Choose a bid strategy for your App campaign

App campaign bid strategies help you get the most value by setting just the right price for your ads.

Before you begin

There is a set of instructions that you need to follow when you’re ready to create your App campaign for installs, pre-registration, or engagement.

Bid strategies for app campaigns

Bid strategy type Bid name Campaign subtype
Target CPA Target cost per install (tCPI) ACi (App campaign for installs)
Target CPA Target cost per action (tCPA) ACi, ACe (App campaign for engagement)
Target CPA Target cost per pre-registration (tCPpre) ACPre (Android) (App campaign for pre-registration)
Maximize Conversions ACi
Target ROAS Target return on ad spend (tROAS) ACi (Android)

The types of bid strategies you can use for your App campaign are:

  • Target CPA: Aims to increase conversions while targeting a specific cost per action.
    • Target cost per install (tCPI) aims to deliver install conversions at the set target.
    • Target cost per action (tCPA) aims to deliver in-app action conversions at the set target for either new ACi or returning ACe users.
    • Target cost per pre-registration (tCPpre) aims to deliver pre-registration conversions at the set target.
  • Maximize conversions: Automatically sets bids for each auction to help get the most installs for your campaign while spending your daily budget.
  • Target ROAS (return on ad spend): Aims to deliver a particular return on ad spend (a target that you set) based on the set conversion values for the targeted actions.
Note: The instructions below are part of the new design for the Google Ads user experience. To use the previous design, click the "Appearance" icon, and select Use previous design. If you're using the previous version of Google Ads, review the Quick reference map or use the Search bar in the top navigation panel of Google Ads to find the page you’re searching for.

Instructions

Set up tCPI for ACi

  1. In your Google Ads account, click the Campaigns icon Campaigns Icon.
  2. Click the Campaigns drop down in the section menu.
  3. Click Campaigns.
  4. Click the plus button , then select New campaign.
  5. For your campaign objective, select App promotion.
  6. In the “Select a campaign subtype” field, select App installs.
  7. Select your mobile app's platform.
  8. Type your app’s name in the "Look up your app" section.
  9. Add a name for your campaign.
  10. Click Continue.
  11. Select the location you wish to target.
  12. On the left part of the screen, click Budget and bidding.
  13. In the “What do you want to focus on?” field, select Install volume.
  14. In the “How do you want to track install volume?” field, select your preferred download conversion action.
    • A download conversion action lets you track app install events after people have interacted with your ad. For Android apps, download conversion actions are automatically created and tracked through Google Play.
  15. For the users you want to target, select:
    • All users to maintain the highest potential install volume.
    • Users likely to perform an in-app action to focus on users who may complete the selected event after installing. The main metric here is still target cost per install, rather than target cost per action.
  16. If you selected All users:
    1. Select the “Set a target cost per install (optional)” checkbox.
    2. In the “Target cost per install” field, enter an amount.
      • Your bid should reflect the value of the completion of the install event by the targeted users. For iOS, we recommend 1.5x higher than Android.
  17. If you selected Users likely to perform an in-app action:
    1. In the “Which action is most important to you?” field, select predefined actions from your conversion tracking settings.
      • Note that optimizing for frequent actions, like session start, may result in a higher number of conversions than usual, especially for video assets.
    2. In the “Target cost per install” field, enter an amount.
      • Bids should be 20% higher than baseline tCPI bids as you’re optimizing towards more lucrative installs. For iOS, we recommend 1.5x higher than Android.
  18. Click Save.
Note: Bid guidance is available only for ACi tCPI campaigns in which “All Users” is selected. Bid guidance helps you set a competitive bid during campaign construction.

Set up tCPA for ACi

  1. In your Google Ads account, click the Campaigns icon Campaigns Icon.
  2. Click the Campaigns drop down in the section menu.
  3. Click Campaigns.
  4. Click the plus button , then select New campaign.
  5. For your campaign objective, select App promotion.
  6. In the “Select a campaign subtype” field, select App installs.
  7. Select your mobile app's platform.
  8. Type your app’s name in the "Look up your app" section.
  9. Add a name for your campaign.
  10. Click Continue.
  11. Select the location you wish to target.
  12. On the left part of the screen, click Budget and bidding.
  13. In the “What do you want to focus on?” field, select In-app actions.
    • This option focuses on users who are most likely to see your ad, install the app, then complete an in-app action.
  14. In the “How do you want to track install volume?” field, select your preferred download conversion.
    • A download conversion action lets you track app install events after people have interacted with your ad. For Android apps, download conversion actions are automatically created and tracked through Google Play.
  15. In the “Which actions are most important to you?” field, select predefined actions from your conversion tracking settings.
    • Note: It isn't recommended to select more than one action as doing so effectively makes your set tCPA a “blended target” for 2 or more actions with potentially different values.
    • Keep in mind that optimizing for frequent actions, like session start, results in a higher number of conversions than usual, especially for video assets.
  16. In the “Target cost per action” field, enter an amount.
    • Your bid should reflect the value of the completion of the selected events by the targeted users. After more data has been collected when the campaign has begun serving, review the actual CPA achieved for the in-app event being targeted and set your tCPA bid 20% higher than what’s been observed. For iOS, we recommend bids that are 1.5x higher than Android.
  17. Click Save.
Note: Bid guidance for ACi tCPA will be available soon.

