seo strategy

Why You Should Be Using Google Discovery Ads

Last year, Google released a Beta ad format, that allows you to share visual stories with potential customers interested in topics related to your content.

What is Google Discover?

Discover is a feed that appears on the home page of Google’s iOS and Android app, as well as the mobile homepage.

Users are able to personalize their feeds so they see content that pertains to them. Unlike Google Search Ads, people don’t need to enter a search query to have these ads appear. Google sorts users into audiences based on activity and serves ads relevant to that person.

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What are Google Discovery Ads?

Discovery Ads are visually rich, mobile-optimized clickable image ads that use the power of user intent. These ads are based on Google’s signals from peoples’ website visits, app downloads, videos watched, and map searches.

Discovery Ads are targeted using audiences rather than keywords (similar to In-Market Audiences) and can be run across the mobile YouTube home feed and Gmail Social & Promotions tabs in addition to the Google Discover feed.

“Google is positioning Discovery Ads as an alternative to Facebook and Instagram. Discovery is a browseable, feed-based surface which gives advertisers an opportunity to extend their digital footprint to hundreds of millions of Google users globally — with a single campaign. All while leveraging rich user intent signals to meet users’ expectations when they’re eager to learn more and ready to take action” – James Anthony, Google Representative.

Why Invest in Discovery Ads

  1. Increases Brand Awareness
    1. Promote products and services while building the brand’s image
    2. New inventory helps to expand reach and traffic
  2. Captures Audience Attention
    1. Visually impactful and seamless ad format
    2. Served only to the audiences who will find it relevant

Assets Required to Set Up Google Discovery Ads

  • Headline (90 characters)
  • Description (90 characters)
  • Business Name (25 characters)
  • URL
  • Call-to-Action (CTA)
  • Image(s)


You can find all specifications for running Discovery Ads from Google here.

Google Discovery Ads Results

Seer launched a net new Discovery campaign for a client that was seeing significant decreases in page views to the homepage Year Over Year (YoY). Since launching Discovery Ads, this campaign has driven:

  • 890 incremental conversions
  • $15.91 CPA (36% under our goal CPA of $25)
  • 1.4MM impressions (9% of all campaigns)
  • 102k clicks (19% of all campaigns)
  • +153% more sessions to the homepage year-over-year

While conversion volume is low compared to other Paid Search campaigns running in this account, Seer is happy with the impression volume as well as the CPA. Especially given that this is incremental volume and this ad format is aimed at increasing brand awareness.

As a result, we definitely recommend leveraging this ad format if you’re able to — Discovery Ads are still in Beta!

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