Don’t Give Up On Discovery Ads Yet

Ashley Ali
June 12, 2020

Over the last couple months, you’ve probably tested (or have been pressured to test by your Google rep) Google’s Discovery Ads. But have you seen a significant impact on conversions come as a result of this?

For those of you who are not familiar with discovery ads yet, let’s take a step back.

What are discovery ads?

Discovery ads are native ads that appear across all Google platforms including Gmail, Youtube, and the Google Discovery Feed. According to Google, Discovery ads are “visually rich, mobile first and use the ‘power of intent.' -- meaning Google uses consumers’ past site visitation, app downloads, videos watched and map searches in order to determine whether your ad should be shown or not.

The Issue With Discovery Ads

The description of Discovery Ads sounds great and like it has a ton of potential, but if you have tested this beta you likely have not seen much success if you are optimizing around your normal conversion goal.

The cool thing with discovery ads is it drives a ton of traffic, but users just don’t have as high intent as we originally had thought. When we are optimizing campaigns such as these around the same goal as our search campaigns, it’s tough to expect similar performance. 

So how can we get them to work?

Since Discovery Ads are great at driving traffic, one thing that we’ve tested that has been successful is optimizing around micro-conversions. In order to do this, you must create goals in Google Analytics for anything you may deem as valuable. We decided to use site visitors who have been to 3+ pages and users who have been on the website for 120 seconds or more.