Syncing 10,000 leads/mo? GET A DEMO

Google Ads Lead Form Extensions: The complete guide to Google lead generation

Every business owner knows that setting a strong lead generation strategy in place helps target high-quality prospects that are more likely to become customers.

However, generating high-quality leads is not an easy task. In a survey carried out by HubSpot, marketers revealed that generating high-quality leads is one of their most extensive lead generation challenges. In this article, we are going to talk about this issue and how to address it.

You will learn all that you need to know about Google lead form Ads, as well as some Google Ads best practices and examples to follow. Additionally, you will discover how LeadsBridge, a Google premier partner, offers integration tools that can help you automate your advertising experience.

Table of contents

Reasons to use Google lead form extensions

One of the main challenges of acquiring leads is to meet consumers where they are at. For many years, mobile users have accounted for approximately 55.5% of web traffic worldwide. Moreover, fewer people are using laptops to browse the internet or use social media sites. Currently, 99% of mobile internet users connect to social networks through mobile devices.

The traditional process of generating leads by redirecting people to a landing page, where they have to fill multi-field forms before submitting their contact information, has become obsolete. This process is not only an obstacle to higher conversions but also financially costly. If you hope to see any kind of success with this method, you’ll have to use a good form builder.

Apart from the forms, slow-loading landing pages are a real curse for advertisers. They increase the bounce rate by 32% and decrease the conversion rate by 4.42%. To address this issue, advertising publishers such as Facebook, LinkedIn, and Google have been rolling out new solutions for advertisers to generate leads, such as native lead generation ads.

lead form ad

Native lead generation ads are designed explicitly for mobile navigation, enabling users to become leads in a couple of clicks. A study revealed that nearly 63% of Google searches are done using mobile devices. Besides, the user-friendly aspects of these devices make them a go-to option. And considering the high number of users, mobile marketing has become the dominant market for digital advertisers.

Another factor that contributes to the high rates of mobile conversions is how these ads run on smartphones. The mobile form fields are automatically pre-populated with the user’s personal information, and the users can submit a form directly on the platform where they are shown the ad.

Like Facebook Lead Ads and LinkedIn Lead Gen Forms, Google has also developed its own native lead generation ads, including Google Ads lead form extensions and YouTube video action campaigns (previously known as “YouTube TrueView for Action Form Ads”).

It’s worth noting that the challenge in generating new leads for businesses is not just in terms of quantity, but also quality. Although Google lead form Ads drives more leads by reducing friction, it might trade off some quality while doing so. More often than not, the leads do not provide some vital information about their profile. For a long time, this information-related dilemma has been a burden on advertisers: how to create seamless campaigns without compromising some or all of their marketing efforts in the process?

However, Google Ads lead form extensions and YouTube video action campaigns partially solve this pain point. Since the users are actively searching for either your company or a product or service related to your offer, their explicit interest can be seen as a synonym for quality.

This way, companies can drive large amounts of leads without giving up on quality. For more information about this, watch our webinar to get the most out of the Google Ads suite for better ad results and higher conversions.

Google Ads automation and LeadsBridge as a Google Premier Partner

Choosing the right integration provider to automate your Google ads can be challenging at times. The good news is that LeadsBridge is a Google Premier Partner. This means that LeadsBridge has a direct line with Google, and so do our customers. All our Google integrations are Google certified, indicating that LeadsBridge offers advanced Google product training, direct Google support, Customer Match, and Offline Conversions tracking.

In addition, LeadsBridge empowers all integrations with Google Ads lead form extensions so that you can create your Google form directly in the app.

How to get a $500 Google Ad credit as a LeadsBridge customer

Google now presents all the LeadsBridge customers with a Google $500 free advertising credit after creating a new Google Ads account. So you can use this money to grow your campaigns.

How to get your Google $500 free advertising credit?

It is super easy. To redeem your ad credit, you just need to:

  1. Create a LeadsBridge account for free.
  2. Create a new Google Ads account within the LeadsBridge platform.
  3. Start running ads on Google and syncing lead data with LeadsBridge.

How does the credit work?

In order to activate the offer – which is only available to new Google advertisers – you’ll have to spend at least $500 on Google Ads campaigns within the first 60 days.

Once you reach $500 in ad spend, you will receive a Google $500 free advertising credit to spend on your campaigns (USD or equivalent currency).

