Google Ads for App Installs - Some tips to run an efficient search campaign

in #appinstalls3 months ago (edited)

Google is one of the premier digital platforms of our time. Millions of people across the globe are searching for something on Google as we speak.

Any sane marketer cannot ignore this level of reach. In the days before the digital revolution, marketers used mass media channels like newspapers, radio, and television for advertising. The motivation was obvious. These mediums promised greater reach and helped raise awareness.

Google effectively promises the same, and more. Mass media advertising didn’t promise much when it came to targeted reach and analytics. Digital marketing and Google resolved many of the drawbacks of traditional marketing.

Promoting apps is the new normal for marketers today. There are over 2.87M Android apps on the Google Play Store and 1.96M iOS apps on the Apple App Store. Making an app stand apart in such a competitive market is very difficult.

The competition in the app market is also exacerbated by the fact that app development is easier than ever before. App making solutions like AppMySite have made it possible to create a WordPress app for iOS and Android within seconds.  

What is the solution to promoting apps effectively then? Google has its own advertising platform called Google Ads that enables marketers to bank on its reach. Google Ads also provides advertisers the option to run app install campaigns.

This piece provides some useful tips on running a solid search ads campaign to drive app installs.

#1 - Add negative keywords

Most advertisers on Google think of keywords and start with phrases and terms their target audience might search for.

This is a common exercise and comes very naturally to most marketers. Any ad professional would want to know the mindset of their users when they use Google.

Google Ads provides users the option to enter a bunch of keywords the target audience might search for. However, it also provides the option to enter negative keywords.

What are negative keywords? They are essentially the terms you don’t want to display your ads on.

Let’s take an example and assume you create an app using a free online app maker to sell your own brand of sports shoes. You list a bunch of generic sports shoes related keywords while creating your ad.

Some market research shows you that the people looking for branded sports shoes won’t be interested in your footwear app. Is it really ideal for you to then show your ads to such an audience?

No. You only want to spend money on audiences that will actually buy your shoes. You can thus add branded search terms like ‘adidas shoes’ and ‘nike shoes’ to the negative keywords fields. This is because these keywords are used by those looking for branded shoes.

Negative keywords can help you enhance your install campaign’s efficiency. It also narrows your audience and enables you to reach the people most likely to download your app.

#2 - Set smaller budget to test keywords and CTAs

Many marketers set up search ads and a big budget to kickstart their app install campaign. Such a push comes at a cost. Marketers can never really be sure if the keywords they choose or the CTAs they frame will have the desired effect.

It makes better sense to set a small budget to test if the keywords chosen and the CTAs created actually work. Advertisers can even create different ad sets to check which keywords perform well with a certain set of CTAs.

This kind of testing is fairly easy to set up and provides real and actionable insights. Before running any search campaign, it is best to first be sure about certain keywords and CTAs before investing a large capital.

#3 - Study rival ads to master CTAs

Ad content has a big role to play in final conversions. A search ad offers ad copywriters limited areas to add content. It is within these few words that a marketer must write conversion-worthy content.

The simple way to write good ad content is look at what other rival ads are doing. Search for your target keywords and look at the top-ranked ads. Take note of the language and urgency of their CTAs. Since they’re the top ranked ads, they must have a high ad score as well.

A Google search ad is not the right place to show off smart one-liners. Most audience segments place clarity and substance above glamorous taglines when it comes to search ads. Copywriters must thus use every inch of space they get to write actionable CTAs which are easy to grasp.

Studying rival ads can also help advertisers decipher the keyword strategy put in place by their competitors. Thus, competitor analysis can help with CTA optimization while also providing useful keyword insights.

#4 - State value proposition

An app install ad will take a user to the app store listing page. The user will then have to download the app to access the service being provided.

Why would the user go through such an action? To make a user go through with downloading an app, copywriters must make the value proposition crystal clear.

As an example, why would someone download your shopping app? There are many ecommerce apps in the market. Why would someone look at your ad and decide to download your ecommerce app?

This is where you need to ensure your CTAs convey the value proposition effectively. If you plan to attract new users with discounts, state the same in your ad. Mention the percentage of discount you’re offering and make your value proposition crystal clear.

In competitive market segments, stating an attractive value proposition is the only way to get app downloads from ad campaigns. The ubiquity of app builders means anyone who wants to create a WooCommerce Android app can do so without coding. Competition is high and your ad will only survive with a good value proposition.

In conclusion

Google search ads provide marketers a very direct way to promote their business. It doesn’t just enable advertisers to promote their websites and apps. It offers a range of ad formats and extensions which help fulfill several key marketing goals.

This piece specifically looks at text ads for app install campaigns. High competition in the mobile app market has made user acquisition a steep challenge. The tips provided here can help advertisers create effective app install ads.