Promote mobile apps

About reporting on mobile app promotions

When customers view or click your ads in a "Mobile app installs" campaign or your app extensions, Google Ads reports impressions, clicks, and cost, just like any ad or extension. You can view the engine metrics in Google Ads or Search Ads 360 without any additional steps.

To track activity that occurs after a click, you need to set up conversion reporting. The steps you take depend on the operating system of your app (Android or iOS), the type of store, and the type of conversion you want to track.

"Mobile app installs" campaigns are no longer supported by Google Ads and you can no longer create or edit "mobile app installs" campaigns in Search Ads 360.

As of April 1, 2018, Search Ads 360 can no longer track new conversions promoted by existing app installs campaigns (neither for Android apps nor for iOS apps), but you can still access these campaigns to see conversions that were recorded while Google Ads still supported the campaigns.

Instead of "mobile app installs" campaigns, use Universal app campaigns, which are more streamlined and easier to use than "mobile app installs" campaigns. (Universal app campaigns will soon be supported by Search Ads 360.)

Installation terminology: "Pure download" and "First open"

Before reviewing reporting options, it's important to clarify that "installing" a mobile app can be measured in two different ways: 

  • Downloading an app onto a device (called "pure download")
  • Opening and interacting with the app for the first time (called "first open")

"Install" means download plus first open

If your intent is to show advertising ROI, simply downloading an app from the app store isn't particularly meaningful from an engagement point of view. Instead, focusing on first open conversions is a better reflection of value than pure download.

Options for conversion reporting

For each type of mobile app conversion, the following tables show which conversion-tracking systems are available for each operating system. Click the links for details. 

"Mobile app installs" campaigns

Conversion type iOS Android

Pure download

Not available

None
Conversions recorded by Google Ads conversion tracking before April 1, 2018 appear in Search Ads 360 reports

First open

Floodlight or third-party trackers

Conversions recorded by Google Ads conversion tracking before April 1, 2018 appear in Search Ads 360 reports

None
Conversions recorded by Google Ads conversion tracking before April 1, 2018 appear in Search Ads 360 reports

In-app activity

Floodlight or third-party trackers

Conversions recorded by Google Ads conversion tracking before April 1, 2018 appear in Search Ads 360 reports

None
Conversions recorded by Google Ads conversion tracking before April 1, 2018 appear in Search Ads 360 reports

App extensions

Conversion type iOS Android

Pure download

Not available

Google Ads conversion tracking

First open

Google Ads conversion tracking

Google Ads conversion tracking

 

In-app activity

Google Ads conversion tracking

Google Ads conversion tracking

 

Have feedback on our mobile documentation? Give us your feedback!
Was this helpful?
How can we improve it?