Increase Mobile App Downloads with Google AdWords

By Amanda Sides | May 14, 2013
More Articles by Amanda

appsIn line with the rise of mobile devices, mobile apps are becoming more and more prevalent and with every passing day the competition is getting steeper. If you have a mobile app, what measures are you taking to promote or increase downloads? PPC may not be a route that you originally worked into your strategy, but Google AdWords offers unexpected ways to help advertisers promote their mobile apps, and, in turn,  increase app downloads.

Mobile App Extensions

Ad Extensions are offered through Google AdWords as a way to allow advertisers to show more information in addition to their traditional text ads. This helps provide searchers with more information, but also helps the advertiser take up more real estate on the search engine results page (SERP), drawing more attention to their ads.

Mobile App Extensions in particular are a new feature from AdWords, available in a full, global release to advertisers that have upgraded to enhanced campaigns. This will enable a link to download your mobile/tablet app to accompany your ad, with both Android and iOS as available options depending on the type of app you offer. This additional link would point to a deep page on your site, where searchers can download the app.

App Promotion Ads

In addition to Mobile App Extensions, AdWords offers App Promotion Ads, a type of click-to-download ad, making it easy for searchers to download your app right from the search results page. Where you’d normally create a text ad, instead, choose the App / digital content ad, and then select the App promotion ad type. From there you’ll select an ad platform, Android or iOS,  and a spot to find your app or enter the app ID. If you choose Android, your ad will say Download from Google Play, and if you choose iOS, Download from iTunes. It may take up to 24 hours to start showing, but after you click save, you’re good to go! Ads with Android selected will only show on Android phones, and iOS on iOS, making it hyper-relevant for the searcher’s mobile capabilities.

App Promotion Ads

Track Your Downloads

App downloads can be tracked as conversions in AdWords, making it fairly easy for advertisers to see their return for their efforts. Whether you decide on mobile app extensions or app promotion ads, downloads performed will be reported as a conversion within your account. It’s a bit easier to track downloads from Google Play than iTunes, as you only need to select that option and include identifiers for your specific app. For iTunes downloads, you’ll need to integrate a small SDK and code snippet in order to enable tracking.

app conversion

Note that for iOS apps, Google can only track downloads from ads served in mobile apps, and unfortunately not able to track downloads from Google search or display network ads (more info on tracking app downloads from Google Support).

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