Web Stories WordPress Plugin: 9 Must-Know SEO Tips


Web Stories for WordPress is a brand new plugin developed by Google.

The plugin permits you to create full-screen, tappable, and fascinating visible tales which might be powered by AMP expertise.

To Web Stories for WordPress plugin set up course of is straightforward.

Navigate to the official web site, obtain the .zip file, then inside WordPress choose Plugins > Add New > Upload Plugin.

I’ve now spent many hours testing out the Web Stories for WordPress plugin by Google.

There had been quite a lot of obstacles alongside the way in which that I struggled to search out solutions to on the time.

This publish outlines 9 areas that I want I knew extra about earlier than I dove in headfirst.

These are suggestions that will no-doubt save hours within the Web Story creation course of from an SEO perspective.

So far, I’ve personally developed two Web Stories with the WordPress plugin which might be dwell on my website and are receiving pleasing outcomes from Google Search and the Discover Feed.

Here are my must-know SEO suggestions when creating Web Stories on WordPress.

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1. Lack of Quality Control: A Recipe for Index Exclusion

Before I get caught into the guidelines explicitly for the Web Stories for WordPress plugin, I wished to make an vital observe on sustaining content material high quality together with your Web Stories.

Due to the social media story-like resemblance, I foresee quite a lot of errors being made by website homeowners.

Think of a Web Story like another webpage in your website.

Ask your self: “Is this something Google would be happy to use resources to index?”

If you’re utilizing unoriginal content material with low-quality media all through, I wouldn’t be stunned if Google determined to disregard that content material in Search.

So for those who’re having indexing points, take an in depth take a look at your Web Story and reassess.

Now let’s get into the guidelines that you just’re right here for.

2. Google Site Kit: The Simple Answer to Google Analytics Tracking

If you’re not a developer, you’re not going to wish to fiddle with making an attempt to get Google Analytics monitoring in place to your Web Stories.

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It’s WordPress, it actually shouldn’t be that onerous.

But it’s.

Because the Web Stories for WordPress plugin remains to be in Beta, it’s not excellent.

Actually, it’s removed from it.

Hence the obstacles I had alongside the way in which when creating my first Web Story.

To get Google Analytics monitoring up and working for my Web Stories, I used Google’s Site Kit plugin.

Some minor configuration with Google Tag Manager (making a separate AMP tag) and I used to be all set to go.

google site kit google tag manager web stories wordpress analytics trackingThe Google Site Kit Plugin permits monitoring for Web Stories with integrations.

The integration with Google Analytics and Google Tag Manager was very easy.

Site Kit gives all the small print you’ll have to get issues transferring.

For reference, right here’s what my Google Tag Manager container settings regarded like as soon as choosing the goal platform (Accelerated Mobile Pages):

google tag manager amp tag web stories wordpress beta pluginSetting up a Google Tag Manager container for Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP).

Now that you just’ve acquired the one-time setup of Google Analytics monitoring in place, we will transfer onto some extra suggestions.

But let’s get yet one more headache out of the way in which: meta information.

three. Meta Data: Probably the Biggest Web Stories for WordPress Pain Point

Yep, that’s proper.

Google didn’t think about meta information performance into the Beta model of their Web Stories for WordPress plugin.

Ugh.

At the second, the title tag you utilize for Web Stories must be precisely the identical (excluding some minor branding capabilities) because the headline you’ve set.

Don’t even get me began on the meta description.

For some cause, they haven’t added help for this into the instrument or given SEO plugins the power to customise it.

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I reached out to Jono Alderson from Yoast who linked me this thread.

Great to see that Yoast is actively following up on this and are fast so as to add performance.

meta data title tag meta description web stories for wordpress beta pluginGoogle’s Web Stories for WordPress at present doesn’t help customized meta information.

But that’s simply the way in which it’s in the meanwhile when utilizing the Web Stories for WordPress plugin.

You may most likely get a developer to hack away at it, however that isn’t at all times practical.

In the meantime, we primarily have little or no management.

