In the 8 month long blogging journey, I've been fortunate to witness a huge spike in traffic growth month-over-month due to Google Discover. So far, 75 of my blog posts have got featured on Google Discover translating to 225K clicks and 4.08M impressions.
In this post, I'm going to share what all I take care of from SEO point of view to ensure that my posts get featured on Google Discover:
Google Discover Optimization
I. Heading & Title
There's a difference between both. What you see as a blog heading in blue on Google is called Title and what you see when you open a blog post is called Heading. Now, for all SEO purposes, your title is supposed to be less than 70 characters, else it gets truncated.
But, if you've seen Google Discover Posts, their headings are often long and elaborate. That's because a Google Discover Card doesn't display the Title of your blog post, it displays the complete Heading.
So, if you're aiming to get your post on Google Discover, go for a longer heading and a shorter title. I prefer to keep my blog headings between 150-200 characters. This allows me to insert a long-tail keyword in the heading itself, which helps with the SEO for Google Discover.
II. Using High Quality Images
The use of high quality images has been recommended by Google in its introductory post on Google Discover. What qualifies as high quality is at least 1200 by 1200 pixel resolution. However, since the Google Discover Cards are in the landscape format, I recommend keeping it 2000 x 1200 px.
I've observed that most of my blog posts that got featured had camera clicked photographs than commercial images. So, my assumption is that Google Lens helps Discover read the topic of the blog post by scanning the image involved. This implies you should use images that can be easily read by Google and can therefore be mapped to the relevant Discover Topic. Else, use Alt Text.
III. Use of Internal Linking
If you're not aware about internal links and their benefits, I suggest you read up on it. You must try to include at least 3-4 quality internal links that can help your readers navigate through the blog.
This has two benefits - it helps increase the number of pageviews/session and more importantly, it counts as a pageview in Google Analytics which would not be the case if you're using AMP version.
IV. Use AMP
Accelerated Mobile Pages help load the webpage faster and improve the SEO score of your website. Most of my Google Discover featured posts were AMP versions. If you're using a slow website host, it's best to use AMP. It can help you with both your Search and Discover traffic.
Please note that if you're using AMP, then the number of clicks through Discover may be significantly more than the number of Page Views reflected in Google Analytics or your own Website Analytics. This is because a click gets accounted for in Discover when a reader opens your Discover Card.
But, a pageview gets counted in Web Analytics, when a user clicks on an internal link of your website within the blog post that got featured. All the more reason for you to use internal linking.
V. Focus on Length
My best performing blog posts on Google Discover were optimized for 500-1000 word count. I specifically noticed that the blog posts with less than 250 words and more than 2000 words saw lower click through rates (CTR).
So, try optimizing your blog post for Google Discover by keeping the reading time in between 4-5 minutes.
These were my top 5 tips for you to optimize SEO for Google Discover. Hope they help you.
More on Google Discover: