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September 21, 2017

Updated December 2017

In a short series we looked at how advertisers can best leverage Google Universal App campaigns to drive app installs and engagement. We tackled many FAQs regarding Google UAC bid typesbudgeting, and creative assets. We also published a comprehensive eBook that shares our learnings and best practices.
Download the eBook

Now that we’ve explored the ins and outs of Google UAC basics, we’re getting to the fun part–creative! The simplicity in Google app campaigns is both a pro and con–especially when it comes to creative.

This post will explain how creative assets are optimized within Google UAC, and how you can learn from what’s working with their newest feature, creative asset reporting.


Google UAC Creative 101

When setting up a Google app campaign, you may have noticed that the creative portion of the ad is set up quite differently from other paid acquisition channels. Instead of creating complete ads to run within campaigns, advertisers simply supply each component of an ad (text, image, and video) to be compiled by the Google algorithm.

🐼​ Pointer: To start out, utilize as many of the available creative spaces as you can. Try different sizes for images and orientations for video, keeping in mind that format availability will dictate where your ads can be served.

In supplying these components, Google makes standard recommendations, and we have our own recommendations to share.

Google UAC Text Specs and Considerations:

To start, make sure you utilize all four lines of ad text, making them concise (you don’t have much of a choice with the character limit) and clear. Whatever you provide will appear in the Google Search Network just as you’re used to, as well as Google Display Network.
Keep in mind that because these samples will be mixed and matched, they should be able to stand alone and provide a clear value prop.


Google UAC Image Specs and Considerations:

There are 20 image asset spots at your disposal which will be used to create ads for the Google Display Network. While we’ve found that the simpler the better, we urge you to test color variations and different product screenshots and images. If you don’t have enough assets, AdWords can use images from your app’s listing page. Note: Reporting is not available for this option, so for better control and optimization, utilize all the allocated spots.

Also, keep in mind all the different ad sizes you should account for. Find below Google’s table of image sizes to prioritize to cover more potential ad placements:

Table courtesy of Google


Google UAC Video Specs and Considerations:

The video will be used in video ads that appear on YouTube and the Google Display Network and should follow traditional video ad best practices.

To be eligible for all video ad spots, provide landscape (16:9), portrait (2:3) and square aspect (1:1) videos to be eligible for all video ad spots. Note: If you don’t upload video, Google “may create one for you” using parts of your app’s listing page.

🐼​ Pointer: In our video testing we’ve found that the shorter the video the better. Google recommends 15-seconds over 30, but we take it a step further and say the 6-second video reigns supreme. 


Creative Asset Report

Until now, advertisers had little insight into how their creative assets were performing within Google UAC. With ‘Creative Asset Report,’ Google begins to share those learnings. To access the report, just click on ‘Campaigns’ and then ‘Ad Assets.’

You’ll notice that the primary indicator of success that Google uses is called “Performance Grouping” which can be rated “Low,” “Good,” “Best,” or “Learning” based on how often UAC picks an asset over another within a campaign.

Adjust the columns to display everything from “Impressions” to “Cost/conversion” to see how your assets are stacking up. Keep in mind that each asset is merely a part of a whole ad and thus can not be 100% attributed success. Google’s performance grouping takes a best guess at how those are performing.


Applying Creative Learnings:

It may go without saying that you should replace the assets rated “Low” to optimize your mix. Likewise, avoid replacing highly performing assets and those which are still “Learning.”
Beyond Google’s ‘performance grouping’ metrics, however, you should be comparing those metrics to your KPIs. From our experience, you may notice a “low” performing ad has a lower CPA than other assets

🐼​ Pointer: Don’t stop at Google’s ‘performance grouping’ recommendations. Dig into each asset to determine which assets are driving best success for your organization–whether it’s highest conversion rate or lowest CPI. 

In addition to optimizing specific creative components, you can use the creative asset reporting view to get insight into where your ads are being served. More impressions across text means your ads are more heavily displayed through search versus YouTube or Display Network.

Based on these stats and your preferences, you can optimize the creative components you make available within your campaign to steer where your ads are served. For example, by removing all landscape video, your ads won’t be served on YouTube.

While Google UAC’s new ‘creative asset report’ isn’t a comprehensive view into performance, it’s a great first step. We’re looking forward to seeing what is to come from Google UAC and will be sure to give updates as we learn more.

We’ve learned a lot over the course of the past several months and look forward to helping more of our clients utilize Google AdWords to drive app installs and engagement. Our mobile banking client, ChimpChange, has led the way in using Google UAC to scale their paid acquisition program, and have seen great results.

Interested in optimizing your Google Universal App campaigns? Learn more about Bamboo’s Google UAC services >

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