SEO and paid search are the two most well-known ways to drive traffic to your website from Google. But there is another way. Google Discover.
While some savvy marketers use it to drive a ton of traffic, it’s been overlooked by many companies.
In this article, you’ll learn what Google Discover is, why you should care, and how you can use it to get more potential customers on your website.
Let’s dive in.
What Is Google Discover?
Google Discover is an updated and rebranded version of Google Feed. It’s a pre-installed feature on Android phones and can also be installed on iPhones.
As the name suggests, it helps users discover content through a personalized dashboard feed.
Google recommends content based on the user’s search history, location history, and device activity. Users can also follow topics and publishers to increase the personalization of their Discover feed.
Over 800 million people use Discover. So optimizing your content for the feature can be a great source of free traffic and brand awareness.
How Does Google Discover Differ from Google Search?
Google Discover provides a mobile experience that is distinct from Google Search. Users are presented with personalized content recommendations rather than having to search for information actively.
For marketers, this means there is no keyword optimization. However, keyword research is still essential for revealing search volume and audience interests to inform topic selection.
Users’ search history, YouTube viewing history, and metrics like bounce rate, clickthrough rate, and scroll length can also impact whether content is featured.
Why You Should Optimize Content for Google Discover
Getting featured on Google Discover can help you get your content in front of a bigger audience and drive traffic to your website.
For example, Vogue has seen an enormous lift in traffic from Google Discover. In October 2019, the publisher received more traffic from Google Discover than from Google Search.
Like organic search, Google Discover is also free. It doesn’t cost anything to be featured on the platform.
How Do I Optimize Content for It?
Here are 6 Google Discover optimization tips to increase your chances of getting featured (these tips will also boost your search ranking).
Optimize for Mobile-Friendliness
Google Discover is a feature for mobile users. That’s why a mobile-friendly website is vital.
You won’t be featured if your content isn’t optimized for mobile users.
Here’s a quick checklist of mobile-friendly best practices:
- Have a responsive website that adapts to different screen sizes
- Limit the use of intrusive pop-ups and ads
- Make your pages fast to load
- Ensure text can be read easily on smaller screens
- Include white space around buttons/elements to make them easier to tap
You can also test if your web page is mobile-friendly by using Google’s free test tool:
Enter your URL, and the tool will rate your webpage as mobile-friendly or not and include recommendations to improve the experience for mobile users.
You need to verify your website with a Google My Business account to have a chance of being featured on Google Discover. You’ll also need to set up a Google Knowledge Panel for your company so that users can follow you:
You’ll also need to meet Google News content standards and not have any manual penalties against your website.
Use AMP for Google Discover
Accelerated mobile pages (AMP) are built for speed and great mobile user experience. While Google doesn’t state that AMP is a must-have for Google Discover, many pages on the platform use AMP.
According to John Shehata, Founder of NewzDash, 60% of all content featured on Google Discover uses AMP.
Speed is a crucial ranking factor, so using AMP to optimize for Discover will also help you climb the SERP rankings.
Create Up-to-Date Content
Google Discover displays fresh and up-to-date content to users. Sometimes that means evergreen content that is still super-relevant, and sometimes that means trending or viral new content.
Publish content on relevant and popular topics to increase your chances of being featured on Discover and boost your search ranking.
Relevancy is key.
Don’t stray too far from the topics you usually cover. For example, if you publish content on health and fitness one day and cybersecurity the next, you’ll damage your authority in your niche.
Evergreen content can still be featured if it provides up-to-date information that informs the user. This can be done in the form of how-to content, guides, and tutorials.
Create High-Quality Content
Google Search and Discover work in different ways, but they do share some fundamental similarities. They both want to show users high-quality content.
You’ll get much better results in search and increase your chances of being featured on Google Discover with content that offers real value to the reader.
Transparency is also important. The Google Discover guidelines state that publishers should:
“Provide clear dates, bylines, information about authors, the publication, the publisher, company, or network behind it, and contact information to build trust and transparency with visitors.”
You should also try to create a buzz around your new content. Discover wants to show users content with high engagement, so use your social channels to boost the visibility of each new post that you publish.
Use of Visual Material
Unlike the organic positions in the SERP, Google Discover includes an image in the feed.
That means high-quality images can be a great asset for increasing clickthrough rates and boosting the reach of your content. According to Search Engine Journal, Discover cards with large, high-quality images generate 5% higher clickthrough rates on average.
Make sure each image also features:
- A caption describing the subject of the image
- Alt text to improve accessibility and SEO performance
Google also recommends that your large images should be 1,200 pixels wide.
We’ve covered the top tips for getting your content featured on Discover. Just like Google Search, you should focus on publishing high-quality, valuable content that your audience wants to read about.
If you tick all the boxes for quality content and stay consistent, you will start to see your content climb the rankings and get featured on Discover.
If your content is struggling to get the attention it deserves, reach out to our team of search engine experts here at Ogno for a free consultation. We’ll help you boost your online visibility with a bulletproof marketing strategy.