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Track Android app conversions

Use conversion tracking to see how effectively your ads lead to Android app installs and in-app activity.

This article explains how to track Android installs and in-app actions directly from Google Play, with a third-party analytics tool, or by adding code to your app. To track your conversions by importing them from Firebase, see these instructions instead. For more about mobile app conversion tracking in general, see About mobile app conversion tracking.

Track conversions with Firebase

For app install (first open) and in-app actions, you can track app conversions by adding code to your app. However, the AdWords SDK used in these instructions will soon be replaced by Firebase. So, if you want to track conversions by adding code to your app, you may want to track conversions with Firebase instead.

Before you begin

Here's what you'll need before you can set up Android app conversion tracking:

  • An AdWords account: Don't have one yet? Sign up at https://adwords.google.com.
  • An Android app: This is the app for which you want to track installs or in-app actions.
  • Ability to set up conversion data: For app installs (first open) or in-app actions, either you or your app developer will need to be able to edit your app's code or use a 3rd-party analytics tool. This is not required for app installs (from Google Play).
  • A Google Play account linked: For automatic in-app purchase conversions only, you need to have linked a Google Play developer account with your AdWords account. (If you use cross-account conversion tracking to track conversions with a manager account, you need to link Google Play to the manager account. If you don’t track conversions with a manager account, link your individual account.)

Instructions for tracking Android app installs (from Google Play)

  1. Sign in to your AdWords account.
  2. Click the Tools tab, and select Conversions from the drop-down menu.
    Select "Conversions" from the menu
  3. Click the + Conversion button.
    New conversion action
  4. Select the "App" option.
    New app conversion action
  5. Select Google Play.
  6. Select Installs. Click Continue.
  7. Click Name. Enter the name of the Android app install you'd like to track. This will help you recognize this action later when it shows up in conversion reports. Click Done.
  8. Click Value. Enter a value for each install (usually the price of the app), or select "Don't assign a value" if you'd prefer not to count one. Click Done.
  9. Click Mobile app. Enter the name, package name, or publisher of your app and click Find app. Select your app from the drop-down. (Learn more under "About the 'Mobile app' setting" below.) Click Done.
  10. (Advanced) Click Include in "Conversions." Opting into this setting—usually selected by default—will include data for this conversion action in your "Conversions" reporting column. Data in the "Conversions" column is used by automated bid strategies like Target return on ad spend, Enhanced cost-per-click, or Target CPA. So, if you use an automated bid strategy to optimize for conversions, and you don't want to include this particular conversion action in your bid strategy, you can uncheck the box. Otherwise, leave the default setting. 

    Unchecking "Include in 'Conversions'" for all your app install conversion actions will cause cost-per-install bidding to stop working properly. We recommend leaving it checked for one install conversion action per app. Click Done.
  11. Click Save and continue.
  12. Click Done. You're all set!

Note: Tracking app installs from stores other than Google Play

To track app installs from stores other than Google Play, create an Android app installs (first open) conversion action.

Previously, conversions from 3rd-party stores were also tracked through Android app download conversion actions, now called Android app installs (from Google Play). If you already installed tracking code for one of these conversion actions, your code will continue to count conversions, but you can no longer install new tracking code. Either way, we recommend creating a new Android app install (first open) conversion action to track these conversions. This is because app installs from 3rd-party stores are recorded on the first open, while installs from Google Play are recorded on the download. Separating these two types will help keep your conversion data consistent.

Opt out of automatic conversion tracking

AdWords will automatically track app installs from the Google Play store as conversions. If you'd prefer not to automatically count these conversions, you can opt out:

  1. Go to the Tools tab, and click Conversions.
  2. Click the green dot icon on the row of the "Android app installs (other)" conversion action, and select Removed from the drop-down.

Instructions for tracking Android app installs (first open)

  1. Sign in to your AdWords account.
  2. Click the Tools tab, and select Conversions from the drop-down menu.
    Select "Conversions" from the menu
  3. Click the + Conversion button.
    New conversion action
  4. Select the "App" option.
    New app conversion action
  5. Select First opens and in-app actions
  6. Select Android, then select App installs (first open). Click Continue.
  7. Click Name. Enter the name of the Android app install you'd like to track. This will help you recognize this action later when it shows up in conversion reports. Click Done.
  8. Click Value. Enter a value for each install (usually the price of the app), or select "Don't assign a value" if you'd prefer not to count one. Click Done.
  9. Click Mobile app. Enter the name, package name, or publisher of your app and click Find app. Select your app from the drop-down. (Learn more under “About the ‘Mobile app’ setting” below.) Click Done.
  10. (Advanced) Click Include in "Conversions." Opting into this setting will include data for this conversion action in your "Conversions" reporting column. If you uncheck this setting, data will still be included in the "All conversions" column. 

