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How to Maximize Your Reach with Google Discovery Ads

Alex Quin
April 9, 2024

Are you looking for an effective way to reach a larger audience and increase your brand's visibility? Google Discovery Ads could be the answer. With their unmatched potential to attract new customers and engage existing ones, they have become one of the most popular ad formats across industries. 

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll look at how you can maximize your reach with Google Discovery Ads, from understanding the basics to optimizing your campaigns for success. We’ll also explore how you can use these ads to stay ahead of the competition and drive more targeted leads. So let’s dive in!

What are Google Discovery Ads?

So what are Google Discovery ads? Google Discovery Ads are a type of ad format that helps businesses increase their reach by appearing on multiple Google surfaces such as YouTube, Gmail, and the Discover feed. These ads can be customized to suit any budget and provide businesses with an effective way to engage their audiences in new ways. They are shown in full-screen visuals offering users immersive experiences, helping to increase engagement and drive more conversions.

Google Discovery ad campaigns were initially intended to be used solely on the Discover app, but they have since extended their reach and are now available through YouTube and Gmail too. This is an outstanding opportunity for businesses looking to tap into potential new customers - as these channels can provide engaging content that follows people in their buying journey.

why invest in google discovery ads

Why Invest in Google Discovery Ads?

There are a variety of reasons why Google Discovery Ads should be part of your marketing strategy. Here are just a few:

Simplifies Campaign Management

Campaign management is a breeze with Google Discovery Ads.With Google Discovery Ads, you can quickly and easily target the right customers through a single campaign. Plus, you won't need any special assets to get started!

Cost-effective Advertising

Google Discovery Ads are highly cost-effective compared to other advertising platforms, providing an economical way to reach potential customers. Plus, you can optimize your campaigns for the best ROI by setting a daily budget and maximum bid.

A good example of their cost-effectiveness can be seen in a recent campaign carried out by Search Engine Journal (SEJ). In this campaign, SEJ initiated a Discovery Ads campaign to broaden their tech client's market reach. This new advertisement strategy was integrated into the company’s search engine marketing plan with separate audiences targeted according to distinct ad groups. With this initiative, SEJ aimed to expand their scope for greater success in reaching their desired goals.

The SEJ tech client was overjoyed with the outcome of their Discovery Ads campaign, as they experienced a 93% decrease in cost per click and 70% drop in cost per visit. Additionally, this amazing result went hand-in-hand with an increase of 690% impressions when contrasted against their SEM campaigns!

Increases Brand Awareness & User Engagement

Google Discovery Ads are excellent for increasing brand awareness, as they appear in full-screen visuals across multiple Google surfaces. This provides users with an interactive and immersive experience, helping to boost engagement and conversions.

Brand aware customers are more likely to become paying customers, and they’ll also be more likely to confidently recommend your product or service to their friends and family.

how google discovery ads work

How Google Discovery Ads Work

In this section, we will explore how Google Discovery Ads work and the steps needed to set up a successful campaign.

Google Discovery Ad Specs And Formats

Here are the three main types of ad formats available on the Google Discovery Network:


  • Standard Discovery ads: You can place up to 20 images
  • Carousel Discovery ads: Upload up to 10 images in the correct order for Carousel Ads to ensure optimal visibility and engagement.

Image dimensions:

  • Square: (1:1)
  • Landscape: (1:91:1)
  • Portrait: (4:5)
  • Logo: Square (1:1)


  • Standard Discovery ads: You can provide up to 5 descriptions
  • Carousel Discovery ads: Provide 1 description
  • There is a 90-character limit


  • Standard Discovery ads: You will need to provide up to 5 headlines
  • Carousel Discovery ads: Provide 1 headline for the ad set and 1 headline for each card on carousel
  • 40 maximum character limit

Where Are Google Discovery Ads Shown?

