How to Drive Mobile App Installs with AdWords’ Universal App Campaigns

by Deepak Kanakaraju on November 27, 2016

Do you want to get more installs for your Android or iOS app? There are many networks and channels to promote your app, including some networks that incentivize the downloads. However, if you want genuine users, Google AdWords’ Universal App Campaigns are the best, easiest and fastest way to drive installs for your mobile app.


I call it easy because unlike other campaigns you do not need to set the target audience for your campaign, set keywords or upload any creatives. The data for creating the ad is fetched from the Play Store or App store page. The campaign auto-optimizes itself and delivers it to the right target audience who are most likely to install the app.

In this article, I will show you, step-by-step, how to set up a Universal App Campaign.

Go to your campaigns tab, click on + Campaign button and select Universal App Campaign from the drop-down menu.


In the next step, you have to choose the app that you want to promote. You can select Play Store or iOS App Store and you can search for the app by name. Select the app and go to the next step.


Once you select the app, Google will fetch the details of the app including the images and description and create ad sets based on that. You should also give 4 different ad text ideas that AdWords will use along with your ads. They will use the texts in different combinations, discover the best performing combination and serve it more. That’s how the ad gets auto-optimized.


After this, you need to select your target country, your maximum Cost Per Install (CPI), and the daily budget. Save the campaign and that’s it. No further steps needed.

Initially for the first few days, the cost per install will be high. Do not panic. As Google auto-optimizes the ad to the right target audience, your cost per install will come down to half or less than the price it started with. I wish I could write more on this topic, but setting up a universal app campaign on AdWords is so easy, I have to end the article now.

I’ve also made a video tutorial explaining how to set up Universal App Campaigns. If you have any questions, leave a comment below.

Subscribe to my YouTube Channel

{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

rohit November 29, 2016 at 2:03 am

Nice information ! So based on your experience and research, what is the minimum, maximum and average cost per installation of an android app, for Indian android users?


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Devendra Kumar January 13, 2017 at 5:30 pm

Nice information sir,
What does Google AdWords give any promotional offers ?


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Vanshika saraf February 9, 2017 at 1:13 pm

Sir what can be the appropriate bit for Ios Platform, I set it for rs20/install but not got any installation so again set it to 40/installs.. target location is india.


RichCat Studio February 9, 2017 at 8:42 pm

I have been looking something for Mobile App Installs case study and I think i have finally come across to the best tutorial. You have explained it to the expert level I can tell.



sachin February 10, 2017 at 6:45 pm

Great article Deepak…


Nithyanandam SP February 13, 2017 at 5:20 pm

how to set particular audience ….
Eg. Bloomz is a parent-teacher portal app.
i want target audience for teacher only….
like Fb give option for demographers->work->teacher


sreevidya February 16, 2017 at 5:57 pm

Hi Sir,
I want to promote my app in Hyderabad location. How much I spend for android & IOS app /install ? Please reply me



harsh February 19, 2017 at 11:57 am

I just want to create ads only for google play store only …
So when users use key words to find my app then only they will get application ADs on play store only ..
Just ADs to play store only 🙂

Any idea how to achive this ?
Hope you got my point


Kwame Addo February 20, 2017 at 5:19 pm

Good Stuff. From your experience , What is the average Cost Per Acquisition for App downloads ?Or is there a link u can share to help furnish us with such information?


Devendra Kumar September 19, 2017 at 11:31 am

Very useful post and very simple language, i needed these information’s, thanks!


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