So concentrate on the content material of your Web Story and go away it with Google to current that content material in Search.

Again, not excellent.

But that’s the place issues are at.

four. An Important Note on HTML Usage Throughout

Once you’re beginning to get extra aware of the Web Stories for WordPress editor, you’ll discover that you just’re given the selection amongst a heading, subheading, or physique textual content.

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This is vital to remember.

Use every as for those who had been writing your individual weblog article.

This is very true when including photos with textual content to your Web Stories.

In the instance beneath, I created the background with the picture and the speech bubble in Photoshop.

But I didn’t add the textual content to the picture in Photoshop, this was finished within the Web Stories for WordPress editor.

easily of content to search engines web stories for wordpress beta pluginWhen utilizing the Web Stories for WordPress plugin, guarantee content material is accessible to serps.

In this instance, you possibly can see that I’ve used a <p> tag within the HTML for the speech bubble textual content.

I need Google to simply entry this textual content and use it to rank my Web Story in Search.

5. Getting Schema Markup Added to Your Web Stories in WordPress

This is the place Yoast comes into play once more.

They’ll deal with this for you, as they’ll do on different pages in your website.

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I wouldn’t fiddle with including customized Schema code in WordPress when it’s already in place for you.

Using Yoast, I’m capable of get varied Schema sorts added to my Web Stories routinely.

Considering Google’s Structured Data Testing Tool is about to be deprecated, I’ve began utilizing Sitebulb’s reproduction testing instrument.

It works just like how Google’s model does, permitting for URL or code snippet testing.

This is vital to finish to make sure that your Schema is functioning appropriately.

testing google structured data with sitebulb version 4Testing your Web Stories Structured Data implementation with Sitebulb’s testing instrument.

In the instance of one in all my latest Web Stories, I’m utilizing the next Schema sorts:

  • Organization
  • WebSite
  • ImageObject
  • WebWeb page
  • Article
  • Person

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The content material in Web Stories is commonly minimal, so I imagine that the addition of Schema is usually a good serving to hand with respect to efficiency in Google Search.

I’d recommend utilizing Yoast when including Schema to Web Stories in WordPress.

6. Nailing Your Web Story Cover Image

While this tip applies to Web Stories normally, I actually wish to make this level clear on this publish.

The cowl picture used to your Web Story is extraordinarily vital for the success of your content material in Google Search.

I’ve written extensively in regards to the significance of characteristic photos for Google Discover.

Similar ideas apply right here, however Web Stories show with a unique facet ratio which is nice to remember.

google web stories cover image standing out in search result googleHow Web Stories seem in Google’s search outcomes with the characteristic picture and the Web Story icon (identical because the ‘recent’ tab within the Google App).

You can use Google’s AMP Test which now helps Web Stories to see how your Web Story seems with completely different outcome sorts.

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This gives a pleasant indication of how your Web Story may seem and the way the picture cropping works throughout completely different surfaces.

Another facet is when sharing the content material on social media.

If I had been to share the article on the left (about CLS points on Google), I’d get the next preview on Twitter:

twitter card validator for content web stories wordpress betaPreview of my Web Story cowl picture because it shows on Twitter. Note how the middle of the picture is used because the preview.

Note how the preview has cropped to the center of the quilt picture with the Twitter preview.

So in case your Web Story goes to be distributed throughout social channels, make sure that the center of the picture works as a standalone preview.

7. Ensuring Web Story URLs Appear within the XML Sitemap

In phrases of content material discoverability on Google, URLs showing in sitemaps are vital.

According to a convention that I went to in 2019, Gary Illyes talked about that they account for ~20% of how Google discovers new pages.

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That ~20% is a portion that you just don’t wish to miss out on.

To guarantee your Web Stories are found by Google, it is advisable to first begin by guaranteeing that they’re showing within the XML sitemap.

This is once more one thing that Yoast handles for you with their Web Stories help.

If your Web Story URLs aren’t showing in your XML Sitemap after publishing, then you definately’ve acquired an issue.