Some of the places Google Discovery Ads can be shown include:

Youtube Discovery ads: A YouTube discovery ad effortlessly blends into the feed in the form of image thumbnails, with an interesting headline and description that are accompanied by your business name and logo adjacent to a recognizable ad icon.

Gmail Feed: To increase visibility and engagement, companies place their ads strategically on the Gmail homepage beneath both the “Social” and “Promotions” tabs. While scrolling down your Gmail home page, you'll quickly spot green "Ad" icons that open up a company's details with just one click.

Google App Homepage and Discover feed: Google discovery ads appear within the Discover feed, which is accessed via the Google app. Companies can showcase their products and services on this interactive platform and leverage its features to boost engagement.

Targeting Options for Google Discovery Ads

When creating Google Discovery campaigns, you can target users based on their:

Businesses can use Google Discovery Ads to target people who might be interested in their products or services. They can do this by targeting people based on their interests and things they like or by creating separate ad groups for different audiences.

1. Interest Targeting: Use interest targeting to reach users who have shown a previous interest in topics related to your business or product offering. This will help you create more relevant and engaging ads that are likely to resonate with the target audience.

2. Audience Targeting: Create separate ad groups for different audiences, such as new customers, existing customers, and fans of your page or social media accounts. This way, you can ensure that each ad group is tailored specifically toward its intended audience in order to maximize engagement levels and conversions.

3. Demographic Targeting: Choose demographic targeting options like age range and gender to better understand what kind of people might be interested in your products/services across different demographics – this helps refine your overall targeting strategy for maximum results!

4. Location Targeting: Utilize geographical information about potential customers when creating an ad campaign - this allows you tailor ads according to the local area where they live or work, which helps increase relevance and engagement rates among those users!

how to create google discovery ads

How to create Google Discovery Ads

Setting up a Google Ads account

Before creating your discovery ads, you’ll need to set up a Google Ads account. This is a straightforward process and can be done in just a few minutes. Here is a quick step-by-step guide:

Step 1: Go to the Google Ads homepage and click “Create an account”.

Step 2: Enter your business information, such as your business name, website URL and contact details.

Step 3: Choose a payment method and add a payment method.

Step 4: Review your account settings and make any adjustments if necessary.

Step 5: Finally, click “Create” to set up your Google Ads account!

Having a well-structured account and campaign structure is essential for success. Once your account is set up, you can start creating discovery ads that are tailored to the right audience.

Creating a New Campaign For Google Discovery Ads

Once you have set up your Google Ads account, you can begin creating a new campaign for Google Discovery Ads. Below, we give a step-by-step guide for setting up your new campaign:

Step 1: Log into your Google Ads account

Step 2: Click the ‘Campaigns’ tab on the left of the Google Ads menu. After that, click the ‘+’ button and select a new campaign.

Step 3: After completing the steps above, pick a marketing goal from one of these five options: "Sales," "Leads," “Web Traffic,” “Product or Brand Consideration,” and lastly, "Local Store Visits and Promotions."

Step 4: When selecting your campaign type, opt for "Discovery," and then select the geographic and language targeting that best suits your needs. To ensure success, carefully select your target audience by considering custom intent, your data analysis findings, and in-market audiences.

Step 5: Next, craft your bidding strategy and daily budget. Google saves time when managing campaigns with its automated bid feature; Automated Bidding takes the guesswork out of establishing bids in order to accomplish campaign objectives.

Step 6: And voila! You're done setting up your Google Discovery Ads campaign. All that's left is to write the creative content and launch!

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Designing Effective Ad Creatives

Before creating your ads, remember these tips:

1. Use high-quality images and videos: It is important to use high-resolution visuals for ads since this will help increase engagement levels and conversions.

2. Create visually appealing ads: Keep in mind the design of your ad when creating it – make sure all elements are balanced and don’t overcrowd the visuals with too much text or graphics.

3. Utilize color psychology: Colors have a huge impact on how people perceive an advertisement, so be mindful of the colors you choose to create a positive response from viewers!

