Created a Google Web Story, but not getting any clicks? Here’s what to do

Aug 18, 2022 | , read

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You were happy with your web story when you published it but now feel like you are not getting the user engagement you expected?

According to a Forrester survey published in July 2021, 89% of publishers of Web Stories have reportedly increased user engagement for their brands. Web Stories have risen to prominence as a new way for people to consume content. Customers are more engaged with web stories than text stories, according to the survey.

So, why aren’t your web stories getting enough views or clicks? It’s possible that one of the reasons is that your poster and cover images aren’t optimized.

Let us understand them individually and the difference between the two.

What is a Poster Image?

For a web story, a poster image serves as a thumbnail image. If you’re unfamiliar with the term “thumbnail image,” it’s the preview image that appears next to a link to an article or a web page. You can find it on Google Search or Google Discover Carousel. A compelling thumbnail image will always attract a viewer or buyer to click. It creates the first connection either through relevance of content or it may look too enticing to pass up on.

For Google Web Stories, an eye-catching poster image can be created using online editing tools such as MakeStories. This free platform is built specifically for the creation of web stories. You can design web stories and publish them directly to the web. There are a few simple things to remember with respect to creating a Poster Image:

  • Only static image: A poster image is restricted to having only an image and no videos or interactive elements.
  • High Quality: Ensure the image used is a high-quality image. In case you do not have your own images to upload, MakeStories provides a large library of HD images optimized for the mobile format.
  • Format: Use .jpg, .png and .gif formats for poster images, vector files such as .svg and .eps are better avoided.
  • Match the storyline: Select an image for the poster that sets the right expectation for the viewer from the get go. Match it well with the rest of the story to avoid disappointment.
  • Vertical Orientation: Use images that are of portrait or vertical orientation, avoid landscape orientation images on the poster image. The recommended aspect ratio is 3×4 with a minimum size of 640px x 853px.
  • Add a web story icon: Place a web story icon at the top or bottom, left or right corner of your web story so a viewer can instantly differentiate your content. The icon is symbolic of the tappable nature of the content, it is best to keep the icon location consistent.
  • Colour Overlay: Adding a colour overlay on the poster image can make the text much more legible. The text can get lost in the image if the image is too busy in the background.
  • Short Headlines: Viewers are used to scrolling through content very quickly. Keep your headlines concise enough for the right audience match to stop scrolling and click your web story. This messaging should be different from the title of your web story.
  • Branding: The poster image showcases your brand logo and publisher details. With MakeStories, these details can be added prior to designing your poster image.

Learn to create your poster image using MakeStories here.

What is a Cover Image?

A cover image is the first slide or page you make for your web story. It is the introduction to your content. When a person clicks on your poster image, you’ve already succeeded at bringing the user into your content, now it is up to your cover image to ensure the user continues to read your web story. This is the first page of your web story. Unlike the poster image, a cover image can have interactive elements in the form of videos, animations, audio. Etc. MakeStories, a leading web story editor, can guide you in developing interactive web stories. If not done manually, MakeStories will pick the best cover image for your story based on the designs you’ve generated.

Here is a quick table to highlight the differences between a Poster Image and Cover Image

Poster Image Cover Image
Design Can add only Images. Can add images, videos and animations. etc
Placement Shows on Google Search or Google Discover Carousel. First page of the web story.
Text Add limited messaging on the bottom third of the page. Can add title and text limiting it to 280 characters.
Branding Will show brand logo, publisher details, text and image. Can manually add logo, text and images.

Optimizing these images can help improve the click rate and get users to engage with your web stories. Create your first cover image using MakeStories here.

Related Questions

Can we add videos to a poster image?

No, Poster images can only have images in a web story, whereas Cover images are allowed to have images, videos and animations as well.

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