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Customization & Edge Cases

Google Ads Resources

Overview

Whereas Universal App Campaigns are focused solely on the single conversion type of app download, you can leverage other Google Ads campaign types - Search, Display, Shopping, Video - to expand your marketing efforts that enable both app and web conversions.

Note

As long as you have Enabled the Google Ads integration in your Branch dashboard, Branch will automatically attribute trackable app conversions. The below solutions are only necessary if you want to deeplink users from web campaigns using Branch, attribute non-trackable inventory such as iOS Search, or attribute web SDK/mobile web events.

Requirements

Web + App Routing Prerequisites

If you are running any Web-based (non-UAC) Google Ads campaigns and want to leverage the full power of Branch's routing capabilities for desktop/mobile web conversions AND deep linking into apps via Branch links, please make sure you also complete the following:

  • Branch SDK integrated into your app.
  • Collect the IDFA on iOS, or the AAID on Android. For specifics, refer to the set up guide for iOS and Android respectively.
  • Track all necessary events through the SDKs, with instructions here.
  • Have admin access to your Google Ads account; required for generating Link IDs in Google Ads.
  • Branch Web SDK v2.48.0+
  • Measurement of relevant v2 events
  • Branch Deep Linking enabled via either:
    • Adding $uri_redirect_mode=1 to link's data. If app link settings URI Deep Link Mode is set to Intelligent, then this link key is unnecessary.
  • App links (Android) and/or Universal Links (iOS) as the campaign's Destination URL.
  • Branch Ad link in the campaign's Tracking Template.
  • Place your modified Branch link in the Final URL field during Google Ads campaign setup.

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Setup

Enabling Required

Before you can leverage our integration with Google Ads, you must Enable the Google Ads integration in your Branch dashboard.

  1. Create a Branch Ad link from the Partner Management page's Create Google Ads Link button under the Google Ads Partner and select Create Search/Display Link depending on the type of Google Ads campaign you are running. Link Creation
  2. Under the Define Section, pick a Link Name for later reference
  3. Configure the link with the Ad Format set to Search or Display and the Ad Partner set to Google Ads. Create Ad Link
  4. Under the Configure Options tab, navigate to the Redirects sub section and ensure that the Web redirect is set to the desired final website promoted by the ad campaign. Create Ad Link
  5. Under the Analytics Tags sub section additional tags can be set. It is recommended to fill in these fields as they can be used as filters in Branch's Ads Analytics view. To best connect your ad link with your Adwords Campaign:
    1. Set the Channel field to Google Ads
    2. Set the Campaign field to the same ad campaign name used in Google Ads
    3. Add a new tag - ~campaign_id - to the same campaign ID in Google Ads Analytics Tags

Analytics Tags

In order to line up impressions, clicks and cost with all downstream events, analytics tags must be present on the link and the values must exactly match the values in the Ad Network's dashboard.

Optional: Deep Link Data

You can use this configuration section to specify custom link parameters that will be deep linked into the app after install. These could include a coupon code or a page identifier to route the user. Visit the Deep Link Routing page to learn more.

For Branch Deep Linking into App Only

Because the Final URL for your campaigns must match your display URL and not contain any cross-domain redirects, you cannot put a Branch link directly in that box. However, you can append query parameters to the Final URL in order to pass the required data needed for Branch to route and attribute your users properly.

  1. Copy your Branch Ad Link from the last section and ensure the copied link has the appropriate additional params (~campaign_id, ~ad_set_id, lpurl, etc.) which should be automatically generated on your Branch dashboard.
  2. Remove %24always_deeplink=false from the Branch link.
  3. URL encode the Branch Ad Link you just created, but leave any "{" or "}" unencoded. This will ensure these valuetrack params are properly filled in by Google. If you leave the ampersands before the valuetrack parameters unencoded, they will be parsed by the web browser. If you encode the ampersands, the valuetrack parameters will be sent into the app.
  4. Append &branchify_url=PARTIALLY URL ENCODED BRANCH LINK to your Final URL.

Create Your Campaign

Campaign Types Supported

Please refer to the Appendix for all of the web-based campaign types supported.

Please follow Google Ads help documentation on how to create a new Google Ads campaign.

Branch Link Placement in Google Ads Campaign

During campaign creation, please make sure you place the Branch link in the correct location depending on your desired user outcome.

  • For Web Routing Only - place your Branch link in the Tracking Template field during Google Ads campaign setup.
  • For Deep Linking into App if App Installed else Routing to Web - place your modified Branch Link in the Final URL field during Google Ads campaign setup & place your unencoded Branch link in the Tracking Template field during Google Ads campaign setup.

