Mobile campaigns

How to track mobile app conversions

Due to differences in cookie and device ID settings, advertisers may see fluctuations in delivery and performance when cookies or device ID are unavailable. In some situations, Campaign Manager 360, Display & Video 360, and the new Search Ads 360 use machine learning and historical data to model conversions.

Tracking app installs and in-app activities can be useful for attribution, audience list creation, and bid optimization. These are the methods available for tracking an app install/conversion campaign in Display & Video 360:

Firebase integration

  • Good for advertisers who prefer Google's easy-to-use app development and tracking platform (Firebase).
  • Track first-opens of and post-install interactions with your Android & iOS app.
  • After setup, changes to your app's code aren't necessary.

More about linking Display & Video 360 with Firebase and Firebase overview

Floodlight GET/S2S request

  • Good for advertisers who already manage a lot of data or don't want third-party code in their apps.
  • Also good for when advertisers already have a server setup that processes GET requests.
  • Supports Android and iOS apps.
  • Setup requires writing code to build your own custom app-tracking solution.

More about Floodlight GET requests

Third-party trackers

  • Good for advertisers who already integrate with a third-party solution.
  • Track first-opens of and post-install interactions with your Android or iOS app.
  • Third-party trackers support many different tags, remarketing lists, and cross-device tracking.
  • Requires third-party tracker to Display & Video 360 endpoint integration.

More about third-party app tracking: Legacy mobile app conversion tracking with third-party tools  and Mobile app conversion tracking with third-party tools

Compare app conversion tracking methods
  Firebase Floodlight GET/S2S Third-party
Supported apps Android & iOS Android & iOS Android & iOS 
Marketer benefits Good tracking coverage App changes unnecessary  May already have third-party setup
Developer benefits Code changes unnecessary after setup No third-party code in app Good for those who already use third-party trackers
App Install tracking At first open At first open At first open
Post-install events support Yes Yes Yes
Custom vars support No Yes Yes
Remarketing lists support Yes Yes Yes
App code change required? One-time setup One-time setup No (if using third-party tracker)
App conversion tracking terminology
First open: A first open is counted when the user opens the app for the first time on their device

Post-Install: Any event that takes place within an app after it has been opened. Examples include in-app purchases, user registration, and user login. 

SDK: Software development kit

S2S: Server-to-server


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