AdWords Mobile App Attribution

AdWords conversions

The Google Search and Display networks define a conversion as a specified event that occurs within 30 days of an ad click. View through conversions, while available on the Google Display Network for website advertising, are not available for mobile app promotion.

YouTube TrueView conversions are attributed if the user watches an ad for 30 seconds or to completion (for shorter videos) followed by the completion of the specified action within 30 days. View Through Conversions, or actions completed after a user watches less than 30 seconds of an ad, are also reported in AdWords.

An AdWords conversion has the following identifying parameters:

  • Conversion ID (integer): Unique to an AdWords account (or collection of accounts - MCC)
  • Conversion Label (string): Unique to a conversion event
  • Optional: Value (integer): The dollar value of the conversion reported. (learn more)

iOS: When asking an advertiser to provide these details, a third party can instruct advertisers to click the code tab when viewing their conversions' details in AdWords and select the option "I use an app analytics package to track new downloads"

Measure mobile app conversions

Android conversions are measured using click referrer parameters, while iOS conversions are attributed using the iOS advertising identifier. iOS advertising identifiers cannot be read from browsers, therefore app promotion ads from a specific inventory cannot be tracked.

Trackable inventory

Google Search Mobile Web Mobile Apps YouTube

Android app downloads are attributed using an integration with Google Play; therefore, conversions in AdWords represent installs. iOS download conversions, however, can only be attributed after a user opens the app for the first time, therefore conversions represent app opens.

Google allows advertisers to report iOS and in-app conversions using the Google Conversion Tracking SDK or a server-to-server integration. The Android and iOS guides outline how a third party can use the latter option to report conversions on behalf of the advertiser.

In-app conversions

While some app developers might be content with tracking app downloads, many more are interested in driving users to take specific actions in their app. Some examples of in-app events that are often tracked include:

  • New account registration
  • In-app purchase
  • Product search

In AdWords, advertisers can create mobile app conversions of various types. All types besides "Download" are considered in-app conversions.

AdWords also gives advertisers the option of assigning a value to their conversions, allowing for advertising ROI calculations. Values can be set statically in the AdWords interface or dynamically at the time of the conversion event. Learn more about conversion values.

Further reading

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Third-Party Apps Conversion Tracking
Third-Party Apps Conversion Tracking