Google App Campaigns and Safeguarding Spend

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We know how frustrating it can be when things don’t go to plan. For example, when you invest in Google App campaigns and don’t gain the number of customers you had envisioned at a CPI you had expected. Not being able to maximise your app marketing budget for certain channels will make you weary to invest in the long term.

That’s why businesses need efficient and economic app marketing tactics to deliver successful app marketing campaigns. Good quality users are highly engaged, retained, monetised, and advocates of your app.

But how do we acquire such users without breaking the bank?

Building a solid foundation

To prepare your app ahead of running Google app campaigns, you need to ensure you have a steadfast base to grow your business.

Here are a few things you should take into consideration:

  • Optimising organic traffic – if you’re new in the app space, you can increase the visibility of your app through brand, PR, social and content strategies
  • Setting your KPI’s and target metrics – understand what goals you need to set for your app to see a return on investments
  • Optimising your app store listings – this will increase conversion rates and decrease your cost per install. A long-term ASO strategy is essential to ensure that you are achieving a healthy paid:organic install ratio
  • Product optimisation – by improving the user journey in-app you will be able to increase engagement once your users enter into your app and help ensure they keep coming back 

Optimising for automated ads

Once you provide some copy, your visuals (such as app screenshots and logo), your goals for the campaign, and your budget – Google will build the ad for you and optimise it across the chosen ad formats. However, it’s not as easy as plug and play, you still need to optimise the automated ads. It may sound complicated, but here’s how to break it down:

Automated ads enable you to personalise ads for different target audiences. They allow you to create 6 versions of your ad with different copy variations, meaning you can customise ads for different consumer groups. Having variations of copy and creative assets will help you reach a more diverse audience. This feature helps to pull in more customers and increase your ad reach.

Additionally, Google app campaigns allow you to optimise your ad in relation to different app events or key growth goals. Meaning that if you want your app to have as many registrations as possible, Google campaigns will prioritise the acquisition of this down-the-funnel metric.

This leads us to our next point…

Keeping iOS costs down

App marketing in an ultra-competitive market is already difficult enough and you want to make sure you get every bang for your buck. Keeping iOS costs down can be done, however, it depends on how effective your app marketing campaigns are. Google App campaigns tend to favor Android apps as Android is an asset of Google, with more cost-effective results. 

When your app is exclusive to iOS, running Google App campaigns can certainly be more challenging. Since the launch of iOS 14.5, it is purely based on predictive modelling and sometimes, not all that accurate. We would usually recommend iOS exclusive apps to take advantage of the Apple Search engine as it’s likely to capture high-intent users. If you’re still committed to using Google as a channel for your iOS app install campaigns, make sure you have enough budget for a possible spike in CPI. You should utilise a test and learn process to help work towards your campaign goals more effectively. 

Navigating Google app campaigns

Now that you understand how Google App campaigns operate, it’s time to add your brand’s touch to it. Get all your copy and visual aids together and make the most of Google’s ad capabilities.

The visual assets you use should reflect your campaign goals and ambitions. 

Do you need people to install the app, make in-app purchases, or keep coming back to the app? Ideally, all three right? Well, you need to make sure that the ads you display engage with not only the customer’s needs, but yours too. 

If you need people to install the app, show them why your app is the best by highlighting its value propositions. Make sure to utilise an effective call-to-action, to showcase the steps the user needs to make next. Often something as simple as a “download now” CTA can be quite persuasive.

Maybe you’ve already got people who have installed your app but they’re not making any purchases from the app. Now you’re paying per install but you’re not receiving much back from each install, sucks right? Change the Google ad and instead display a discount or promo code that will tempt the customer to open the app and make the purchase. You could even add a time limit to the promotion so they feel like they need to take advantage of that opportunity at that very moment. 

Or maybe, you’re having trouble having them stick around after they’ve made that purchase. Now that they’ve purchased whatever you were selling, they’ve moved on to something else. You need to show them that you’re worth sticking with and keep them excited about what’s to come. That’s what we call longevity (but specifically user retention)! Challenge them, question them, entice them with an advert that makes them intrigued as to what new updates or new app features have been implemented that will make them want to use it more.

Optimise your creatives for the many different ad types Google has to offer. You can reach users through many of Google’s different outlets. For example:

  • If they’re searching on Google, prep your copy for the search results
  • When they’re browsing through apps, make sure your app comes up as a suggestion on the side
  • Catch their attention within five seconds before they want to skip an ad on YouTube

Finally, a thorough creative testing strategy will be essential to the success of your campaigns, though can read more about that here.


To summarise Google app campaigns are most effective once you’ve built a solid foundation for your app. As with all acquisition campaigns, you want to ensure you are looking at the full app marketing funnel to get the highest return on investment (and long-lasting success!). Google app campaigns in particular are best utilised by businesses looking to increase acquisition for Android apps, as you’ll be more likely to get reasonable – and more predictable – costs for high-quality users. For iOS apps, we recommend having a thorough testing process in place, so you can continue to test what works best and optimise your results accordingly. 

If you have any questions on Google app campaigns or any general app marketing queries you can reach out to the Yodel Mobile Growth Team here. Additionally, you can sign up to our newsletter for exclusive industry updates and app marketing insights from the ASO agency of the Year. Want to find out more about optimising your app? Make sure to subscribe to our Mastering Mobile Marketing video series. Follow us on LinkedIn, chat with us on Twitter @yodelmobile, and join our #AppMarketingUK LinkedIn group.

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Smokehouse Yard, 44-46, St John Street, London, EC1M 4DF 🇬🇧