Playing it Out with Google Ads for Games (Get More Players)

Google Ads for Games

Congratulations! You have a promising mobile app game in your hands! But, here comes the next level of challenge. In other words, you need to get players to like your game and pay for it. 

Game developers must depend on Android, aka the Google Play Store. This is because it’s the virtual amphitheater for all games on mobile.

So, featuring your game in that hallowed matrix elicits a few steps in the right direction. Here’s how to do it!

Here’s the best part! Google Ads pays special attention to the games niche, among hundreds of other categories. The Google blog is the go-to place to understand how the secretive company works.

So, there’s this post from March 2019, specially dedicated to how to make Google Ads work for games.

Besides, if you search on Google, there’s a separate ad policy section on how to make games work. All these resources clearly prove the point that Google wants to see you as a successful game developer.

Many games such as Temple Run, Free Fire, and Angry Birds have cult status, thanks to millions of downloads.

Does your game have it in it to make it there to the Hall of Fame? The only way to know this is to follow the protocol and give it your best shot.

Do remember that the competition is fierce. Your chances stand better only when you can create powerful engagement.

Using the AdMob mode on Google Ads

What’s the AdMob? It’s the acronym for Ad-Mobile. As it is, Google Ads presents several ad types.

  • Search ads mimic the organic text search results
  • Display ads appear as banners on the Google Display Network (including Gmail)
  • Video ads are on YouTube
  • Shopping ads have images but appear on SERPs
  • App ads appear in the Google Play Store

This last category is where the game should be. AdMob is an umbrella term defining the app ad experience. It also refers to the ‘mob’ of advertisers who look forward to placing their ads on your app.

Therefore, it allows for a hybrid revenue model. Herein, you can combine the revenue for your in-app purchases along with other advertisers using your app to promote. 

Types of game ad formats with AdMob

AdMob allows for several ad formats to monetize your app. Select the right ad format. This is essential because it goes on to decide the user experience of your ad.

For example, NSFW ads or controversial ads can cause users to churn because they lose trust in your app.  The ad policies on Google text ads are very strict.

However, NSFW video displays sometimes do find their way in the world of apps.

Here are the different ad formats for AdMob.

  • Rewarded:Ads that encourage users to participate in exchange for in-app rewards. For instance, you may gain bonus points in a game for clicking on a particular ad.
  • Native: These are custom ads that appear as a natural aspect of your app.
  • Banner: These are rectangular displays with the liberty to be at the top or bottom of your app.
  • Interstitial: Such ads appear on transition points and contribute to creating an engaging brand experience.

Creating a pre-registration ad campaign for brand awareness

App ads present this amazing opportunity to create pre-registration ads. These are those that developers can release even before the actual launch of the game.

Such ads serve two very important purposes.

Firstly, they help create brand awareness and generate active intent for your gaming app.

Secondly, they enable people to pre-register for your game. As a result, you have a ready user base right from the beginning.

Once the game is available for pre-registration, you can create an app campaign around it. However, you need to set a bid.

The formal term for this bid is ‘target cost per pre-registration’ or tCPpre. This amount is the average amount you can afford to spend to pay Google every time someone pre-registers with your app. 

Best practices for pre-registration ad campaigns

Given its huge significance, there are a few best practices to follow for pre-registration campaigns.

  • Commence the campaign at least two weeks before you launch the app. For bigger launches, you should consider starting it 12 weeks in advance.
  • You can also consider offering pre-registration rewards as incentives.
  • You should localize the ad creative to generate higher conversions. For instance, you can use local language translation of taglines while releasing the app or game.
  • Ensure the readiness of your app. Look into potential performance issues with a microscope to rectify them and create the perfect app experience.

Rapid growth with app campaigns (maximize conversion bidding)

The goal of every game developer is to get as many conversions as possible. Google App ads allow a highly innovative system called the maximize conversions bidding for app campaigns.

In this method, you provide Google with your budget and ad assets. In turn, Google Ads will maximize your player base. Basically, Google will set your bid amount proactively so that your app gets featured on a priority basis.

It employs advanced machine learning tactics similar to the smart campaign mode in search ads.

However, you should note that professional Google Ads experts advise against the smart campaign mode because it does not let you control your spending.

The maximize conversions bidding is also a similar system where Google decides how much you should spend. As it is, in search campaigns, you can select the ‘expert’ mode instead of the default search mode.

Likewise, the maximum bidding system is also optional, and you should rely on your wisdom on whether to use it.

Dealing with the churn rate problem in gaming apps

Google data shows that 80% of all users churn within 90 days of subscribing to an app. This is obviously a major problem for game developers, and honestly, it is demoralizing.

Even after all the efforts to get people on board, when they opt out, all the expenditure on ads goes to waste. Therefore, Google offers the opportunity to re-engage your viewers on the same lines as running a remarketing campaign.

You run relevant ads across YouTube, Google search, and millions of partner sites and other apps. They call it the app campaigns for engagement, which serves as a powerful antidote dealing with the pertinent churn issue.


Game developers need to follow certain protocols to promote their apps in the Play Store. In addition, you can also create pre-engagement campaigns to raise brand awareness.

The app ads present great opportunities for phenomenal game developers to strike that legendary pot of gold at last!

For any help with your Google ads management, you can reach me out and I would be happy to help you : )

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