How to create and use feeds for App campaigns

This article explains how to create and apply either business data feeds or Google Merchant Center feeds for App campaigns. Learn about using feeds in App campaigns

Instructions for building business data feeds

Supported templates

Select business data feed templates can be used for App campaigns. These include:
  • Flights
  • Hotel and rentals
  • Local deals
  • Travel
  • Custom

Unicode encoding supported

Business data supports UTF-8, UTF-16 and UTF-32 (it's best to use UTF-8). The data transformation between these formats is lossless. Business data doesn't support UTF7, UTF1, UTF-EBCDIC, SCSU, BOCU, GB-18030, Latin 1 or ISO 8859-1.

Required attributes

This table details the required attributes for the four vertical templates supported by App campaigns:

Data attribute name Contents / Best practices Templates that require this data Used by App campaigns for
Image URL

Web hosted and web accessible image.

JPG, JPEG, GIF or PNG. If JPG, JPEG or GIF, image must be saved in RGB color code with an ICC profile attached to it.

Recommended minimum size: 300 pixels by 300 pixels.

Square images help boost performance by ensuring consistent ad format appearance with minimal white space.

Resolution: 72 dpi.

All
  • Dynamic ad formats
Final URL

Android app link, iOS Universal link.

Or, if you're not using a deep link, the app store webpage URL for your app, or the URL of the page in your website that people should reach when they click on the ad (begins with "http://" or "https://").

All
  • Dynamic ad formats
  • Deep linking
Android App Link Deep link for Android in the form of *android-app://{package_id}/{scheme}/{host_path}* All
  • Dynamic ad formats
  • Deep linking
iOS App Link Deep link for iOS in the form of *{scheme}://{host}/{path}* All
  • Dynamic ad formats
  • Deep linking
iOS App Store ID Required if using the iOS App link field All
  • Dynamic ad formats
  • Deep linking
ID Any sequence of letters and digits Custom  
Item Title Any sequence of letters and digits, recommended maximum length is 25 characters (12 double-width languages) Custom
  • Dynamic ad formats
  • Targeting
Destination ID Any sequence of letters and digits Flights, Travel  
Flight Description Any sequence of letters and digits, recommended maximum length is 25 characters (12 for double-width languages) Flights
  • Dynamic ad formats
  • Targeting
Property ID Any sequence of letters and digits Hotels  
Property Name Any sequence of letters and digits, recommended maximum length is 25 characters (12 for double-width languages) Hotels
  • Dynamic ad formats
  • Targeting
Deal ID Any sequence of letters and digits Local Deals  
Deal Name Any sequence of letters and digits, recommended maximum length is 25 characters (12 for double-width languages) Local Deals
  • Dynamic ad formats
Title Any sequence of letters and digits, recommended maximum length is 25 characters (12 for double-width languages) Travel
  • Dynamic ad formats

Recommended attributes

This table details the recommended attributes for the four vertical templates supported by App campaigns:
Data attribute name Contents / Best practices Vertical Used by App campaign for
Final Mobile URL If you have Android app links/iOS Universal links in addition to web links, it's recommended that you enter your Android app links/iOS Universal links here. Then, you can add a web-only link to the Final URL attribute to accommodate desktop users. All
  • Dynamic ad formats
  • Deep linking
Price Price shown in the ad. It should be a number followed by the currency code, ISO 4217 standard. Use "." as the decimal mark. All (for Flights this is called "Flight price")
  • Dynamic ad formats
Sale Price Sale price shown in ad. It should be a number followed by the currency code, ISO 4217 standard. Use "." as decimal mark. All (for Flights this is called "Flight sale price")
  • Dynamic ad formats
Item subtitle Any sequence of letters and digits, recommended maximum length is 25 characters (12 for double-width languages). Custom
  • Targeting
Item description Any sequence of letters and digits, recommended maximum length is 25 characters (12 for double-width languages). Custom
  • Targeting
Origin name Any sequence of letters and digits Flights
  • Dynamic ad formats
  • Targeting
Destination name Any sequence of letters and digits Flights, Hotels
  • Dynamic ad formats
  • Targeting
Description Any sequence of letters and digits, recommended maximum length is 25 characters (12 for double width-languages) Hotels
  • Dynamic ad formats
  • Targeting

Upload your data file

  1. Sign in to your Google Ads account.
  2. Click the tools icon Google Ads | tools [Icon] in the upper right corner of your account
  3. Under "Setup", click Business data.
  4. Click the plus button to add your data feed.
  5. Select Dynamic display ad feed.
  6. Select from any of the following verticals with templates supported by App campaigns (Download the template and include required data attributes and any additional data you would like to include).
    • Flights: Template required data for feed creation includes Image URL, Final URL, Destination ID and Flight description. Recommended data (see table above) includes Destination name and description.
    • Hotel and rentals: Template required data for feed creation includes Image URL, Final URL, Property ID, and Property name. Recommended data (see table above) includes Destination name and description.
    • Local deals: Template required data for feed creation includes Image URL, Final URL, Deal ID and Deal name.
    • Travel: Template required data for feed creation includes Image URL, Final URL, Destination ID and Title.
    • Custom: Template required data for feed creation includes Image URL, Final URL, ID and Item title.
  7. Name your new data source.
    • It's best to use a short name without any spaces.
    • Make sure not to re-use the name of an old data set or feed that you've removed. Google Ads can only recognize new names.
  8. Click Choose file and select the file of the saved feed template to upload. Keep in mind that the size limit for .csv and .tsv files is 500MB and 50MB for other file types.
  9. Click Apply.

