How to optimize your Google Web Stories on Discover with MakeStories

Aug 11, 2022 | , read

google web stories on discover

This is a guide to optimize your Google Web Stories on Discover.

Getting your web page to rank on Google is a hard nut to crack. Google’s algorithms are constantly changing and brands have to keep up with fresh compliant content as well as optimize older content. The same strategy applies to Google Web Stories to rank your content higher in SERPs.

Web Stories appear on Google Discover carousel, Google Search or on Google Images. Understanding a user’s search intent is critical to getting your web story to rank high on Google.

Let’s dig deeper into how to make web stories rank higher on Google Discover.

An overview of Google Discover

Google Discover, formerly known as Google Feed, presents content curated for a user based on their search history. It is typically a mix of articles, images, videos and most recently, web stories. This curation is put together by Google’s automated systems and the user’s browsing history. Each person’s Google Discover page would be unique to their search behaviour, most often your Google Discover page will have ready curated content from your more recent query or search.

Google Web Stories on Discover

Web Stories are a tap through content format that many marketers are adopting. This is especially true given their incredible success on platforms like Instagram and YouTube, popularly known as Instagram Stories and Youtube Shorts. They are vertical slides with images or videos on them, optimized for mobile viewing.

On Google Discover, users can find content packaged in a similar format based on their prior search history. Web Stories can pop up about food, travel, and current events. They can simply click one and tap through the content. Web Stories are being used increasingly by a number of marketers as part of their overall marketing strategy.

Web Stories are not difficult to create. Third-party tools such as MakeStories make it very simple. MakeStories is an end to end solution to create, publish and share Web Stories directly. It is a free, drag and drop creator. It even lets you monetize your Web Stories. Learn more about how to use MakeStories here.

Optimize your Google Web Stories for Google Discover

With MakeStories, you can create immersive Web Stories optimized to appear on Google Discover carousel. This is how:

Comply with content policies for Google Discover

It’s vital to comply with content policies. The most important being copyright content. Copyright content in the form of images, videos or audio is not allowed, according to general policy standards. If Google discovers a copyright breach, they can remove your web stories from the search results. Here’s a link to the Discover content policies in detail.

With MakeStories, the compliance validation is built into the platform. Before publishing your web story on the web, MakeStories takes you through 4 steps to ensure you are compliant. The four steps are as follows:

Adding the publisher details – You have to fill in publisher and domain details.


Adding Meta Tags & SEO – You have to add in your primary keywords and optimize your meta title & meta description to ensure visibility


Validating your Story – You have to confirm you meet the basic criteria of text and character limit of over 500 characters


Setting up Analytics – You can connect your analytics to track how your web stories are performing.

MakeStories-SetUp- Analytics

Without completing the steps above, MakeStories will not allow you to publish your Web Story. This ensures your Web Story is already pre-optimized and compliant. Click here for more information about using MakeStories to publish your Web Stories.

Create content that is both original and engaging

Your target customer profiles want to consume relevant content in a fun and interesting format. They will click on your content only if you provide relevant content with a unique viewing experience compared to the story next to yours. Keeping in mind web stories are mobile-first viewing, pick visually appealing content. MakeStories suggests the following tips on design and content selection:

  1. Keep it short: Web Stories are swipeable or tappable cards. Users are used to swiping and tapping through content fast. Design a clear narrative and break up the content journey seamlessly across the number of cards you choose.
  2. Title Characters: Web Story Titles have to be within or lesser than 90 characters
  3. Text per Card: Make sure your overall text per page does not exceed 200 characters
  4. Striking Layout: MakeStories has a variety of built-in elements like web story templates, fonts, images, and videos to make your stories more immersive.
  5. Be Interactive: Add quizzes and polls with MakeStories Add on feature to get users to connect with your stories
  6. Add CTA: Add a call to action, yes you can direct links to each page. MakeStories suggests one URL per page is best practice.
  7. Number of slides: A minimum of 5 slides for your web story and a maximum of 12 slides are ideal
  8. Duration: If your story is video based, limit it to 60 seconds
  9. Keep it casual: Let your content seem native to the discover page. Do not make your content sound too promotional.

Improve EAT signals

EAT stands for Expertise, Authoritativeness and Trustworthiness. It is a vital quality factor for a web page to demonstrate EAT to increase its credibility. This helps the web page rank higher on Google Discover. To understand this further, click here.

In the general settings, MakeStories provides a section to add your branding details. This includes adding your brand name, industry, logo, brand colours, brand fonts, etc. Adding in your branding details and completing the publishing with SEO details can help enhance your EAT.

Optimize your poster image

A poster image is like a thumbnail image that you add to YouTube videos or a cover that you add to your Instagram Reels. It’s the static image with a catchy title that entices your viewers to click on your Web Story. A good poster image can increase the number of clicks on your story.

  1. Dimensions: If it doesn’t fit, don’t force it. Create posters that fit the Web Story dimensions perfectly. Recommended aspect ratio is 3×4 with a minimum size of 640px x 853px.
  2. Vertical Orientation: Web Stories are optimized for mobile viewing, they work best with images that are of portrait or vertical orientation.
  3. Format: .jpg, .png and .gif are acceptable formats for poster images, vector files such as .svg and .eps are better to steer clear from.
  4. Match the storyline: Select an image for the poster that sets the expectation for the viewer from the get go. Match it well with the rest of your slides or video.
  5. Proportionate Rounded Corners: Round the corners of your poster image in proportion to the poster image width. If your image is < 100px round the corner to 8px, for an image that’s 100 px – 240px round it to 16px and for an image < 240px ideal corner should round to 24px
  6. Stack Lines: Stack Lines make your poster image pop! They also add a bit of depth to your swipeable stack of web stories. Stack colour selection should ideally move from dark to a lighter tint. For eg, your first stack line can be a dark blue and the second stack line should be a lighter blue for the right impact.
  7. 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.
  8. Colour Overlay: Adding a colour overlay on the poster image can make the text much more legible. Pick the colour thoughtfully so it makes your cover look more aesthetic.
  9. 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.

MakeStories has stylish, modern templates ready to use for poster images. You can pick templates and customize them in minutes to match your content or brand.

Related Questions

Do Web Stories only show on Google Discover?

Web Stories appear on Google Discover carousel, Google Search or on Google Images.

What is the poster size for Web Stories?

Recommended aspect ratio is 3×4 with a minimum size of 640px x 853px.

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