All about Universal App campaigns

All about Universal App campaigns

As an app advertiser, you want to get your app into the hands of more paying users. So, how do you connect with those people as you grow your app to global markets? Universal App campaigns streamline the process for you, making it easy to promote your apps across Google’s largest platforms.

How Universal App campaigns work

Unlike most Google Ads campaigns, you don't design individual ads for Universal App campaigns. Instead, we'll use your ad text ideas and assets from your app's store listing to design a variety of ads across several formats and networks. All you need to do is provide some text, a starting bid and budget, and let us know the languages and locations for your ads. Our systems will test different combinations and show ads that are performing the best more often, with no extra work needed from you.

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

Ads are optimized for installs or in-app conversions

Universal App ads are generated on the fly by our system and matched to the most relevant ad inventory and placements available. To build your ads, Google Ads may use your app's listing in the relevant app store, any of your text ideas, optional app images from the app store, and an optional YouTube video. The system rotates your ads and adjusts bids automatically to get the most downloads for your app that meet your optimization objective. For example, if one line of text is performing better than another, the system will show the better text more often.

Where your ads can appear

Your ads will be eligible to appear across Google's properties. This includes Google Search and Google Play, as well as our search partners, YouTube, the Google Display Network, AdMob, and many more publishers who host app ads. Here are some of the places where your ads can appear:

  • Google Search Network - Google Search and Google search partners

  • Google Play - Google Play search results, Google Play related apps section under "You might also like" and "Related to this app", and the Google Play homepage under "Suggested for you"

  • YouTube - Relevant pages or content on YouTube

  • Google Display Network - Gmail, other apps, and mobile websites of news, blogs, and other sites across the Internet

Campaign optimization and bidding

With Universal App campaigns, you’re able to optimize your targeting and bidding for specific campaign objectives like getting more app users or more in-app actions from your new users. There are three ways to optimize.

The first is to focus on getting more installs. Google Ads will optimize your bids and targeting to help you get the greatest number of new users for your app. The bid you set should be the average amount you'd like to spend each time someone installs your app. As an advanced option in the new Google Ads experience, you can target users likely to install and perform a specific action. For this option, you will still bid for installs.

The second way is to focus on driving in-app actions. If your goal is to find more valuable users, and you have the key in-app action tacked as a conversion event, use this option. Google Ads will focus on people who are most likely to complete the specific in-app actions you've set up and selected for this campaign. Set the target CPA (cost per action) to be the average amount you'd like to spend each time someone performs the selected in-app action in your app.

Try these first two options before considering the third, more advanced option. This option is to focus on driving in-app action value. For campaigns focused on in-app action value, Google Ads will focus on people who are likely to generate the best value over time. The bid you set should be the average conversion value (for example, revenue) you'd like to get for each dollar you spend on ads. This is called the target return-on-ad-spend (Target ROAS). If your goal is to ensure that users spend $0.5 of in-app purchases during the conversion window for every $1 of ads you spend, you’d set a target ROAS of 50%.

So as you grow and develop your business, think about using Universal App campaigns to save time on day-to-day marketing whilst keeping ads optimized and effective.