Using Google App Campaigns v Google Search for app installs
How brillea and Google can help you get mobile app downloads
If you’re looking to get mobile app downloads from the Apple and Google Play app stores, Google offers two interesting options for you
- Google Search
- Google App Campaigns
So we’re going to look at the pros and cons of both and how they work with brillea so you can decide which is right for you.
Important! you need to remember on how brillea works
Before we jump in, its important to remember that brillea works by choosing a single marketing objective
- Sign ups
- App installs
- Engagement (e.g. Facebook likes or clicks on a link)
Staying focussed on a single objective helps brillea ensure we’re setting up, optimising and reporting on your ads in a way that follows our process and ensures you're gettimg maximum value from brillea.
However the way Google Search and Google App campaigns work means they must have two very different objectives:
Google Search ads work by taking people to a website or web landing page (and not directly to the app store). If you’re looking for mobile app installs, this means you then have to link to the app store from your web page. As brillea can’t directly track exactly who’s then gone onto the app store and installed your app, we have to use an ‘engagement’ objective (such as clicking on a button or link to the app store) as a proxy for an app install.
Google App campaigns work by taking users straight from to either the Google Play or Apple app store. This means the objective is ‘app installs’.
Google App Campaigns
If you want mobile app downloads, Google has an awesome solution called ‘Google App Campaigns’. Don’t worry, it works just as well for getting iPhone app downloads too.
Google App Campaigns can place your ads across a variety of Google's marketing channels
- Search results
- Google Play (ok this last part is Android only)
The pros of using Google App Campaigns
- Takes users directly to the app store, so makes the user journey pretty simple
- Works across a variety of different media/channels
- As the brillea objective is ‘App Installs’, you can also run Facebook and Instagram campaigns from the same brillea account if they share the same objective of 'app installs'
- Google App Campaign ads use images and so are more visual than the pure text based makeup of a Google Search ad.
The cons of using Google App Campaigns
- The search doesn’t utilise traditional keyword targeting. Instead Google determines who’s relevant based on your app store page and copy.
- Google App Campaigns are dependent on having an optimised app store page as this is what users will see next after they click your ad. So you need to make it easy for your potential customer by showing your benefits, features and use cases through clear images, screenshots and descriptions.
- You can’t control exactly where the ads are placed, you have to leave this all up to Google! But generally they know what they’re doing :)
Google also offers the more traditional search opportunities for mobile apps based on keyword targeting. So brillea can help you figure out what keywords to bid on to drive the best quality and volume of users to your......er website.
Yes, Google Search ads take your potential users to your website / landing page rather than your app store. This means there’s an additional step in the user journey to get users to the apps store.
The pros of using Google Search to get app installs
- Targeting by keyword allows greater sophistication on exactly who see’s your ads. At brillea we use a variety of great keyword strategies including:
- Ensuring people looking for your brand find you (and not a competitor!)
- Using the right keywords to target people actively seeking what you offer
- Negating any keywords that we don’t want to target (such as job seekers who are also searching on your keywords)
- Providing there’s the volume of people searching for your keywords, Google Search Ads can be scaled with greater spend.
- If you have desktop apps (Windows and Mac), you can promote these apps from the same page as you can your mobile apps
- You can target users on desktop if relevant
- Understanding what keywords work for your business can help with content creation and organic SEO.
The cons of using Google Search to get app installs
- As you can't take users directly to the app store, there's an extra step in the user journey which increases the likeihood of drop off.
- Google Search campaigns are very dependent on who else is bidding on your keywords. They can get very expensive very quickly if there’s a lot of competition.
- They also require good landing pages. This means the page copy and content needs to be relevant to the user searching for those keywords.
- brillea can’t track someone from clicking an ad to installing an app for Google Search campaigns. This means that the brillea objective for search has to be ‘engagement’ based on clicking a button/link (in this case, clicking to the app store).
- As the objective for Google Search campaigns is ‘engagement’, this can’t be mixed and matched with Facebook and Instagram campaigns that have the objective of 'app downloads'. So you would need two separate brillea accounts, one based on app installs (for Facebook and Instagram) and the other 'engagement' (based on clicks to the app store).
Hopefully that makes it clearer !
Which one should I use?
If you don’t know which one to choose, a good starting point is Google App Campaigns. These can achieve great results and mean that you can also use Facebook and Instagram ads based on app downloads at no extra cost. If you did want to use Google Search campaign as well as Facebook & Instagram ads for app downloads, that's fine but you would need two separate brillea accounts.