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Google Discovery Ads: A Comprehensive Guide for Advertisers in 2023

Google Discovery Ads have emerged as a powerful tool for businesses looking to reach their target audience. With the ability to reach up to 3 billion users across Google's feeds, including YouTube, Gmail, and Google Discover, advertisers can now leverage visually rich and highly personalised ads to engage potential customers. In this comprehensive guide, we'll dive into the world of Google Discovery Ads and explore their benefits, best practices, and how to create and optimise them effectively.
Google Discovery Ads: A Comprehensive Guide for Advertisers in 2023
Google Ads
January 10, 2023

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What Are Google Discovery Ads?

Google Discovery Ads are visually appealing, mobile-optimised, and clickable image ads that utilise the power of user intent. These ads are served on Google's feeds, such as YouTube Home and Watch Next feeds, Google Discover, and Gmail Promotions and Social tabs. By leveraging machine learning and Google's unique understanding of customer intent, Discovery Ads deliver highly relevant and meaningful ads to users when they're most interested in discovering new products and services.

Example of a Google Discovery Ads

Let's start by looking at an example. The benefit of discovery ads is that they're easy to set up and can reach many millions of users whilst they're browsing online or reading emails in Gmail. This means that the ad content that you need to provide Google with needs to be highly relevant to your customer and visually appealing to catch their eye.

Google Discovery Ads Example

Benefits of Google Discovery Ads

By implementing discovery ads in your advertising strategy, you can enjoy the following benefits:

Reach More Users with a Single Campaign

Google Discovery Ads allow you to reach up to 3 billion people monthly across popular Google properties. This means you can expand your reach and connect with more potential customers, all through a single ad campaign.

Drive Engagement with Richer, More Relevant Ads

Thanks to Google's understanding of customer intent, Discovery Ads enable you to show more relevant and meaningful ads to your target audience. This results in higher user engagement and a better chance of converting them into customers.

Visually Rich Ads

Discovery Ads are designed to blend seamlessly with the user's browsing experience, rendering natively on various Google properties. This ensures a visually appealing and non-disruptive ad experience that captures user attention and drives action.

Automated Bidding Options for Better Performance

Google Discovery Ads support automated bidding strategies, such as Target CPA, and Target ROAS. By leveraging Google's machine learning capabilities, you can optimise your bids to meet your marketing objectives and drive better performance.

When to Use Google Discovery Ads

Google Discovery Ads can be an excellent choice for advertisers in the following scenarios:

Reaching New Customers

Discovery Ads can help you connect with potential customers who may be open to trying new brands. By sharing visually rich and inspiring content across Google's feeds, you can generate interest and drive engagement from users who may not have been aware of your brand before.

Driving Conversions

If your primary goal is to drive conversions, such as sales, newsletter signups, or website visits, Discovery Ads can help you achieve that by reaching a wide audience with highly personalised and visually compelling ads.

Reconnecting with Valuable Customers

Discovery campaigns offer a great opportunity to reconnect with your most valuable customers as they return to Google's feeds to find the content they enjoy. By serving personalised ads to users who have previously engaged with your brand, you can drive repeat actions and foster long-term customer loyalty.

Setting Up a Google Discovery Campaign: Requirements and Campaign Settings

To set up a Google Discovery Campaign, you must meet the following requirements:

  • You must comply with Google Ads policies and their personal advertising policies.
  • And have a Google tag setup across your whole website

Discovery Ad Campaign Setup

Several campaign settings are automated for discovery campaigns to save you time and help your campaign deliver optimal performance. These include bidding strategies, targeting, and ad rotation. It is also important to note that, there are some features not supported by discovery campaigns, such as manual bid strategies, delivery method, device targeting, placement targeting, frequency capping, and contextual targeting. These restrictions can prove a little constraining for some ad buyers. If you need help with your ad strategy, we at Lever Digital can help build a complete advertising plan for your business.

We also advise getting your creative assets and ad copy together before running this ad type. This includes assets like:

  • Headlines (Max 40 characters)
  • Descriptions (Max 90 characters)
  • Images
  • Logos

For ad text you will need at least 3 different variations and for images at least 1 however it is recommended by Google to have 5 variations of ad copy and 3 variations for images. You can find more information about asset types here.

Best Practices for Google Discovery Ads

To make the most of your Google Discovery Ads, follow these best practices:

1. Use High-Quality Images and Logos

Ensure that your ads feature high-quality, visually appealing images and logos that are relevant to your offer. This will help capture user attention and drive engagement with your ads.

2. Craft Compelling Headlines and Descriptions

Create headlines and descriptions that are attention-grabbing, informative, and enticing to your target audience. This will help persuade users to click on your ads and engage with your brand.

3. Test and Optimise Your Ads

Continuously test different ad creatives, targeting options, and landing pages to find the most effective combinations for driving conversions. By analysing performance data and making necessary adjustments, you can improve the overall effectiveness of your Discovery campaigns.

4. Use Smart Bidding Strategies

Leverage Google's Smart Bidding strategies, such as Target CPA, to optimise your bids for better performance. By utilising machine learning, you can ensure that your ads are served to the right audience at the right time, driving better results for your marketing objectives.

5. Start with Remarketing

Remarketing is an excellent way to reconnect with users who have already shown an interest in your brand. By serving personalised ads to these users, you can drive repeat actions and foster long-term customer loyalty.

6. Monitor and Adjust Your Campaigns

Regularly monitor your campaign performance and make necessary adjustments to your targeting, bid strategy, and ad creatives. This will help you optimise your campaigns for better performance and ensure that you're getting the most out of your advertising budget.

Google Discovery Ads vs. Display Campaigns

While both Google Discovery and Display campaigns allow you to serve visually rich ads across multiple Google properties, there are some key differences between the two:

  • Targeting - Discovery campaigns target users that are ready to engage with and learn more about your brand. Both display campaigns and discovery ads use the same audience targeting such as remarketing audiences, custom intent, in-market audiences, affinity and demographics.
  • Placements - Discovery ads are designed to blend seamlessly with the user's browsing experience, rendering natively on various Google properties. Whereas Display ads can be shown across a wide range of websites not just Google owned properties like Gmail and YouTube.
  • Creatives - Both Display and Discovery Ads have ad formats that allow Google to build adverts based on individual assets that you provide such as headlines and descriptions. Google will take these creatives that you provide and will mix and match them based on a range of factors. This can limit the control an advertiser has over what messaging shows where. In addition, with Display ads you can create and upload your own creatives so that you can complete control over what the user sees.
  • Bidding - Discovery campaigns leverage machine learning to optimise bids and targeting making it easy to manage but giving limited control. Display ads also make use of machine learning however with display ads you can also bid on a cost per click, impression, conversion, and ROAS.

By understanding these differences, you can choose the best campaign type for your advertising goals and target audience.

In Summary

Google Discovery Ads offer a powerful way for businesses to reach and engage their target audience, driving conversions and fostering brand loyalty. By understanding the benefits, best practices, and how to create and optimise these ads effectively, you can make the most of this advertising option and achieve better results for your marketing objectives.


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