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Using Google App Campaigns

A Google Ads app campaign is an automated campaign type designed to drive both app installations (commonly referred to as "installs") and in-app conversion actions. As an app advertiser, your objective is to attract more paying users to your app, but do you know how to effectively reach them? App campaigns make this process easy by streamlining the promotion process across Google’s major platforms, including Search, Google Play, YouTube, Discover on Google Search, and the Google Display Network. Simply provide a few lines of text, set a bid, upload some assets, and the system will optimize everything to help potential users discover your app.

App campaigns use precise targeting and run across the Google Search Network and Display Network, displaying your ads on Google Search, Google Play, YouTube, and within other apps. Google Ads enhances your app installs and conversions by strategically placing your ads in front of users who are most likely to be interested, utilizing prime placements based on your app store listing.

How it Works

Unlike most Google Ads campaigns, you don’t create individual ads for App campaigns. Instead, Google takes your ad text ideas, images, videos, and assets from your app’s store listing to create a variety of ads across different formats and networks.

To get started, simply provide some text, a starting bid, a budget, and specify the languages and locations for your ads. We also recommend providing at least one landscape image, one portrait video, one landscape video, and, if applicable, HTML5 assets. Google ads systems will test different asset combinations and automatically prioritize the best-performing ads, requiring no additional effort from you.

Types of App Campaigns

When you select "App promotion" as your goal, you have three campaign subtypes to choose from: "App installs," "App engagement," and "App pre-registration (Android only)." Each subtype targets different actions and bidding strategies.

App Installs

These campaigns run ads to encourage people to install your app. App Campaigns for Installs (ACi) will display ads until the user completes the download action that the campaign is optimized for.

To maximize the value from each download, Google Ads automates targeting and bidding. You can optimize your campaign to find valuable users based on actions you care about, like in-app conversions.

App Engagement

App Campaigns for Engagement (ACe) help you re-engage customers who have already installed your app, encouraging them to take specific in-app actions. Your ads can appear across various Google properties, including Google Search, YouTube, Google Play, and within other apps on the Display Network. 

App Pre-Registration (Android only)

These campaigns run ads to build excitement and awareness for your apps and games before they launch on Google Play. After making your app or game available for pre-registration in your Play Console, you can create an App Campaign for the title. People who click on the ad can then pre-register for your app or game from the Play Store.

Where Your Ads Can Appear

Your ads can show up across various Google properties, such as Google Search, Google Play, YouTube, the Google Display Network, AdMob, Discover on Google Search, our search partners, and numerous other publishers that host app ads. Here are some of the specific places your ads might appear:

  • Google search network
  • Google Search
  • Google search partners

For app installs and engagement, Google aligns your ad with search terms that are relevant to your app or its category. Google Ads creates your keywords using various methods, including analyzing Google Play search terms that have previously directed users to your app.

Performance Changes

You can observe how the adjustments you made to your app campaigns may have affected your performance. On the “All Campaigns” page or within an app campaign, click on "Change History" to view a record of your changes along with annotations on the performance chart, indicating how those changes might have influenced performance.


Google Ads App campaigns are an effective way to promote your app on Google Play or the Apple Store across multiple Google platforms. These campaigns are optimized and scalable, allowing you to target users across various ad groups to achieve your goals, whether it's increasing installs or boosting app revenue. Setting up and maintaining app campaigns is straightforward, as the algorithm handles performance optimization. Now that you have the tips and tricks, try implementing them and watch your ads flourish.


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