Top Google Play Search with New Ads
With 1.6 million apps available on Google Play, consumers rely on search to find apps related to what they are looking for (track exercise, create a food diary, filter images, etc.).
Up until last week, however, developers relied on organic app store optimization tactics to boost their app's discoverability. Like anyone knows from traditional search, however, the results of optimization efforts are often at the mercy of the search engine themselves and in the case of Google Play, that is Google. The tech giant, however, has likely been working on the ability to offer search ads on Google Play for some time, as it was announced last week that developers can now pay to drive more awareness of their apps. Search ads on Google Play are already rolling out to all advertisers and developers who use Search app install campaigns on AdWords.
Booking.com and Nordeus are two companies with early access to Google Play search ads (see images below).
Along with the Google Play search ads announcement, Google is also introducing Android first app opens, a new conversion tracking solution that measures when a user first opens an app after clicking on an ad and completing an Android app install (across search, display and YouTube).
Finally, in a few weeks, developers can promote their apps more easily on Google Play and across all Google properties with updates to Universal App Campaigns. They will be able to say who they want to reach and how much they want to pay per install.
For those companies still on the fence about launching a branded app, it should be known that apps have long been more popular than the mobile Web (2014 data from Flurry indicates apps command 86 percent of the average U.S. mobile consumer's time).