MobileAdvertising Your Mobile Apps on Google Just Got a Whole Lot Easier

Advertising Your Mobile Apps on Google Just Got a Whole Lot Easier

If you're advertising mobile apps, it just got a lot easier to position your apps in front of active searchers. Not only did your marketing reach expand, but you can more easily track downloads. Here's a rundown of Google's new mobile ad options.

Mobile advertising continues to grow. If you are a search marketer, you can’t read a blog or check your Twitter feed without seeing another article about the growth of mobile advertising. Google AdWords is helping to continue driving this trend by offering new features that make mobile advertising even easier.

Mobile App Extension

Google is on a roll with new ad extensions in AdWords. Not only can you create Sitelinks, Product Extensions and Social Extensions, now you can extend your ad with info about your mobile apps. Considering that not everyone who searches for your brand or on a keyword related to your app knows you have a mobile app, this is a great way to let those searchers know.

Because this is an ad extension, a link to download your app appears in conjunction with your normal text ad in the search results (on computers, mobile or tablet). Not only does this mean you can position your app in front of searchers, but it can also lead to an overall lift in CTR.

According to Google, they saw a 6 percent lift in CTR when the Mobile App Extension was displayed during beta testing. Here is what the extension looks like in the wild (via Inside AdWords):


AdWords, find the “Ad Extensions” tab and click through. From there, find the drop-down list of available extensions and click on “Mobile App Extension.” At this point you need to do the following:

  • Select Mobile OS – either Android or iOS (Apple)
  • Enter “Package Name” for Android or “App ID” for iOS. You can also use Google’s handy “Look up app” utility.
  • Write link text. This is important – this your only chance to convince the searcher to click through to download your app.
  • Enter the link URL – the physical location of your app on Google Play or iTunes.


When setting up these Mobile App Extensions, it’s important to properly segment your campaigns by device and software. Create separate campaigns, and therefore separate Mobile App Extensions, for mobile phones vs. tablets and Android vs. iOS. If you don’t, you run the risk of showing an irrelevant ad to searchers and hurting your chances of gaining a customer.

Enriched Click-to-Download Ads

In the same announcement from Google, they also revealed that mobile click-to-download ads will contain far more information. Click-to-download ads have been available since last year, but until now only included the app logo and a brief description linking to your app.

Now, Google has expanded the click-to-download ad to include image previews, pricing and rating information. The data is pulled directly from Google Play or iTunes. All you have to do is provide the landing page URL for your app!

It’s important to remember that click-to-download ads are mobile only – this is a feature based on mobile WAP ads. Don’t know how to set these up? Google has some great instructions for you.

Basically, you create a new WAP ad, insert either the iTunes or Google Play URL as the display URL and the landing page of your app as the destination URL. Google does the rest. Here is an enriched click-to-download ad (via Inside AdWords):


App Download Conversion Tracking

Every smart marketer wants to know how well their campaigns perform. In the past, it was nearly impossible to track app downloads based on PPC spend (unless you set up your own custom tracking). Google has taken a big step in simplifying this process. Now you can create conversion types specific to downloads in Google Play.

Here is the set up process:



This is great for businesses advertising Android apps on Google Play. Not so great for the millions more pushing their iOS apps for iPhones and iPads. At this time, Google AdWords still doesn’t support the tracking of iOS apps. At least this is a step in the right direction.

All in all, if you are advertising mobile apps, it just got a lot easier to position your apps in front of active searchers. Not only did your marketing reach expand, but your ability to track (in part) just got easier, too. Let’s hope this kind of innovation and simplification continues for mobile advertising!


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