The pros and cons of using Google app extensions

| 31 Mar, 2015

IŠ—'ve got two words for you . . . app extensions. With the continual rise of mobile and the wider use of tablets for browsing and shopping, now is the time to consider taking advantage of the Google AdWords app extension feature.

Anyone with a mobile app looking to increase the number of downloads should consider this feature as customers can either click through to your site or download your app. But, like any Google feature, app extensions may not be the right fit for every situation.

Let's explore the pros and cons to consider before deciding to use this particular extension.

Already sure you want to setup app extensions? Learn how.


LetŠ—'s start with the pros first:

Easy way to promote your app and product simultaneously

  • Showcase the fact that you even have an app. Users donŠ—'t always read ad copy, so if your ad says Š—“Download Our New App,Š— it may not resonate as well as seeing an app extension would. The app extension features the image associated with your app in the app store with a clear link to follow.
  • Give the user a clear and direct path to downloading the app. When a user sees your ad they have two options. They can either click on the ad and be brought to your website or click on the app extension and be brought directly to the app store to download the app. App extensions enhance the user journey by creating fewer steps. The fewer steps there are, the less chance there is for drop-off and the better chance there is for a download.

Ability to target specific users

  • Target users by device. A significant component to any successful paid search campaign is linking your product or service to the most relevant consumers searching the web. App extensions give you the ability to show the appropriate download extension to the user depending on which device type (mobile or tablet) they are searching on, as well as the correct platform (Android or Apple), allowing your potential converter to easily download your app.
  • Show your app extension at account, campaign or ad group level. How granular you need to get in order to target the users you want is up to you. You have the ability to spend your budget efficiently by scheduling your app extensions to show only during the times you choose. You can even customize the copy at each level, allowing you to make ads specifically targeted to the userŠ—Ès search queries in order to improve clicks and fuel downloads.

Performance Enhancement

  • App extensions help increase the total number of downloads. The app extension drives strong downloads that contribute to the overall conversion metrics. And according to Google, adding extensions to your ads will improve visibility, increasing the chance that your ad shows up at the top of the page rather than the side. In addition, ad extensions can increase your CTR by 30%. ItŠ—'s important to utilize all applicable extensions to make your ad as relevant and user-friendly as possible.

Now letŠ—'s take a look at the cons:

Impressions can differ week over week

When impressions go down, so do downloads. One issue weŠ—'ve run into when using app extensions is that the impressions can vary week to week. We see a correlation between this fluctuation and the amount of downloads we receive.

The extension doesnŠ—'t always appear. Although it would be ideal for the app extensions to show up every time, because of the algorithm, this doesnŠ—'t always happen. But overall, the positives of having the app extensions outweigh this minor annoyance.

Fighting the cons. One way to combat these issues is to schedule the days of the week and/or time of day youŠ—'d like your app extensions to appear. This may not guarantee more impressions, but it does give you more control on when they show up.

The take away:

By adding app extensions to your account, you can easily promote your app and drive downloads. The pros outweigh the cons and ItŠ—'s a great way to enhance your ads and improve performance. Learn how to setup app extensions.

Have you used app extensions on your ads before? Leave us a comment below sharing your experience!

Brian Jacobs contributed to this post.


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