You will see the promotion automatically applied inside your Google Ads account (Tools → Billing → Promotions). The credit will be spendable until the end of the year and starting 31 days after it was issued.

Sounds like a deal? Sing up to get started.

Google Ads lead form extensions

Google Ads lead form extensions are lead generation ads designed to help businesses drive leads directly from the mobile search results page. The leads data are collected as they search for a product or service, or when they type specific keywords on Google. These extensions can help various businesses across several industries, such as real estate, automotive, education, finance, B2B, travel, hospitality, and more.

If you’d like to learn more about how to use Google Ads for real estate and for retail, check out the articles below:

How do Google Ads lead form extensions work?

Google lead generation forms aim to capture new prospects with a simple call to action attached to a responsive form under the ad. Once users click on the ad, they are shown a Google-hosted form which is automatically pre-populated with their Google account data. Additionally, the form comes with a call-to-action (i.e., “Apply now”) to submit the form with a single tap (see an example below).

What are the benefits of Google Ads lead form extensions?

There are many benefits for companies using Google Ads lead form extensions. Here are some of them:

  • Google Ads lead generation forms are pre-filled, making it easier and quicker for users to submit their contact information.
  • Google Ads lead generation forms are high performing and optimized for mobile navigation and do not require extra technical intervention on the company side.
  • Google lead generation forms are easy to customize to fit a business’s marketing goals.
  • Google lead generation forms can be integrated with other marketing tools such as a CRM or Email software to promptly contact new leads as they sign up.
  • Google Ads lead form extensions are relevant to the viewer since they are based on their search patterns on Google.

What are the privacy rules and limits to data collection?

Advertisers must be aware that Google lead form Ads are subject to specific ad policies to protect Google users‘ personal information. Therefore, the lead form should include a URL that directs the user to the privacy policy on the company’s website. This is to clarify how the company will use the acquired information.

Furthermore, to comply with Google Ads policies, advertisers cannot create lead forms that:

  • Use the personal information previously collected without the user’s consent.
  • Misuse the user’s personal information to trigger an emotional reaction.
  • Collect sensitive data such as credit card numbers, tax ID, health status, social security numbers, etc.

Besides these regulations, Google lead form Ads have other limitations. For example, it’s not possible to:

  • Use promotional language in the business name field (i.e., “Buy now at Tony’s Car Dealer”).
  • Run advertisements for alcoholic beverages, gambling services, or adult-oriented products.
  • Create advertisements for political favors or healthcare and medical services.

In general, advertisers who violate the privacy policies risk having their extensions disapproved or the entire account suspended. Google lead generation form Ads are also subject to external privacy regulations such as the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) or the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA). These regulations prevent advertisers from running remarketing campaigns that leverage cookies without the users’ consent to use their information.

To learn more about what companies can or cannot do to be compliant with the GDPR, read this extensive guide.

How to track conversions for Google Ads lead form extensions?

Although tracking results can still be beneficial, ultimately, a company should always make an effort to drive leads that convert into sales.

Tracking real conversions in an all-inclusive PPC reporting template can help businesses better understand their return on investment (ROI) and return on ad spend (ROAS), and allocate their marketing budget strategically through informed decisions.

To track the quality of the newly collected leads, advertisers must measure conversions through a full-funnel strategy. Google allows advertisers to master the sales funnel using its conversion tracking tool.

Conversions are not necessarily purchases. Instead, any time a visitor responds to a call to action and completes the desired goal, they have converted while becoming identified prospects in the process. It can be newsletter sign-ups, calls with sales reps, or app downloads; it’s up to the marketing manager to define what actions should be considered conversions and create conversion actions on their Google Ads account.

For example, you can track each booked call as a conversion to assess the effectiveness of your lead form campaign. Generally, companies run advertising cross-channel campaigns (i.e., on Facebook, YouTube, Google Search, LinkedIn), so it becomes critical to understand which channel drives the most conversions.

The best way to measure where the conversion came from is to “push” first-party data from your CRM to Google. In other words, you can download this data from the CRM’s segment of people who booked a 30-minute introductory call. Then, import it on Google to match it with the leads coming from the lead form campaign.

This process can be done manually or automatically by integrating the CRM with Google’s conversion tracking tool. Check this step-by-step guide on setting up your Google conversions tool.

Once advertisers set up conversion tracking, they can sufficiently draw an image of which advertising efforts drive the best results.