Set up tCPA for ACe

  1. In your Google Ads account, click the Campaigns icon Campaigns Icon.
  2. Click the Campaigns drop down in the section menu.
  3. Click Campaigns.
  4. Click the plus button , then select New campaign.
  5. For your campaign objective, select App promotion.
  6. In the “Select a campaign subtype” field, select App engagement.
  7. Select your mobile app's platform.
  8. Type your app’s name in the "Look up your app" section.
  9. Add a name for your campaign.
  10. Click Continue.
  11. Select the location you wish to target.
  12. On the "Settings" page, click Budget and bidding.
  13. In the “What do you want to focus on?” field, select In-app actions.
  14. In the “Which actions are most important to you?” field, select predefined actions from your conversion tracking settings.
    • Note: It isn't recommended to select more than one action as doing so effectively makes your set tCPA a “blended target” for 2 or more actions with potentially different values.
    • Keep in mind that optimizing for frequent actions, like session start, results in a higher number of conversions than usual, especially for video assets.
  15. In the “Target cost per action” field, enter an amount.
    • Your bid should reflect the value of the completion of the selected events by the targeted users. After more data has been collected when the campaign has begun serving, review the actual CPA achieved for the in-app event being targeted and set your tCPA bid 20% higher than what’s been observed. For iOS, we recommend bids that are 1.5x higher than Android.
    • Set the tCPA high to drive more than 100 conversions.
  16. Click Save.

Set up tCPpre for ACPre (Android)

  1. In your Google Ads account, click the Campaigns icon Campaigns Icon.
  2. Click the Campaigns drop down in the section menu.
  3. Click Campaigns.
  4. Click the plus button , then select New campaign.
  5. For your campaign objective, select App promotion.
  6. In the “Select a campaign subtype” field, select App pre-registration (Android only).
  7. Type your app’s name in the "Look up your app" section.
  8. Add a name for your campaign.
  9. Click Continue.
  10. Select the location you wish to target.
  11. On the left part of the screen, click Budget and bidding.
  12. In the “Target cost per pre-registration” field, enter an amount.
    • Your bid should reflect the value of the completion of the pre-registration event by the targeted users.
  13. Click Save.

Set up Maximize conversions for ACi

  1. In your Google Ads account, click the Campaigns icon Campaigns Icon.
  2. Click the Campaigns drop down in the section menu.
  3. Click Campaigns.
  4. Click the plus button , then select New campaign.
  5. For your campaign objective, select App promotion.
  6. In the “Select a campaign subtype” field, select App installs.
  7. Select your mobile app's platform.
  8. Type your app’s name in the "Look up your app" section.
  9. Add a name for your campaign.
  10. Click Continue.
  11. Select the location you wish to target.
  12. On the left part of the screen, click Budget and bidding.
  13. In the “What do you want to focus on?” field, select Install volume.
  14. In the “How do you want to track install volume?” field, select your preferred download conversion action.
    • A download conversion action lets you track app install events after people have interacted with your ad. For Android apps, download conversion actions are automatically created and tracked through Google Play.
  15. In the “What kind of users do you want to target” field, select All users.
  16. Ensure that “Set a target cost per install (optional)” checkbox isn’t selected.
  17. Click Save.

Set up tROAS for ACi (Android)

  1. In your Google Ads account, click the Campaigns icon Campaigns Icon.
  2. Click the Campaigns drop down in the section menu.
  3. Click Campaigns.
  4. Click the plus button , then select New campaign.
  5. For your campaign objective, select App promotion.
  6. In the “Select a campaign subtype” field, select App installs.
  7. Select Android for your mobile app's platform.
  8. Type your app’s name in the "Look up your" app section.
  9. Add a name for your campaign.
  10. Click Continue.
  11. Select the location you wish to target.
  12. On the left part of the screen, click Budget and bidding.
  13. In the “What do you want to focus on?” field, select In-app action value.
  14. In the “How do you want to track install volume?” field, select your preferred download conversion.
    • A download conversion action lets you track app install events after people have interacted with your ad. For Android apps, download conversion actions are automatically created and tracked through Google Play.
  15. In the “Which actions are most important to you?” field, select predefined actions from your conversion tracking settings.
    • Keep in mind that optimizing for frequent actions, like session start, results in a higher number of conversions than usual, especially for video assets.
  16. In the “Target return on ad spend” field, enter a value as a percentage using this formula: Conversion value ÷ ad spend x 100% = target ROAS percentage. Here is a guide on how to properly set a tROAS bid:
    1. Identify your biddable event’s conversion window.
    2. Enable the “conv. value/cost” column to identify your comparable* campaign’s performance over the duration of that window. Your achieved ROAS for the comparable campaign should be your starting tROAS bid.
      • *Promoting the same App ID, using the same biddable event and lookback window, with the same location and language targeting settings
  17. Ensure you factor in your bid inflation rate, if applicable, in setting your actual bid.
  18. Click Save.
Tip:
If you want to lessen the need to make manual bid changes in your App campaigns, you can use automated rules to make changes automatically. Learn more about how to set up automated rules for App campaigns

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