Types of mobile ads

  • Reach your customers while they're on the go with ads on mobile devices
  • Understand the different types of ads that can show on mobile devices
  • Learn how to show your ads on different mobile devices, like smartphones and feature phones
  • See how to opt out of showing your ads on mobile devices
Where mobile ads can appear Ad types
On mobile devices with full browsers,
such as smartphones or tablets
Within apps on smartphones or tablets
  • Text ads
  • Image ads
  • App promotion ads
  • Image app promotion ads
  • Video app promotion ads
Only on devices that can make calls
  • Call-only ads


To create image ads, your campaign must be opted into the Display Network, either as “Display Network only” or “Search Network with Display Select”.

Ads on mobile devices

Many mobile devices, such as smartphones, have full Internet browsers. These browsers can display websites similar to the ones you'd see on a desktop computer, as well as mobile optimized sites. High-end mobile devices can also host apps, which people can download from the app store in their device, or from a website.

The wide variety of media available on mobile devices means you can show ads in many different formats. Testing your message using multiple ad formats can help you understand what drives customers to your website or to download your mobile app. However, in general, starting by tailoring your message to be compelling to customers on mobile devices can help your ads look and perform much better in any format.

To make sure your ad looks great on the small screen, you can create a mobile-optimized ad with a message, display URL, and landing page specifically for mobile devices. To do so, select the "Mobile" checkbox next to the "Device preference" setting. If your ad groups contain ads that are eligible to appear on all devices and mobile-optimized ads, only your mobile preferred ads will appear on mobile devices.



All new campaigns are automatically eligible to run on most mobile devices. If you’d like to avoid showing ads on mobile, you can set a negative bid adjustment for mobile.


Mobile text ads

Mobile text ads look like standard text ads that you'd see on a desktop computer. The main difference is that we can show more ads per page when someone's searching on a desktop computer, and fewer ads per page when someone's searching on a mobile device. Keep in mind, text ads can appear differently on the Display Network.

Dynamically optimizing your ads for performance

For mobile text ads, AdWords may sometimes replace your second line of description text with the most relevant ad extensions that you've enabled — like sitelink extensions, location extensions, or callout extensions. This helps us provide the most relevant information possible to your potential customers, and can increase your ads' clickthrough rates.

The following examples show how AdWords can dynamically fine-tune your ads to deliver more relevant and high-performing information. Keep in mind that the examples below will not always occur, and that this feature will not be available for accounts advertising pharmaceutical products or services.


Ad auction scenario What shows in the ad How your ad might look
A specific ad extension that you have enabled will perform better than your ad's description line 2 text. Your top performing ad extension for this audience will appear in place of your description line 2 text.
Ad www.example.com
Description Line 1
Sitelink 1 - Sitelink 2
Your ad's description line 2 text will perform better than an ad extension. Your description line 2 will appear in your ad.
Ad www.example.com
Description line 1
Description line 2
Neither the description line 2 text nor an ad extension would perform best in the ad auction. The ad will be collapsed to make more space for additional relevant ads in the auction.
Ad www.example.com
Description line 1

You don't have to do anything to take advantage of this feature, but there are a few ways to further optimize your mobile ad text:

  • Start by creating ad extensions, if you haven't already. If they perform better than your description text, your ad extensions will appear when your ads show on mobile devices.
  • Keep your description lines short and sweet. It's still smart to create a second line of description text — if your text performs better than your ad extensions, or if your ads appear on desktops or tablets, AdWords will show it instead. Keep these lines under 35 characters to make them easy to read on smaller screens.
  • Consider mobile-preferred ads. To get your message across in less space, try writing description text that is short, direct, and highly relevant to people on the go. Check the "Mobile" box when creating your new mobile-optimized ad to let AdWords know it should show on mobile devices.


Did you know...

Ad extensions are factored into how Ad Rank is calculated, so showing more relevant, better performing extensions, can help improve your ad position. If two competing ads have the same bid and quality, then the ad with the more relevant extensions will most likely appear in a higher position than the other.