Here is another one of our info-filled webinars that you can watch for free and learn more about how to convert high-intent search leads directly on Google Ads.

How to run remarketing ads with lead form extensions

Google lead form ads can encourage new leads to enter a marketing funnel but might require further advertising efforts. Marketing managers can create remarketing campaigns with Google Customer Match to address their audience depending on their stage in the funnel.

Remarketing enables them to tap into their first-party data and leverage meaningful signals present in their CRMs. For example, this data can belong to the segments of people who have placed a call with a sales rep, subscribed to a newsletter, or signed up for an “open day”.

Many people might connect with a business by submitting their contact information on lead form extensions but will not engage further than that. In this case, the marketing manager can decide to create a remarketing campaign to nudge the lead a step further down the funnel. Since these leads have already engaged with the brand and are familiar with it, they are more likely to take action.

To create a remarketing campaign with Google, companies can leverage Google Customer Match. This feature allows them to create Pay-Per-Click (PPC) ads to target prospects on Gmail, Search network, Display network, and YouTube, starting from the user’s personal information.

Google Customer Match identifies people by hashing their data (the first name, last name, country, and zip code). By doing so, advertisers can remarket people on all devices such as mobile, tablet, or laptop. This practice is a highly efficient remarketing technique, considering that a majority of consumers use multiple devices to browse online.

It is ideal for remarketing custom segments of contacts to approach them based on their stage in the funnel and with a tailored message. Therefore, companies must connect their CRM with Google Customer Match to optimize and automate the process.

Use this step-by-step guide to develop your audiences with Google Customer Match to learn how to build a Customer Match list and how to connect your CRM with it.

Here, you can also learn about LeadsBridge integrations for Google Customer Match. These tools allow you to automatically sync audiences and manage leads databases without dealing with heavy CSV files. Some of the best automation integrations for targeting leads and re-engaging with your customers across Search include:

Want to take advantage of first-party data to get unique marketing insights? Watch our webinar and learn how to scale Google Ads by leveraging first-party data for audiences.

How to integrate Google lead form extensions with your CRM

Once companies drive new leads to their funnels, it triggers a series of marketing communications via email, SMS, or other channels. The most popular and effective ways of communication with new leads are via email marketing and SMS messages.

Once a user submits a lead form, it’s necessary to immediately follow up with the lead by sending a confirmation email or a welcome SMS text to nurture their intent. 74% of people expect to receive email communication immediately after subscribing to a list. Companies that respond to leads in five minutes or less are 100x more likely to convert those leads into sales. Use these email sequence examples and our guide to email marketing integrations for creating effective communication with your audience.

Communication with new leads must be practical and instant to make the best of your advertising efforts. To sync the leads in real time, it is best to manage the collected data via Google Ads lead form extensions through a company CRM or Email software. To do this, you need to create a bridge between Google Ads and other platforms (CRM, autoresponders, etc), using a trusted third-party integrator.

As a Google premier partner, LeadsBridge offers numerous integrations to connect Google lead form ads with the rest of your marketing stack.

Generally, there are two ways to retrieve your leads at the end of a campaign: manually or via a webhook integration. The latter is the recommended option by Google to secure the leads and instantly start building your marketing funnels.

Companies can also manually download and manage their collected leads in a CSV file. However, these files are stored only for 30 days and the process to upload them to the marketing tools is slow, error-prone, and costly.

Most businesses automate the process by integrating Google Ads lead form extensions with a webhook integration. This way, they can sync new leads in real time and efficiently deliver the promised offer and a welcome message.

It’s essential to know that if a business decides to use a webhook integration to sync leads to its CRM, the CRM manager must ensure that it works correctly and adequately. Otherwise, the form extension will stop working altogether. Besides, a dysfunctional webhook URL will trigger a malfunctioning error that results in the rejection of the lead form.

This is why using a trusted third-party platform such as LeadsBridge is highly recommended. The integration helps create the webhook link between the CRM and the Google lead form campaigns. LeadsBridge is a cloud-based integration platform with a strong focus on privacy-safety best practices and robust integration technology.

If you’d like to learn more about all the available LeadsBridge integrations for Google Ads, check out this article: The ultimate guide to the best Google Ads – CRM integrations.

