New Google Ad Function Could Help App Makers Drive Downloads

For apps like Snapchat, AdWords has simplified the process of taking potential users from advertisement to app download. | Screen shot from

Google is offering new advertising capabilities that could help mobile application developers bump up their apps’ downloads.

The Mountain View, Calif. company last month unveiled click-to-download advertisements that implement a new function to deliver consumers who interact with Google ads directly to somewhere they can purchase the app being advertised — either Apple’s App Store or the Google Play Store. The function is available for advertisers who upgrade to an “enhanced” account with AdWords, Google’s advertising platform.

Until this release, developers had no way of distinguishing their app unless it reached the Google Play or App Store charts. Now, purchased ads will be displayed as the top of sponsored Google search results. This allows companies and developers to “buy their way to the top of the charts,” said Stephanie Padgett, a strategic communications professor at the University of Missouri and the director of media for the university-affiliated MOJO Ad agency.

For smartphone users that have personal and financial information stored with either Google or Apple, the change will enable a one- or two-step app download process. According to TechCrunch, this means users can “seamlessly make in-app physical or digital purchases later, or view more ads in the app that pay out to the developer.”

Google has also implemented an ad extension option so that if someone already has the application being advertised, interacting with the icon can take them to a specific part of the application. That means a company can link directly to its in-app store, where purchases would drive additional revenue.

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