This article is a part of my FREE Web Stories Made Easy Quick Start Course. If you want to discover not only what Google Web Stories are but also you to use them to move your blog forward, then my course is exactly what you're looking for.
Welcome to my Web Stories Made Easy Quick Start Course! This is the first article and we'll dive into what Google Web Stories actually are and why you should care about them!
Web Stories are Google's attempt to take the now-classic Instagram "story" approach and apply it to their search results.
They look almost identical to the Instagram / Facebook / Pinterest story model and are a series of "slides" containing images, videos, text or audio that you can swipe through, or have advance on their own.
Google states that they should be self-contained stories, not partial stories or teasers.
They are also mainly mobile based, though browsers can display them as well.
Uhhh....yeah, kind of.
Well, there are several differences between Google Web Stories and Instagram stories. And for once, they all benefit us!
And the first is that they show up in...yup, you guessed it, Google!
You may have heard of Google before and the small audience they have access to :)
Google Web Stories show up in search results, Google Discover, and across much of their network.
This means you can use web stories to cultivate a whole new crop of Fans!
They are your content, created by you, and hosted by you. So even if Google discontinues them down the road, you'll still have all the Web Stories you created and your Fans will be able to view them.
There's no 24-hour countdown, there's no feeling of creating content that just disappears!
Web Stories are evergreen and they last as long as your page exists. They will continue to bring value in for the long term.
Have you ever had a great Instagram story that you wanted to share with someone days or months later? Even if you saved it at the time, it's hard trying to explain how to go to your Instagram profile and find the right old story.
With Web Stories you can just add a link, just like to any other page on the Internet!
This also means if you craft great Web Stories that relate to articles on your site, you can point to them to provide your Fans with even more value.
You can also link out from a Web Story, either from the final page (which acts as a "what to read next" page) or within a page itself. This makes it much easier to have affiliate links, links to more information, or to drive users.
You can also "swipe up" with "page attachments" to show more detailed information.
Web Stories are just HTML and CSS, the same ingredients that regular web pages are made up as. This allows you to easily lay out and style your stories, whether it's by coding them yourself or letting a plugin do it for you.
Google Web Stories currently show up in their Google Discover results available on Android and in their app. They also show up in general Google search results and image search results.
It's also highly likely that they will become more and more ingrained into Google's overall search results over time as more and more stories are created. This is only true for some countries but they seem to be rolling it out to others pretty quickly.
However, I also like to share what "regular" bloggers are doing. So here's a few from bloggers I know (and you should follow!)
There's several ways, which we'll dive into later in the course, but the two main ones are to code it yourself if you are tech-savy or to use the Google Web Story WordPress plugin. You can view all the tools Google recommends.
You're just getting started!
Luckily for you the next lesson in the Web Stories Made Easy Quick Start Course will focus on what actually makes a great Web Story!
If you want to read some more about this, here are a few helpful links.