If you'd prefer to only show your description text, and disallow the potential substitution of higher-performing ad extensions for your description line 2, you can opt out of mobile text ad optimization by filling out this form.

Note: Opting out may negatively impact your ads' clickthrough rates because higher performing ad extensions will not replace description line 2.

Your text ads will automatically run on mobile devices unless you’ve set a -100% bid adjustment for mobile devices in your campaigns settings under “Devices”.

Mobile image ads

Image ads on mobile devices are similar to normal image ads that you'd see on a desktop computer, but they can link to your mobile website or to your app. To have your image ads run on mobile devices, just make sure your campaign is opted in to the Display Network. Every image size that is accepted for ads on running desktop computers is also accepted for ads on mobile devices. However, to run ads on mobile apps and sites that are designed for mobile devices, your image ad size should be 320 x 50. Image ads can show as banner ads or interstitials in mobile apps — you can find the recommended sizes for each, below.

Interstitial image ads

These are full-screen ads that tend to have higher clickthrough rates than banner ads, but may have a higher CPC. These appear as someone transitions between screens or pages in an app.

  • Sizes for mobile phones: 300 x 250, 320 x 480, and 480 x 320.
  • Sizes for tablets: 1024 x 768 and 768 x 1024.

Banner image ads

Banner ads appear as a small strip or “banner” across the top of an app page or screen. They’re the most commonly used ad format for mobile. You can upload double-sized images (for example, a 640 x 100 image for a 320 x 50 ad slot) for high-resolution display devices. We’ll auto-adjust the image based on the device’s pixel density.

  • Sizes for mobile phones and tablets: 320 x 50, 468 x 60, 728 x 90, and 300 x 250.


By default your ads will show both as banners and interstitials. If you want to only run interstitials, go to the Display Network tab in AdWords and click + Exclusion under “Campaign exclusions.” Select “GMob mobile app non-interstitial” to exclude banner ads from your mobile app campaign.

App promotion ads

App install ads (formerly click-to-download ads) are the easiest and most effective way to drive downloads: much of the customization is done for you. You can run these ads across search and display using the App/digital content ad format.

App install ads are designed to show on devices where they’ll have the most impact. When you create a new campaign to promote your mobile app, your ads show only on phones and tablets (not on desktop computers).

Family status

Google assigns a family status to all ads to make sure that ads are shown to an appropriate audience. App install ads (formerly click-to-download ads) and the content they point to must be "family safe". Any app install ad that contains "non-family" or "adult" content isn't allowed. Learn more about Family status

Display Network app promotion campaigns

  • “Ads in mobile apps”
  • “Mobile app installs”
  • “Mobile app engagement”

Use your app ID for app promotion ads

AdWords will no longer support certain features in Display Network "Mobile app installs" and "Mobile app engagement" campaigns. The following ads will not show to consumers:

  1. Image and text ads created without an app ID.
  2. Ads targeting individual websites and general interest categories.

All ads in "Mobile app installs" and "Mobile app engagement" campaigns must be App/digital content ads associated with an app ID. To continue to run your ads in your app promotion campaign, you'll need to recreate your ads as App/digital content ads in AdWords. If you have a lot of ads, you could use AdWords Editor to add an app ID to many ads at once.

If you’d like to use your text or image ads, you can run them in a separate “Ads in mobile apps” campaign. You can copy and paste existing ads into your new campaign.

Search Network app promotion campaigns

  • “Mobile app installs”
  • “Mobile app engagement”

Upgrading to app installs campaigns

Starting July 2015, Search Network app promotion ads created outside of the mobile app installs campaign type will stop running. If you have click-to-download ads or "App/digital content" ads in your Search Network only campaigns, you'll need to move your ads into a new "Search Network only - Mobile app installs" campaign. See how to upgrade your ads over to an app installs campaign

Ad format details

  Standard Image Video
Features App icon and description text. Ads on the Display Network include the app store rating. Only your custom uploaded images and text. Video from a YouTube link, or generated from app imagery and text
Networks Search and AdMob app networks AdMob app network AdMob app network
Function Link to an app store, a deep link, or an app Link to an app store, or deep link to an app Link to an app store

For standard and video app promotions ads, we can use your app ID and package name to help customize how the ad appears. For image ads, they’ll only show the image that you upload to AdWords.

