Search Engine Marketing Home / Blog article: Is Google’s Mobile App Extension any good?
Is Google’s Mobile App Extension any good?
By Andreana Huang
Google’s Mobile App Extension is a simple way to help users discover and download your app from Google Sponsored Links on mobile devices. This is great as customers don’t need to search for your app on the Google Play Store or Apple’s App Store – you can direct them to it right from Google’s search results! The feature is a little add-on to clients’ normal PPC campaigns and it helps drive app exposure and downloads.
The extension appears in a similar way to Google’s Sitelinks (the short links which appear below Paid Search ads). The link text can be tailored with a custom 25-character call to action and when searchers click on this link, they will be directed to the app’s page in Apple’s App Store or Google Play.
An example of when this extension could be used and would work well is for an app that allows access to cinema listings and times. If users were searching for film times on their mobile devices, ad text could be served to encourage customers to download the app with the angle of saving the customer time in future.
The extension is available globally, but only for mobile devices – incredibly, it doesn’t work on tablet devices yet. Unfortunately, there is no clear date for when Google will roll the feature out on tablets, however with the rise and rise of tablet devices in the last 24 months, we estimate this will be available by mid-2013.
Mobile App Extensions don’t appear together with any other ad extensions. Google will choose just one type of ad extension per search. For example, if adverts have Sitelinks, Click-To-Call and Mobile App Extensions enabled, Google will only display one of these three extensions on paid search mobile ads. Therefore, if you wanted to test this function fully, you’d need to remove other types of extension to encourage visibility of your Mobile App Extension. This is just something to bear in mind when planning a campaign/test.
We trialled this function with three different clients who had Apple apps they wished to promote and here’s what we found:
|Initial learning’s for iPhone apps:
(Taken From 3 of our FMCG branding campaigns with a testing period of 8 weeks. Our test was only for Apple app targeting for iOS operating system)
1. If you have Sitelinks and the Mobile App Extension set up in the same campaign, the visibility of Sitelinks varies from 50% to 80%; mobile app extensions’ visibility is only 20-40%. [NB: there is no good or bad visibility percentage per se, but it seems that Google favours the standard Sitelink extension over Mobile App Extensions]
2. When the campaigns had only Mobile App Extensions enabled, the visibility on searches was above 85% – when Google doesn’t need to choose which extension to show, the visibility of the mobile app extension increased significantly.
3. It is generally accepted that when Sitelinks are used in PPC ad copies the overall click through rate of the ad usually increases (this is due to there being more options for the user to click on). However, the actual click through of Sitelinks is normally below 1.5% for branding campaigns. Interestingly, the actual click through rate of Mobile App Extensions in our tests varied from 0.1% to 3%. This big variation is influenced by how interesting/useful the app is.
4. The Cost Per Click (CPC) seems higher for the Mobile App Extension than Sitelinks. Mobile App Extension CPCs were between 5% and 300% higher than Sitelink CPCs.
In conclusion, Mobile App Extensions can be an extra push for an app’s download numbers, especially when people don’t know about your app yet or can’t easily find it the in the App Store. Make sure there is a good and clear call-to-action in your link text and an interesting/useful app to encourage high CTRs. The extension should work extremely well if the app provides daily updates, information or news that users find useful, or if the app is an interesting and fun game.
To learn how to set up Mobile App Extensions, Google have a great guide and some further information here: http://www.google.com/ads/innovations/mobileappextensions.html