4. Incorporate relevant keywords & phrases: Make sure that your headline, copy, captions, and/or taglines include relevant words & phrases that can trigger interest for potential customers.

5. Include a call-to-action (CTA): A clear CTA button should appear at the bottom of each ad creative in order to guide users toward completing desired actions or tasks on your website or app!

Google Discovery Ads Best practices for ad copy and messaging

This section should provide tips on how to create effective ad copy and messaging:

1. Keep it short and sweet: Ads should be concise and to the point while making sure to include all the necessary information users need to know.

2. Focus on benefits: Highlight how your product or service can help users solve their needs or challenges.

3. Use a conversational tone: Write ad copy that resonates with your target audience, using words and phrases they would use themselves.

4. Include a sense of urgency: Adding some scarcity or urgency to an ad can help drive quick purchases or actions from potential customers.

5. Leverage customer testimonials: Pull quotes from customer reviews and/or success stories to build trust and credibility for your product or service.

success stories with google discovery ads

Success Stories with Google Discovery Ads

Case studies of businesses that have successfully used Google Discovery Ads

Google Discovery ads have made a huge impact on businesses of all sizes. Here are some success stories to illustrate the power of Google Discovery Ads:

1. Seer Interactive: In 2021, Seer Interactive launched a groundbreaking newsletter campaign on behalf of a client using Google Discovery, Display, and YouTube to assess which medium resulted in more email sign-ups. The end result showed that Google's Discovery Ads drove the most email conversions, resulting in more than 58,000 new sign-ups. Furthermore, it was also observed that this particular product had a much lower cost per lead (CPL) ratio when compared to YouTube and Display at 26% and 120%, respectively. Not only did it achieve better returns, but even managed to outpace its competition with higher conversion rates of 84% for YouTube as well as 154% for Discovery.

2. Fire Eye: FireEye, a California-based company, sought to generate website traffic for their B2B segment product - Mandiant Advantage, an intelligent threat solution - through Discovery Ads. The campaign ran over four months and ultimately produced 653 free signups at only $88 CPA, surpassing the set target by 56%. Remarkably, these sign-ups accounted for 20% of the total volume acquired during the duration of this strategy. This Google Discovery ads example further highlights the ability of this ad format to drive an efficient and cost-effective result.

These results demonstrate the effectiveness of Google Discovery Ads in helping businesses achieve their goals. By following the tips outlined in this guide, you can also see success with Google Discovery Ads!

Challenges and Limitations of Google Discovery Ads

Potential limitations of using Google Discovery Ads

Google Discovery ads are a great way to reach new customers, but there are some challenges and limitations associated with this digital marketing tool.

1. Limited ad placements: Unlike other ad formats, Discovery Ads are only available in the Google Discover feed and YouTube Homepage.

2. Creative restrictions: Discovery Ads have specific creative requirements, including a limited character count for headlines and descriptions.

3. Limited targeting options: Targeting is more limited than other Google ad formats as there are no keyword or placement-specific targeting options available.

Strategies For Overcoming These Limitations

1. Focus on quality visuals: Make sure to use high-resolution images and videos in your ads, as this will help optimize their performance in the Google Discover Feed.

2. Prioritize user experience: Ensure that the ad creative is visually appealing and easy to understand – make sure all elements are balanced and don’t overcrowd the visuals with too much text or graphics.

3. Research user interests: Utilize resources to research popular topics, keywords and trends in order to create ads that are tailored to users’ interests.

4. Continually Monitor Performance: Regularly analyze the performance of your ads and adjust accordingly to maximize results.


Google Discovery Ads is an effective tool for businesses of all sizes to reach new customers at scale. To get the most out of this ad format, it is important to understand its challenges and limitations as well as utilize strategies to overcome them. With proper planning and execution, Google Discovery Ads can be a powerful asset for any digital marketing strategy.

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