Last Updated on January 18, 2021 by Chris
When Google rolls out just about anything, we've got to be paying attention in the blogging community, and Google Stories are certainly no exception.
We know that the initial reaction to Google Stories among bloggers and content creators was something like “oh, fantastic, another thing to worry about since I'm not already doing a million other things, and not already burnt out.”
However, the bloggers and content creators who have made the time to get better acquainted with Google Stories seem to have found out that it was time well spent. There's also something exciting about the idea of testing out the virality or reach of a brand new platform or method.
So yes, we do need to make time for wellness in 2021, but we also need to stay on top of the emerging trends that can pay serious dividends for our respective sites. It's a fine balance that we think all full-time bloggers and content creators are regularly tightrope walking.
To take some of the stress and unknown from Google Stories, we've invited Victoria Yore to chat with us today, and enlighten us.
Victoria runs a multitude of successful websites across a variety of niches and industries, and has a following over a million on social media across her platforms. She's an expert on creating digital content, and is known for her aptitude with Pinterest, TikTok, SEO, and now, of course, Google Stories. If you want to follow-up with her directly after reading this interview for any reason, you can reach her at [email protected]
1) Thanks so much for joining us today, Victoria. We’d love to start at the logical place and simply ask you, what exactly are Google Web Stories?
Google Web Stories are essentially like Instagram/Facebook/Pinterest stories but for Google. Of course Google had to get in on the trend of the stories rush! They are slides that last a few seconds that you tap through, just like “stories” on many other social media platforms out there. That is the best and easiest way to explain it!
Most people want to know where you will see them.
You may NEVER see them! They are only shown on the Google App for Android or IOS and they are only in some countries for now. They are also on the Chrome app and are found where you would find regular Google Discover traffic. However, they are not always there. It totally depends on the Google Algorithm and if the algorithm decides to “feed” you stories based on your search history and trends! It is different every time!
2) When did you first hear about Google Web Stories. Has this been around for a while in the background, or is it essentially brand new on the scene?
I first heard about Web Stories in the Mediavine Group on Facebook just before Christmas. They are a brand new thing that Google is trying and now that people are catching wind, they are really starting to explode!
3) For content creators who want to get going with Google Web Stories and to start to play around with it themselves, where should they start? What are some first steps they can take?
Download the Google Web Stories app for WordPress and play around. You must also set up separate Google tracking on your analytics account. You do NOT want to track web stories with your primary account as you will artificially inflate your numbers and if you are monetized, this will mess up your RPMS.
There are quite a few helpful Google resources out there that you can view for free that will explain all of this to you in better details. There are also Youtube videos and I have put together a 1 hour and 20 minute tutorial on this if you want me to walk you through the step by step.
4) One thing that we’ve heard mentioned over and over again with Google Web Stories is the potential for virality. Can you talk about your experience with having viral stories get you traffic? Furthermore, are you seeing that traffic be sustainable?
YES!! Virality is HUGE for Google Stories. I didn’t quite believe it myself, until it happened to me. I have only been doing stories for about 2.5 weeks and have already had two viral stories. By viral, I mean 10,000 and 20,000 extra pageviews in a day. These have been on two completely different sites in two completely different niches as well.
Like anything that goes viral, no it is not sustainable for forever. You aren’t suddenly going to get 20,000 pageviews all day every day forever! It is nice when it happens and encourages you to push forward. The money I made that day was WELL worth me learning the platform.
That being said, the traffic will linger which is nice! Meaning, in the 2 weeks following my viral story of 20,000 views, each day I have been getting about 4-7k extra pageviews coming to that blog post than I originally would have. So yes, it was a lot all at one time, then it reduced, but it still remains a nice boost!
When traffic is hard, I will take any extra income and traffic that I can!
My second viral post had 10,000 pageviews, then 5000 and then has dropped pretty fast after that. It all depends and Google gives and Google takes away, as we all know!
5) Many bloggers are adverse to starting a new undertaking like this, and you even mention that, at first, this was not your cup of tea. How did you overcome that? Do you have any tips or tricks that other bloggers or content creators might use to get into a rhythm?
I cried and complained and gave up and then my boyfriend, who is really good at Photoshop and really level headed, taught me some tricks. He was working on stories on one of our many sites and I was working on them on another one of our sites. He did a great job quickly, and then taught me his ways. From there, I tailored it to my liking!
I share all of my tips and tricks in my tutorial for Google Web Stories including how to streamline and get your time down to only 20-30 minutes per story max, after you make your first one!
My biggest tip is not to give up! It isn’t as scary as you may think. But spending 3-4 hours on one story probably is too long and you need to stop and regroup as it shouldn’t take that long, without interruptions of course.
6) What does a strategy look like for making the most of Google Web Stories? Are there any particular tools you’d recommend?
You should 100% use the Web Stories app on WordPress. You cannot create in Canva and then upload to it. There is another platform called Jumprope that is approved, but I haven’t worked with it. The Web Stories app is quite easy and you can get the hang of it with a little practice.
It isn’t as scary as you may think.
You want to make web stories for your top 5-10 posts that get good Google traffic. I don’t recommend making 10 stories all at one time, simply because you want to “tease” Google and see what takes off. 1-3 and then wait a little, then make another one and so on until you have covered your top posts on your site!
7) For those who want to dive into this further and be walked through this process, we understand you’ve just released The Busy Blogger’s Guide to Google Stories. Can you talk about your course, and let people know where they can find it?
For my course, I walk you through the intro as to what Google Stories are, a good bit of background and talk about the SEO aspects of it.
Then I go into detail about how to set up Google Analytics specifically to track web stories.
Finally, I take you through setting up web stories on a new WordPress account and show you best practices, everything you need to know to make life easier, and my lesser-known tips and tricks that most people aren’t doing!
Of course, SEO and formatting tips too to ensure you are doing everything you can to make Google happy! You can find it here.
Do you use Google Stories on your blog? Comment below to share your results!