In Part 1 (click here if you haven’t gone through this yet) we discussed about web story and it’s concepts, features.
Let’s go through other pointers as explained in previous article.
4. Creative writing of google web-stories
There are couple of pointers you should always keep in mind which will make your web story more creative and eventually drive more traffic
- Art is the key. Make sure your stories have a compelling art. This doesn’t mean you would use lot of burning fonts and designer word arts which makes your webstory clumsy
- Take help of external tools to design your poster, pages in between and the landing link page.
- Trying having different poster and landing page.
- As explained in first article, have the logo added in all pages of your story to better look like professional one.
- Do a research on your topic (should be first point no?). Have relevant and crips content in your pages to better engage the end user.
- Optimize the media. Make sure the size is not too heavy to load, cropped to better represent the subject and the story, text added in places to look more visible.
- The better creative your web story is, more the conversion would be. Remember, the goal is to engage the user to the last page and later convert the user to visit your web page. More you engage the user, google would show ads to your webpage and story accordingly and hence you make more money from it.
- Use visual editors such as make stories, newsroom.ai, webstories for google in wordpress or any hosting tool you are using. You can also use Canva or any other platforms to design your webstory and later publish them.
5. To Do & Not to Do
- Avoid copying the contents from other web stories. This technique doesn’t last longer
- If you are using copyrighted content/media – ensure you give credits to the original owner
- Text and story should be crisp and compelling
- Your web story should not look like teaser. Have the story build in a way that it covers most of the article/video you are willing to share with the world
- Remember – Stories sit somewhere between video, text and webpage.
- The success mantra for a great web story is right narrative, right media and and right design.
- Within web stories, have the polls, questions or quizzes to make the web story more engaging and also get insights of your user
- Have your text under 200 characters and videos under 15 seconds in a single page.
- If you are using videos, make sure videos are not blurry, have better lighting and are engaging/relevant to the story. Same goes with images as nobody likes watermarks, blurry images, incorrectly cropped etc.
- Avoid using the same animations more than twice in your webstory
There isn’t only one way to monetize your web story i.e adsense. Let’s quickly look into the ways you can monetize your web story:
- Ofcourse, adsense comes first. Yes, once you have started gaining traffic on your web story and web page, it’s time to apply for adsense.
- To setup adsense – you may refer to this article from google which will help you better design your goal.
- You can work with brands to highlight their products
- Try affiliates to generate more leads for them and make money out of it
- Integrate ads in your web story (additional to the google adsense)
- Use swipe up content features in webstories to link affiliate products. Avoid using them in every page though.
7. Optimization & discoverability
Your webstories should be optimized enough to be discovered by google. How you can do so? Let’s go through it.
So, there are only 2 things which you can really optimize. Images & Videos.
How to optimize images for web stories?
- Mostly we use 3 type of image files while uploading them on our social media apps or for web stories (JPEG, JPG & GIF). There is another one and is now in much focus these days because of its quality of images but with lesser size (WebP).
- Unlike other apps such as instagram, FB or any social media app who use inbuilt image conversion tools to compress your images when you upload them – webstories doesn’t have these features. It’s because they are your web stories and are hosted on your web servers/websites. Google just discover them and show it to relevant folks but never does any optimization.
- So, it’s equally important to optimize your image while uploading. There are various ways through which you can optimize.
- Use plugs if you are using wordpress to optimize your images. Plugins such as smush can easily optimize but not to that extent.
- There are image conversion tools on web which you can use to reduce the size of your images for webstories.
- There are N number of articles on web which will talk about optimizing the images but you don’t need all of that. Remember, the goal is to reduce the size of images without having that pixelated or blurred when you upload them for web story.
- Try converting your JPG or JPEG image into WebP for better optimization
Do go through below video from google which help you understand more techniques of image optimization for web stories.
Hope you understood the concept for optimizing your images. Now let’s go through how to optimize your videos
- Have your video in 720 P resolution as most of the time they would be played on smartphones and even if on desktops, 720P would work flawlessly.
- They should be under 4 Mb file size
- Not longer than 15 seconds
- Use proper codec (H264 or similar). Codecs play an important role in supporting multiple devices. Codecs compress individual frames to optimize the videos
- Use animations to transition videos
Here comes the second part. Once you have optimized your images and videos, you should focus more on web story builder tools to optimize the story for SEO.
- First and foremost – use sitemap to index your webstory.
- Follow the best practices which you are already applying for your website
- For webstories to show on google, few things are required : Publisher, Publisher Logo, Poster and title.
- Keep publisher name under 20 characters to avoid truncation
- For Publisher logo, take help of tools to create a good and interesting logo
- Avoid text embedded in image in your posters
- Use 3X4 with a resolution of 654 and 835 Px for poster creation (width & Height)
- If you are cropping from an image, crop from point of interest to create the poster.
- Keep your title under 40 characters
- Use google stories test tool to check if your story contains all metadata and is ready to be published
- Use alt text for images and stories
- Try having video captions if you are using videos to create web stories
Do watch this video to know more: How to make your web stories visible on web
8. Performance Improvements & Analytics
- If you have already connected your web stories to analytics – it is time to see how they are performing
- Use this google data studio template to analyze your website performance and the web stories
- Add your google analytics ID to web stories, newsroom ai or make stories in order to better track data
- Add each web stories site map into google search to better get them discovered
- Once you go through the dashboard, you would find many ways to improve the performance of your web stories.
9. Testing & Indexing web stories
If you just created a webstory but it’s not indexed then google may not find it and show it to users. Lets go through how to tell if your webstory is indexed or not
- The first step for google to showcase any web page or web-story is to find whether they exist in the world or not. Once the new page is discovered, google visits or crawls the page to find out what’s in it.
- Once done, google tries to find and categorize the page. This is called indexing.
- Once the content is analyzed by google, it stores on huge databases and google index.
- Finally, when someone searches the content, google ranks your content based several different factors.
- Incorrect indexing mean that your story doesn’t have a chance to be even discovered
- Use AMP test tool to analyze if your story is indexed and is ready to be discovered
- Use search console to index your webstory and review the errors flagged by google crawlers
- You can also use URL test tool to test if your URL is valid.
Common errors one might have:
- Make sure once you have submitted the URL for indexing, you should not block google to visit your page. Avoid making your website in maintenance mode.
- Link your web stories in your homepage or category pages
- Configure analytics on your page
10. Design ideas for best web stories
When you build a webstory, you have full control of design decisions. Here are few tips for designing best web stories:
- Avoid using more than 280 characters on your single page in webstories
- Chose the font family, size, line height and color carefully to engage users. Don’t chose fonts which are hard to read but have better designs. Similarly, size of fonts mater a lot. Chose a size which is readable and doesn’t look irritating. Rule of thumb : Chose font size 16
- Give your paragraph a proper amount of breathing space i.e spacing of paragraphs
- You can see in above image that first picture has high contrast background image which makes text visible lesser. In 2nd picture, since the contrast for background picture is lower – text is more readable. Or use a shape to highlight your text
- Use padding and preview your webstory before publishing them
- Use full view videos in your web stories for better immersive experience
- Always use animations with a purpose. Don’t overuse them. As stated earlier, one animation should not be repeated more than twice in your webstory.
- Your intent should be to engage and delight user and not to annoy them.
There are other tutorials as well for webstories, which we are going to cover in upcoming posts. Do comment if you found these articles useful.