For additional information on Google Ads campaigns, please see Create ads and campaigns.

Setting Attribution Windows

You can specify the attribution windows for your links either at an overall account or per link level. Use these windows to accurately measure attribution data for your Branch links. Refer to Changing attribution windows for instructions.

View Your Data

The Ads Analytics Page on the Branch dashboard provides an interactive time series graph and table to view the performance of your Ad campaigns.

Example Ads Analytics Graph

The table shows summary data on the performance of each Ad campaign. On the right top side of the table you can find a download button to retrieve the chart's content as a CSV file.

Example Ads Table

Interacting with your data

Breakdown and compare aspects of your Ad campaigns' performance by using the Compare by + button to add a parameter to split the data displayed data by.

Then use the and + button to refine the data displayed to gain deeper insight into the performance of your Ad campaigns.

Appendix

Search Ads Specifics

This documentation supports the following Google Campaign types:

Google Campaign Campaign Type/Objective Branch Ad Format
Search Network Sales Cross-platform Search
Search Network Leads Cross-platform Search
Search Network Website Traffic Cross-platform Search

For Search App Extensions, the Google Conversion API that Branch relies on for app event attribution will confirm Android conversions, with limited support for iOS search/web attributions. You can use a Branch link within the tracking template for iOS App Extensions, but this will result in attributions counted in Branch that are not counted as conversions in Google.

OS Support and Major Differences

Operating System Supported by Google Ads Search Network Ads?
Web Yes
iOS Yes
Android Yes

Display Ads Specifics

This documentation supports the following Google Campaign types:

Google Campaign Campaign Type/Objective Branch Ad Format
Display Network Sales Cross-platform Display
Display Network Leads Cross-platform Display
Display Network Website Traffic Cross-platform Display
Display Network Product and Brand Consideration Cross-platform Display
Display Network Brand Awareness and Reach Cross-platform Display

OS Support and Major Differences

Operating System Supported by Google Ads Display Network Ads?
Web Yes
iOS Yes
Android Yes

Dynamic Remarketing Campaigns for Apps

App Engagement Campaigns do not include dynamic remarketing campaigns for apps. If you want to set up dynamic remarketing campaigns for people who have previously engaged with your app, you must create a Web-based Ad using the Display Network.

Please follow Google Ads help documentation on how to create a new Dynamic Remarketing Campaign for Apps.

Data Mapping
Google Data Branch Data Definition
currency_code event_data_currency optional (should be in the URL string as query param)
value revenue optional (should be in the URL string as query param AND in the body if available)
origin custom_data.origin optional
start_date custom_data.start_date optional
end_date custom_data.end_date optional
search_term custom_data.search_term optional
google_business_vertical custom_data.google_business_vertical optional
item_location_id custom_data.item_location_id optional
item_id content_items[].$sku required

Shopping Ads Specifics

This documentation supports the following Google Campaign types:

Google Campaign Campaign Type/Objective Branch Ad Format
Shopping Web and App Purchases Cross Platform

OS Support and Major Differences

Operating System Supported by Google Ads Shopping Ads?
iOS Yes
Android Yes
Web Yes

Using Your Feed

Prerequisites

  • Be sure you have both a Google Adwords account, and a Google Merchant Center account, and that the two accounts are linked.
Uploading to Google Merchant Center
  1. In Google Merchant Center, navigate to Products then Feeds. Merchant Center Home
  2. Click the large blue plus button to add a new feed.
  3. Follow the prompts to name your feed, select feed language, and upload or connect your feed.
  4. Once your feed has been created, Merchant Center will take a few minutes to process it. Once that has finished, you're feed is ready to be used in your Adwords campaigns.
Using your Merchant Center Feed in Adwords
  1. In your Adwords dashboard, navigate to the All Campaigns page. AdWords Campaign View
  2. Click the red campaign button, and create a new Shopping Campaign.
  3. On the Shopping Ads Setup page, make sure the correct Merchant Identifier is selected (this should match the value in your Merchant Center Dashboard). AdWords Merchant Identifier
  4. Complete the ad configuration and name your ad group.
  5. You should see your new Campaign and Ad Group.

Adwords will automatically pull products from your Primary Feeds defined in Google Merchant Center for these Shopping campaigns.

Video Ads Specifics

This documentation supports the following Google Campaign types:

Google Campaign Campaign Type/Objective Branch Ad Format
Video Standard - Instream Cross-platform Search
Video Standard - Bumper Cross-platform Search
Video Mobile App Install - Instream App Only: Install

OS Support and Major Differences

Operating System Supported by Adwords Video Ads?
Web Yes
iOS Yes
Android Yes