tell. In fact, some would say we have an addiction to stories. Even experts believe it’s how people make sense of the world.
Storytelling is also the future of brand marketing, according to brand coach Celinn De Costa in this Forbes article. And she’s not alone in her thinking. Even anthropologists believe storytelling is vital to human existence.
One of the most compelling features of storytelling is that it is inherently participatory. And that’s why top brands are using storytelling more and more as a marketing tool. It encourages people to contribute, comment, and engage.
Stories started out on Instagram and then expanded to other social platforms. But, of course, Google isn’t one to be left behind. That’s why, in 2018, they introduced AMP Stories, which they have since changed to Google Web Stories.
Want to incorporate this immersive experience into your own website? Let’s talk about what it’s all about and how you can make it happen…
What Are Google Web Stories?
Google Web Stories are a type of short, easily consumable content powered by AMP (accelerated mobile pages) technology. They can serve as a company’s contribution to the swipeable and highly engaging storytelling format that has blown the world of digital marketing wide open.
It’s an open format, unlike Instagram or Facebook Stories. This means it can be freely distributed or published on your website (particularly in WordPress).
Like other story tools, Google Web Stories offer a variety of features, such as text, videos, and graphics. The goal is to make brand narratives interactive enough to entice and engage your target audience.
What Are the Benefits of Google Web Stories?
Because of the engaging nature of stories, they allow you to introduce your product or service in a way that not only demonstrates how it can solve people’s problems but also gets them to feel like they are a participant in it.
The purpose of using this type of content is to grab the attention of your target audience and compel them to make a desired action.
Let’s look at some of the most important benefits of these stories…
1) They Give You a Competitive Advantage
When you develop your brand, there’s a story behind it. And you should leverage your brand story so that your potential buyers understand what makes your product or service unique and why it’s worth buying.
Use the story to present the unique value proposition of your business idea. When telling the story, make it relatable. Appeal to your target audience’s real-life situations.
2) They Bring Traffic to Your Website
Obviously, we all want to tap into as many sources of traffic as we can so that we can reach the most people.
Since Google Web Stories are integrated with Google’s powerful search engine capabilities, using this format puts you in a good position to get your content in front of as many web users as possible.
Your stories will appear across Google’s search results, such as Google Discover and Google Images. And if you know how to optimize your content, you can achieve a high ranking that will bring in more traffic.
Since the stories are fully customizable, you can further take advantage of the opportunity to add links and a powerful call to action.
3) They Appeal to the Emotions
A study by Harvard Professors was able to conclude that 95% of consumers’ purchasing decisions are based on subconscious thoughts and that emotions are a significant driver of customers’ buying decisions.
That’s why the right way to use stories like this is to appeal to the emotions of your target audience. It has significant implications in the branding, sales, and marketing efforts of any business.
4) The Content in Your Stories is Yours
When you post stories on Instagram or Facebook, the content you make isn’t really your own. Therefore, your sharing capabilities are only limited to what the social media platforms will allow.
With Google Web Stories, you own the content, so you can share it on any platform you’d like. This will consequently unlock more possibilities for web users to find you.
Having this kind of creative control also gives you limitless options for how to optimize this marketing tool to your advantage.
5) They Humanize Your Brand
The most effective marketing approach is one that can stir people’s emotions and make them feel as though your business has a larger purpose. For example, think about how Google has positioned itself as a business that was built by a team of visionaries.
Empathy is a crucial component of the marketing game. People want to support companies that care. For example, you can use stories to show them you care about improving people’s lives or protecting the environment.
6) They Are Fun for You to Make & for Your Audience to Enjoy
There’s no denying that stories have taken over social media. The State of Social Video report by VidMob supports this claim, too, citing that 70% of users on Instagram view Stories on a daily basis.
By making your stories engaging, it incentivizes your audience to view your content. And your interactive and dynamic content will keep them wanting more.
Thankfully, these stories are as fun to make as they are for your audience to enjoy. There are plenty of drag-and-drop tools you can use; it’s highly intuitive.
Best Practices for Bringing in Traffic
Now, let’s get into the best tips for using Google Web Stories to boost your traffic…
Focus on Top Posts First
Google likes rewarding useful content by placing it at the top of the search engine results. And when you land your content there, you should create stories for those top posts so that you can bring in more traffic to your website.
Stories provide a new platform to let your expertise shine so you can get more organic rankings.
Name Your Stories Effectively
Optimization is at the heart of any good SEO strategy, and it’s no different with your stories. At the same time, make the title of your stories not only creative enough to pique the interest of your target audience but also keyword-optimized.
Produce Great Content
Focus on providing useful, engaging content through your stories, and make sure they will add value to your target audience. That’s how you get them to look forward to more content from you.
Google Web Stories plays off the success of social media stories, so capitalize on that!
It’s a great tool to provide glimpses of your business, as well as to “talk” to your audience. There are polls and questions features, which enable you to establish a two-way communication with your target audience.
Tips for Creating Google Web Stories
Google recently launched a plugin that enables Google Web Stories for WordPress. So, if you own a WordPress-based website, you’re in luck!
This plugin makes creating stories a breeze. It’s equipped with a drag-and-drop interface and templates that you can choose from. Even a beginner can make one.
For those who use a non-WordPress CMS, you’ll need to use third-party apps to make your stories.
The interface for Google Web Stories is a bit similar to Canva or Photoshop. Once you’re set-up, you can follow these steps:
- Name your story and optimize it with your target keyword.
- Add layers in the form of graphics, texts, videos, shapes, etc.
- Add a Swipe Up CTA so you can link to your website.
- Add text to your slides using a variety of font choices.
- Add media. Also, incorporate alt text to every photo for increased optimization. At this point, you can also add any other interactive features you want.
- Edit the settings, including size, position, and alignment of the different elements.
If you’re looking for an in-depth guide on how to use the new WordPress Plugin, you can check out Yoast’s post.
Storytelling is a powerful marketing tool for businesses. However, it’s only as effective as the story you wish to tell. Google Web Stories serve as a great connector that will compel your audience to act. So, make sure to master the building blocks of good storytelling and use that to your advantage.
By incorporating stories into your marketing materials, you’ll add life to them. Use them to build a great customer experience for your brand—one that will make your campaigns easy to relate to and that will inspire your audience to want to share in your journey.