About promoting your mobile app

There are millions of apps out there—how’s yours going to stand out? Here’s a one-stop shop with all you need to know to promote your app and drive app downloads.

Choose the right campaign type to advertise your app

Before you create your campaign, think about your advertising goals. Are you interested in getting people to download your app? What about encouraging people to open your app and take action? To review the different campaigns and see which type is right for you, expand the section below to review some of their features.

Mobile app campaign types

Universal app campaigns

Let AdWords create ads for your Android app in a variety of auto-generated formats to show across the Search, Display and YouTube Networks.

  • Ads are generated for you based on creative text you enter, as well as your app details in the Play Store (e.g. your icon and images). These ads can appear on all available networks
  • Add an optional YouTube video link for your ads to show on YouTube as well.

Create a Universal app campaign

Mobile app installs

Increase app downloads with ads sending people directly to app stores to download your app.

  • Available for Search Network, Display Network, and YouTube
  • Ad formats include standard, image and video app install ads

Create a mobile app installs campaign

Mobile app engagement

Re-engage your existing users with ads that deep link to specific screens within your mobile app.

  • Available for Search Network and Display Network campaigns
  • Ad formats include standard and image app engagement ads

Create a mobile app engagement campaign


If you aren't promoting a mobile app, you can still show ads within mobile apps on the Display Network.


Simplify Android app promotion

Unlike most Adwords campaigns, you don't design individual ads for Universal app campaigns. Instead, we'll use your ad text ideas and assets from the Google Play Store to design a variety of ads across several formats and networks.

Our systems will test different ad variations and promote those that are performing the best, with no extra work needed from you. Your ads will be eligible to appear across all AdWords ad networks including:

  • Search Network: Google.com, Google Play, and Search Partner sites
  • Display Network: within other apps on the AdMob network and on mobile websites
  • YouTube

Automated bidding will also help you maximize Android installs across networks at your target cost-per-install. Learn more about Universal app campaigns

Drive downloads of your mobile app

With “Mobile app installs” campaigns, you can focus your entire campaign on getting more people to download your app. Once you select the app you want to promote, we’ll help customize the rest of your campaign targeting and ads to increase app installs.

Mobile app installs campaigns are available on both the Search and Display Networks. For Android apps, your ads can appear on Google Play as part of the Search Network. On YouTube, you can create “TrueView for mobile app promotion” campaign to drive app downloads. Learn more about app installs campaigns.


Watch a Google AdWords webinar to learn more about promoting your app on Google Search.


If your primary goal is to drive clicks to your website, but you have an app you’d like to give searchers the option to download, you can set up App Extensions for your Search ads instead. This means that clicks on the ad headline will direct to your website, while clicks on the extension will direct to the app store (Apple or Play). Learn how to set up app extensions, and how to make them mobile-specific.


Get people to use your app

With “Mobile app engagement” campaigns, you can show customized ads to people who already have your app. Ads that are tailored to your current customers can help people stay engaged and continue opening your app day after day.

Once you connect your app to AdWords, you can focus your ads only on people who already have your app. To keep track of how people use your app, and see which of your ads drove people to act, you can count specific engagement actions in your app as conversions. To make this even easier, see how to link to your Google Play Developer account.

How app engagement ads work

App engagement ads are a powerful tool for reconnecting with your customers. When you create your “Mobile app engagement” campaign, you can use deep link ads that take people directly into your app to do a specific task. These ads make it simple to get people from your ad to in-app actions with a click.


Track campaign performance and set automatic bidding

You can measure the downloads from your app install campaigns, and see how much you’re paying to drive each download, by using CPA bids to measure cost-per-install and conversion tracking. For Android apps in the Google Play store, AdWords can automatically track your app installs as conversions. To use a third-party conversion tracking system to count conversions for your mobile app promotion campaigns, enable auto-tagging under your account preferences. Learn more about keeping track of app downloads from your app installs campaigns.

Conversion Optimizer can take this one step further: it uses these conversion stats to make the best possible bids for your target or cost-per-action.


George wants to maximize downloads of his bird watching app for Android, HawkSpot. After creating a new campaign that targets Android apps in the “Nature” category, George checks conversion tracking to see how many HawkSpot downloads are coming from his campaign. To drive as many downloads as possible at an affordable cost, George relies on Conversion Optimizer to keep his CPA around $2.50 per download of his app. George closes his laptop, and looks back toward the sky.

Conversion tracking shows if your ads are paying off, and Conversion Optimizer does cost-per-install bidding for you. Learn how to set up conversion tracking, and turn on conversion optimizer for your app campaign.

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