AMP Stories SEO and Optimization – A Match Made in Heaven?

Jul 1, 2022 | , read

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Have you been looking to update your SEO (Search Engine Optimization) strategy in 2022? Google released a new content format named Web Stories that are discoverable on Google Search, Discover and Images. This format was called AMP Stories.

From publishing food to wellness, brands across industries have begun to use AMP Stories SEO. If you are a brand that has a social media presence, Web Stories are for you. They are similar to stories on Instagram or Facebook. This format allows you to have a presence on Google Search, Images and Google Discover.

Google’s algorithm favors content formats owned by Google, making AMP Stories a must-add to your SEO strategy in 2022.

What are AMP Stories?

AMP Stories is the former name for Google Web Stories. It is essentially the Stories format seen in social media apps like Instagram or Youtube Shorts. The pivotal difference here is ownership. Web Stories are hosted on your own website. This means that, unlike other apps, this content will not disappear in a day.

How to create AMP Stories?

AMP Stories or Google Web Stories can be created using third-party tools. You can create and publish your stories on your website using free tools like MakeStories. If you don’t have a website, MakeStories can host them for you on their platform. Find out more here.

Are Web Stories and AMP Different?

AMP is short for Accelerated Mobile Pages. This is a technology that Google introduced to make sure pages load faster. AMP pages should not, however, be confused for Web/AMP Stories. Normal web pages have AMP versions of the same page for mobile users. Web Stories on the other hand are independent HTML pages. Web Stories rely on AMP technology to deliver faster load speeds.

Why use AMP Stories for SEO?

Search Engines have become a staple for users to find solutions, more than ever. Of the available search engines, Google has dominated the market on a global scale for a long time. According to a Statista report, as of January 2021, Google had a whopping 85% market share. Bing from Microsoft was a lowly second with 7%. This makes optimizing content for Google the priority for brands vying for visibility.

SEO is short for Search Engine Optimization. This is the process of improving rankings so that you can get more visibility on search engines. Different search engines have different criteria for rankings. Google, being the market leader has a stringent yet ever-evolving algorithm for search optimization, the reason why it is also the most trusted. Keeping up with this includes consistent effort, time and patience. As we all know SEO is a marathon, not a sprint. The level of competition for most queries is so high today that ranking on the first page is harder than ever.

Adoption of any new content format on Google thus becomes critical for brands. Enter, AMP Stories/Google Web Stories to save the day. Below are the 3 locations where Web Stories appear on Google:

2. Google Discover

Google has allocated a carousel at the top of the feed for Web Stories. Users can view these stories with the latest version of the Google app. This carousel is currently available in the US, India and Brazil.

3. Google Images

Google Stories can also be seen in Google Images. A web story icon will appear in the lower right corner of the image, indicating that it is a web story.

How to Optimize for AMP Web Stories SEO or AMP Stories SEO?

The regions where Web Stories are present are currently limited. Following best practices, it is ideal to design AMP Stories already SEO optimized while creating them. As AMP Stories or Google Web Stories are HTML pages, standard SEO practices for web pages come into play. Below is a quick checklist:

1. Content Quality

Content for Web Stories has to include relevant keywords that users might search for. It should be written keeping good storytelling techniques in mind. If the content is not structured well, long-term rankings will suffer. If Google notices that users are not reading the content, it could result in grid position loss.

2. Metadata

Titles should include primary keywords. The total length should be between 70-90 characters. The description should be unique, catchy, and summarise the story to get users to click on them. AMP Metadata guidelines must be adhered to for Web Stories.

3. Technical SEO

Place a self-referencing canonical tag on the Web Story in the HTML. The meta robots have to be checked to ensure an index, follow attribute is present. Creation and timely updating of XML sitemaps can aid in faster indexing. You will need to provide support for landscape display to rank for desktop Google search results. For language publication of stories apart from English, href lang tags have to be placed.

Summary

As it becomes more difficult to rank on Google, it is important to create a strong AMP Stories SEO strategy. This should be well integrated with your marketing strategy. MakeStories has in built settings to ensure you optimize and validate your web story. Learn how this can help drive organic traffic to your website here.

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