How to create a Google lead form extension

To create a Google Ads lead form extension, follow the steps below:

  1. Open a new window and log into your Google Ads account.
  2. Click on Campaigns on the left menu.
  3. Then, click on the + New Campaign icon. In case you have already created your campaign, you should select the one you want to connect with your CRM and continue from step number 7.
Google ads

4. Here, you need to define your campaign objectives. If you are creating a new campaign, then you should select Leads as the Campaign Goal, and click Continue.

Google lead form ads extension

5. The next step is to select a campaign type. Select Search as the campaign type (considering that you are just generating leads).

Google lead form ads

6. Then, select the ways you’d like to reach your goal. Notice that LeadsBridge will need Lead Form submissions to retrieve your leads. Select it and click Continue.

google lead form ads

7.  In this step, you will need to set up extensions. However, you can do this only after setting details for Budget and bidding, Campaign settings, and Keywords and ads. Then, find the Extensions on the left side panel and click on More extensions to find Lead Form Extensions. Select it and click Continue.

lead from extension

8. Fill in all the information requested to create the form under the Add lead form extension.

Remember that LeadsBridge will be able to retrieve only the values that you select under the Questions section.

lead form extension

At this point, if you wish to secure your leads automatically in your CRM, you will need to open the Lead delivery option. There, you will paste the Webhook URL and Google Key to your LeadsBridge account to create the integration and run a test to make sure everything is working. For a more detailed understanding of how to connect Google Lead Form Ads with your CRM, follow the dedicated step-by-step guide.

9. Find Submission Message and click on it. Then, fill in the requested information here. This includes a Headline, Description, CTA, and a link.

Google lead form extension

10. The next step is to find the Ad section. Then, submit the requested information to finalize your ad.

Google lead form extension

11. Finish your campaign setup and publish it. Once completed, you can start acquiring leads and securing them in your CRM.

Here, advertisers can select their Call-to-Action and Extension Text, besides choosing the Headline, Business Name, and a Description of up to 200 characters.

Advertisers can also decide which information they want to collect from their prospects (name, email address, phone number, and zip code). It is also possible to add an image in the background, as shown in the example below. This is also where advertisers can link to the privacy policy and explain that the information collected will be used for marketing purposes.

Google lead form extension

Here are some of our top Google Ads lead form extensions integrations you can use for free.

Check out all the possible integrations to connect Google Ads lead form extensions with your marketing tools.

Google Ads “leads” vs “website traffic” campaign goals

In Google Ads campaigns, “leads” and “website traffic” are two different types of campaign goals that businesses can choose from based on their objectives. Here is the difference between the two:

  • Leads: The goal of this campaign is to generate more leads. These ads encourage users to fill out a form or take some other type of action that indicates interest in your product or service. The metrics that you should pay attention to include the number of leads generated, conversion rate, and cost per lead.
  • Website traffic: The goal of this campaign is to drive more visitors to your website. It helps increase your brand visibility, generate more page views, and potentially lead to more conversions. The metrics that you should pay attention to include clicks, impressions, click-through rate (CTR), and average cost per click (CPC).

YouTube Lead Ads available in YouTube video action campaigns

YouTube is one of the largest digital video platforms. With 2.7 billion monthly active users, it is a highly productive playground for advertisers.

The same trend is reflected on YouTube for mobile navigation; the statistics show that more than half of watch time comes from smartphones. 64% of consumers stated that they’re more likely to make a purchase after viewing a video about it, with 96% of people stating that video content was useful when making a purchasing decision.

Advertising on YouTube is becoming increasingly lucrative for businesses. One of the best tools provided by YouTube for advertisers are YouTube video action campaigns: a seamless and budget-friendly solution to boost conversions both on and off YouTube, all within one automated campaign.

What are the differences between YouTube video action campaigns and TrueView for action campaigns?

Starting April 2022, all TrueView for action campaigns have been auto-upgraded and transitioned to video action campaigns. Here are the main differences between the two:

  • Ad Formats: Video action campaigns combine skippable in-stream ads and in-feed video ads into a single campaign, leveraging responsive ad groups. TrueView for action campaigns solely consist of skippable in-stream ads and employ standard ad groups.
  • Inventory: Video action campaigns aim to maximize conversions, resulting in broader visibility across various platforms including YouTube (e.g. the YouTube Home feed). On the other hand, TrueView for action campaigns exclusively appear on the YouTube watch page and Google video partners.
  • Ad Assets: With video action campaigns, you have the flexibility to include in-feed video ads with an extended headline and description, supplementing the existing assets of skippable in-stream ads.

