AdWords pushing further into mobile territory

You can’t escape from mobile these days, and Google is well aware of this – so aware that they’re continuously introducing paid search features specifically aimed at mobile traffic.

As we keep hearing that mobile traffic is surpassing desktop on more and more platforms, AdWords has introduced a new campaign type aimed specifically towards driving app downloads. This is very much in line with the previous introduction of “call-only” campaigns, where ads are only eligible to appear on mobile devices. The feeling is that the launches of both of these campaign types are a result of a global change in search behaviour driven by more searches being performed on mobiles, and that Google wants to be sure that PPC ads keep being a natural part of the mobile search experience.  

Google Play

Google Play now (according to Google) reaches more than 1 billion people in 190 countries. This obviously makes it the next natural platform for Google to focus their attention on when it comes to search advertising. When the campaign is created you will be asked to specify what app that you want to promote (AdWords will provide targeting recommendations based on this) and what keywords that you want to use.

To get started you create a campaign in the AdWords interface, choose “search network only” and the “mobile app engagement” option.

adwords mobile engagement

This basically opens up Google Play as another playing field for paid search ads. When performing a search in the Google Play search bar promoted apps are now appearing in search results (similar to text ads on the search network a little “ad” banner will appear for the paid app results). In standard mobile Google search results the ads will appear like the below.



Universal app ccampaigns

In a similar development AdWords also launches something called “Universal app campaigns”. This promises to increase the reach of app download ads even further across Google properties such as the Display Network and YouTube, meaning we are only really seeing the tip of the iceberg at the moment.

App installs conversion

AdWords has also recently launched a new conversion type called “App installs (first open)”. This conversion type measures when a user first opens an app after clicking on an ad, after completing an Android app install. In a recent blog post Google cites the reason for this conversion being introduced is to allow for more consistent conversion tracking, as a number of 3rd party tracking solutions already uses this conversion type as standard.

Be an early adopter

As this is still early days for this campaign type we do not have any indications regarding what cost-per-clicks (CPCs) can be expected, but as with any other new campaign type it might be a good idea to opt in as early as possible to drive cost efficient app installs and for early quick wins, before everyone jumps on the bandwagon and the CPCs spike. One potential strategy we feel could be a consideration is to bid on competitor app names: if appearing alongside already trusted apps in the Google Play search results this could provide a shortcut to a lot of exposure for newly launched apps.

mobile advertising

As using apps are now the new norm for interacting with companies and services, this will no doubt mean that an app download will be considered an extremely valuable action for any client that sets up this campaign type. This is also likely to mean working towards high cost-per-actions (CPAs) and very broad bidding in terms of keyword targeting. Over time I would not be surprised if clients starts requesting this campaign type alone through AdWords, although initially this is likely to be a campaign type that will be incorporated into clients’ existing search strategies.

Be sure to keep your eyes peeled for new and improved mobile targeting features on AdWords as there are likely to be new developments and beta features popping up in every direction!




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