Here’s what this seems to be like for the 2 Web Stories that I’ve revealed to this point:

web stories wordpress beta plugin pages appearing in the xml sitemapIt is vital that your Web Stories seem within the XML Sitemap after being revealed to your website.

The different ~80% for discoverability comes all the way down to hyperlinks.

This may very well be hyperlinks coming from inside pages by yourself website or from exterior websites.

The XML Sitemap is the foundational level for getting found, another hyperlink efforts can go a good distance, too.

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eight. Best Tools for Troubleshooting Your Web Stories

While I’ve already talked about Google’s AMP Test in tip #6, which works properly, there are different instruments you should utilize to your benefit.

This contains Google’s Rich Results Test, which I discovered to be moderately useful with troubleshooting Web Stories.

But my favourite for troubleshooting for the time being is straight inside Google Search Console.

There’s much more performance in there in comparison with the RRT and AMP Test.

Using the URL Inspection Tool and the Live Test, you’re capable of go a bit deeper.

In this instance in Google Search Console, I present a few of these vital areas.

Toggle between viewing the HTML, the screenshot preview, together with particulars just like the HTTP response and extra.

google search console url inspection tool for web storiesWhen troubleshooting your Web Stories, be certain that to make use of Google’s personal instruments. My favourite for this objective is Google Search Console’s URL Inspection Tool.

Google Search Console will even present crucial particulars about whether or not your Web Story has been found and whether it is showing inside Search.

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When utilizing the Web Stories for WordPress plugin,

I extremely advocate doing quite a lot of your testing and troubleshooting in Google Search Console.

9. Tracking the Performance of Your Web Stories in Google Search and Discover

The foremost cause that I acquired on board with Web Stories is due to the potential early adopter visitors and visibility advantages.

I wanted to totally try it out earlier than recommending to my writer purchasers.

This is very true for Google’s Discover Feed, the place your content material may very well be catapulted into Discover if there’s an alignment with person curiosity and your publish.

Glenn Gabe went into element on this on this publish – which I extremely advocate trying out (for a hand-coded method).

Aside from the usual Google Analytics integration, the place you primarily simply see web page views of every Web Story slide, together with engagement metrics, there’s additionally the reporting inside Google Search Console.

web story wordpress plugin google discover performanceWeb Stories will be added to Google’s Discover Feed. Review efficiency in Google Search Console, with the Discover Appearance filter.

In the instance above, you possibly can see that there’s a “Web Story” filter that may now be utilized to your leads to Google Search Console.

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This characteristic happened concurrently help throughout the AMP Test launched.

Similar to the Discover Appearance filter, it’s also possible to see your Web Stories showing in Search on cellular with the Search Appearance filter.

Here’s what this seems to be like to this point for my first Web Story that I created:

google search console url inspection tool for web storiesWeb Stories proven with the Search Appearance filter in Google Search Console.

Google Search Console can present vital insights about your Web Stories, comparable to:

  • Clicks.
  • Impressions.
  • Queries that you just rating for in Search.
  • Which international locations your content material is surfacing in.
  • Devices you’re displaying on.
  • And a lot extra.

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Moving Forward With the Web Stories for WordPress Plugin

Overall, the Web Stories for WordPress plugin actually has quite a lot of quirks relating to SEO. After all, the plugin remains to be in Beta.

Aspects such because the Google Analytics integration and meta information are areas that also want enchancment from Google’s finish, which I’m hoping will come quickly.

When creating your first Web Story utilizing the WordPress plugin, I’d extremely recommend retaining these factors in thoughts.

I’d count on that it might remove hours out of your creation course of if SEO efficiency is the intention.

The first level of this publish focuses on guaranteeing that high quality is maintained to your Web Stories.

As with any piece of content material on the internet, that is what’s going to outcome within the longevity of your publish in Google Search after publishing.

Keep these 9 suggestions in thoughts when utilizing the Web Stories WordPress plugin and also you’ll be in your method to a profitable Web Stories SEO technique.

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Image Credits

Featured & In-Post Images: Screenshots taken by writer, August 2020



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