Google features several places where your website can rank. In addition to its standard search engine results pages (SERPs), it features an organic feed for mobile users. Known as Google Discover, it reaches over 800 million mobile users each month.
Just because your website ranks in Google’s standard SERPs, though, it may not rank for Google Discover. Google Discover is a separate platform that requires a different approach to search engine optimization (SEO).
Overview of Google Discover
Google Discover is a personalized feed of organic listings that Google serves to mobile device users. It was released in September 2018 as the successor to Google Feed. Both Google Discover and Google Feed consist of nonpaid web page listings that are personalized to each mobile user.
Google Discover is simply an updated version with a new layout, more evergreen content, support for more language, and a deeper level of control.
You can access Google Discover using any mobile device. Just open the official Google app or visit google.com on your mobile device.
Alternatively, some smartphones offer access to Google Discover by swiping to the left or right from the home screen. Upon landing on Google Discover, you’ll see a feed of organic listings.
This feed is personalized based on your browsing activities as well as the topics that you follow in the official Google app or your mobile device’s Chrome web browser.
Create Relevant, Non-Clickbait Titles
Using the right page titles will increase your website’s chances of ranking for Google Discover. Like with Google’s standard SERPs, all organic listings in Google Discover feature a title.
As mobile device users scroll through their personalized feed, they’ll see the titles of indexed web pages. By creating relevant and non-clickbait titles, your website’s pages will be more likely to rank for Google Discover.
Add High-Quality Visuals
Optimizing your website for Google Discover requires the use of high-quality visuals. Pages with only text may rank in Google’s standard SERPs, but they probably won’t rank for Google Discover.
Nearly all organic listings displayed in Google Discover have a thumbnail. Thumbnails, however, are only possible for web pages that contain at least one piece of visual content, such as an image or video.
Google says explicitly that adding large images — those that are at least 1,200 pixels wide and codded with the “max-image-preview: large” setting – to a page’s content can help it rank for Google Discover.
Large images will stretch horizontally across the screens of the mobile devices on which they are viewed to provide an engaging experience.
You should consider timestamping your website’s pages when optimizing it for Google Discover. Timestamping means displaying the date and time when a page is published.
Many well-known content management systems (CMSs) offer timestamping as a native feature. When this feature is enabled, they will automatically include the date and time when pages are published.
Timestamping isn’t a requirement to rank for Google Discover, but it can help your website secure listings in this personalized feed, nonetheless. With timestamps, Google will identify your website’s pages as being highly relevant at and around the time when they were published.
Google will also tell users how long ago your website’s pages were published if they rank for Google Discover. If you published a new page yesterday, for instance, the page’s Google Discover listing may state “24 hours ago.”
Leverage Meta Tags
For Google Discover SEO, you’ll need to leverage meta tags. Meta tags are coding elements written in Hypertext Markup Language (HTML) that describe the content of a web page.
There are different types of meta tags, two of which include the title tag and the description tag.
The title tag, as the name suggests, describes the title of the page. The description tag offers a general description of the page’s content.
Neither these nor any other meta tags will be displayed directly on your website. Instead, search engines will use them to create your website’s listings, including its Google Discover listing.
Ensuring that all of your website’s pages have relevant and optimized meta tags will lead to better Google Discover rankings.
Build Overall Authority
Building your website’s overall authority will help it rank for Google Discover. Google is more selective when choosing web pages for its Discover feed as opposed to its standard SERPs.
You won’t find many web pages from unknown or untrusted brands in Google Discover. It’s usually web pages from authoritative and trusted brands that rank for Google Discover.
There are several ways to build your website’s overall authority. Social media marketing, for example, can lead to greater authority.
It will raise awareness for your website’s brand while attracting third-party engagement signals in the form of likes, shares, and comments from social media users.
Another way to build your website’s overall authority is to create more brand mentions. A brand mention is any listing or piece of content that features your website’s brand name.
Search engines will crawl these brand mentions, after which they’ll associate them with your website. Backlinks can be brand mentions if they feature your website’s brand name as the visible and clickable anchor text.
Tackle Long Load Times
Don’t overlook your website’s speed when optimizing it for Google Discover. Google Discover only reaches mobile device users, and mobile device devices are generally less patient than desktop users when waiting for web pages.
If your website has long load times, mobile device users may not wait for it to load. Consequently, Google may not rank in its Discover feed.
You can tackle long load times by upgrading your website’s hosting service, removing unnecessary redirects, compressing large images, enabling caching, and using a content delivery network (CDN).
With mobile internet usage steadily increasing year by year, you must plan your SEO strategy accordingly. Instead of only optimizing your website for Google’s standard SERPs, you should optimize it for Google Discover as well.
Ranking in Google Discover will allow your website to attract more traffic from mobile device users.
Lori Ballen is a real estate agent in Las Vegas. She’s a digital marketing specialist, speaker, and marketing coach and loves to share her “Ballen Method” to generate website traffic and leads online. Lori’s specialties are SEO content writing (ranking on the search engines), social media strategies, and affiliate marketing. Need a website? Contact Lori’s brothers Jeff and Paul Helvin at Ballen Brands.