Stories have been one of the most successful formats on the social media scene , becoming a common factor in most of these platforms. This has shown great potential to boost the visibility and online presence of businesses and brands. For this reason, Google has decided to join this trend of temporary content in its search and discovery products, launching a new tool called Web Stories . Which comes with the intention of helping websites take advantage of the momentum offered by this type of format.
How Web Stories work
As its name suggests, this tool is a version of the stories we are used to on Instagram, but designed to boost websites. Therefore, the Web Stories can be placed among Google’s SERPS, that is, the search results on its Search platform. Or also within the Google Discover platform, dedicated to content discovery. A carousel of stories has also been developed to show this type of content, although at the moment it is only in beta for the United States, India and Brazil .
In principle, this format works the same as its social network namesake, although it has certain differences, such as its duration. Since, these stories developed by Google allow users to determine the time they want their content to remain on display. This instead of sticking to the strict 24 hours of duration that ephemeral formats have on social networks. On the other hand, this format is powered by Google’s AMP technology, which optimizes web pages for faster loading on mobile devices.
All this, together with the various creative tools that the integration of this new format brings with it, pose an interesting future for web visibility. Based on this, the Semrush portal has carried out a study on how to do Google Web Stories in 2021 and not die trying.
How to do Google Web Stories in 2021
This was made from the analysis of 2,423 urls of results in the United States , resulting in a series of discoveries in 9 fundamental areas.
Stories contribute to a good positioning within the SERP
The first of the areas discovered in this study refers to the number of stories that appear within the search results. According to Semrush, the average number of stories that appear in Google Search is 3, along with an estimated average results of 4 stories backed by 1,403 results. In the same way, it seems that the number 4 is the maximum number of stories found in the search, leaving 1 as a minimum. This demonstrates the use of chained stories within the strategists of this new tool.
Next, there is the positioning of these stories within the results, which according to the results obtained is considerably high within the search results. Thus, the 5th and 6th position in the results are the most common for Web Stories, with 28% and 20% respectively. The further you move from one side or the other of these positions, the less they will appear in the results.
Also, the presence of these stories can drive other prominent search results , or even work in conjunction with them. As they can be: other questions from users, interesting findings, video carousel, knowledge panel and main stories.
Travel and news niches stand out in this type of content
In total, 8,266 URLs were analyzed for this study, of which only 1,073 are unique URLs, which is already on average the same URL of a story appears in 5 different results. Despite this, 50% of the evaluated web stories have a single result. On the other hand, the study has revealed that the tourism sector leads the way in terms of stories, with the amp.travel site appearing in 48% of them. Closely followed by the news platform washingtonpost.com with 45%, and the sports niche stories.mbl.com with 35%.
However, as we see in the image, most of the urls appear in a smaller number of web stories. Similarly, the highest concentration of domains, 21.4%, collects traffic from 0 to 5,000 visits. The second place of this distribution is held by 20% of the domains, with a traffic of 1 to 10 million users. With this, we estimate the impact of this tool in two phases, one early, on attracting traffic. And another more advanced one, with content that already maintains high traffic within web stories.
The distribution of text, web pages and images or videos, influence the Web Stories
The use of words in this content format must be careful , since it is primarily visual and if it is overloaded with text it could generate an effect contrary to that desired. That is, it could alienate users and decrease the visibility of the website. In this way, within the distribution of these stories based on their number of words, less is more, with 19.5% in those with 4 to 10 words. Even so, an estimated 18.5% are located with those that have between 30 and 40 words, implying that predominantly textual content can also be effective depending on the occasion.
On the other hand, the number of web pages present in these contents is also relevant, according to the study it ranges between a minimum of 4 and a maximum of 152. In these cases, the recommendation is to bet on the least amount, in order to avoid loss. user care.
Regarding the visual aspect , although video formats are in trend lately, the domain in this type of stories is images, with 84% . In this way, the use of static images and photographs should be taken into account when designing the marketing strategies in which this tool will be integrated.
Keywords and call to action in web stories
Like any product present in Google search, positioning is important, and for this one of the most important things are keywords. On average 4 keywords are used in the construction of these web stories , which varies between short or longtail, according to the theme. Keep in mind that mostly the keywords that generate this content do not have much traffic. But in specific cases, as we see in the image, they can generate stories.
In another order of ideas , CTAs , or calls to action, are the main theme of the last page of the stories. Presenting itself as the final step after having hooked the user with the previous visual content, in these cases the most used phrases are: For more, To discover more, Read the article, Read more, etc. Always making clear the continuation of the content on the destination website.
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Finally, the last area discovered refers to the analysis of the images in the Web Stories, where gray and blue tones and brown / beige colors reign. A contrast, with their social network homonyms that tend to consolidate their content on more colorful bases. Likewise, in 67% of them, people are part of the main image, adding everyday objects, furniture, food, or even streets or highways.