Standard app promotion ads can include:

  • App name, which may appear as the ad Headline for app install ads on the Search Network
  • Description lines
  • App icon that links to the app store
  • App price in the appropriate currency or language, based on the price listed in app stores
  • Download button (with text in the local language) that initiates downloads
  • Star rating and number of reviews
  • Screenshots in a scrollable gallery. Tapping on the screenshots will expand them to full screen on phones.
  • X-button to close the full-screen mode

Video app promotion ad details:


App installs ads on the Search Network can be shown where paid app content is available.

    • If your app has a YouTube video uploaded to the app store, we’ll automatically add it to your ad. You can change or add a video if you haven’t uploaded one to the store.
    • The video will automatically play on devices with WiFi connections. People using 3G/4G/LTE connections will need to click on the video for it to play.
    • To pause the video, people can click on the pause button or the video itself.
    • These ads will play at the volume of the user's phone and won’t change the device's overall settings. If the phone is muted, the ad will also be muted.
    • Ads will include a download button (with text in the local language) that begins downloads and cannot be customized.
Call-only ads

Mobile ads to drive calls to your business

Call-only ads only appear on devices that can make phone calls, and the ads are designed to encourage people to call. All clicks on these ads send potential customers to call you from their smartphones.

When you create your ads, you'll be asked to enter the following information:

  • Your business name
  • Your phone number
  • Two lines of description text
  • A display URL
  • An optional verification URL. This is the URL of a webpage that includes your business phone number.

All of these fields are eligible to be hidden when your ad appears on mobile phones, in order to make the most of the smaller screen space on these devices.

Call: (555) 123-4567
Ad www.example.com
Description Line 1
Description Line 2

These ads don't send customers to your website landing page — clicks on the ads should usually initiate a call to your business. When you enter your verification URL, which can be the landing page address for your business, that's only for AdWords to verify your ad and phone number. To create ads that allow both clicks to call and clicks to your website, try using call extensions.

Note: Call-only campaigns are available for campaigns targeting the Search Network.

WAP mobile ads

WAP ads will no longer be available

Starting June 2015, WAP mobile ads will no longer be available for use in new AdWords campaigns and existing WAP ads will no longer run.

This means you'll no longer be able to create new WAP mobile ads and your existing WAP mobile ads will be removed. If you use WAP ads in your campaigns, try recreating them as another type of mobile ad. For "Display Network only" campaigns, you can use advanced device targeting options to focus on specific mobile device types.

Mobile devices with full browsers

We define full browsers as those that can show standard HTML web pages and can support a customer making a purchase from start to finish, including supporting any tracking or Google Analytics functionality on e-commerce pages.

Examples of mobile devices with full browsers

So many mobile devices are being released, we unfortunately don't have a comprehensive list of all of them, or a definitive list of devices which currently have full browsers. However, a number of common mobile devices have historically been equipped with full browsers:

  • iOS devices (Safari and Chrome)
  • Android devices (Chrome)

If you aren't sure whether a particular model of phone or mobile device offers a full browser, you can check with the manufacturer or a reseller to see if the device can support HTML pages and e-commerce transactions.

Only show ads on desktop computers

Here's how to change your campaign settings to avoid showing ads on mobile devices:

  1. Sign in to your AdWords account at https://adwords.google.com
  2. Go to your Campaigns page and select the campaign you'd like to show only on desktop computers.
  3. Click the Settings tab.
  4. In the "Devices" section, find "Mobile devices with full browsers" in the table.
  5. In the Bid adj. column, click the pencil icon to enter or edit a bid adjustment.
  6. To reduce your bids on mobile devices by 100%, select Decrease by from the drop-down, and enter "100%".
  7. Click Save.
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