When to use YouTube video action campaigns, how they work, and their benefits

Video action campaigns are a fantastic choice if:

  • You want to captivate your audience and drive them to take action for your business, service, or product.
  • You’re aiming to maximize scale, improve CPA performance, and boost efficiency.
  • You’re already utilizing conversion tracking in your campaigns.

Here’s how they work:

  • Video action campaigns deploy skippable in-stream and in-feed video ads, ensuring wider reach.
  • Your ads will be showcased on YouTube and Google video partners, expanding your audience reach.
  • The video content you include in the campaign should be a minimum of 10 seconds long.
  • Your campaign’s ads can utilize captivating calls-to-action (CTAs), engaging headlines (both short and long), and compelling descriptions.
  • To influence conversions, you have the option to add assets (e.g., site links or lead forms) or a product feed to your campaign.

YouTube video action campaigns allow you to:

  • Boost conversions: Extend campaigns to reach a wider audience across various channels, both on and off YouTube, and drive more conversions while optimizing for the lowest CPA.
  • Supercharge campaign performance: Video action campaigns leverage inventory from YouTube, Google video partners, and beyond, empowering you to enhance performance by reaching new customers.
  • Easily scale your campaigns: With video action campaigns, effortlessly run your ads on mobile, desktop, and TV within a single campaign, eliminating the need to manage bids and budgets for each inventory source.

How does YouTube Lead Ads work?

As part of a YouTube video action campaign, you can attach a YouTube Lead Ads form to generate leads

These forms not only help you capture the attention of interested users but also allow you to create remarketing lists, boost sales, and increase conversions for your products or services. Best of all, these lead forms are compatible with Android devices, so you can reach users on the go!

Creating a lead form is a breeze. Whether you want to add it to a new line item or attach it to an existing one, the choice is yours. And when it comes to the types of leads you want to gather, you have two options: target those who are most likely to be interested in your product (Higher intent) or aim for a broader audience (More volume). Rest assured, no matter your choice, your existing audiences won’t be affected, and the fields in your lead form will remain unchanged.

Remember, it’s important to include a URL to your privacy policy so that potential customers can review it before submitting their information.

YouTube lead generation best practices

To ensure top-notch performance with YouTube lead generation forms, here are some recommended strategies for you to consider:

1. Start with a focused audience: Kick off by targeting a specific audience, like custom intent audiences, similar audiences, remarketing lists, or Customer Match. Expand your audience only if you encounter low lead volume and need to attract high-quality leads.

2. Nail your language targeting: It’s important to target the same language as your lead form. If you don’t, potential responders may not be able to submit their information. Stick to one language per lead form to avoid confusion.

3. Create captivating content: Grab people’s attention by clearly conveying the benefits of submitting their information. Craft compelling headlines, descriptions, and call-to-actions. For instance, if you’re collecting leads for an automobile ad, you could use “Get a quote today” as the headline and “Get a quote” as the call to action.

4. Optimize your cost-per-action (CPA) bid: If you’re familiar with YouTube and partners line items, start with your current CPA bid. For video line items, begin conservatively at 1 to 2 times your Display line item CPA. To achieve your desired CPA, decrease the target CPA gradually by 10% to 15% to allow for more conversions.

5. Set an appropriate budget: To enable sufficient daily conversions, your budget should be at least 20 times your CPA bid. If you’re using Maximize conversions as your bid type, your budget should be at least 20 to 30 times your CPA or 10 times your effective CPA.

6. Optimize for lead form conversions: If you notice more website conversions than lead submissions, consider implementing insertion order level conversion tracking and optimizing for lead form conversion.

By implementing these engaging strategies, you can enhance your performance with YouTube lead generation forms.

How to integrate YouTube video action campaigns with your CRM

As mentioned earlier while talking about the search lead form extension, the timing in communication with new leads is the key to driving conversions.

This means that leads coming from YouTube video action campaigns must be synced and secured in real time to the CRM or email software. Again, businesses can either retrieve their leads manually, or set up automation via a trusted integrator such as LeadsBridge. This way, they can sync leads automatically and immediately manage their marketing funnel.

LeadsBridge offers a robust integration technology with over 380 marketing tools, such as HubSpot, ActiveCampaign, Bitrix24, and many more.

