SEM for Apps with Google Ads

How to create Google Ads campaigns for Apps (Android and iOS)

When you launch an App one of the best ways to promote it is by making a SEM campaign through Google Ads, this way people will be able to see ads about it in order to download it.

Wanna learn how to create a SEM campaign for your Android and/or iOS App, on Google Ads? In this post you are going to learn the step by step you need to take in order to create a campaign of SEM for Apps.

1st step, What type of Google Ads campaign do we need to create

Once at your Google Ads main page you have to go to the tab about “Campaigns“, then click on the “+“(plus) to Create a New Campaign.

On the next step you need to choose the type of Campaign “App Promotion“, which will help you get more installs and interactions with your app. Google Ads create a campaign SEM SEM for apps


It will spread up a new option of your “App promotion” campaign, where you need to choose the platform where your app is working on (Android or iOS) as well as introducing the name, package name or publisher in order to find it and being able to create the connection needed to apply them to.

Google Ads for Apps


2nd step, Customize your Google Ads App Campaign

Keep in mind that your ads for this kind of campaign will be generated by using the text ideas you add as titles and descriptions, the assets you upload, as well as content from the Google Play and/or Apple App Store listing of the one we have identified on the previous step, and even a Youtube video to promote the app.


First of all, you need to define the “Campaign Name“, which I recommend you includes the name of the store where this campaign will drive downloads, so this way is going to be easier to differentiate which ones are for iOS or ones are for Android.

Try writing precise text related to the app, you can add as much as 4 “Ad text idea“. You can get inspiration from the description of the app on the app store, but keep in mind that the favicon and the name/title you have uploaded to the store will be visible in these adds, so you do not have the need to duplicate information or naming.

Even though it is optional, I highlt recommend you add a Youtube video to promote/explain the app, this way you can amplify the chances of showing your App Ads with an already settled goal. You can add up to 20 Youtube videos related to this add of the app, so you do not have any excuses to not link even one branded-content piece of your company/brand.

But, as well as it happens with the oriented/suggest banners and images of the Display campaigns, if you do not choose/upload a video, Google Ads may make one basely oriented on all the information you are providing them.

Also optional is uploading images related to your ad.

google ads to download apps

All the time you are going to be able to see the preview of how  the ads will be shown on the assets of: Google Search, Google Display Network, Youtube and on the Play Store, so your choices of text, images and video can always be reviewed and optimized for the best result/relation to the naming and information already showing. This way you can see how this ads are going to show onto different assets, making it easier to choose the best text ideas for each option of ad, like when you are creating ads on Facebook you need to adapt the image and the copy to the length it is given. 😉


As like to any other Google Ads campaign settings, you need to choose the geographic location of the target, and even personalize the “Target” and “Exclude” those kinds of users that do not fully fulfill our needs of prospect-target people.

Then, just needs to add the languages the users speak (which also applies to the language of the website the ads may appear, as well as the users’ settings about it.


When thinking about the budget per day, keep in mind that per month Google Ads will not spend more than the total that it has, but some days may use more budget than the expected (can sum up to twice as it is) but it will be compensated with other days spending less.


For bidding we want to focus on “Install Volume“, targeting “All users” and applying an average “Target cost per install“, working like we were doing a Search Google Ads campaign based on a CPA strategy. This way the campaign will use a Target CPA bid strategy boosting the strategy for new installs of the app.

Remember to set the start and end dates of this ads campaign.

“Save and Continue”, and you are all set to launch the campaign. 🙂

Google Ads SEM for Apps


3rd step, Keep track of your goals (downloads)

The good news on this side is the fact that Google Ads connects directly with the Android (Google Play Store) so you can have an easy tracking/report of the Downloads/”Install volume” that your ads imply towards the app you are promoting.

On the other side, if you wanna know the correct numbers for your iOS Downloads/”Install volume“, you are going to need a little bit of a handling hand from Firebase (previously managed through SDK or server-to-server connection).

The downloads of the app for Android will be shown on the “Overview” page of your Google Ads campaign/s, next to the data results of your campaign; for iOS you better go to Firebase, create events, and then link these two Google tools so you can have the proper information.


Keep in mind that most of the “good numbers” of performance of this adds do depend on the way the app is optimized on it Store, making it kinda difficult to pledge to a specific number of downloads when you are not in charge of how it is going to perform. The set up of this kind of campaigns is easier than the Display or Youtube ones, but the results are more fought by.

Will you be willing to embrace yourself into Google Ads app from now on? 😉