A look at Google’s New Web Stories Plugin for WordPress

Wait, Stories for Google?! Yes, you heard that right!

How we consume content has certainly changed over the years with social media growing in popularity. Now there’s a new way to stand out among the millions of blog posts published every day called Google Web Stories.

What are Web Stories?

Web Stories are a free, visual storytelling format for the web intended to be quick, bite-sized vertical content. As Web Stories are a subsect of the AMP framework, they will only appear in mobile Search.

The original version of Google Web Stories required coding and styling animations from scratch but as of September, there is now a Web Stories plugin for WordPress.

You can see an example of a Web Story below:

The Web Story editor

With the plugin activated, you can create Web Stories directly within WordPress. The editor doesn’t give you all features as of yet, but hopefully we’ll have access to more in the future.

It’s a drag-and-drop editor that allows you to add multiple pages to your story, with a selection of page templates and customisable colour and text styles.

You have access to the WordPress media library as well as integration with Unsplash stock photos.

Sharing your Web Story

In WordPress, the Web Stories plugin creates its own new taxonomy as a custom post type and each Story has its own URL.

Web Stories can be shared, embedded and tracked across many different sites and apps. You can share the Story link or embed it directly into a post or page on any site. There’s even a Gutenberg block for Stories, making it very easy to add.

Monetisation

Web Stories include support for full-screen ads and affiliate links. You can have one link per page and one affiliate link per Story.

SEO

The difference between Web Stories and Stories on social media platforms such as Facebook or Instagram is that they can be featured in Google’s mobile Search, getting their own section on the SERPs and catching the attention of search users.

Remember to use the available text overlays (instead of static images with text) so that Google can crawl the information in the Story.

Conclusion

Web Stories could be a cool way to diversify your content and grab the attention of some new visitors from Google. But we know Google has a habit of releasing new services and then removing them when they don’t gain traction.

What are your thoughts on Web Stories? Will you be trying it out?

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