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Showing ads in mobile apps

You can reach a growing audience of people using mobile phones and tablets by showing your ads in apps. Choose to let AdWords match your ad to apps for you through the Display Network, or target particular app categories.


In this article, we’re talking about advertising within apps to promote any product.


You can show ads in mobile apps through your Search Network with Display Select or Display Network campaigns.

  • If you want to experiment with advertising in mobile apps, simply track the performance of your ads that were placed in mobile apps through the Display Network. You don’t have to make any changes to do this: apps are part of the Display Network. Learn how to track the performance of ads in apps below under targeting apps through the Display Network below.
  • If you want to reach certain categories of apps, or if you know the apps you want to target, you should create a Display Network campaign devoted to mobile apps. Learn more about these campaigns below under reaching specific apps or app categories in the Display Network.
  • If you don’t want your ad to appear in apps:
    1. From the Display Network tab, go to "Campaign Exclusions."
    2. In the "Placements" section, paste


In Display Network campaigns, if you want to exclude individual mobile apps rather than all mobile apps, you can use placement exclusions for mobile apps. Add these exclusions in the Display tab under "Ad group exclusions" or "Campaign exclusions".


Targeting apps through the Display Network

Apps are part of the Display Network

The ads in your Display Network and Search Network with Display Select campaigns are automatically eligible to be shown in mobile apps if you selected “All features” (the default option) when creating your campaign. Your ads may show in mobile apps when a mobile app placement matches the targeting that you've set for your campaign.

Monitor your ad placements

If the ads that are shown in apps are doing well, you should consider targeting apps through a mobile-only campaign — try reaching specific apps or app categories in the Display Network. To see which apps are showing your ads, go to "Placements" from the Display Network tab. Any apps that have shown the ads from the selected ad group will be listed there, along with any websites that have displayed your ads.

Reach specific apps or app categories in the Display Network

Create a Display Network campaign with ads in mobile apps

  1. Click the + Campaign button in your account, and select the Display Network only option.
  2. Select the option No marketing objective.
  3. Choose Ads in mobile apps from the list.
  4. In the "Devices" section, consider targeting particular operating systems, device models, and carriers.
  5. Specify the locations and languages you want to target, and set your budget.
  6. Click Save and Continue.

Place your ads in the apps where you’d like them to appear

In order for your ads to be able to appear in mobile apps, you have to choose at least one placement (a potential destination for your ad).

  1. Name your first ad group and set a default bid.
  2. Choose the apps you want to show your ads on under Mobile app placements.
    • If you’d like your ads to run on all available apps (in the Apple App Store, the Windows Phone Store, and Google Play), click » to the right of “All Apps” under “Mobile app categories.”
    • If you want to target particular categories, expand the app stores under “Mobile app categories” by clicking + , then choose the categories you want by clicking » next to each one. These categories match the category names in each store.
    • If you’d like to choose specific apps, click Search all apps, and search for those apps in the search box. Then click » next to each app you want your ad to be able to appear in.
    • If you know the IDs of the apps you’re targeting, enter them in these formats:
      • iOS apps: mobileapp::1-<9-digit numeric app ID>
        • For example, mobileapp::1-123456789
      • Google Play apps: mobileapp::2- (You can find the package name in the Google Play store.)
        • For example,
  3. Have a look at “Narrow your targeting further” if you want to target by age, gender, interests, or website visit history. Be aware that this extra targeting will make your ad appear less often (in other words, decrease the ad’s impressions).
  4. Click Save and continue.

Choose the best format for your mobile app ad

The ad formats that can appear in mobile apps include text ads, image ads, or “App/Digital content” ads. To see which format is best for you, learn more about different types of mobile ads.


Tracking the performance of your mobile app ads

To see which apps are showing your ad, go to the Display Network tab and choose Placements. You’ll see the app categories and apps you’ve chosen to place your ads there.

If you want to see the performance of apps within categories, click the checkbox next to the category name and use the See URL list drop-down menu above the table.

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