GDN, Mobile App Placements and an(other) AdWords Editor Fail

clix 1 2.9Google AdWords has a knack for giving us great features… and then burying them. Or not supporting them in AdWords Editor. Even for someone who does PPC full time and then some, it is easy to miss this kind of stuff. One example is the ability to target mobile app placements on the Google Display Network (GDN). Great feature. Not so great (read: easy) to do.

Where I got stuck was in the Display Planner. Did my research and looked across websites, mobile apps and videos. For the client in question, mobile is great and generates calls. As such, mobile apps were attractive.

google display planner

Yay! Relevant mobile app placements! Download, please.


I downloaded my list of mobile app placements and proceeded to AdWords Editor to build out my campaign and ad groups. La dee dah… Well, it was a nice thought anyways. Turns out, mobile app ID’s aren’t valid placements. That’s right! You CANNOT build or edit mobile app placements in AdWords Editor. At all. Ever.

Well, all is not lost. With mobile app placements in-hand, the solution lies in the AdWords web interface. *Gasp!*

Click “+campaign” like you would with any campaign type. Choose “Display network only.”


Then the fun really begins. Choose “Ads in mobile apps.” Because, of course!


Now, refer (not reefer) back to your list of mobile placements so neatly culled from Display Planner. Copy. Paste into AdWords. That is after you click on “display network,” the big fat “+targeting” button and then choose “placements” and click on the “add multiple placements at once” link. Whew!


So. Many. Arrows.

That’s it. Now you can create ads – text ads, image ads and even mobile app engagement ads (those that take visitors to download your app). Feel free to download your mobile app placement campaign into AdWords Editor for further management. The PPC gods gave us a wee-bit of leash here and we can control campaign, ad group and ads within Editor. But you can’t edit the placements. At all. Ever. #tears #sadface

Disgruntled as I am, I did borrow the leading image from the Examiner.