Linking to your app from your text ad

  • App extensions allow you to link to your mobile or tablet app from your text ads.
  • People click either on your ad headline or on a link to your app.
  • This is a great way to provide access to your website as well as to your app. If your primary goal is to drive app downloads, app promotion ads (which link to apps exclusively) might be the better option.

How app extensions work

App extensions showcase your mobile or tablet app by showing a link to your app below your ad. Clicking on this link can either lead to your app’s description in the app store (Google Play or the Apple App Store), or simply begin downloading. Clicking on your ad’s headline will still lead to your website.

Key benefits of app extensions

  • Flexibility: You can add app extensions to accounts, campaigns, and ad groups.
  • Detailed reporting: See how many clicks you receive on each part of your ad when an app extension appeared, such as clicks to your ad's headline compared to clicks on the app extension. Break these statistics down by campaign, ad group, or ad.
  • Customized for different devices: You can create mobile-optimized app extensions to show on mobile devices, or disable specific app extensions on the devices you choose.
  • “Smart” detection of app store and device: If you create an extension for each app store, we'll show the store link that corresponds to the customer's device, so, someone on an iOS device will see your Apple App Store link. We'll also show the app extension link that corresponds to a customer's device type, so if your app only runs on tablets, we won't display that app extension link to a customer using a mobile phone.
  • In-place editing: Edit your app extension without resetting its performance statistics.
  • Start/end dates and scheduling: Specify what dates, days of the week, or times of day when your app extension should appear with your ad.

Keep in mind that only one app extension can be displayed per text ad (unlike sitelinks, with which you can add multiple links to different pages of your site).You can still create multiple app extensions, one for each app or each app store.

What app extensions cost

Adding app extensions to your ad is free, but any clicks on the app extension will cost the same as clicks on the text ad (a standard CPC).

How to set up an app extension

Before setting up an app extension, make sure you have all these items:

  • A mobile app that's live within Google Play or the Apple App Store
  • The Package Name (Android) or App ID (iOS) for your mobile app
  • The URL of the page within the app store where users can learn more about the app or click to install the app

If you have all of the items above, you can add an app extension to the ads in your account, campaign, or ad group.

Tip

Your campaign’s Settings tab might not match the one in the screenshot below. This is because different campaign types support different features.

Add an app extension
  1. If you want your app extension to be limited to a particular campaign or ad group, choose one from the left navigation bar.
  2. Click the Ad extensions tab. If you don't see that tab, enable it by clicking the drop-down menu at the end of the row of tabs. Show tabs
  3. Select View: App extensions from the drop-down menu.
  4. Click Edit next to "App extension setting."
  5. In the form that appears, you'll be able to select any app extensions that you previously set up. You can either select one of these extensions or create a new one.
  6. To create a new app extension, click the + New App button.
  7. Select the operating system of your mobile app (Android or iOS).
  8. In the "App ID" field, enter the Android Package Name or iOS App ID.
    — For Android, you'll find the Package Name in the URL for the app in Google Play (for example, http://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.example.appname).
    — For iOS, you'll find the App ID in the URL of the app within the Apple App Store (for example, http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/example-app-name/id#########).
  9. Enter the link text you'd like people to see, as well as the link URL that takes customers directly to the app store where they can click to install the app.
  10. You can select this app as the preferred extension to show on mobile devices. To do this, check the box for Mobile next to "Device preference."
  11. If you'd like to limit when this extension should be eligible to appear in your ad (such as on specific days of the week or times of the day), click Start/end dates, scheduling and select the desired timing.
  12. Click Save.
  13. At the bottom of the App extension window, select the devices (All devices, Desktop and tablet devices only, or Mobile devices only) where you’d like the app extensions to appear.
  14. Click Save.
Try it out
Create a mobile-specific app extension
  1. If you're changing an acccount-level app extension, choose the campaign that has the app extensions you'd like to edit.
  2. Click the Ad extensions tab.
  3. On the View drop-down menu, choose App extensions.
  4. Go to the "App extension setting" section and click Edit.
  5. You'll see a list of all your apps. Find the apps you want to customize and click the arrow on the right to select.
  6. On the apps you selected, click the down arrow that appears next to the pencil icon and choose Edit.
  7. In the form that appears, choose Mobile next to "Device preference."
  8. Change the apps, as needed, to optimize for mobile.
  9. Click Save.
Try it out

Keep in mind

  • Apps with the device preference set to mobile will be given preference over standard apps on mobile devices.
  • Standard apps will be given preference over mobile-optimized apps of the same type on desktop and laptop computers.
  • If you're showing only mobile-optimized ads, these may show on desktop and laptop computers. To avoid this, we recommend having standard ads of the same type as the mobile-optimized ads in your campaign.

Next steps