There is no question that winning a SERP Feature is one of the most effective ways to increase your site’s SERP visibility. So, when Google rolled out Web Stories on May 1st we took it as a new SERP feature opportunity.
Since Web Stories offer big potential SEO opportunities, we felt we wanted to help you take advantage of this new format.
In response to this, we’re really excited to announce that Rank Ranger is now tracking Google Web Stories in our rank tracking suite.
Before I get into how you can use Rank Ranger rank tracking to increase your chances of ranking your own Web Stories in Google, let me first explain what Google Web Stories are and how they could benefit your business.
What are Web Stories?
Web Stories are the new upgraded, re-branded AMP Stories. This upgrade was rolled out on May 1st, 2020.
Web Stories were created as Google’s answer to Facebook and Instagram Stories.
According to the Google blog, Web Stories are a new SERP Feature that blends video, audio, images, animation, and text to create a full-screen immersive mobile experience. See the screenshot below:
You can explore the content on Web Stories at your own pace by tapping it or you can swipe from one piece of content to another.
What Web Stories Do for Your Business
According to Google, Web Stories is a new publishing format on the web.
We all know about blog posts and videos. Consider Web Stories as a third format. But what’s great about this new format is that Web Stories are easier to create than a video and more engaging than a blog.
Web Stories offer your site a way to tell a visually compelling story on your site, or to have a visually dynamic SERP Feature that not only tells your unique story but also includes a link back to your content. Having a prominent SERP Feature is a powerful way to increase your brand’s SERP visibility and increase organic traffic.
What’s more, Web Stories can appear in:
- Google Discover
- Google Search
- Google Images
Think about this. Web Stories give you an opportunity to expand your site’s visibility across three major Google properties.
Google offers tools to create Web Stories and once you create one, you can embed it on your site or have it indexed in Google just like any normal HTML site.
Rank Ranger Web Stories Tracking
If you are serious about growing your SERP visibility through Web Stories, you can now see a Web Stories icon in our Rank Insights Report.
However, since Web Stories can appear on Google as both organic results and also a SERP Feature, we track both.
Web Stories as Organic Results
You can use the Rank Insights Report to see Web stories that appear as organic results. What this means is the story appears as one of the blue URLs in Google Search. See below:
In the screenshot below, you can see this Web Story in the Rank Insights Report:
Since Web Stories can appear as a SERP Feature in a Web Stories Box, we track that as well…
Web Stories as a SERP Feature
The Rank Insights Report also shows you if any Web Stories appear as SERP Features. This will appear as an icon in the SERP Features column. See the screenshot below.
This icon tells you if there are any Web Stories boxes on the SERP. See below:
If the icon appears in black, your Web Story is featured on the SERP. However, when this icon appears in grey, you’ll know Web Stories exists on this SERP but none of them are owned by you. Knowing that Google is featuring a Web Story on the SERP means a potential opportunity for you.
Perhaps by creating your own relevant Web Story you can get your story to show up on the SERP.
With everything in SEO, you can only estimate whether it’s worth investing your time to create your own Web Story. Although there is nothing guaranteed in life, to stack the odds in your favor, we now track Web Stories in our SERP Feature Monitor.
Size up the Competition with the SERP Feature Monitor
You can now see Web Story data in the SERP Feature Monitor by clicking the SERP Feature dropdown menu. The SERP Feature Monitor only tracks Web Stories as a SERP Feature and not as an organic result. See below:
The SERP Feature Monitor tracks how stable a SERP Feature is in Google based on 30 days of data. If a SERP Feature is unstable, meaning it sometimes appears and then disappears showing no consistent pattern, this indicates that Google is not entirely happy with the result and is looking for new content.
When Google is not ‘happy’ with a feature that’s currently ranking, it is most likely looking to swap it out for something better. An unstable SERP feature is an opportunity for you to get your content into the feature.
This is also true of Web Stories, and since you can now see the relative stability of the current Web Stories through the SERP Feature Monitor, you can now assess the relative competitiveness of the current Web Stories.
For instance, if we look at the SERP Feature Monitor for the term ‘new york city’, you will see some Web Stories data. See below:
As you can see in the screenshot above, current Web Stories are stable. This means that although there is some fluctuation, the URLs tend to stay within the four spots, rising and falling by one position at a time.
This means that these Web Stories are relevant to the user’s search query in Google’s eyes, making them competitive. Does this mean you can’t win a Web Story spot for this page?
But it does mean your story would have to be of higher quality than what is currently in the Web Story.
Using this data you can judge whether you have a chance of ranking your own property or whether you should look elsewhere for opportunities.
As the Times Change, Change with the Times
As a reaction to the Google SERPs continually evolving, we are evolving too. This means we are committed to constantly upgrading our toolsets in order to give you a strategic advantage.
Google Web Stories tracking is one of these evolutions. If your business has highly visual assets that can be used to tell a compelling story about your brand then Web Stories might be an opportunity you don’t want to miss.
You can find Web Story opportunities in the Rank Dashboard: Organic Search> Rank Tracking> Rank Insights.
You can check the competitiveness of Web Stories by going to the SERP Feature Monitor here Organic Search> Rank Tracking> SERP Features Monitor.