About mobile app conversion tracking

If you use Google Ads to promote Android or iOS mobile apps, you can use conversion tracking to help you learn how effectively your ads lead to app installs and in-app activity. This article explains the different types of mobile conversions and how to track them.

Note: New privacy measures are in place for iOS 14 users. These may affect your conversion tracking in Google Ads. We recommend that you use Google Analytics for Firebase SDK. Firebase SDK automatically integrates with SKAdnetwork, which is Apple's framework for iOS campaign measurement that adheres to these new privacy measures. Keep an eye on iOS updates to learn more and to learn any steps you can take.

Types of mobile app conversions you can track

You can track the following conversions for your Android and iOS apps:

  • App installs, such as first open: Conversion tracking can measure how effectively your ads are leading people to install your mobile apps. Apart from seeing how many people are seeing your ads and taking action by installing your app, you can also track the number of people who open your app after installing in response to your ads. This is captured by default using Firebase or most third-party app analytics providers.
  • In-app actions, such as purchases: If you're using Google Ads to drive purchases or other valuable actions within your app, use conversion tracking to measure your campaigns' effectiveness. You can track custom in-app actions using Firebase or any third-party app analytics provider by adding the relevant code to your app.

For Android apps, there are several conversions you can track automatically from Google Play without adding tracking code to your app:

  • Downloads: Automatically track when someone who clicked your ad downloads your app from Google Play store.
  • In-app purchases: Automatically track when someone who clicked your ad performs an in-app purchase for apps that use Google Play’s in-app billing.
  • Pre-registrations: Automatically track when someone who clicked your ad pre-registers for your app or game from Google Play store.

Reporting for App campaigns on iOS and Android

To offer a more complete report of iOS and Android app campaign conversions, we may use privacy-safe data from models based on users who have previously signed into Google services. These models predict iOS and Android app conversions that we're unable to observe directly. This allows us to provide complete reporting on iOS and Android app campaign behavior that combines observed and modeled conversions.

Note: Complete reporting for app ads served to iOS and Android users will only be available within Google Ads.


How to set up mobile app conversion tracking

You can track mobile app conversion events such as first opens and in-app actions by importing events from Firebase, third-party app analytics providers, and Google Play.

Note: If you use hotel campaigns, learn how to include hotel parameters.

How to view conversions

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.

"All conversions" and "view-through conversions"

This animation shows you how to apply the "View-through conversions" and "All conversions by conversion time" columns to your campaign metrics.

  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 or Ad groups.
  4. Click the “Columns” icon A picture of the Google Ads columns icon at the top right of the campaigns list.
  5. Click Modify columns.
  6. Click the down arrow for “Conversions” to find all metric options from conversions.
  7. Check the boxes beside “View-through conv.” and “All conv. (by conv. time)”
  8. Click Apply.
  9. Now when you view campaigns or ad groups, you'll find all conversions and view-through conversions as metrics columns.

For select accounts: "Engaged-view conversions", "clicks", and "engagements" (use these to measure conversions for video ads in your app campaigns)

This animation shows you how to view the number of conversions resulting from "Clicks", "Engaged views", and "Engagements" in Google Ads.

  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 or Ad groups.
  4. Click the “Segments” icon Segment at the top right of the campaigns list.
  5. Select “Conversions”
  6. From the “Conversions” menu, select Ad interaction type.
  7. You’ll be able to view the number of conversions that resulted from “Clicks”, “Engaged views”, and “Engagements”.

Target CPA bidding for apps

Since these campaigns are optimized to count app downloads, there isn’t a waiting period for Target CPA. As soon as you've set up conversion tracking, you can use Target CPA bidding to help get more installs at your cost-per-install goal.

Video ad conversion tracking for apps

Conversion tracking is unique for video ads. An Engaged-view conversion is counted when someone watches at least 10 seconds of your video ad on YouTube or the Display Network. Conversion reporting for videos includes click-through conversions and Engaged-view conversion windows. App download conversions are counted only if the install happens within 2 days of the engagement. For people who click on your ad, conversions are counted if they install your app within 30 days.

Your video ad's billing will vary depending on where it’s shown. If it’s on YouTube, you’ll be billed for each impression. If it’s on the Display Network, you’ll be billed for each engagement.

Security and privacy for app tracking

Google's security standards are strict. Google Ads only collects data on apps where you have configured tracking.

Ensure you're providing users with clear and comprehensive information about the data you collect on your apps, and getting consent for that collection where legally required.

Related links

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