Six Helpful Tips for Ranking Better in Google Discover
Google Discover provides a stream of content tailored to each mobile user’s preference. Many publishers who were successful in ranking Google SEO content in Discover have seen a significant traffic boost from the Discover feed. However, according to a Google SEO expert, there’s no way one can make content that precisely targets Discover’s interest matching.
That is certainly true, but there are several things that one may do to improve their chances of ranking in Google Discover. Below are some of the top strategies for publishers looking to get the best chances of ranking in Google Discover. These tips are based on data from one million pages in Discover collected over the past few months.
1. Use emotional titles instead of clickbait
SEO experts looked at the titles that performed exceptionally well in Google Discover. These top titles had a CTR of 25 per cent or more and with at least 10,000 impressions. They easily noticed that many are “clickbaity”. So, they wondered whether or not a bait and switch was going on.
After analysing these titles, SEO experts said that “clickbaity” titles do not work because publishers promise the readers something. The latter then go to the site only to discover that the content isn’t what the title promised. Such titles can easily be recognised by Google, but many emotional titles still work well. Therefore, one must learn to tread the delicate line between clickbaity, outrageous headlines and ones with a compelling emotional component.
SEO experts also noted that 13 per cent of the top 100 Discover articles were listicles. But if a brand wants to get more traffic from Discover, it would be better if they steer away from 10-item listicles. According to the SEO who presented the data, 10-item listicles have the lowest CTR because people think they’re boring and fake.
2. Utilise quality visuals
Using high-quality photos and videos is crucial if one wants to rank higher in Google Discover. The larger your photos, the better. They should be enabled by the max-image-preview:large setting and at least 1200 pixels tall.
Site owners also need to use AMP for their images. This will change the pictures’ size to the correct one. For instance, if the picture is too small, it can be modified to be a bigger size, which is the full-width image. Most of the time, a website’s CTR rises by two to three times when quality visuals are used.
Below are some more tips to bear in mind:
- Hero images should use 16:9 aspect ratio
- Avoid using site logos as images
- Images should have a descriptive caption
- Do not use manipulated media
- Make good use of appropriate alt text
- Images should have a descriptive filename
3. Understand the principles of E-A-T signals
The overall concepts of E-A-T are applied to Search and Discover all the same, even though the two are separate things. In 2020, Google included E-A-T (expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness) to its Discover standards. This is a term that has never been used there before. But when it comes to evaluating Google Discover material, they’ll be now looking at E-A-T.
Demonstrating E-A-T in one’s content helps convince Google that it is trustworthy, factually correct, and useful – and therefore deserving of a recommendation. Optimising author pages is also one approach to improving a site’s E-A-T. So, for instance, when it comes to article authorship, one should avoid using “written by admin or staff” in their content because it does not transfer any trust signals or E-A-T. With that being said, there are certain exceptions.
There are also various ways of boosting one’s E-A-T for readers and Google:
- The website should be secure with HTTPS
- Articles should have bylines, dates, and information about the author
- The content should give information about the articles’ publication, the publisher, or the company behind it
- Publishers must put their contact information for better transparency and trust
- The content should provide a link to the author’s social media profiles
4. Identify entities and topics that suit the brand
The Google Search Console Search Analytics API now supports Discover data, allowing publishers to use Google’s natural language processing to determine which entities work for their publications and pique their audience’s interest.
Once a site owner has integrated the Google Discover API into their website and run it through Google natural language processing, they will have a better idea of which subjects are best for their brand. Since Google has already deemed them an authority on those topics, publishers should “double down” on these topics.
One may sort these topics by CTR, impressions, or number of pages. Ordering by CTR reveals which topics the audience is interested in. Sorting out based on impressions displays the topics with the most visibility, implying authority. And sorting by the number of pages and referencing the CTR, for instance, can help one spot areas where their content could be improved.
5. Update evergreen content
Updating evergreen content boosts the chances of receiving more Discover traffic. Every time a Google SEO updates their content, CTR could increase. However, it is highly advisable for SEO experts to use the same URL and change the headline from time to time.
6. Understand Google Discover Data
One should establish a baseline to contextualise their data, so they know which stories performed well or not. It’s critical to fully understand the following:
- The average daily life span per story
- The average click-through rate per category
- The average impressions per story
SEOs should also understand that Google Analytics categorises Discover traffic as “direct”. It could be that 25 to 30 per cent of direct traffic in Google Analytics is from Discover, so one should pay attention to this.
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