There’s been a lot of confusion among paid search marketers upset about the lack of device targeting in Enhanced Campaigns. This article will tell you how to advertise your mobile app using AdWords while checking out the new app promotion ad format in AdWords.

One of the most common hypothetical use cases for device targeting in AdWords has to do with mobile apps. For example, a mobile app developer who doesn’t want to target desktops because their app only works on say, iOS tablets – it would make no sense for these ads to show up on Windows desktop computer searches.

One Search Engine Land commenter wrote:

ios-android-device-targeting-ads

The great news for app developers and marketers is that advertising your mobile app with Enhanced Campaigns just got way easier and more targeted than ever. Here’s how!

Google Quietly Releases New Mobile App Promotion Ad Format

Enhanced Campaigns are such a big shift in how AdWords campaign management works. While Google focused on the biggest changes when announcing the news, some smaller new features and enhancements didn’t get as much attention, if any.

One of those new features is a new ad type specifically created to address the above use case: the App Promotion Ad. This new ad type offers some key benefits to mobile app developers and marketers:

  • Mobile users can find and install your app directly from the SERP on their devices with a single click.
  • Google automatically figures out the details; for example, if your app only runs on iPhones, Google won’t display your ad to Android users or on tablets; it just works.
  • App developers can use these ads to get a large number of installs and reviews very quickly, which are key for remaining competitive in this crowded space.

The new ad format is a big improvement over the previously existing click-to-download ad format for promoting mobile apps, in that it ads a new ad creation template which makes it easier to setting up these ads, as well as smarter built-in ad targeting intelligence.

For example, at my company, WordStream, we work with a few app publishers and struggled to get the old click-to-download ad format to work properly for iTunes apps.

Why is Google offering this new ad type? Because mobile apps are big business – a $30 billion business last year, by some estimates, with over 700K Android and iPhone apps on the market today.

How To Set Up An App Promotion Ad

It’s super easy to set up one of these ads. First, note that you need to upgrade to Enhanced Campaigns for these to work. If you’ve done that, just select the “App / digital content ad” option from the “+New ad” menu.

how-to-advertise-your-app

Then, you simply choose your app platform (currently, these are only available for Android or iOS) and search for your app in the Google Play or iTunes store.

new-click-to-download-ad

Then, write your ad text as you normally would. Google will show you a preview of how it will look on a mobile device or tablet.

mobile-app-ad-preview

And, that’s it! You’re done. You don’t have to specify what devices or operating systems you’re interested in targeting. Google will show your ads to the platforms that are compatible with your app. So, for example, you don’t need to worry about your app promotion ad showing up on a windows desktop search.

One Small Step For [A] Mobile App Marketer, One Giant Leap For Ad Intelligence

This new ad format is much easier and more powerful than the previous options for mobile app developers. It’s an exciting progression, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see Google roll out more of these kinds of ad creation templates and smarter ad formats in the future for other advertising use cases where it makes sense!

Opinions expressed in the article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Search Engine Land.

Related Topics: Channel: SEM | How To | How To: Mobile Marketing | How To: PPC | Intermediate | Paid Search Column

Sponsored


About The Author: is founder and CTO of WordStream, provider of the AdWords Grader and 20 Minute PPC Work Week.

Connect with the author via: Email | Twitter | Google+ | LinkedIn



SearchCap:

Get all the top search stories emailed daily!  

Share

Other ways to share:

Read before commenting! We welcome constructive comments and allow any that meet our common sense criteria. This means being respectful and polite to others. It means providing helpful information that contributes to a story or discussion. It means leaving links only that substantially add further to a discussion. Comments using foul language, being disrespectful to others or otherwise violating what we believe are common sense standards of discussion will be deleted. Comments may also be removed if they are posted from anonymous accounts. You can read more about our comments policy here.
  • William Bakhos

    Great article Larry.. The more I use the enhanced campaigns the more I see what google was trying to do.. But they really went out focusing on the big stuff which happens to be the stuff I’m not too impressed about.. However there are some gems like this.

  • http://www.facebook.com/michal.moreno Michal Moreno

    One thing we have not figured out yet if and how we may do – is target a campaign only to mobile devices. I’m not referring to an app download campaign, but to a normal campaign.

    Do you know of such option?

  • http://twitter.com/jwdlatif Jawad Latif

    Yes, Campaign can be targeted only to Mobile Devices. Go in Settings > Targeting Options > Device > Select Mobile Devices

  • cheryl511

    If you think Beverly`s story is astonishing…, last week my uncle’s girlfriend basically brought in $9787 just sitting there a fourty hour month from there house and their neighbor’s mother`s neighbour has been doing this for five months and made more than $9787 in there spare time at their labtop. follow the tips on this site, jump15.comCHECK IT OUT

  • http://twitter.com/cathalmelinn Cathal Melinn

    ha very funny

  • Vicky Robertson

    I set up a campaign to test out these ads last week, so far getting lots of impressions and more clicks than expected, the only problem I encountered was that I hadn’t realised / noticed there was also an ‘App Download’ conversion type which was needed to set up conversion tracking for Google Play downloads…every day is a school day!

    Looking forward to seeing how well these ads convert!

  • http://www.facebook.com/mr.larry.kim Larry Kim

    thanks for reading domnic!

  • http://www.facebook.com/mr.larry.kim Larry Kim

    there is a strategy where you bid down the desktop CPC’s (eg. $1.00), then set a mobile bid adjustment factor of +300% (eg: $3.00) so that you get mostly mobile clicks. or another way of thinking about this is to set the desktop bids to be a third of what you want your mobile bids to be, then crank up the bid adjustment factor. it’s likely your ads wont show up much on desktop because the bids will be too low. maybe give that a try?

  • http://www.facebook.com/mr.larry.kim Larry Kim

    Good luck vicky!

  • http://www.facebook.com/mr.larry.kim Larry Kim

    device targeting is actually going away for Google search campaigns by mid year.

  • http://www.facebook.com/mr.larry.kim Larry Kim

    Michal see my comment below of how to significantly reduce clicks from desktops/tablets by bidding up the mobile bid adjustment factor.

  • http://www.facebook.com/mr.larry.kim Larry Kim

    thanks for reading William!

  • http://twitter.com/jwdlatif Jawad Latif

    Oh I see!

  • http://twitter.com/abdulisbest Abdul Wahab

    Appreciated update!!!

  • Adrian Huth

    You can always count on Larry to write the fanboy google articles about enhanced campaigns which we don’t want. I’m all for better ad formats, how bout we innovate there instead of taking away device targeting?

 

Get Our News, Everywhere!

Daily Email:

Follow Search Engine Land on Twitter @sengineland Like Search Engine Land on Facebook Follow Search Engine Land on Google+ Get the Search Engine Land Feed Connect with Search Engine Land on LinkedIn Check out our Tumblr! See us on Pinterest

 
 

Click to watch SMX conference video

Join us at one of our SMX or MarTech events:

United States

Europe

Australia & China

Learn more about: SMX | MarTech


Free Daily Search News Recap!

SearchCap is a once-per-day newsletter update - sign up below and get the news delivered to you!

 


 

Search Engine Land Periodic Table of SEO Success Factors

Get Your Copy
Read The Full SEO Guide