Discover Keywords on Which Google Is Showing Your Ad

Carmen Longoby 
Former Junior Product Manager at AppTweak

5 min read

Exclusive Google App Campaigns data is now available on AppTweak! In other words, you can now browse through all the keywords we found Google placed an ad on for your app, and compare these search terms with your competitors.

In this blog, we will help you unravel how Google App Campaigns work.

Why is Google App Campaigns unique?

When creating Google App Campaigns, developers set a budget and Google automatically places the ad in different places – including search terms in the Play Store, search terms on Google (search engine), Youtube, and other websites that are part of the Google advertising network. Since the bids are made on a multi-platform system, advertisers actually have very little info about where the ads are being placed.

With AppTweak, app developers are now able to know more precisely on which keywords their ads are being displayed in the Play Store.

What kinds of insights can I get from AppTweak?

To further explain this new AppTweak feature “App Campaigns”, we looked at the top trending games in the US over the past month and tried to understand for which search terms Google is placing ads. Among those apps we will compare: Tower Run, Match 3D, Homescapes, Magic Tiles 3, Fit’em All and Draw Climber.

For those who are already familiar with AppTweak, you might recognize some of these features from our Apple Search Ads feature.

1 to 1 comparison

In this view, we compare apps one by one to see what are the common and unique terms for which we found ads of the selected apps.

We look for all the keywords for which we detected an ad. Then we group them by common “terms.” This grouping by terms allows us to easily compare keywords between apps.

Google app campaigns - AppTweak ASO Tool

In the example above, we compared Match 3D with Fit’em All, both casual games launched earlier this year and trending in the past months.

The first chart is a venn diagram that represents the number of unique terms for each app as well as the number of shared terms. We can see that Fit’em All has a larger circle, implying we found more keywords for which Google placed an ad than Match 3D. In other words, for most of the terms where we found ads for Match 3D, we also found an ad for Fit’em All.

In the word cloud on the right, we can see the most repeated search terms that both apps share. Naturally, “games” is the main term where both apps have ads. We also see that casual keywords like “match 3” and “puzzle” are repeated a lot.

Below the chart, we can see the full detail of all the keywords where we found ads. In this table, the keywords are grouped by terms and split in the same way as the venn diagram.

Google app campaigns - AppTweak ASO Tool

In the previous example, we can see that Match 3D is only placed on keywords directly related to the game such as “match 3,” “puzzle,” “matching,” and “free.” Fit’em All, on the other hand, appears not only on keywords immediately related to the game’s dynamics but also on terms referring to other types of games like “board,” “cards,” and “ball.”

Title and short description keywords

In this section, we want to know which apps have ads on the keywords that competitors target in their title or short description.

Google app campaigns - AppTweak ASO Tool

For example, we can see that the keywords “game” and “match” have a total amount of 454 and 229 bids, as Tower Run, Magic Tiles 3, Match 3D, Fit’em All, and Homescapes all have ads on these terms. However, “game” and “match” are only in the title of Match 3D. This indicates that its organic visibility on those keywords may be threatened by competitors’ ads.

However, when looking at the actual keywords behind the term “match,” we see that the brand name “Match 3D” doesn’t appear in any of the competitors’ bidding keywords.

Google app campaigns - AppTweak ASO Tool

This can be explained by the fact that Google also promotes specific brands organically in the search. Therefore, it doesn’t place ads on those branded keywords.

If we search for the keyword “Match 3D,” we don’t see the usual search results page with the app listing. Instead, Google reserves the whole first screen for the app Match 3D.
Google app campaigns - AppTweak ASO Tool

In the screenshot, elements of the store listing, such as screenshots, reviews & ratings, similar apps, and a shortcut to download the app, are shown directly in the search results.

Cross-competition overview

The cross-competition overview section is a summary of the previous tabs. It shows the shared and unique terms across all of the selected apps.

In the “All Keywords Terms” table, you can compare for a term, the number of keywords where your ad is appearing, and compare that number with your competitors.

Google app campaigns - AppTweak ASO Tool

For Match 3D, we can see that on the terms where the app has the highest number of keywords, Homescapes always appears on more keywords. For example, if we take the term “3,” we can see that Google placed ads for Match 3D on 41 keywords. On the other hand, we found 89 keywords with ads for Homescapes and 37 keywords with ads for Fit’em All.

The “shared keywords” table shows the terms for which all of the selected apps have ads. In our example, we only found 14 terms that were shared across all 5 apps. Among those, there were mostly very generic single terms related to casual gaming such as “pop,” “block,” and “jump.”

Google app campaigns - AppTweak ASO Tool

The last tab shows all of the selected apps’ unique terms in one big table. This table allows you to see how different your keywords are from your competitors and helps you understand how Google places apps on search terms.

We hope you enjoyed the reading and you’ll discover lots of new insights about your ad campaigns on Google Play with this new feature. Feel free to share your awesome findings with us!

Stay tuned because more features related to Google App Campaigns are coming soon on AppTweak.

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Carmen Longo
by , Former Junior Product Manager at AppTweak
Carmen is a former Senior Product Manager at AppTweak. Her expertise in ASO helps her to continuously improve and build disruptive features. Like most “Apptweakers”, her life revolves around food.