Universal App Campaign- Ways to Get The Best ROI 2020

How to Get the best ROI out of your Universal App Campaigns:

Google’s Universal App campaign makes the process easy for you. The objective of any app advertiser is to get the app into the hands of most valuable users. By most valuable, I’m referring to those users who will end up adding monetary value to my app.

With UAC it is easy to promote your apps across Google’s different networks consisting Search, Google Play, Google Display and YouTube Network. All you need to do is add some text ideas, some images to your campaign.

A. What is UAC?

Universal App Campaign is Google’s effort to utilize machine learning with its advertising platform. The idea of machine learning is to analyze the app in real time and put it before the hundreds of millions of users across Google’s various networks.

According to Google, UAC generates 140% more conversions than simple app promotion. It gives advertisers an opportunity test out app for both Android and IOS platform.

B. How UAC Differs from old App Install Campaign?

While the old app install campaign used to focus only on app installation in bulk, irrespective of whether user needs it or not, UAC utilizes Google’s machine learning system to bring the app to the would be potential users.

On the technical part, let’s see how UAC differs from old App install campaign.

       1. Ad Assets

In App Install Campaign, Ad copy varies based on the type of Google network. Check below.
While in UAC, you do not have much freedom for customization. The only editable asset is text ideas.
Mobile app install campaigns offer you the report to view performance for each individual ad, while the UAC campaign doesn’t show any performance data for ad copy.

        2. Bidding

Mobile App install campaigns could provide 3 different bidding strategies; CPC, CPV (for YouTube only) and Target CPI.

Such bidding diversification is not available in UAC. Only Target CPI is the bidding option available in UAC. Moreover you can adjust the amount you wish to pay for a single install.

        3. Reporting

For Mobile App Install Campaign, following segments/level are available to view.

  • Campaign/Ad Group
  • Time (day, month, quarter etc)
  • Location
  • Device
  • Ad Schedule
  • Network
  • Top Movers
  • Labels
  • Targeting (Placement, Interest/Remarketing, Demographic)

For Universal App Campaign, only following performance levels are available to view.

C. Why Universal App Campaign works better than you think?

Unlike other AdWords campaigns, there is no option available to design individual ads for Google Universal App campaigns. Instead, Google utilizes your text ideas and different Ad Assets from Play Store to produce the best possible ad.

All you need to do is write text for the ad, apply bid, set budget and specify location. Google’s system will test the different combination and optimize for better performing ads, thus your extra work is saved.

AdWords also automates Bidding and targeting for you to get the best value of your download. In-app conversions allow you to find most valuable user for your app.

D. Campaign Designing & Creation

Designing a Universal App Campaign is just a piece of cake. Just follow these simple steps.

  1. Sign In to your adwords account. Click on campaign creation button. Select Universal App Campaign.
  2. Link your app from the app store. (Install Play Store or Install App Store)
  3. Choose location & language. Apply target CPI bid and set budget.
  4. The important section here is Campaign Optimization. You need to choose either a store app install or the user who are likely to perform an action.
  5. Now comes the important stage of Ad creation. As we discussed above, get ready with the text ideas and images to be uploaded. Google has some recommendation for Ads dimension.

Following creative levers are available.

Formats GIF, JPG, PNG – Max. size 150 KB

Landscape images

Aspect ratio 1.91:1

Min dimensions 600 x 314

Suggested supported dimensions

320 × 50 Mobile banner

300 × 250 Inline rectangle

320 × 480 Smartphone interstitial


1200 × 628 Landscape image (for native ads)

E. Where your Ads can appear?

When you run Universal App Campaign, your ads are eligible to run across Google’s wide network. Let’s’ take a look how these ads appear across various network.

  1. The Google Play Store

    Google play

  2. Google Search Network


  3. The Google Display Network

    Google display network

  4. YouTube

    You tube

F. Optimization of UA-Campaign

For optimizing UAC, it is important to understand how UACs are different from other AdWords campaigns. Unlike other AdWords campaign, there is a less opportunity for optimization in UAC. Also from this campaign, very less insights into reporting & ad control is obtained.
Nevertheless there is certain room for optimization.

Here they are:

  1. Campaign Bid

    Adjusting your bid is one of the most important levers of optimization. Try increasing the bid and observe the pre and post bid change performance of the campaign. Google also allows you to bid on users ‘who are likely to complete in-app actions that you select’.
    While the only bidding option available is TCPA, that does not mean google will charge you only the set amount.Setting the TCPA tells google algorithm that you are willing to pay that much amount for conversion. You may end up being charged higher than your target CPA.

  2. Ad Text

    Your ads are automatically generated using your text ideas, uploaded assets, and content from your Google Play and Apple App Store listings.But still, following areas are available where creatives can be tested.a) a set of 4 text ad spot; 25 characters eachb) a set of upto 20 display images (optional)

    c) an optional set up of 20 Youtube videos

    As performance reporting of these creatives is not available, run A/B test on your creatives with manual pre-post performance analysis. To do so, make one change and observe the changes. Compare the performance with previous data (of same range) & accordingly check if positive effects are obtained.

