With the introduction of Web Stories by Google, many website owners are wondering whether this is something they could consider using & why it matters to them.
The short answer is – yes, Web Stories matter.
With over 5.6 Billion searches per day, if they choose to make Web Stories stand out in search engine results pages, this is very likely to lead to a higher click-through rate for websites that take the few minutes it takes to go through the following setup process. The “Stories” format in the various instances we’ve seen across the internet – whether on Facebook, Instagram, and even Snapchat – is undeniably increasing in popularity & one might argue it’s on its way to becoming the norm for content consumption.
In this post, we’ll walk you through how to do search engine optimization of Google Web Stories with the Rank Math.
1. Install & Activate the Web Stories WordPress plugin
The very first step is to install the Web Stories by Google WordPress plugin, which – although not yet available on the official WordPress plugin repository because it is in beta – is currently available here.
2. Ensure Rank Math is installed & Web Stories Module is activated
To get started, you’ll first need to ensure that the Rank Math WordPress SEO plugin is also fully installed and activated.
And once the plugin is installed, you need to head to the Rank Math Dashboard, located at Rank Math > Dashboard in your WordPress admin area to ensure that the Google Web Stories module is also activated (as shown in the image above).
3. Customize Meta Title template for Stories
When the module is enabled, Rank Math to overwrites the default meta tags with new SEO meta tags and Schema Code. These meta values can be managed by heading to Rank Math > Titles & Meta > Stories Settings.
4. Create your first Story
Now, you can create your SEO Optimized stories from WP Dashboard > Stories > Add New
Benefit By Acting Faster Than Other Publishers
And that’s all! Now you’re off to the races. Be one of the earlier publishers to actually implement this now so you can benefit when Google starts using Web Stories to inform the future of search engine results pages.
Frequently Asked Questions About Google Web Stories
What is Web Stories By Google?
Web Stories are a part of Google’s AMP project (more on that later) and are basically a mobile-focused format for publishers to deliver news and other content visually allowing people to tap through “stories” to navigate through content – some suggest the original idea stemmed from many popular social networks such as Instagram, Snapchat and Facebook, and their stories functionality. But Google is now bringing this to the web.
The Web Story format is formerly known as AMP stories and is completely free to use.
What are the recommendations when adding a Google Web Story?
The goal of Web Stories – according to Google – is to create so-called “snackable” content.
– Videos should be no longer than 15 seconds and should have subtitles.
– All video content should be showcased in portrait not in landscape mode so that the viewing experience is optimized for mobile devices.
– The minimum recommended font size is 24.
– An individual page should contain no more than 200 characters.
How does Rank Math help optimize Web Stories for SEO?
When the Google Web Stories module is activated in Rank Math, the plugin automatically adds the required Schema along with the SEO metatags to the page’s source.
Can Individual Web Story Meta Titles & Descriptions Be Adjusted?
Unfortunately not, at this time we aren’t providing a way to change the metadata as-is achievable with other post types. This means you are simply able to set a global template for the meta title of your stories in the settings area. This is because of the way that Story posts work is not simply a custom post type, they create an entirely new page UI of their own.
As Google updates the plugin further and it eventually comes out of beta, we are planning to update the plugin accordingly.
What are the requirements for a site to be eligible for Google Web Stories?
In order to be eligible for Google Web Stories, websites must comply with the Webmaster Guidelines as well as the Google News Content Policies covered in detail on Google’s Publisher Help Center here.
What are the guidelines of using Google Web Stories?
The essential technical guidelines for Web Stories are:
– Completeness: Your Web Stories must be complete & tell the full story.
– Affiliate programs: If you do use affiliate links, it is recommended that you only use a single affiliate link per story and follow the following guidelines for affiliate programs.
– Story length: It is recommended that a Web Story is between 5 and 30 pages in length.
– Title length: Your title length should be less than 40 characters.
– Text: Text on each individual page should be less than 200 characters & works best when there is a single focus.
– Video: Videos should be less than 15 seconds per page and at the very most 60 seconds per page. It is recommended that you provide captions for the video.
How to test if I have added a Web Story correctly?
I have added a Web Story but it is not showing on the search results. Why?
Given that everything is configured correctly, it is important to note that even with the required markup set forth by Google it is still ultimately Google’s choice to show it as a SERP feature. There is not much that can be done to influence the results beyond ensuring that your overall content quality is of an extremely high standard.
Where can I read more about Web Stories in Google Search results?
You can learn more about Google Web Stories and how they appear in Google’s search engine results pages here.
Should I Use Google AMP & Web Stories On My Website?
While this is a great question, it’s not one that we can write a generic answer to. For many website owners, it can be beneficial to implement AMP and start making use of Web Stories since many of their competitors are either already doing so or planning to do so, which means that they could fall behind the curve. That being said, there are also a number of situations where it does not make sense. AMP and Web Stories are primarily geared towards publishers so, this may, for example, not make quite as much sense for websites that generate revenue in different ways.
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