    Data in the "Conversions" column is used by automated bid strategies like Target return on ad spend, Enhanced cost-per-click, or Target CPA. So, if you use an automated bid strategy to optimize for conversions, and you don't want to include this particular conversion action in your bid strategy, you can uncheck the box.

    If you've also created a conversion action for tracking Android app installs (from Google Play) for the same app, we recommend enabling optimization for only one of your Android app install conversion actions. Opting into optimization for both will result in counting--and potentially bidding for--two conversions for a single app install. Click Done.
  11. (Advanced) Click Postback URL. This option allows you to send conversions information back to your Android app analytics package. Enter the postback URL that your app analytics provider has given you. See our app install confirmation developer guide for more detailed information. Click Done.
  12. Click Save and Continue.
  13. Review your settings. If you need to make any changes, click Edit settings.
  14. Select one of the two options under "Set up your tracking method."
    • Put tracking code into the app: Select this option if you want to use the Google conversion tracking SDK to add conversion tracking code to your app.
    • Set up a server-to-server conversion feed from an app analytics package to AdWords: Select this option if you use a 3rd-party app analytics server and want to use it to track AdWords install conversions. Select whether to save the information or email it to your developer.
  15. Follow the instructions in our developer guide for mobile app conversion tracking. Be sure to choose the instructions for Android apps.
  16. Click Done.

Instructions for tracking Android in-app purchases automatically from Google Play

For Android apps that use in-app billing, you can automatically track when someone who clicked your ad makes an in-app purchase. You don’t need to add code to your app. The value of the purchase will automatically be reported as the conversion value. 

If you’re using conversion tracking for apps with in-app subscriptions, only the first purchase will be recorded as a conversion, and only the first payment’s value will be recorded. 

  1. Sign in to your AdWords account.
  2. Click the Tools tab, and select Conversions from the drop-down menu.
    Select "Conversions" from the menu
  3. Click the + Conversion button.
    New conversion action
  4. Select the "App" option.
    New app conversion action
  5. Select Google Play.
  6. Select In-app purchases. Click Continue.
  7. Click Name. Enter the name of the in-app conversion you'd like to track. This will help you recognize this action later when it shows up in conversion reports. Click Done.
  8. Click Mobile app. Enter the name, package name, or publisher of your app and click Find app. Select your app from the drop-down. (Learn more under “About the ‘Mobile app’ setting” below.) Click Done.
  9. Click Count. Select whether to count every or one conversion per ad click. "Every" is usually best for in-app purchases, because every purchase likely adds value for your business. Click Done.
  10. Click Conversion window. Select how long to track conversions after someone clicks an ad. The window can be as short as one week or as long as 90 days. Ninety days is recommended for in-app purchases, because this window allows you to best approximate the lifetime value of a customer, and because each purchase adds value for your business. Learn more about conversion windows. Click Done.
  11. (Advanced) Click Include in "Conversions." Opting into this setting—selected by default—will include data for this conversion action in your "Conversions" reporting column. If you uncheck this setting, data will still be included in the "All conversions" column.

    Data in the “Conversions” column is used by automated bid strategies like Target return on ad spend, Enhanced cost-per-click, or Target CPA. So, if you use an automated bid strategy to optimize for conversions, and you don’t want to include this particular conversion action in your bid strategy, you can uncheck this setting. Otherwise, leave it checked. Click Done.

  12. Click Save and continue.
  13. Review your settings. If you need to make any changes, click Edit conversion settings.
  14. Click Done. You’re all set!

Instructions for tracking Android in-app conversions using code or third-party analytics

