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Want to create a new Google Ads account?

You’re about to create a new Google Ads account. You can create multiple campaigns in the same account without creating a new account.

Set Objectives

Learn everything you need to successfully launch and supercharge the growth of your App campaigns.

A woman stands while using a tablet; she’s encircled by various icons representing a target, a location pin, dollar sign and download symbol

1. The App campaign basics

Identify your monetization strategy.


Find users likely to make in-app purchases of your products and services.


Grow the user base of your most valuable customers.


Grow your business with users most aligned with your in-app content.


Drive installs and actions no matter how you monetize.

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Google Ads Tutorial: How Do App Campaigns Work?

Watch the video
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Top tip

Before getting started with App campaigns, make sure you have an active Google Ads account and that your app is currently active on the Google Play or App Store.

2. Pick your campaign objective

You can optimize Google App campaigns to target users throughout their journey. Start with App campaigns for installs to acquire new users at scale, and as your app matures and audience grows, utilize App campaigns for engagement to re-connect with existing users.

App campaigns for installs

An App campaign for installs is a great way to help you acquire new users at scale. These campaigns allow users to install your app directly from your ad and are specifically optimized to help drive as many installs as possible.

Learn more about App campaign for installs.

Learn how to create an App campaign for installs.

App campaigns for engagement

App campaigns for engagement help you reach customers who have already installed your app, prompting them to take another action, like a purchase. You’ll need a minimum of 250,000 installs and provide text, image assets, and videos (optional).

Learn more about asset requirements for App campaigns for engagement.

Learn more about App campaigns for engagement.

Learn how to create an App campaign for engagement.

App campaigns for pre-registration

App campaigns for pre-registration build excitement and awareness for your app or game before its release on Google Play. This Google Play exclusive feature helps capture pre-launch interest and generates early installs. It’s especially useful for multiplayer online games that target a broader audience to increase effectiveness.

Learn more about App campaigns for pre-registration.

Learn how to create an App campaign for pre-registration.

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Top tip

The first type of campaign app advertisers usually start with are App campaigns for installs, in order to first acquire a new user base. After the user base has been build, App campaigns for engagement can be used.

3. Set your target audience

Google Ads uses advanced signals and AI to find the right users for your app, automatically identifying audiences across various demographics, interests, and affinities. Set high-level targeting to find the right audiences.

Target by location

Choose precise locations for your ads by selecting target areas under “Locations.” You can fine-tune your global targeting and exclusion preferences by clicking “Location options.”

Target by language

Make your ads relevant by using clear communication localized to your audience.

If your content is unlikely to resonate with users in a particular region, update your targeting settings in “Languages.” Remember, Google Ads doesn’t translate your ads, so only target languages that align with your ad content.

4. Understand bids and budgets

Setting bids and daily budgets is crucial for successful App campaigns and depends on how much you are willing to spend on conversions, such as an install. Actual bids may fluctuate above or below your target on a given day, but the campaign will seek to deliver the set target bids over time.

How do bids work?

When you set your bid, you’re telling Google Ads the average amount you’d like to spend for a customer action — such as an install.

Your budget is automatically adjusted to achieve as many conversions as possible within your bid amount.

How do budgets work?

Your campaign budget is the average amount you’re willing to spend on the campaign per day.

For example, if you set your average daily budget at $200 and your target cost-per-install is $2, aim for roughly 100 installs per day from your ads.

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Top tip

Let Google Ads collect enough data without running out of budget, so set a daily campaign budget that’s at least 50 times your target cost-per-install and start lowering your bids when you start seeing results.

5. Select your bidding strategy

Choose one of three bidding strategies to help you achieve your KPIs (key performance indicators).

Target cost-per-install (tCPI)

Goal: Build a user base for a new application
App campaigns that optimize for a target cost-per-install (CPI) prioritize “install volume,” targeting “all users” to get the most installs for your budget. Your bid represents how much you are willing to spend per customer, per conversion. Our machine-learning algorithm will optimize your bid to achieve the highest volume of new installs.

"I want as many installs under a $2 cost-per-install as possible."

Learn more about tCPI bidding strategy.

Maximize conversions

Goal: Build a user base for a new app
Campaigns focused on maximizing conversions will automatically set suitable bids for you. Like tCPI campaigns, the Google Ads algorithm will alter your bid to provide you with the highest install volume at scale for your campaign’s total budget.

"I want as many installs as possible for my $1,000 campaign budget."

Learn more about the maximize conversions bidding strategy.

Target cost-per-action (tCPA)

Goal: Focus on users who complete in-app actions
This campaign is focused on in-app actions, with a target cost per action (Target CPA) set to drive in-app events. Your bid will define the amount you’ll pay to convert a user through an in-app event, like signing up for a service.

"I need users who install my app to sign up for a subscription service."

Learn more about the tCPA bidding strategy.

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Top tip

Set your average daily budget at 50 times your target CPI, or 10 times your target CPA.

Get started with your App campaign

Sign in to your Google Ads account to apply what you’ve learned. Download our App campaigns checklist to get started and help create campaigns with real impact.