In the page menu on the left, click Upload history to see your recent uploads. Under the "Actions" column, you can Download results if the upload was successful, or Download errors to see what you can fix.

Instructions for building Merchant Center feeds

Your existing Google Merchant Center feeds can work as feeds for App campaigns. If you haven't created a feed, follow all steps below. If you have, follow steps 2 through 3.

  1. Create a feed in Google Merchant Center (Sign up for Merchant Center, if you haven't signed up yet).
  2. Link your Google Merchant Center account with your Google Ads account.
  3. Add a Merchant Center data feed to a specific campaign:
    1. Sign into Google Ads.
    2. Select App campaigns in the campaigns menu at the top left.
    3. Select Campaigns in the page menu.
    4. Click on the campaign you wish to add a feed to.
    5. Click Settings in the page menu.
    6. In the "Data feed" selector, select Google Merchant Center feed.
    7. Select the box beside the instruction "Attach a feed to improve targeting and enable ads that feature your feed items".
    8. Click Save.
Note: If your Merchant Center account manages multiple sellers on a marketplace, follow these best practices about market places for managing sellers.

Requirements

If you’re using a Google Merchant Center feed, there are a few steps to take in Merchant Center in order to use the feed for App campaigns.

  1. Make Shopping ads “Active” and “Enable” dynamic remarketing in Merchant Center
    1. Sign into Merchant Center.
    2. Click Growth in the left main navigation and then Manage Programs
    3. You’ll see the “Shopping ads” and “Dynamic Remarketing” program cards. If Shopping ads are not active, click on the settings icon Settings and update the “Shopping ads” status by clicking the down arrow Down arrow to open the status menu. If Dynamic remarketing is not enabled, click Enable in blue at the bottom left.
  2. Review your feed to ensure that it includes Shopping ads. Learn about managing multiple destinations for your products. If you see the excluded destination attribute for “Shopping ads” remove it.

Best practices

  1. Ensure that the feed attached to your App campaign has at least 10 items (ideally more).
    • If you're using a Merchant Center feed, you'll want to ensure that enough feed items are available to serve in the country of the App campaign. To do this, check to see that the country column values in the Merchant Center feed match the country being targeted by your App campaign.
  2. Ensure that the feed item content quality is high
    • Item title language should match the language targeted by the App campaign.
    • The feed should consist entirely of high quality, square (300 x 300) images that ensure consistent ad format appearance and minimal white space.
    • Images should clearly show the item.
    • Each feed item should be unique. Don't use the same images for different feed items.
  3. If you update your feed to make helpful improvements, try to add new items instead of replacing items (note that Merchant Center requires refreshing a feed refresh every 30 days). Helpful improvements include:
    • Add new high-quality items that are most likely to meet the needs of potential customers.
    • Replace low-quality images with better ones.
  4. Apply insights from smart pixel tag performance tracking to improve your feed performance.
    • For accounts with feeds attached to App Campaigns, join them to the same Google Ads manager account as the smart pixel owner account and enable list sharing in the manager account:
      1. Sign in to your Google Ads account.
      2. Click the tools icon Google Ads | tools [Icon] in the upper right corner of your account.
      3. Select Audience Manager.
      4. Select Settings in the "Audience Manager" left navigation.
      5. Move the dial besides "Share your remarketing lists" to start list sharing. Learn more about setting up remarketing list sharing
  5. Ensure that your deep links are implemented correctly. Learn more about deep links and setting up deep links
    1. Android App Links or iOS Universal Links: Add deep links as regular URLs.
      • Merchant Center feeds: Use the link or mobile_link fields.
      • Business Data feeds: Use the Final URL or Final Mobile URL fields.
    2. Custom Scheme deep links: Add your custom scheme deep links in their designated fields. 
      1. Android:
        • Merchant Center feeds: Add mobile_android_app_link as an attribute in your Merchant Center feed. Input Android custom scheme deep links for each feed item there.
        • Business Data feeds: Input your Android custom scheme deep links in the Android app link field.
      2. iOS
        • Merchant Center feeds:
          • Add mobile_ios_app_link as an attribute in your Merchant Center feed, and input your iOS custom scheme deep links for each feed item there.
          • Add mobile_ios_app_store_id as an attribute in your Merchant Center feed. Input your iOS app’s app store ID, which you can find in the app store web URL for your app as “/id[store id].
        • Business Data feeds:
          • Input your iOS custom scheme deep links in the iOS app link field.
          • You’ll need to fill in the iOS app store ID field as well for each feed item. You can find your app’s store ID in the app store web URL for your app as “/id[store id].

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