What are Web Stories?
Google Web Stories brings together images, video, and text in a beautiful and animated visual flow and provides an engaging and visual way to consume content in a full-screen experience. They combine the user experience of social media Stories with the reach and visibility of the web.
Web Stories are just like Social Media Stories (Facebook Stories & Instagram Stories), but Web Stories can be edited, displayed in the Google Search Engine, and to be shared with anyone on the web.
On the 1st of May 2020, the AMP Team decided to rename AMP Stories to Web Stories and confirm that more features are coming in the upcoming months.
But why are Web Stories good?
They are bite-sized content – great for quickly reading or learning about a topic on the go. With mobile being a leading device in browsing the internet, these web stories help you turn a video or a long blog post topic into small, easy to use, media content. You can inform your audience or promote your products or services in a format tailored for mobile. Web stories offer tappable interaction for your reader where you can insert call-to-actions to display more information (links to other pages, websites, stories).
Plus, these stories are indexable in Google, can be shared on social media platforms, and are super fast to load onto your device.
Once Web Stories meet the criteria for Google Search, they can be eligible for display in a variety of ways on Google. Web Stories can display within Google as a single result, can be included in a grid view (US Only), can also appear in Google Images (All regions and languages), and can appear in Discover (US Only).
How can Web Stories be used?
Large news networks are using them already as another content type for sharing the latest news. But web stories are not limited to news content – you can use them for just about anything.
See a Web Story as a piece of content loosely coupled with your main content. For instance, you have a long-form content such as a “definitive” guide. You could create a short story containing the essence of your article in a few slides. Then, share the story via your social network or in your newsletter. If your audience likes it, they might continue reading the complete article.
If a user accesses the Web Story via computer or non-smartphone device, then the story will be displayed in the same format just with the hazy background covering the areas of the screen where the story is not taken up.
Inspiration from use cases and examples
Right now, you can view a selection of stories by heading to g.co/ampstories on your mobile browser, when you tap on the link it will open the normal Google page then type CNN and you will get the search result page with CNN stories at the top. This testing feature only works on mobile devices at this point.
Google shows an example of one here: https://www.nationalgeographic.com/amp-stories/travel/europe-hidden-villages/
It ranks first for “europes hidden villages” – the user experience is pretty good on mobile and desktop. This was not create with the WordPress plugin provided by Google.
L’Oreal, for their product La Roche Posay, delivered a great offline-to-online experience for its customers.
By scanning a QR code in a physical shop, you are sent to the AMP Story and receive additional information about the product in the format of a story. You can then start an immersive product experience from your phone, in the store.
Boost is a Fintech company helping their customers finding, comparing, and buying mobile airtime bundles in Kenya.
Their target audience is young people consuming most of their online content through mobile.
The time spent on site went from 20 seconds with blog posts to almost 4 minutes with AMP Stories. And 87% of their readers click through the very end of their stories.
The Washington Post
Just like CNN, washingtonpost.com also have news in the Web Stories format for both recent news and evergreen content.
Sleepenvie® uses Web Stories to showcase their products such as their customizable sofas.
Are Google Web Stories Right For My Business?
Any business with a content marketing strategy could likely find a way to incorporate AMP stories into their plans – through quick tutorials, product reviews, top lists, etc. As these are new, there is very little data on what works better than others.
So far, feedback appears to be good from existing publishers like The Washington Post, who told Search Engine Land that the format is best suited for content that easily translates to “a highly compelling and visual story that you can tell in a few slides.”
How to enabled and add Web Stories to your WordPress Website?
Google has a plugin for WordPress, which has a nice WYSIWYG builder feature for creating your web stories, with a range of templates to get you started. Basically, it is easy drag-and-drop amp stories builder for everyone.
Great question! There are a lot of hosting providers out there and it can be so difficult to know what’s the best option for your business.
We do offer hosting options based in Australia that is up the current standards.
If you’d like to look at other options I’ve heard great things about CloudWays and A2 Hosting.
As with most things, you get what you pay for. I do not recommend GoDaddy.
Generally speaking I like to complete the first project before starting another or adding a new scope to the current project.
By focusing on one project at a time I can best manage all the moving parts and deliver the goods on our agreed upon timeline.
On a case-by-case basis additions can be discussed for an additional fee.