  1. Sign in to your AdWords account.
  2. Click the Tools tab, and select Conversions from the drop-down menu.
    Select "Conversions" from the menu
  3. Click the + Conversion button.
    New conversion action
  4. Select the "App" option.
    New app conversion action
  5. Select First opens and in-app actions.
  6. Select Android, then select In-app actions. Click Continue.
  7. Click Name. Enter the name of the in-app conversion you'd like to track. This will help you recognize this action later when it shows up in conversion reports. Examples might be "[Name of app] upgrade" or "[Name of app] in-app purchase." Click Done.
  8. Click Value. Select whether each conversion has the same value, varying values, or select "Don't assign a value" if you'd prefer not to count one. If you choose varying values, you'll need to follow these instructions to track transaction-specific values. Click Done.
  9. Click Mobile app. Enter the name, package name, or publisher of your app and click Find app. Select your app from the drop-down. (Learn more under “About the ‘Mobile app’ setting” below.) Click Done.
  10. Click Count. Select whether to count every or one conversion per ad click. "Every" is best for sales; "one" is best for leads. Click Done.
  11. Click Category. Select the category that best applies to your conversion. If you're tracking newsletter signups, you'll pick "Sign-up." For purchases, you'll pick "Purchase/Sale." If your conversion doesn't fall into a listed category, select "Other." Your choice here won't impact the way your conversions are recorded. Click Done.
  12. (Advanced) Click Include in "Conversions." Opting into this setting—selected by default—will include data for this conversion action in your "Conversions" reporting column. If you uncheck this setting, data will still be included in the "All conversions" column.

    Data in the “Conversions” column is used by automated bid strategies like Target return on ad spend, Enhanced cost-per-click, or Target CPA. So, if you use an automated bid strategy to optimize for conversions, and you don’t want to include this particular conversion action in your bid strategy, you can uncheck this setting. Otherwise, leave it checked. Click Done.
  13. (Advanced) Click Postback URL. This option allows you to send conversions information back to your Android app analytics package. Enter the postback URL that your app analytics provider has given you. See our app conversion confirmation developer guide for more detailed information. Click Done.
  14. Click Save and continue.
  15. Review your settings. If you need to make any changes, click Edit conversion settings.
  16. Select one of the two options under "Set up your tracking method."
    • Put tracking code into the app: Select this option if you want to use our SDK to add conversion tracking code to your app.
    • Set up a server-to-server conversion feed from an app analytics package to AdWords: Select this option if you use a 3rd-party app analytics server and want to use it to track AdWords in-app conversions.
  17. Select whether to save the code and instructions or email it to your developer.
  18. Click Done.
  19. Follow the instructions in our developer guide for mobile app conversion tracking. There are instructions for both tracking options mentioned above. Be sure to choose the instructions for Android apps.

About the "Mobile app" setting

The “Mobile app” setting links your conversion action to a particular app. This lets AdWords alert you if you have multiple conversion actions tracking app installs for the same app, so that you can avoid counting two conversions––and potentially bidding for two conversions––for a single app install.

To use this setting, simply look up your mobile app by name, package name, or publisher.

Only apps published on Google Play will appear when you search. If your app isn’t published yet, but you want to set up conversion tracking, you can enter the package name in the field and click Done. To find the package name of your app, look up the app on Google Play. The package name appears in the URL:

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=<package_name>
 

It’s best to use the conversion action to track only the app that you’ve set in “Mobile app.” If you want to track conversions for multiple apps, create separate conversion actions for each.

Tracking app installs using 3rd-party click tracking

If you're using 3rd-party click tracking on the Google Display Network, we can automatically count app installs as conversions if you turn on auto-tagging. Here's how:

  1. In your AdWords account, open the settings menu and select Account settings from the drop-down menu.
  2. Under "Account preferences," in the "Tracking" section, look for an "Auto-tagging" setting. It will either say "Yes" or "No."
    • If it says "Yes," auto-tagging is already enabled, and you can skip steps 3 and 4.
    • If it says "No," click Edit next to "Auto-tagging" and continue to step 3.
  3. Check the box next to "Destination URL Auto-tagging."
  4. Click Save changes.

After you enable auto-tagging, additional code called the "referrer" CGI parameter will be added to the end of your destination URL. It contains more conversion tracking information, and should look like this, where www.exampletracker.com is replaced with the URL of your 3rd-party tracking provider:

   www.exampletracker.com/?referrer=gclid%3D123xyz
 

The 3rd-party click tracker needs to preserve the entire referrer= parameter when it redirects to the Google Play Store. It can also add other sub-parameters. For example, the URL above should redirect to something like this:

   play.google.com/store?id=abcd.com&referrer=gclid%3D123xyz
 

Before starting your campaign, test the destination URL with the added referrer parameter and make sure it redirects to the correct Google Play Store URL.

3rd-party click tracking on the Google Search Network

Click redirects for Android app promotion ads are disabled on the Google Search Network, and 3rd-party click tracking is not available. We recommend using an Android app install (first open) conversion action to track your conversions

However, if you're using a 3rd-party analytics solution that uses Confirmed Installs you can still learn useful information about clicks with ValueTrack parameters. The following ValueTrack parameters are automatically added to the click URL:

  • network
  • creative
  • campaignid
  • keyword
  • matchtype
  • loc_physical_ms

Learn more about ValueTrack

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