Everything You Need to Know About Google Play Search Ads

Your main mission as an app owner is to make as many users as possible to discover your app. For this reason, we remind you of every topic discussed that the app store search is the main channel that increases your opportunity to accomplish that goal. A few weeks ago we listed Everything You Need To Know About Apple Search Ads, a detailed article about promoting your app directly in Apple App Store. It is a very useful blog post, indeed. But, what if you own an Android app? In this case, keep reading because this article is for you. Now we are going to share characteristics of Google Play Search Ads and how to advertise on Google Play Store. Although Google launched this service in July 2015, there are improvements added constantly to the system for a better user experience. Recently, Google Inside AdWords announced some changes they made to this platform, for delivering more valuable results for developers. In case, some possible user searches specifically for your app, by its name, then the ad won’t appear since there are big chances that your app will show in the search results anyway. This way you will not pay for clicks that you would have received organically. On the other hand, for broader terms relevant to your app, like “time management app” or “first aid app”, then your ad will be in that list giving you the chance to raise your app in front of others in its category. Let’s free sign up and talk about your app marketing strategy to boost your app to the next level.

Updated on April 27, 2020.

What is app store advertising?

App Store Advertising (ASA) is another way to advertise your app, gain more awareness, and increase downloads for your app. If you are thinking about investing in app store advertising, here’s your guide on Google Play Search Ads.

Google Play Search Ads Performance

Using Google ads app owners are now able to get millionaires! As you can see in the article published by AdWords’ official blog, mentioned before, there are some success stories, like GrubHub that worth the attention if you consider promoting your app through the services offered by Google. Another great effect offered by Google search ads is shared by Nordeus, a company that develops mobile games since 2010. For one of their first games, Top Eleven, which is a football management simulator, they used Google Play Search Ads in 17 languages concentrating their attention on both, known and new, areas.

The results are amazing:

  • In the first 30 days of campaign they observed 892% more app installs;
  • The retention rate was 51% higher;
  • The average revenue per user was 68% higher.

Learn more about the techniques, ad types, metrics to follow, and mistakes to avoid for better mobile app engagement!

As you can see we are talking about a challenging campaign developed for many countries, but what followed rewarded all the efforts of the Nordeus team. Moreover, the words of Tomislav Mihajlović from Nordeus express the core functionality of Google Play Search Ads:

“Search has been a key component of our app promotion strategy to reach high-quality users. With Search Ads on Google Play, we have an even bigger opportunity to connect with people in the moments they’re looking for new apps to download. For our game Top Eleven, we are already seeing nine times more app installs from Search with the addition of Google Play inventory.”

Now, let’s discuss app store advertising revenue briefly, based on Sensor Tower’s data, the total revenue of the iOS App Store and Google Play Store was $71.3 billion in 2018, a 22.7% increase from 2017. $24.8 billion of the app store revenue came from Google Play. That proves the importance of play store app advertising. To develop an effective marketing campaign, find your niche, conduct keyword research, and find out what your target audiences’ search queries are. To develop a powerful ad campaign, you also have to learn the working algorithm of app stores.

Working Algorithm

There are three types of app promotion campaigns provided by Google:

  • Universal app campaigns – AdWords helps you generate ads that can be used across all channels (Search Network, Display Network, and YouTube).
  • Mobile app installs – promote your app on one network (Search Network, Display Network, or YouTube).
  • Mobile app engagement – for remembering users about your app.

There is no stand-alone method for search advertising Google Play provides. You can follow app store advertising guidelines & one of the above techniques and your app will be promoted on Google Play Store along with other channels offered by Google. Referring to this aspect, the opinions are divided. Some of the app developers see that as an advantage because their ad reaches more areas at the same time, while others would prefer to create ads just for Google Play Store because this way they can track the performances in a more accurate manner. Either way, the first two are more suited for Google Play Search Ads.

For creating Universal app campaigns follow the steps described in the official documentation.
If you choose to create an ad only for Search Network (Google Search and Google Play Search) there is a detailed guide for the Mobile app installs campaign.

For a better understanding of the differences between those two types of app promotion campaigns, you can check the page where Google explains everything about this topic.

Differences between campaign types, Universal App Campaign, Mobile App Installs Campaign

Features of Search Ads On Google Play

Let’s cover the main attributes of Search Ads on Play Store from Google:

  1. Through the services offered by Google, it is easier for you to manage the entire campaign, and at the same time, you can reach more channels.
  2. Always keep in mind Mobile conversion tracking. If you optimize this element you will have more efficient results. Google allows you to set up conversion tracking since Google Play Store is linked to AdWords.
  3. Google helps you to select your daily budget and your bid strategy. This stage gives you the liberty to tailor your Google Play Ad campaign according to your budget.

3 Benefits for Developers

  1. The best advantage of choosing this method for advertising your app through Google Play Ads is that your app is shown to possible users at the right moment and the right place.
  2. Selecting one of the formats available on the Google setup page you will save a lot of time because everything can be customized in just a few simple steps.
  3. You can use the Keyword Suggestion Tool from Google for assuring improved performances and to be sure that possible users are looking for the exact expressions that you are assuming.

3 Best Practices for Effective Search Ads On Google Play

  1. Images and other details are gathered from the app store page, so you need to manage the perfect App Store Optimization. You can look back to our previous articles on how to handle the elements on the market like app icon, app title, and app description. Keywords are also, very important, as usual. Google recommends adding the word “app” to the description, since the majority of people who search on Play Store follow the pattern: main feature + “app”, like “travel app” or “fitness app”.
  2. If you choose the version of the app installs campaign you must remember that the ad is not translated. Another advice from Google is to check the target language and to make sure that every viewer sees your ad in the appropriate language.
  3. Allow your strategy to show its effect for at least a week. These first 7 days will be essential for testing all your settings and google play ads price. So you can be sure that the results meet your expectations.

Final Thoughts

So, this was another article dedicated to Search Ads. This time we talked about the ads that appear in the Google Play app store search list. The reason for these blog posts is due to the fact that the most challenging stage after uploading an app on the market is to figure out how you will increase its visibility. It is known that every app tends to be lost among hundreds of others similar that can remain in the dark if their developers don’t invest a lot of effort, a huge amount of time, and sometimes appropriate budget to make users discover their creations. That’s where Google Play Ads come to rescue. It is a good thing that both platforms, Google and Android, provide solutions with simple steps described in detailed scenarios to connect users with the apps they need.

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