All monthly retainer clients will be charged a set, agreed upon fee on the 3rd of the month, every month. Hours included in the package do not roll over from month to month. This includes hours missed based on holidays or vacations taken by either party. Certain exceptions may be granted in extreme situations on a case-by-case basis.
All website support plan hours do not roll over.
Purchasing a domain can be done in a few ways. We offer domain management here: domains.thatwebsiteis.me
Or you can look at some of the domain registrars we recommend:
Strongly advise to avoid the following Domain Registrars:
These domain names have a bad reputation among website developers. The general advice is to avoid GoDaddy and avoid EIG-owned web hosts. EIG is famous for buying up existing web hosts that are good and making them not as good.
Yes. 100% refund. No questions asked. Just don’t abuse it (i.e. keep ordering and refunding).
Nine times out of ten I’ll comment on your design and usability aspects as well but these are primarily SEO-focused audits. You can request specifics after you order.
Unfortunately not. We are not taking on large client projects at the moment.
As long as the site is in English and not adult or gambling related that’s absolutely fine. Many SEOs ask us for a second opinion on client sites.
We do not work with adult, gambling or casino related websites. We have nothing against them, we just don’t know the industries well enough.
If I can answer it by looking at your website and within 10 minutes, yes. After you order you can respond to your order email with specifics to your URL.
Unfortunately not. SEO especially is a very language-driven thing and while we can identify technical issues it makes our life 10x harder. It’s better to hire a marketer fluent in your language.
Absolutely, but please note we only allow one video review per website.
Your video audit will arrive within four days of your order. It will be uploaded privately so only you (and your team, if you like) can access it.
Take a look at their portfolio of completed projects to see if they have worked with businesses like yours and you like what you see, check if their reviews and testimonials are to your standards, that their design process is of satisfaction to your needs, and they have the option for ongoing support for your website after completing the project.
For an optimal Web Story creation experience, it is recommended to use the latest version of commonly popular web browsers (Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Edge).
For better chances of being discovered, after publishing your Web Story, it is encouraged you embed it into a regular article or post on your site by using the Web Stories Gutenberg block.
While the default sitemaps in WordPress and most popular plugins handle it automatically, though it is encouraged you check that your Web Stories are included in your XML sitemaps.
Web Stories created using Web Stories for WordPress use what’s provided in the Document tab inside the editor to generate schema.org and social meta-data automatically. Ensure you review and update all requested metadata, including cover image, excerpt and publisher logo. Please see SEO for Web Stories for further SEO guidance.
A website is your most powerful tool for communication.
A website is a unique way to connect with the world. Whether you choose to create a website to share your passion for music, inform people of your business, sell products, or any other reason there are no boundaries to what you can do!
Here are the top five functions of a good website (in no particular order!)
- Brand Exposure, and reinforcement. Customers are exposed to brands in many ways.
- Customer or Client Engagement.
- Customer Education.
- Reputation Management.
A well-maintained website can help you gain a competitive advantage in your industry and improve your business image. Developing your web site offers many benefits including helping you get more leads and prospects, increase sales, enhance your professional brand, and improve your customer service.
The purpose of a website is to turn visitors into prospects. And the way to do this is to identify the major user types visiting your site, speak to their needs and give them a clear action step to take next.
Business hours are Monday to Friday, 9am to 4pm. Excludes public holidays.
Yes, we outsource logo designs and branding guides for small and growing businesses. Constant branding and a good logo will greatly improve your brand identity and is a good investment for any serious business wanting to grow.
We offer a monthly maintenance plan where we look after the site for you as well as make changes at your request. Pricing may change so check out the maintenance services we currently offer. Other fees (often yearly) may include website hosting, email servers, and domain name renewals.
All businesses need regular website maintenance to attract and retain customers, maintain search engine rankings and present new information, products and services to the public. Website maintenance is also required to maintain the value of the website over time. As new security flaws are found within browsers, plugins, and WordPress itself, there is a need to update as often as possible to stay on to of it all.
A typical website will take about 14 weeks at a minimum from start to launch. This includes 3 weeks discovery, 6 weeks design, 3 weeks initial development, and 2 weeks of modifications. It could take much longer if you wait until the end of the journey to provide content (writing it yourself). More on our website design process.
