Google Ads for App Campaigns

Google Ads for App Campaigns

Trapica Content Team

Industry News
5 min read
May 3, 2021

As marketing experts, we like to equip businesses with the tools they need to succeed with Google Ads. As a result, our goal is to create tools that improve the efficiency of campaigns whether it’s through targeting, creatives, bidding, or another route. Although these aspects are important, we also need to pay attention to the changes that Google is introducing to its ad platform. Recently, there have been several updates that have changed app campaigns for the better.

If you haven’t been keeping up with the changes, we’ve listed some of the more prominent ones below.

1. Maximize Conversions Bidding Feature

One of the most impactful changes in recent times has been the addition of conversions bidding maximization. With any app campaign, it’s now possible to optimize the number of installs. If you want to push for app installs in a short period, this is the one for you. According to Google, growing an audience is sensitive to time. When launching new content or a complete app, it’s essential to grow an audience quickly, and this was the motivation behind the maximize conversions bidding feature.

To get started, all an advertiser needs to do is set a budget. From here, Google’s machine learning tool will get to work. To do this, find your app campaign for installs and choose the settings button. Under Bidding, remove the option to ‘Set a target cost per install’ and save.

The benefit of unticking this setting is that advertisers can discover new benchmarks for bidding. According to Google, users will identify a CPI (cost per install) after a few weeks with these new settings. Once you have this, we recommend switching to tCPI bidding as opposed to maximizing conversions.

2. Phrase Match Keywords and Broad Match Modifiers Update

If you’re reading this subtitle and feeling entirely lost, don’t worry because the definitions are quite simple. With phrase match keywords, the strict ordering of words is vital. On the other hand, the order of the keywords isn’t as important with broad match. With this second option, the user may still come across your link even if the keywords aren’t typed in the same order.

As an example, your keyword is ‘buy sports equipment’. With phrase match, the only way you will appear is if somebody types that exact phrase into Google. With broad match, you will appear for:

  • ‘Sports equipment buy’
  • ‘Buy the best sports equipment’
  • ‘Sports equipment to buy for soccer’

When pushing for results, one of the biggest challenges is actually ensuring that the right people see your ad. Your campaign will perform poorly if presented to the wrong market, even if the creatives and CTAs are the best you’ve ever produced.

Thankfully, Google has offered a helping hand by changing the way that keywords are used in PPC campaigns. Now, your ad could appear in results if the intent/meaning is the same as your phrase match or broad match keywords - even if the words that the user types are different. As a simple example, people will see your ad when typing for ‘sheet’ rather than just ‘cover’ when talking about beds and mattresses. Just because people use synonyms for words doesn’t mean their intent is different. Therefore, this Google Ads update will help us to appeal to people who need our services but don’t necessarily use the phrases we might.

3. Lead Generation Form Improvements

As we all know, lead generation is incredibly valuable to businesses of all sizes. As we learn about prospective customers, we have the data to improve communications and create a company that resonates with key audiences. With the correct implementation of data, our service is more valuable to the audience and we can increase conversions.

For the longest time, Facebook has led the way in this respect. Why? Because it allows users to complete a form without even leaving the platform. Now, Google has followed in Facebook’s footsteps with the new update.

As a business, you can create a lead form for Google Ads. When a user clicks, the form pops up and they can complete and submit it without going anywhere. In fact, some fields will be pre-populated thanks to the information stored on their user account. For us, this is an important feature for Google because it connects the business and consumer in new ways; they’re closer than before.

4. Better App

Of course, updates are pointless if the Google Ad app itself is lacking, so this is something Google is fixing. In the past, people in business were forced to sit down at a computer every so often to complete specific tasks. In what is now described as a ‘mobile world’, we need the ability to perform tasks on the go, and Google is taking steps to accommodate this need by providing an updated app.

For instance, it’s now possible to use your phone to create and edit responsive search ads. If you’ve used the app at all, you understand the frustration that comes with only being able to turn on ads and pause them in the app. Therefore, we’re sure you’re thrilled to hear about these improvements.

5. User Images in Reviews

Whenever we buy something on Amazon, we always scroll down to the reviews to see what pictures previous customers have posted. Star ratings are one thing, but seeing people actually receiving products and using them is another. You can see people interacting with a product, the actual color, shape, and more. These days, a user-generated image can make a sale - the power of social proof.

Though Google Reviews has always been a handy tool, it was given a makeover recently when businesses were given the ability to add user-generated images to a feed. Now, your customers see people like themselves using a product and are more inclined to spend their own money on your brand.

6. YouTube Ad Extensions

In terms of video marketing, it doesn’t get much better than YouTube; it’s ahead of Instagram with its two-billion strong user base. Just as we saw with the lead form extension, a Google update now means that users don’t have to leave YouTube to interact with a business.

After seeing an ad, a customer will click to a drop-down menu where they can see nearby physical stores, learn more about the brand, and even access coupon codes.

7. No More Average Position

For most businesses, ‘average position’, as a metric, was confusing and ineffective. Some businesses would see their average position as ‘1’ and question why they never actually appeared at the top of search results. As long as the ad is first, it could effectively come right at the bottom of search results.

What has Google said? Instead, you should keep an eye on ‘absolute top impression rate’ and ‘top impression rate’ through Google Analytics. From here, you learn the number of impressions generated from the top of search results as a percentage.

8. Simple Image Requirements

Did you know that you could send at least 30 different image dimensions and get accepted with app campaigns? That’s right, image requirements have been complicated for a long time. Now, Google has decided to switch to ratio-based specifications rather than a size-based system. With this, you no longer need to worry about different image sizes for different areas of a campaign. Instead, you need to upload three aspect ratios:

  • 1:1 - A square of at least 200 x 200 (1,200 x 1,200 is recommended).
  • 1.91:1 - A landscape of between 600 x 314 and 1,200 x 628.
  • 4:5 - A portrait of at least 320 x 400 (1,200 x 1,500 is recommended).

Also, the calls for high-quality images have finally been answered with an increase to 5MB in file size. Previously, the limit was 150KB, so the jump is quite dramatic. Sadly, fans of GIFs won’t be as happy to hear that this format is no longer accepted. Images must be in either .jpg or .png.

Other Improvements

As you can see, Google is fully committed to making app campaigns more efficient and effective. Other changes for marketers and businesses include:

  • Help with managing campaigns through the global COVID-19 pandemic
  • More conversion categories and reporting
  • New account ownership and access levels for Ads accounts
  • New insights to assess campaign performance
  • The ability to create a campaign and conversion tracking simultaneously (hooray!)
  • Improved targeting tools (in-market audiences and affinity audiences)

With this, app campaigns are more easy to create, edit, and manage than ever before. Google continues to make positive changes for businesses. If you haven’t yet taken advantage of app campaigns, 2020 is the perfect time to start!

Looking for an AI tool to help automate and optimize your ads?

Trapica can help

Industry News
5 min read
May 3, 2021