Making Search Ads work for businesses with mobile apps

Monday, April 30, 2012 | 11:03 AM

Mobile search is a powerful channel for businesses to engage with customers that are searching for them or for their application. Last year, we introduced improvements to click-to-download ads, and for publishers, launched Custom Search Ads for Mobile Apps. Today we’d like to share several new features that will make it even easier for AdWords advertisers to promote, track and monetize their mobile app. For the first time, businesses can use AdWords mobile search ads as a holistic solution to promote, monetize and track their app downloads.

Promote your app using the new Mobile App extension
All AdWords advertisers will receive the option to use a new Ad Extension - the Mobile App extension; a new way to promote their mobile apps. Not all mobile users searching for a business may know that the business has an app. The Mobile App extension allows advertisers to append a mobile app download link to their search ads. With this extension, advertisers can promote their mobile app to users who may simply be searching for their brand, product or service.

The mobile app extension gives advertisers a new distribution channel for their mobile apps and users a new discovery medium. Beta participants saw a 6% lift in CTR for campaigns using Mobile App extensions, compared to control campaigns.


The new Mobile App Extension found in the “Ad Extensions” tab. Use its new ‘app picker’ function to easily find your company’s app in Google Play Store or iTunes App Store

GrubHub, a web and mobile service that connects diners to restaurants and simplifies online ordering for delivery and pick up, was an early beta tester of the Mobile App extension. In addition to pointing mobile customers searching for food delivery services to their mobile website, they used the mobile app extension to add an additional link to their app download page. Abby Hunt from the GrubHub team explains the importance of reaching customers on mobile: “GrubHub is dedicated to feeding our diners anytime, anywhere - this is why it is important for us to reach our diners on their mobile devices. Hungry people are checking their mobile devices on the way home from work or walking to class, and we need to be where they are.

GrubHub was an early tester of the Mobile App extension, allowing hungry customers searching for their business the option of accessing information on their mobile site or app via an ad.

Enriching click-to-download ads with more useful app information
Advertisers running campaigns solely focused on promoting and driving downloads of their app will benefit from recent changes that add more useful information to their click-to-download ads. Last year, we added mobile app icons next to the text ad. We’ve now incorporated richer information about your mobile app right in the ad unit itself. When a user searches and your click-to-download ad appears, they’ll be able to see image previews, a description of your app, and when applicable, pricing and rating information.

All this new information in the click-to-download ad is automatically drawn from the Google Play Store and iTunes App Store. We hope that customers will benefit from recent changes that make click-to-download ads more engaging and for users searching on Google.

Quicken Loans Inc., the nation’s largest online home lender and a top five retail lender uses click-to-download ads to promote their Mortgage Calculator App. They’ve seen a rapid increase in the number of customer searching for them on mobile. Greg Broda, Paid Search Partner Manager at Quicken Loans explains: "When it came time to promote the new Quicken Loans Mortgage Calculator app, the decision to utilize Google’s mobile click-to-download ad platform was a no-brainer. The placement has allowed us to share the app with a very targeted and engaged group of users."

Quicken Loans runs click-to-download ads, now complete with app previews and pricing information,  that point users to their app download page.


Track Android app downloads through AdWords
Businesses will now be able to track downloads of their Android app from their AdWords campaigns as an AdWords conversion. This means that when a user downloads a mobile app from the Google Play store via a click-to-download ad or a mobile app extension, we will count their download as a conversion.  For more information on how to set this up, visit this page. 

Monetizing your mobile app with Custom Search Ads for Mobile Apps
We’ve now brought Custom Search Ads to tablet apps via the recent launch of a new AdMob SDK. Tablet and mobile app users will receive ads relevant to what they're searching for inside an app, and businesses running mobile apps will have a new tool to monetize their content and services.

Mobile apps represent a significant opportunity for businesses to reach their customers, and mobile search is an important channel to reach these customers. We’re looking forward to bringing new products in the coming year that will help businesses grow by promoting, tracking, and monetizing their mobile apps with Google.  

Posted by Anurag Agrawal, Product Manager, Mobile Search Ads

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