How to rank your business in Google Discover?

Ever since its introduction in 2018, Google Discover has provided steady traffic for hundreds of websites. It is primarily news sources and media outlets that benefit from the feature. But all kinds of high-value content can crop up, including your (better than) average blog. So how can you take advantage of the same perks? Before you learn how to rank your business in Google Discover, you need to understand what Google Discover really is and how it works. Luckily for you, Digital Dot are experts on all things digital marketing and we are here to give you some tips.

What is Google Discover and how does it work?

Google Discover is a feature of Google’s software that presents users with content suggestions based on previous searches. If you open Chrome on your phone right now, you’ll be able to see it for yourself. Under your bookmarks, search bar, and recent websites, you’ll probably see a few news articles, press releases, blog posts, and YouTube videos on the topics that you’re interested in. This is what Google Discover is. It is not quite a newsfeed because it can also include evergreen content and it is not quite the same as search engine results because it doesn’t draw from a specific keyword that the user searches for. So how does content end up on Google Discover then?

Person browsing articles on how to rank your business in Google Discover.
Google Discover helps users find the content they are interested in without even performing a search.

Because Google Discover suggestions appear before you even search for anything, they need to be based on your previous history. So Google tracks your behavior across all of its products. It tracks what you search for on Google, what you watch on YouTube, and even your location. From this, it establishes your interest profile and then presents you with relevant high-quality content.

Why should you aim to rank your business in Google Discover?

As a business owner, you’ll want to make use of Google Discover because it’s a great way to reach an audience already interested in what you’re offering. Because suggestions are based on extensive user history, Google is unlikely to make a mistake and serve your website up to someone who hasn’t previously shown serious interest in your niche. Because news is very commonly featured on Google Discover, your press releases and business updates will reach more people. And because evergreen content is also a popular result, even your old posts may gain traction again. Ultimately, Google Discover will increase the quantity and quality of your mobile traffic.

The best ways to rank your business in Google Discover

Google Discover feeds are incredibly individual and highly personalized. Even if you create content specifically with it in mind, there’s never a guarantee you’ll succeed. But there are certain things you can do that increase your chances of ranking:

Optimize for mobile

Because Discover is a feature on mobile apps, only pages that are mobile-friendly are displayed. So make sure that your website looks good on mobile devices, both phones and tablets. Work on your page loading speeds as well – utilize responsive design, lazy loading, and AMP to increase your chances of ranking high for mobile searches and landing on Google Discover.

Person using a mobile phone.
If you want to rank your business in Google Discover, you need to focus on mobile optimization.

Talk about popular topics

Google Discover is all about bringing the users hot and current content – that’s why it features so many news articles. So if you want to find yourself on Discover feeds, you should focus on trending topics. This is where having a blog comes in handy. You can post about the latest news in your industry, give tips on recently released products, or write opinion pieces on famous controversies. Even if you’re not looking to appear on Discover as a source of news, you’ll want to keep an eye on the biggest trends in your niche. This helps you discover what types of posts people like, create evergreen content, and fit the interest profiles of the widest possible range of users.

Improve your E-A-T

Expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness (E-A-T) will go a long way in improving your reputation with Google. If you build yourself up as a worthy source, Google will be more likely to trust you and therefore, more likely to recommend your content through Discover. To establish yourself as an expert through high-quality, high-value content. Then, build up your reputation to increase your authoritativeness. Finally, be transparent to prove trustworthiness.

Use metadata

On Discover, users will only see the title and brief description of your post which are determined by title tags and meta descriptions. So make sure to enter those into every post you publish and try to match them to the content itself. Just remember not to overdo it – Google explicitly warns against manipulative and click-baiting metadata.

Create and promote visual content

Google favors the type of content its users’ favor and most of them happen to prefer learning visually. This is why images, infographics, and videos are common features on Google Discover. While this type of content is often more demanding and more expensive to produce, it has significantly better chances of ranking on Discover. It will also help your overall SEO rankings. So it’s worth a shot.

Person opening the YouTube app on mobile.
Videos and other visual content are particularly popular on Google Discover.

Be on other Google tools

Google favors businesses whose legitimacy it can confirm. And the easiest way for Google to confirm that your business is not some kind of scam is by tracking its presence across different platforms. Most fraudulent businesses don’t bother with setting up more than a website. So having a profile on Google Analytics, Google My Business, Webmaster Tools, and similar business apps will make your business appear more trustworthy to Google. The longer you keep them up, the more legitimacy you have.

 

The downsides of trying to rank your business in Google Discover

For the most part, anything that helps you rank your business in Google Discover also has positive effects on your overall rankings. So the risks of optimizing for Discover are practically non-existent. However, you should not base your entire strategy on Discover visibility. There’s no way to index and crawl specifically for Discover. Therefore, you’ll never be able to target that feature specifically. But the hit-and-miss method won’t generate consistent traffic. Furthermore, you could negatively affect your optimization for other search engines, given that Discover is a Google feature exclusively. The best practice seems to be taking Discover into account but not giving it undue weight in your overall strategy.

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