Check out more of LeadsBridge’s YouTube video action campaigns integrations here.

As a business manager, if you decide to do this process manually, it’s important to remember that the lead’s CSV files are only stored for 30 days.

If you decide to automate it, keep in mind that the webhook integration must work properly in order to correctly sync your leads. These challenges make it imperative to rely on official Google partners such as LeadsBridge, which keeps everything running smoothly.

How to create a lead ads in YouTube video action campaigns

Follow the steps below to create a lead form in a new line item:

  1. Start in an existing insertion order or create a new one.
  2. In your insertion order, click New line item.
  3. Pick YouTube & partners video.
  4. Enter the following information:
    • Name for your line item.
    • Select Website conversions as the line item type.
  5. Click Next.
  6. Review the Targeting section. The inventory source is set automatically. You can click Add targeting to set other line-item level targeting options. Additional types of targeting are available in the line item’s ad groups.
  7. Configure your line item’s settings:
    • Flight dates: Pick custom flight dates or use the same dates as the line item’s insertion order.
    • Budget and pacing: Set your budget and how quickly it will be spent. After you save the line item, you can’t change between daily and flight, but you can update the budget amount. 
    • Bidding: Choose either maximize conversions or target CPA as your bid strategy. If you choose to target CPA, set your target bid.
    • Bid adjustment: (Optional) Select a mobile, desktop, or tablet bid adjustment to set if your line item can serve on these devices.
    • Frequency cap: (Optional) Select the line item’s frequency cap.
  8. In the Lead form section, click New lead form.
  9. Enter your Business name and Call-to-action.
  10. Add a Headline and Description.
  11. Choose the information you want to collect in the lead form. You’ll need to select at least one option to continue. All fields you select are required for the person completing the form.
    • Name (can be customized as First name and last name or Full name)
    • Email
    • Phone number
    • City
    • Zip / Postal code
    • State / Province
    • Country
    • Company name
    • Job title
    • Work email
    • Work phone number
  12. If someone is signed-in to their YouTube account and they see your lead form, the following fields are pre-filled when they open the lead form: Name, Email, Phone number, and Zip code.
  13. Add the URL to your privacy policy. A privacy policy is required to collect information.
  14. Add a Post-submit headline and Post-submit description that appears after people submit their information.
  15. Click Next
  16. Select the type of lead form you want to show people. The option you choose may affect the cost per lead and the number of leads collected. You can change the lead form type at any time.
    • Higher intent: Choose this option if you want leads who are more likely to be interested in your product or service. The form contains more steps to submit and may lead to less leads as a result.
    • More volume: Choose this option if you want more leads. You may see more leads, but the people included in your leads may be less likely to be interested in your product or service.
  17. Enter your webhook URL and key in the lead delivery section. A webhook links your lead form to your customer relationship management system.
  18. To agree to the terms of service, click I agree.
  19. Click Save.

If you want to add a lead form to an existing line item, follow the steps below:

  1. Navigate to your existing insertion order. Click the name of the line item that you want to add the lead form to.
  2. Click Line item details.
  3. In the Lead form asset section, click New lead form.
  4. Create the lead form, following the instructions in the Create a lead form in a new line item section.
  5. Click Save. If a lead form is attached to an existing line item, it will run once the form is approved. You’ll be able to see the review status of your lead form under Lead form in your line item settings.

At this point, if you wish to send your new leads automatically from YouTube video action campaigns to your CRM with LeadsBridge, you can enable lead delivery by webhook. You need to copy-paste the Webhook URL and Google Key that you receive while creating your bridge on the LeadsBridge app.

Youtube truview ads

For more detailed instructions on how to integrate YouTube video action campaigns with your CRM, follow this step-by-step guide.

Would you like to try some of these integrations for free? Here are some of our most popular bridges which are included in our freemium plan:

To find your favorite bridges, explore all the possible integrations with YouTube video action campaigns here.

Using Lead Forms in Google Discovery Campaigns

With the fall of Google+ a few years back, many experts assumed that Google was falling short when it came to top-of-the-funnel ad revenue. Fortunately for many people, Google introduced Google Discovery Ads back in 2019 and, soon after, made it available worldwide.

Using Lead Forms in Discovery campaigns makes it easier for advertisers to capture the individuals with the correct interests (matching with their target audiences).

What is Google Discovery Ads?

