Best practices guide: Setting up your App campaigns

Official guide to App campaigns.
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So you’ve built an amazing mobile app. That’s great!

Now comes the hard part: finding the right people to install—and keep—your app.

This guide will show you how to use App campaigns to promote your app across our largest channels like Google Search, Google Play, YouTube, Gmail, and the Google Display Network.

Simply share your goals and App campaigns use the power of Google AI to build, optimize, and match your ads with the right people for your business. With our AI technology, App campaigns are able to analyze hundreds of millions of signal combinations and test different creative assets and channel combinations to serve the best-performing ads. 

Read on to learn key best practices to setting up a successful App campaign.

1. Define your goals to optimize your campaign

Share your goals—whether it’s increasing installs, driving specific in-app actions, or getting users to pre-register for your app before it launches. App campaigns will then optimize your campaign bidding and targeting for those objectives. 

Some examples of goals you may have include:

Build a user base 

Create an App campaign that optimizes for “Install volume” and targets “All users” to get the most installs for a target cost-per-install (CPI).

  • Set a target CPI based on the average value of a new user.
  • Let Google Ads collect enough data without running out of budget, so set a daily campaign budget that’s at least 50 times your target CPI.

Find installs that will also perform a specific action

Create a new App campaign that focuses on “Install volume” but targets “Users likely to perform an in-app action” instead of “All users.” Set a target CPI in this other campaign that’s at least 20% higher than the campaign targeting “All users.” It makes sense to pay more for more valuable installs.

Engage users who complete in-app actions 

Once you’ve determined which in-app action is most valuable to your business, create an App campaign that optimizes for “In-app actions.”

  • Give Google Ads enough data to identify new users who are likely to complete an in-app action. Pick an in-app action that’s completed by at least 10 different users per day in the campaign.
  • Set a target CPA based on the average value of a user who completes the action.
  • Let Google Ads collect enough data, so set a daily campaign budget that’s at least 10 times your target CPA.

Drive pre-registration sign ups for your app before it launches 

This campaign type uses the Target CPA bid strategy to help you get the most conversions optimized exclusively for pre-registrations. When you set your bid, you’re telling Google Ads the average amount you’d like to spend each time someone pre-registers for your app. The specific bid is target cost-per-pre-registration, which is automatically set once the first person pre-registers for your app.

Learn how to set up App campaigns differently depending on your goal.

2. Upload diverse creative to generate the best-performing ads

Provide a diverse mix of text and high-quality video and image assets. This enables App campaigns to dynamically generate creative that is optimized for the best reach and performance across different channels. 

You can include up to 10 text, 20 image, and 20 video assets per ad group (and 20 HTML5/playable assets for mobile game marketers). Here are some creative best practices to keep in mind: 

  • Text: Write standalone phrases that vary in length as different ad placements have different text limits. Ensure phrases focus on unique selling points and include conversational text with clear calls-to-action.
  • Image: Image assets should utilize the full ad frame with limited blank space and have high pixel density and minimal text overlay. Avoid superimposing logos and calls-to-action.
  • Video: Add engaging videos that vary in length between 10 to 30 seconds. Include videos in different aspect ratios, like portrait, landscape, and square to qualify across more ad channels and account for the different ways people hold their devices.

Use our Ad strength indicator to evaluate whether your App campaign assets are sufficiently diverse to drive the best performance. Also, be sure to regularly monitor your asset performance based on the ratings in your asset report and replace low-performing assets with new ones. 

Learn how to make better creative assets for App campaigns.

3. Set up deep links for more seamless web-to-app user experiences

Users value brands which offer a frictionless web-to-app experience to help them more easily interact, and in return, brands witness better campaign performance. For users that already have your app installed, you can deliver this optimized experience by implementing deep links. 

Deep links bring users from your mobile web ad directly to the relevant in-app content, so they can more easily take an action, such as completing a purchase or signing up for a loyalty program. On average, advertisers who have implemented deep linking see over 2X uplift in conversion rate.1 

Setting this up requires technical implementation. To simplify these workflows, you can use Web to App Connect, a one-stop destination with guided steps to help marketing and developer teams more easily set up deep links, as well as conversion tracking and bidding processes to ensure you’re capturing the full value of your campaigns. 

4. Adopt privacy-centric solutions for better campaign measurement

User expectations for privacy continue to grow, and shifting platform standards have made measurement more complex. To adapt to these changes and drive lasting results, it is important to implement measurement best practices and privacy-centric solutions such as the following: 


If you’re a web-first advertiser, make sure to check out our best practices guide for advertisers using both web and app campaigns to build a seamless customer journey and get the full value from your web and app channels. 


If you’re a retailer, make sure to check out our best practices guide for retailers to learn how you can drive customer loyalty and boost profitability with App campaigns.



1. Google Data, Global Divisions, Feb. 2022.


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