  3. Performance Grouping

    Performance grouping is the rank-stack given by google in Ad Assets. Google’s algorithm ranks
    the performance of each Ad Asset labeled as Best, Good & Low.
    Remember that while performance history will be available for each ad text, but their performance grouping data will no longer be available if you change an ad text.

  4. Location

    Increase efficiency of your campaign by testing your campaigns for different geographies. Keep in mind that targeting too much tightly can kill off your volume thus preventing your campaign kicking off.

  5. Test For Both Android & IOS

    Yes you read it correct. Google allows IOS Configuration with AdWords to run UAC on IOS devices. That is a different topic. You can read more here.
    Test which users give you better ROI.

  6. Videos

    It is better to provide customised video for your UAC. If you leave this field blank, AdWords may make a video for you.

  7. Optimize for Funnel

    Gone are the days when people used to run app campaign for installs. It is better to go after any event or in-app action. Aligning the goal of the campaign with good performance can be a bit of a challenge while optimizing for such low funnel volume.
    Remember, never make more than one change at a time. Otherwise you won’t be able to track the changes that work for you.

G. Conclusion

Nowadays the audience is more inclined towards mobile and app usage. Thus, this makes it a necessity for advertiser to get more users with Universal App Campaign. Following the above simple optimization tricks will do wonders to your campaign.

As we saw the difference between current UAC and old Mobile Install Campaign, it is hard to choose one over other.

so hard to choose

Both have their merits & demerits. At the end, important thing is to make your app reach the hands of most valuable users.

A common question faced by many marketers is how to track app ads Google traffic. One of the most important aspects of managing a successful campaign is consistently monitoring and analysing the performance of your ads. The end goal of any app advertiser is to get the app into the hands of the most valuable users -  meaning users who will end up adding monetary value and dollars to the app. In order to track ad conversions, you need to first zero in on WHAT you want to track. In this case, it is whether a customer installs your app or purchases from your app. You can track mobile app conversions with Firebase, track Android and iOS app conversions or even track app conversions through third-party app analytics or third-party click-tracking.

A Google ad for apps will help find the people who will love, download and purchase your app. You can promote your app across Google with just one campaign. Google helps create the ad with the information you provide in the Play Store or App Store, along with four lines of text. You can also further customize the ad with images or video. Google will then show the ad to the people who are most likely to take an action that will drive business by optimizing installs or engagement. You have to set the action: do you want people to simply install the app, or take further in-app action, like making a premium purchase or getting to a higher level? (In the case of games). Then, provide a starting bid and budget along with the languages and locations for your ads, and you are on your way to getting your ad off the ground!

If you are looking to promote you app and have set up a UAC (universal app campaign), then you are probably wondering – where can universal app campaigns run? The answer is, several places. A universal app campaign is the type of automated campaign used in Google Ads to promote an app across all Google’s properties. App campaigns use Google’s machine learning to help marketers find the right users that matter most to their business goals, whether it is simply downloading the app or making an in-app purchase. These ads can run on Google Search, Google Search Partners, Google Play, YouTube, Google Display Network.

A universal app campaign is a type of automated campaign used in Google ads to promote an app across all of Google’s properties. They are a great way to find new users for your mobile app, and allows you to advertise on some of Google’s largest ad networks including search, display, YouTube, Google Play Store, all while managing ads in the Google Ads Platform. Universal app campaigns or UAC help advertisers generate more app installs and drive in-app conversions. The aim of this ad-type is to show relevant ads to users while limiting the need to manually test ads and find the ones that perform best. All you have to do is add a group of different text lines along with images, videos and HTML assets. Google then generates ads n the fly from your inventory of assets. And, over time, the platform learns which ads are performing best and will showcase those ads to users.

A Google app advertisement is a great way to showcase your app to the right users and get them to take the right action, whether it is simply downloading and installing the app or making in-app purchases. Setting up a Google app ad is actually pretty easy. These automated universal app campaigns promote ad app across all of Google’s properties. Like search, display, YouTube and the Google Play Store.

In order to create a campaign, you need to follow these steps. The account owner needs to create the first campaign or link to an existing Google Ads account. Then, sign in to your Play Console. Then, select an app. On the left-hand side menu, select User Acquisition > Google Ads campaigns > New campaign. If you don't have a Google Ads account, select “Create a new account.” You'll be taken to Google Ads. To finish creating your campaign, follow the onscreen instructions.

PPC Ads Specialist || Kashif has 2.5+ years of experience in the digital marketing industry. He has managed 15+ PPC accounts till now from BFSI, Healthcare, Education, NPO & E-Commerce sector. Kashif is an avid fan of Game of Thrones and proclaims himself as 'the Sarcastic Wolf'.

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