Google announced several tools Tuesday that allow companies to promote and target mobile application installations for use across its network. It also will expand its mobile app deep linking initiative with AdWords, and get developers to integrate the technology into their apps.
The goal is to link app installation ads with deep linking to apps. Google AdWords Product Management VP Jerry Dischler said integration into AdWords will allow marketers to build campaigns that run across the Google AdMob network in search, display and YouTube.
One tool will help marketers advertise apps across the Google network, while another will drive installations. A tool in AdWords will suggest keywords for search ads based on insights from Google Play, which had more than 50 billion downloads -- about 1 million applications -- as of May 2013. Some 60% of mobile apps are downloaded but not installed, per Dischler.
The move follows Facebook's and Twitter's lead into app ad installations, but WordStream Founder Larry Kim calls Google a "trailblazer" in the app space because based on the available data, the move positions Google as a frontrunner for mobile app ad targeting and analytics.
Dischler explained the motivation behind the changes in a streaming presentation Tuesday. "It's no longer about devices," he said. "It's about connecting people to the content they care about -- whether online, on mobile sites, or on app."
The changes also mean adding what Dischler calls "enterprise-class workflow, reporting, and optimization tools," some only previously only available in third-party tools. The tools will allow marketers to manage reporting across devices. Marketers can track offline conversions and customize reporting.
Google also will add new conversion measurement tools to AdWords, building on Estimated Total Conversions, which it launched last year. Work is being done to test and measure how search ads drive in-store sales. Dischler said in very early tests, the agency Rimm-Kaufman Group and the fashion retailer, Express, found that overall return on ad spend rose 102% when including offline sales in online advertising results. "The offline impact of their online advertising was even higher than their existing measured online impact," he said.