Google Discovery Ads are a type of visual ads that can be displayed within the Google Discovery Feed. These ads appear on the Google App or Google homepage, the YouTube home feed, and even Gmail.

Depending on the platform the ad appears on, the overall look of the ad can change entirely. For example, Google Discovery Ads modifies the ads’ outlook in order to focus on the visual aspects and draw more attention to the ad.

In the past, Google has delivered ad experiences to users based on search history and intent. Now, Google Discovery Campaigns aims to change that idea completely by focusing on the audience’s interests and collecting valuable data as the user moves through the Google ecosystem.

Benefits of running Google Discovery Ads

Google Discovery ad campaigns were initially an exclusive product for the Google Discover app. However, these ads soon became a great success and were optimized to run on YouTube and Gmail. Discovery ads increase the possibility of offering relevant content to users at every stage of their journey as a buyer, hence growing conversion rates.   

Google Discovery ads are featured on three main Google properties, including Discover, YouTube, and Gmail.

As you already know, the Discover feed is designed to provide updates on news, events, and other topics that users are interested in. Moreover, Discover delivers its services to over 800 million monthly users. These numbers suggest the platform’s widespread popularity, hence, its outstanding potential for running advertisements.

Google Discovery ads also can run on the YouTube Home feed.  Besides having over 2.7 billion monthly users, the feed is highly visible and in a perfect location to get visitors’ attention.

The Gmail Promotions Tabs are another ideal place for displaying Google Discovery ads to connect to new users in their email inboxes. The primary benefit of these ads is their rich and highly relevant content for each user that stands out, all without being too forward.

Let’s look at an example for each of the three main Google properties: YouTube, Discover, and Gmail

An effective marketing strategy and the right automation tools are essential to getting the best out of Google Discovery Ads. As a result, you can capture more qualified prospects and increase your conversion rates. However, keeping track of all that goes on with your leads and campaigns could be challenging. The best way to turn the odds in your favor is using a third-party integration like LeadsBridge to automate the process.  Check out this article to learn: how integrations can help you build a Google Ads strategy that converts.

Google Discovery Ads examples

Gmail

Gmail is one of the popular locations for discovery ads to be placed, typically being found within the “promotions” or “social” tabs, as seen below;

Once you click on these ads, they will open in the same format of a general email, displaying further details regarding the offer from the brand.

Google App

If you have the official Google app downloaded on your mobile and have the “discover” feature turned on , you will have seen a plethora of discovery ads while scrolling.

The Discover feed features a variety of content that is tailored to each user based on their previous web searches, their interests, and what items they have saved.Take a look at these Google Ads Discovery examples from mandmdirect and Ted Baker.

YouTube

The YouTube app is a common host for Google Discovery ads, typically appearing as you scroll through the “home” tab to explore videos. 

To help you differentiate between these and videos, you will see a yellow ad box on display in the left corner. 
This Google Discovery ads example, by Fabletics, perfectly highlights how brands typically use this platform to advertise their offering.

If you’d like to see some Google Ads examples to get inspired, check out this article: Google Ad examples that work in 2023.

Google Discovery Ads best practices

Much like any advertising strategy, garnering success with Google Discovery Ads requires following a number of best practices that set a strong foundation for driving campaign results and increasing conversions.

Let’s take a look at the four Google Discovery Ads best practices that you need to keep in mind going forward.

1. Creative quality

When curating your discovery ad, it is imperative to remember that this may be a customer’s very first touchpoint with your brand. First impressions are crucial, with 55% of initial opinion being based on visuals. 

To ensure that you give yourself the best chance possible in the eye of the consumer, only use high-resolution images that display a creative, yet clear, idea of your product. 

Try to avoid using images that are poorly cropped, as well as an excessive amount of text or a  cluttered, busy background as these can distract leads from the central viewpoint.

2. Grab attention

 Discovery ads are generally seen by those who are not actively searching for your brand online. This means you must grasp a user’s attention and command their interest, instilling a new search intent that they previously did not possess.  

Although this is no easy-feat, there are a number of tactics that you can employ to increase the likelihood of planting intrigue. By using eye-catching headlines, creative copy, and descriptions that tap into a general pain point, you can draw a lead’s eye to your advertising.

3. Be attentive with “Automatic targeting”

According to Google, Automatic targeting can help your business reach new audiences, relevant to your target market, that have a high likelihood of converting.

