Enable Google App Campaigns

Integrate Branch in your Google App campaigns to enable robust attribution and deep linking.

Overview

By connecting Branch and Google Ads, the following is enabled:

  • App conversion data collected by the Branch SDK is sent to Google Ads for attribution.
  • Read-only access to import click and impression data at the aggregate level from Google Ads into your Branch account.
  • Viewing Google Ads metrics in your Branch Dashboard (your manager (MCC) and children accounts).
  • Deep link into in-app experiences (campaign specific)

Prerequisites

In order to enable Google Ads, you need to have completed the following:

  1. Created a Branch Dashboard.
  2. Enabled Universal Ads for your Branch account.
  3. Implemented the Branch SDK into your mobile app (iOS | Android)
  4. Admin access to your Google Ads account.

Enable App Campaigns

1. Link Branch in Google Ads

After signing into your Google Ads Account, you can link Branch as a third-party app analytics provider.

You are allowed to link multiple accounts as long as the user connecting has access to all of the accounts you wish to connect. For each app you want to track with Branch, you'll need to create a different link ID.

If you manage campaigns for the same app in multiple Google Ads account, you must do one of the following:

  • Use cross-account conversion tracking and set up a link ID with your third-party app analytics provider in your manager account. After setting up the link ID and conversions at the MCC level, ensure that you have appropriately set the manager as the conversion account for each sub-account you will run app ads on under Accounts>Management in Google Ads.
  • Share a single link ID with another Google Ads account.
  • The account you share from will be the “owner” of the link ID. Only the “owner” of the link ID can share their link ID with other accounts. Any account that has accepted the owner's invite will be able to import conversions from the corresponding third-party app analytics provider for the app associated with the shared link ID.

Once you create the link IDs, copy them, as you'll need them for the next step.

2. Connect Google Ads in Branch

In the Branch Dashboard under Ads > Partner Management, find/search for Google AdWords. If you're already logged into the Branch Dashboard, you can also click here to go there directly.

Click the Sign in with Google button to authenticate with your Google Ads account.

After selecting the Adwords accounts to connect with Branch, paste the link IDs from Step 1.

After inputting your link IDs, Google Ads should be connected to Branch!

3. Configure Events

After authenticating your Google Ads account to Branch, navigate to the Events Config tab to configure your events.

It's important to add your event mappings here for Branch to properly send event metadata to Google Ads for attribution. You should see the events you are tracking with the Branch SDK here when you Add Event Mappings. For more details on Google Ads and Branch event & metadata mapping, see the specifications here.

4. Configure Attribution Windows

After configuring your events, navigate to the Attribution Windows tab to set windows by attribution type.

You have full freedom to choose your attribution windows; however, it may cause discrepancies between the Branch and Google Dashboards when comparing.

Google's Recommended Attribution Windows:

Attribution Type

Window

click to session start

60 days

click to install

30 days

click to conversion event

90 days

impression to session start

1 day

impression to install

1 day

impression to conversion event

1 day

5. Import Events in Google's Dashboard

After setting up events and the attribution windows in Branch, you will need to import app conversion data to Google Ads.

If you do not see conversion data to import in Google Ads, allow ~20 minutes for it to appear. You can expedite this process if you open your app and simulate the events you want to be forwarded to Google Ads.

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Account-Default Conversion Goals

For any first_open event conversions, please ensure you've marked Include in Conversions to YES. Doing so includes the first_open conversion action’s data in your Conversions reporting column in Google Ads. This is important as Branch reports first_open events to Google Ads, whereas Google Ads reports on app installs.

For more information, please refer to Google's About the "Include in 'Conversions'" setting.

6. Launch Google Ads App Campaigns

In Google Ads, after you've created and optimized your App Install/Engagement campaign, you can create your ad group(s), which dynamically creates formats for various formats. Here is where you can set additional campaign configurations.

You must create separate campaigns for iOS and Android:

Once you finish, review the information and launch your campaign!

Note: If your campaigns are agency-managed, please see additional steps here.

Deep Linking from Google App Campaigns

Please consult with your app development team to set up deep linking for your Google App Campaigns.

App Install Campaign Deep Linking

The only type of deep linking supported by UAC is Branch's SAN Deferred Deep Linking feature. Please follow our guide here on how to set it up.

App Engagement Campaign Deep Linking

Engagement campaigns have the ability to deep link using the following:

FAQ

How do I handle multiple Google Ad accounts?

Firstly, it is not necessary to connect all Google Ads accounts. However, you must connect the Google Ads account that owns in-app conversions for your mobile app. Often, this is the MCC account.

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MCC Accounts

Inside an MCC, it is possible to configure which account (the MCC or the child account) is responsible for conversions. Ensure that you create link IDs with the account that is noted as the Conversion Account under the MCC > Management tab.

Note: Do not authenticate a single ad account to multiple Branch apps (ex. Live and Test apps) as that will cause issues with authentication and Dashboard reports.

If you only have access to the child account (but that account is attached to an MCC), you can see which account is recording conversions within the child account as well, by going to Tools > Conversions > Settings > Conversion Account in Google Ads.



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