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How to Optimise Google Discovery Campaigns

Google Discovery ads are a relatively new option in Google Ads, and provide engaging, personalised ads that appear in Google’s feeds on the YouTube app, the Google app, and the Gmail app. They are meant to reach audiences in the moments when they’re ready to discover new products and services.

Discovery ads are visually rich, mobile-optimised 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 so that they are targeted using audiences rather than keywords (similar to In-Market Audiences). They can be run across the mobile YouTube home feed and Gmail Social & Promotions tabs in addition to the Google mobile app Discover feed.

Here are some best practices that we would recommend to help drive better performance from Discovery campaigns:

1. Use high-impact images to engage consumers mid-scroll

High-quality images inspire people to take action with a business’s brand because those and high-resolution images help build brand trust and tell a more engaging story about products or services, while helping inspire customer action.

It’s important to reuse high-performing imagery from existing media campaigns (like social and video) to make the most of Google’s feeds because that helps to save time building campaigns, while driving a seamless brand and product story across Google and YouTube’s most immersive surfaces.

To ensure that the ads have the highest quality images and are approved, be sure to review the Discovery ad format requirements.

For more help, view in-depth creative best practices.

2. Unlock more of the right audiences

Successful Discovery campaigns often start with re-purposing high-intent audiences (i.e. previous data or custom audiences that perform well on your Video and Social campaigns). It’s therefore important to focus on audiences that are more likely to convert, based on performance shown in your other campaigns.

Optimised targeting should be kept enabled, as it can help to find more people who are similar to your current audience and can help lift overall performance.

You can learn more about how to unlock the right audiences.

3. Choose the right budget and give the campaigns time to optimise

Discovery campaigns rely on Google’s automated bid systems and therefore perform better with more data. Gathering enough data requires 2-3 weeks for Google’s machine learning to make ideal optimisations for the campaign.

To do this, an average daily budget should be chosen that’s at least 10 times the value of your target cost-per-action (CPA) bid, then wait for at least 40 conversions before making any changes to the campaign.

You can learn more about choosing budgets for your campaigns.

4. Measure performance

Audience-level reports help to better understand who the best customers are. They should be reviewed so that bids and ad creatives can be adjusted to find more of the right customers.

Asset-level reports should be monitored to provide an understanding of which creative assets perform best, so that the campaign can be best optimised and other marketing campaigns can be informed.

It’s important that sitewide tagging is enabled to then measure conversions to understand which actions people take on the website after they interact with your ad.

You can learn more about sitewide tagging and measuring conversions.


If you want to know more about how optimising Discovery campaigns could help your business, please get in touch.