However, there is one issue that presents itself with this. You want to avoid Google extending your reach to users who have never previously interacted with your brand whilst you are currently remarketing to those within your audience lists. In order to avoid this coming to fruition, you will need to navigate your ad group settings and select “Optimized targeting” off. This action is important as this setting is turned on by default.

4. Don’t optimize too early

This is one of the most notable Google Discovery ads best practices, as you will have to work against temptation to alter your campaign too soon. If you want to achieve the best, most actionable insights from this advertising activity, it is wise to let the bidding strategies that you have selected settle

Of course, if an aspect of your strategy is undeniably incorrect, then by all means you should intervene and fix any issues. Other than that, it is best to leave the campaign to gather data for a couple of weeks and then begin reviewing results.

Youtube in-feed video ads

YouTube in-feed video ads, previously known as TrueView video discovery ads, position your brand, product, or service alongside captivating YouTube content that is highly likely to be viewed by your ideal audience. In-feed video ads show up in YouTube search results, YouTube Watch Next, and the YouTube app Home feed, embracing the perfect opportunity to increase your reach and engage with potential customers.

In-feed video ads on YouTube captivate viewers with an enticing image thumbnail, a captivating headline, and up to 2 brief lines of text (based on ad placement). When users engage with the thumbnail, they are instantly transported to the YouTube watch page specifically designed for the ad. Notably, in certain environments, hovering over the thumbnail seamlessly initiates a muted autoplay of the video ad.

Benefits of YouTube in-feed video ads 

One of the remarkable advantages of in-feed video ads on YouTube is their exceptional capability to enhance brand consideration. These ads are strategically displayed to captivate viewers as they explore related videos, scroll through the YouTube Home feed in the app, or search for specific content.

These ads are linked to YouTube videos. Once users click on them, they are redirected to a watch page, practically the same way as an organic video result. What makes YouTube in-feed video ads and organic video results different is a small ad tag that shows up on paid ads. 

Moreover, in-feed video ads deliver valuable information to those actively consuming relevant content, boosting their likelihood of subscribing, sharing, and watching more videos from your brand. 

When it comes to marketing, costs matter. With CPV (Cost-Per-View) bidding, you only pay for views when someone interacts with a thumbnail to enjoy your video ad. You’ll be charged as soon as the video loads in a viewer’s browser or through the YouTube app.

The difference between in-stream and in-feed video ads 

The terms for in-stream and in-feed video ads are often used interchangeably, but they are different.

In-stream ads can be either skippable or non-skippable:

  • Skippable in-stream ads appear before, during, or after other videos. Once 5 seconds pass, viewers get to choose whether to skip the ad or keep watching.
  • Non-skippable in-stream ads are 30 seconds or less long, are also strategically placed before, during, or after other videos, but do not show the option to skip the ad.

Below you can find examples of how both in-stream ads appear on YouTube.

On the other hand, in-feed video ads don’t cut through the streaming. Instead, they are suggested to the user in their search results. The user willingly chooses to click on these ads to watch them.

In-feed video ads examples

When browsing YouTube, you’ve undoubtedly come across an in-feed video ad example. These ads are videos that say “ad” next to them. Here is how it looks:

As you can see, the ad meets the criteria we mentioned above: a thumbnail and some text. Because of the nature of YouTube in-feed video ads, this video is mixed in with the regular videos.

Based on the intent of the user, YouTube (or Google) automatically recommends something that its ad algorithm deems relevant. Using this as an example, the algorithm is pretty spot-on.

Key takeaways

Advertisers must constantly adapt to changes in consumer behavior. In a world where over half of people browse the web from mobile, one of the best ways for a business to drive leads is with native lead generation ads, which are specifically designed for mobile navigation.

Google Ads lead form extensions and YouTube video action campaigns make it easy for users to submit a form, all without interrupting their navigation experience, like being directed to another landing page.

However, businesses should also implement more in-depth analytics to track real conversions. These assessments should analyze lead form extensions and video action campaigns performance to understand which efforts are generating the highest returns.

To do so, it’s key to integrate their CRM with their Google Ads account, ideally through an official Google partner and automation platform, such as LeadsBridge.  Discover all the possible integrations for Google Ads lead form extensions and Youtube Trueview for Action Form Ads to get the most out of your marketing strategies.

Mark Cirillo

Try LeadsBridge now!