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September 28, 2017

42.2% of digital ad spend will go to Google in 2017, amounting to a whopping 35 billion dollars. So it’s not surprising that since Google announced such a big update, the great migration from AdWords to Google Universal App campaigns (UAC) effective October 16th, we’ve received more and more questions about the new channel.

To answer some of those questions and share some of our early insights, we took to our blog over the last couple of weeks. So far we’ve talked about how to set the appropriate bid type, best practices for optimizing your budget, and how to garner insights from creative asset performance.

Now that we’ve gone over all there is to know about Google Universal App campaigns, we’re sharing a few last pro tips, reviewing what we’ve already discussed, and outlining all that info in an easy to follow infographic.

 

What are Google Universal App campaigns again?

The biggest difference between Google UAC and other channels is that most of the heavy lifting is carried out by Google’s algorithm, from ad creation to audience targeting. Google UAC provides advertisers with an all-in-one channel to reach the entire Google network (Google Display Network, Search, YouTube, Google Play Store) through singular campaigns.

That said, there are a few levers at advertisers’ disposal to optimize these campaigns–bid types, budgeting, and creative. This post will share our tips and additional resources for each variable.

 

UAC Bidding and Budgeting

Advertisers have two different bid type options. They can optimize campaigns for installs, and more recently, for in-app events. Running multiple campaigns for different bid types is also a good strategy. This section will review the basics between bids and budgets.

Bidding for install volume

Bidding for in-app actions

 

App Install Bidding and Budgeting

When bidding for app installs, AdWords will optimize your targeting to help you get the greatest number of new users for your app. In general, the bid you set should be the average amount you’d like to spend each time someone installs your app. In other words, it’s how much you’re willing to pay to get a new user for your app.

 

In-App Event Bidding and Budgeting

Also known as ‘engagement campaigns,’ campaigns optimized for in-app events give advertisers the opportunity to focus on downstream events–whether it’s adding items to a cart, posting a user review, or making a final purchase. AdWords will focus on people who are most likely to complete the specific in-app actions you’ve set up and selected for this campaign. Set the target CPA (cost per action) to be the average amount you’d like to spend each time someone performs the selected in-app action in your app.

The events you optimize for should balance volume and value. While on the one hand, you want more users who look like your highest LTV users (i.e., top reviewer, multiple purchasers), the volume may not provide enough data or may be more expensive. Google recommends that you choose events that 5-50% of your users have completed.

Get our bid type recommendations > 

 

Best practices for setting your daily budget

Regardless of what bid type you’re using, how you set your daily budget is critical, as it determines how your ads will pace. Google recommends setting your daily budget at least 50 times greater than your bid. It should, however, be realistic for your business, and bigger isn’t always better.
Setting your daily budget in Google UAC

In the budget portion of Google UAC, advertisers are also given two delivery method options–standard and accelerated delivery. We recommend using the former 99% of the time.

Google UAC’s simplicity is both a pro and a con. When your campaigns aren’t performing as expected, it’s hard to determine why–the only way is to troubleshoot. While we always recommend giving your campaigns time to adjust to any updates–at least two weeks–there are ways to adjust your budget if you’re spending too much or too little.

Get our budgeting troubleshooting tips >

 

Creative Asset Insights

When setting up a Google app campaign, you may have noticed that the creative portion of the ad is set up quite differently from other channels. Instead of creating complete ads and ad sets, advertisers simply supply each component of an ad to be compiled by the Google algorithm.

 

Google UAC creative specs:

Google UAC creative interface

  • You’re given four lines of text which will appear on the Google Search Network, as well as Google Display Network. Keep in mind that because these samples will be mixed and matched, they should be able to stand alone and provide a clear, concise value prop.
  • There are 20 image asset spots at your disposal which will be used to create ads for the Google Display Network. Start with simple images in each of the popular sizes, and test color variations and different product screenshots over time.
  • You also have 20 video assets to appear on YouTube and the Google Display Network (GDN). To be eligible for all video ad spots, provide landscape (16:9), portrait (2:3) and square aspect (1:1) videos to be eligible for all video ad placements.

More on Google UAC creative best practices >

 

Creative asset reporting and insights:

Until now, advertisers had little insight into how their creative assets were performing within Google UAC. With ‘Creative Asset Report,’ Google begins to share those learnings.
The primary indicator of success that Google uses is called “Performance Grouping” which can be rated “Low,” “Good,” “Best,” or “Learning” based on how often UAC picks an asset over another within a campaign. Keep in mind that each asset is merely a part of a whole ad and thus cannot be 100% attributed success.
Google UAC creative asset report interface

In addition to optimizing specific creative components, you can use the creative asset reporting view to get insight into where your ads are being served. More impressions across text means your ads are more heavily displayed through search versus YouTube or Display Network.

Based on these stats and your preferences, you can optimize the creative components you make available within your campaign to steer where your ads are served. For example, by removing all landscape video, your ads won’t be served on YouTube.

More on creative asset reporting >


We’ve learned a lot over the course of the past several months and look forward to helping more of our clients utilize Google AdWords to drive app installs and engagement.

While they seem simple and straightforward to set up, our expertise has helped our clients to leverage the tools at hand to make the channel truly valuable. Our mobile banking client, ChimpChange, has led the way in using Google UAC to scale their paid acquisition program, and have seen great results.

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