Google Adwords Overview

Overview

With Branch, you can put deep links in every type of Google AdWords campaign, improving conversion rates and letting you measure the impact of your campaigns on mobile.

The Google AdWords interface can be confusing so we've created a guide to help you find the right documentation. The new AdWords interface still follows roughly the same campaign creation flow. We'll update this page as needed if the campaign creation flow is updated, or new ad types are supported.

Once you have completed set up below, follow each guide to track campaigns.

Setup

Setting up Adwords conversion events with Branch allows Branch to get direct confirmation from Google for which conversion events were driven by an Adwords advertisement and allows Adwords to collect accurate conversion data for your app.

Latest Method (OAuth method)

If you are on the new AdWords integration through Branch, read these instructions. Do not follow the steps of the legacy instructions. If you would like to try the latest method, send an email to sahil@branch.io. Benefits of the new integration include tracking all Universal App Campaigns automatically (no links required), and sending all conversion events back to AdWords for optimized spend.

AdWords Setup

Start by logging into your AdWords account that has the highest level of access. You will have the ability to connect all your AdWords accounts with Branch. You will generate a Link ID for your mobile apps.

Start by going to Linked Accounts in AdWords, and select Third Party App Analytics. Once on the Third Party App Analytics page, hit the plus sign.

From here, you will add a new provider. Select "other" in the drop down. Input the following ID: 3404357870. Select iOS or Android. Create Link IDs for all platforms you run campaigns on.

Create Link IDs

Branch Setup

Navigate to the partner management tab and click Connect with Google. Choose the email address that is tied to the AdWords accounts you want to connect.

Connect Google

Select all the necessary accounts, and continue.

Connect Accounts

Finally, paste the Link IDs from earlier.

Create Link IDs

Import Events

All that remains is importing Branch events into AdWords. After you have set this up, wait ~ 20 minutes, and go back to the AdWords dashboard. Go to conversions -> Add -> App -> Third Party App Analytics, and import Branch specific events.

Once they are imported, go back to the conversions page, and edit the conversion event. Be sure to mark "Include In Conversions" as a YES. This will let your Branch conversions appear in your tracked campaigns.

That's it! All of your campaigns with mobile conversions will be tracked in Branch's dashboard.

Legacy (no OAuth option)

If you do not have the option in your Branch dashboard to connect via oauth, you are on the old style of AdWords. If you'd like to use the new option, please see above.

Branch Setup

If you do not have the ability to connect to AdWords through OAuth, please follow the instructions below.

Start by going to the Partner Management tab, and search for Google AdWords. Hit enable.

AdWords Setup

Start by going to your AdWords dashboard, and clicking Tools > Conversions, which is usually found in the top right nav of AdWords.

Conversion Menu

Click + Add a Conversion button, and select App. Select First opens and in-app actions. Select the appropriate platform (iOS or Android). Select App installs (first-open) or In-app actions. Please note that iOS actions are only available for ads that show on the Display Network.

Conversion IDs

You will then fill out information about the conversion.

  • Give it a name like Branch Android/iOS Conversion
  • Under Value assign a value (or select “Don’t assign a value to this install”)
  • Under Mobile app input your application details
  • Select Include in "Conversions" to have the conversion events appear in your Adwords columns

From here, you will select the option to have a server report conversions: Set up a server-to-server conversion feed....

Make reference of the Conversion ID & Conversion label as shown in the screenshot below.

Conversion IDs

Now navigate back to the Branch dashboard, specifically the AdWords Settings.

From here, you'll paste in the Conversion ID and Conversion label from your Adwords dashboard into the appropriate fields for either iOS or Android. If you plan on using custom events, please add the conversion ID for your account into the Purchase or Custom Event Conversion ID field. Make sure to hit save.

Purchase and custom event
  1. To add Purchase and other custom event conversions in Google, first enable the conversions in AdWords.

  2. Under the Account Settings tab, ensure you have pasted in the Conversion ID you generated earlier for the purchase or other event, into the Purchase or Custom Event Conversion ID field.

  3. Then, navigate to the Postback Config tab and add your Conversion Label into the Goal ID field.

AdWords Goal IDs.

You're all setup to confirm app install conversions between Branch and Adwords!

Conversion Windows

Adwords has a default 30 day conversion window for app install actions which can't be changed. To minimize discrepancies between Branch and Adwords conversion values, we recommend setting your Branch attribution window to the same value. Navigate to Link Settings > Attribution Windows and set the Click to conversion event to 30 days.

By default, the window is set to 30 days in the Branch dashboard.

Branch Conversion Window

Campaign Type

Now that you've completed set up, you can create links for these type of campaigns. NOTE if you've completed the new style of set up, you do not create links for Universal App Campaigns below.

Google Campaign Campaign Type/Objective Branch Documentation Link Branch Ad Format
Search Network Mobile app engagement link App Only: Engagement
Search Network Standard link Cross-platform Search
Search Network Dynamic Search Ads link Cross-platform Search
Display Network Engage with your mobile app link App Only: Engagement
Display Network Others (Visit your website, Influence, etc.) link Cross-platform Display
Video Mobile App Installs link App Only: Install
Video Standard link Cross-platform Display
Universal App Campaigns Universal App Campaigns link App Only: Install

Troubleshooting

FAQ

Q: I'm getting discrepancy between conversion counts in Branch and Google Adwords

A: While we should always expect around a 5% discrepancy due to time zone differences and the like, if you are seeing significant discrepancies, it could be an indication of a broader problem.

The first thing to do is to make sure your attribution window in Branch lines up with Google. Go to Link Settings, and navigate down to the Attribution Windows section. Here, you should set the attribution window for click to install, click to session start, and click to conversion event to be 30, 90, and 90 days respectively. This aligns with Google's default attribution windows, but if you'd like to make them shorter, feel free.

Another source of discrepancies is the fact that attribution is based upon click time in AdWords, whereas it is based upon install time in the Branch dashboard. This isn't a discrepancy per se, but will sometimes show different numbers in the two dashboards.

Finally, AdWords can delay reporting up to 24 hours. It's best to measure campaigns in a trailing manner.

Q: My campaign is reporting a number of conversions much higher than the number of conversions shown in the conversion table in Adwords

A: When viewing a campaign, it shows the sum of all conversion events that apply to it. To view by conversion, navigate to Segment > Conversions > Conversion name, in order to clearly see the breakdown of your campaign's conversions.

Adwords Conversion Segment

Source

google-ads-overview.md

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