About App campaigns

As an app advertiser, you want to get your app into the hands of more paying users. So, how do you connect with those people? App campaigns streamline the process for you, making it easy to promote your apps across Google’s largest properties including Search, Google Play, YouTube, Discover, and the Google Display Network. Just add a few lines of text, a bid, some assets, and the rest is optimized to help your users find you.

This article covers the basics of how App campaigns work.To get started, review the best practices for promoting apps on Google and learn how to create an App campaign.

Ready to advertise your app? Click here to set up your App campaign.

How it works

Unlike most Google Ads campaigns, you don't design individual ads for App campaigns. Instead, we'll use your ad text ideas and assets, including assets from your app's store listing to design a variety of ads across several formats and networks. To get started, you'll need to do provide some text, a starting bid and budget, and let us know the languages and locations for your ads. We also strongly recommend that you provide at least one landscape image, one portrait video, and one landscape video, and where relevant, HTML5 assets. Our systems will test different asset combinations and serve ads that are performing the best more often, with no extra work needed from you.

To help you get the best value from each download, Google Ads also automates targeting and bidding. You can optimize your campaign targeting to focus on finding valuable users based on actions you care about, like in-app conversions.

App ads are generated on the fly by our system. To build your ads, Google Ads may combine text, image, video, or HTML5 assets you upload, or assets from your app's listing in the relevant application store. The system rotates your ads and adjusts bids automatically to get the most downloads for your app that meet your optimization objective, whether that objective is installs, app conversions, or target return on ad spend (tROAS). For example, if one line of text is performing better than another, the system will "learn" to show the better text more often. Learn more About ads in App campaigns.

Where your ads can appear

Your ads will be eligible to appear across Google's properties. This includes Google Search, Google Play, Youtube, the Google Display Network, AdMob, Google Discover, our search partners, and many more publishers who host app ads. Here are some of the places where your ads can appear:

Google Search Network

Google matches your ad to search terms that are relevant to your app or its category. Google Ads generates your keywords using a number of methods, including using Google Play search terms that have led people to your app.

Google Play

  • Google Play search results
  • Google Play related apps section: "You might also like" and "Related to this app"
  • Google Play home page: "Suggested for you"

Google can show your ads to people who search for terms and apps that are relevant to your app. Your ads can also show to people who visit the app details page of an app that's similar to your app.

YouTube

  • Relevant pages or content on YouTube.

Google Ads can show your ads on YouTube where they're most likely to be clicked, and your app is most likely to be downloaded.

Google Display Network

Google Display Network Ad, home screen Google Display Network, Ad in mobile news website

  • Gmail
  • Other apps
  • Mobile websites of news sites, blogs, and other sites across the Internet

Google Discover

Google Discover Ad

Currently available on Android phones in the English language setting only.

Your ads can now appear on Google Discover. This means you’ll be able to serve visually-rich ads to users, according to the user’s relevant interests.

Campaign optimization and bidding

App campaigns offer three different ways to optimize for your marketing objectives:

Focus on getting more installs. Google Ads will optimize your bids and targeting to help you get the greatest number of new users for your app. The bid you set should be the average amount you'd like to spend each time someone installs your app. As an advanced option in the new Google Ads experience, you can target users likely to install and perform a specific action. For this option, you will still bid for installs.

Focus on driving in-app actions. If your goal is to find more valuable users, and you have the key in-app action tacked as a conversion event, use this option. Google Ads will focus on people who are most likely to complete the specific in-app actions you've set up and selected for this campaign. Set the target CPA (cost-per-action) to be the average amount you'd like to spend each time someone performs the selected in-app action in your app.

Try driving for installs or in-app actions before considering this third, more advanced option.

Note: Target ROAS is currently in beta for App campaigns.

Focus on driving in-app action value.For campaigns focused on in-app action value, Google Ads will focus on people who are likely to generate the best value over time. The bid you set should be the average conversion value (for example, revenue) you'd like to get for each dollar you spend on ads. This is called the target return-on-ad-spend (Target ROAS). If your goal is to ensure that users spend $0.5 of in-app purchases during the conversion window for every $1 of ads you spend, you’d set a target ROAS of 50%.

To use this bidding strategy, you'll need to install the Google Analytics for Firebase software development kit (SDK) in your app. The conversion events that you're bidding on (and sending values with) should also come from the Firebase SDK.

To learn more about setting bids, read about bidding in App campaigns.

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