Tracking UAC Performance Through Third-Party App Analytics

By Kelsey Hadaller | Senior Account Manager at Hanapin Marketing |

Since Universal App Campaigns are highly automated, their success relies on using download and in-app behavior data. Below is a general guide to link and import app downloads and in-app events in Google Ads through third-party app analytics providers. This process may vary depending on which app provider is being used and its capability to send information to the Google Ads UI.

If you’re new to UAC and need a review of the campaign set up process, first visit Setting Up and Analyzing Universal App Campaigns.

Linking to Google Ads

The initial step to sending app download and in-app event data is to link your provider account to the Google Ads account that will be housing the relevant UAC campaigns.

Generally, each provider will require a link ID from Google. To create the ID, first navigate to the Linked Accounts section in the new Google UI. You will find third-party app analytics as an option.

Click on “Details” to proceed to the next step. As shown below, this is where Google provides the option to create a new link ID. Create a unique link ID for your Android app and a unique link ID for your iOS app.

If you need to set up linking for multiple Google Ads accounts, review Google’s instructions on the Google Ads Help Center.

Google includes the most popular app analytics providers in the dropdown. If the provider you use is not listed, select “Other provider”. Regardless the provider selected, you should be able to find your app using the search function.

Advertisers preparing for a new app to launch must wait until the app is in Google Play or Apple Store to create a link ID. If the app is not populating in the search results under “Look up your app”, verify the app is active.

Importing Conversion Actions

Once the third-party app analytics provider account is linked for each app, the next step is to import the conversion actions. This assumes download and in-app events are already set up within the third-party app analytics provider platform.

Begin to create a conversion action like you would for a typical campaign using website conversion data. Select to “track app installs and in-app actions”.

Next, select to track conversions using third-party app analytics as shown below.

If you see the below screen, your linking may not have been successful. It can take several hours after linking to see the analytics events in the Google Ads UI. You should also ensure there are events set up in the app analytics platform as you cannot create these event rules within Google.

Once the linking is successful and downloads and in-app events are set up in the third-party app analytics account, you’ll see each eligible event. If an event has already been imported to the Google account, it will no longer show as an option. Select to import each desired event. These events will then show in the main Conversion Actions section of the Google UI.

Update Conversion Action Settings

To update conversion action settings, click on the conversion action. This is where you can determine a value, count, conversion window and view-through conversion window for app downloads and in-app events.

Reporting In-App Actions

In their help article on the “Include in Conversions” setting, Google explains advertisers must choose to optimize UAC campaigns by in-app events to be able to see in-app actions in the conversion column.

This setting is updated under each UAC campaign. Rather than target all users, you must select to target users likely to perform an in-app action. You’ll then be prompted to pick the most important in-app action. This in-app action will then be reported at the campaign-level. To see the rest of the in-app action conversions, you must navigate back to the Conversion Actions page.

Troubleshooting Tips

Android conversions are being reported, but my iOS UAC campaigns aren’t.

Verify you have a unique link ID for each app (one for Android and one for iOS) and that you imported each in-app event for both apps. Google typically will specify the app name in the conversion events section.

Why isn’t app download data showing for Search campaigns?

This process is for UAC. To track app downloads and in-app events for Search campaigns, contact your third-party app analytics provider for instructions.

Why aren’t my new events showing in the Google UI?

Every time a new event is created in the third-party app analytics provider, you must manually import the event to Google. Google cannot automatically import or create new conversion types.

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