WordPress, it is a great platform that allows us to create the features and designs our clients often need. We do not work with Wix, Shopify, Sqaurespace etc.
We outsource this if it is needed for new website projects.
Not fully. We provide services for Local SEO and setting up social media accounts such as Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn. SEO content should be out sourced as it requires longer marketing plans and higher budgets.
Good SEO is a result of accurate and intuitive website design. Accurate and intuitive website design is the nexus of user experience, information architecture, design, and development.
Foundational SEO encompasses many of the “behind the scenes” technical ingredients of a website and is one part of the three key areas of an SEO strategy (which also includes on-page and off-page SEO). Otherwise known as “technical” SEO, these elements are usually not obvious to the untrained eye but can have a huge impact to the overall success of your website.
Our websites are foundational SEO ready (UI/U, technical, and speed) but do require quality content to work well within search engines.
Yes, we have a range of solutions for emails with your business for both long term and simple setups.
Ask us about our managed email service for more information.
Yes, the first discovery call is free for new clients with video chats available.
Yes, we can update or redesign your website theme or pages. This includes your shop layouts, service landing pages, blog post designs, and more.
Yes, Ecommerce WordPress website development built with WooCommerce is an option for a small local business website. This will get any online shop running smoothly and room for expanding in the future.
Depending on your needs, building a website with us can start from $800 and go to even as high as $30,000 or more. It’s important to know what type of website you are building, and what you’ll need from it (features) because that will directly affect the cost and time to complete.
How do I install the Stories for WordPress plugin?
- Navigate to Plugins > Add New.
- Search for “Google Web Stories”
- Click the Install Now button.
- When the installation is complete, you’ll see “Plugin installed successfully.” Click the Activate Plugin button at the bottom of the page.
A new menu item will appear in your admin menu dashboard called “Stories“.
Note: You may need to flush your permalink settings for the stories to appear.
Warning: You may need to exclude the web stories from your cache plugin.
WP Rocket was adding some HTML tags that Google Does not like in an AMP page. Go to: Advanced Rules -> Never Cache URL(s) and enter in /web-stories/(.*)
How do I create my first story in WordPress?
This could be its’ own blog post (or Web Story) so I will just link to some resources:
- Official Google Web Stories Documentation
- Best practices for creating web stories – By Google
- Create Instagram Story Images and upload them to Web Stories
Best Practices for Web Stories
Here are some technical guidelines that can help your Web Story succeed.
- Completeness: Make sure that your Web Story is complete, tells the full story, and isn’t overly commercial. Here are some examples of what to avoid:
- Web Stories that require users to click links to other websites or apps to get essential information.
- Web Stories that have more than one outlink or attachment per page. The outlinks and attachments must include the appropriate disclosures.
- Affiliate programs: If you use affiliate links in your Web Stories, Google recommends that you only use one affiliate link per story and that you follow the Quality guidelines for affiliate programs.
- Story length: Google recommends that the length of your Web Story be between 5-30 pages, with a suggested target of 10-20 pages. (But technically, you can have anywhere 1 to 30 pages)
- Title length: Use shorter titles. Google recommends that your title length be less than 40 characters.
- Text: Keep the text on each page short (less than 200 characters per page). Focus each page to a single idea.
- Video: If you use videos in your Web Stories, Google recommends that videos be less than 15 seconds per page, and definitely less than 60 seconds per page. We also recommend that you provide captions for the video. Video size must be less than 4MB and in MP4 format. If your video is too long, cut it in smaller pieces and display a piece per page.
- Background: Provide a background colour matching the dominant colour of your story.
- Font: Choose a font colour with enough contrast to your images, video and background colour.
- Images: Vertical image ratio is 9/16 and the recommended image sizes are:
- 828 x 1,792
- 720 x 1280
- 540 x 960
- 360 x 480
How do I add Google Analytics Tracking to my Web Stories?
As of Web Stories Version 1, there is a place you can enter in your Google Analytics Tracking ID. Head to Web Stories -> Settings and it should be the first field you can enter in your GA ID.
Visually & Technically Check Your Stories
Clear your website cache (if you have it) and your browser cache, and navigate to your testing story.
Then head over to Google’s AMP testing tool and put in your stories URL. That should tell you any other issues to work on if needed.