Do Google Ads Work for Games on Mobile?

Google ads can be an effective way to get your mobile gaming app in front of your target audience. Like Google AdWords, the traditional ad format for websites, Google Play Search Ads is a valuable asset for app developers and publishers.

“Innovations like search ads on Google Play have proven to be a useful way to surface new apps for consumers and provide additional value for developers,” Google announced in a 2016 press release.


Let’s take a deeper look at targeting the right mobile gaming audience, how Google ads benefit mobile gaming apps, and developer benefits.

Targeting the Right Mobile Gaming Audience

Launching a mobile gaming app on Google Play can have challenges when it comes to getting your app in front of the right target audience. Why? Because mobile gamers can be divided into five distinct segments:

  • Tentative Followers
  • Connected Enthusiasts
  • Influenced Players
  • Passive Players
  • Playful Explorers

“While this diversification of players is an amazing opportunity, it also can be a challenge,” Allen Bevans, UX designer at Google explained. “In order to build games that excite and engage such a diverse audience, developers need to build deep and meaningful insights about their current and potential customers.”

Player demographics are another issue when trying to reach the right mobile gamers for your app. For instance, connected enthusiasts and passive player segments can range in age from 26 and 45.

Each segment finds new mobile games in a variety of ways as well.


For example, 28 percent of passive players rely on ads to discover new games (the top discovery mode for that segment), but ads are not as influential for influenced players (45 percent) and connected enthusiasts (35 percent) segments.

Genre of the mobile gaming app also plays a different role for each segment as well.


All of the above are challenges mobile gaming app developers and publishers need to consider when deciding on Google Play Search Ads, organic App Store Optimization (ASO), and more.

Can Google Play help developers promote their gaming apps? Definitely. Can it be hard? Yes. One of the most important aspects of using any Google ads, whether mobile or desktop, is to tack metrics and decide what works and what does not.

With that being said, let’s take a look at a quick case study showing the effectiveness of Google Play Search Ads.

Nordeus Case Study

Nordeus, a mobile games developer used Google ads to promote Top Eleven, a football management simulator. Nordeus launched a Google ads campaign in 17 languages in known and new regions.


The Google Play Search Ads results were pretty astounding:

  • Within 30 days they netted 892 percent more app downloads
  • The retention rate was 51 percent higher
  • Average revenue per user increased by 86 percent

“Search has been a key component of our app promotion strategy to reach high-quality users,” Tomislav Mihajlović, CMO at Nordeus said. “With Search Ads on Google Play, we have an even bigger opportunity to connect with people in the moments they’re looking for new apps to download.”

Google Ads Benefits for Developers

It can definitely serve as a powerful mobile device management for developers. One of the biggest advantages behind Google Play Search Ads is that apps are showcased to potential users at the most opportune time, and right place.

Other Benefits for Mobile Game Developers include:

  • App developers can also customize Google ads formats in a very easy, user-friendly way.
  • The Keyword Suggestion Tool is another valuable asset to ensure you get your app in front of the right gamers.
  • Google has mobile app conversion tracking in place, which is vital to tracking ad campaigns to ensure you are serving up your app to the right target segment.

Implement Mobile SDKs to Track Google Ads

One of the main challenges for developers is serving ads to the right target audience or segment of gamers. But it doesn’t need to be. By implementing mobile app conversion tracking SDKs like Google Analytics for Firebase, you can ensure your ads are top performers.

Using Enhance mobile SDK solutions, you can implement any number of SDKs in minutes. All without writing a single line of code. You simply drag, drop, download, and publish.

With over 3.5 million apps available in the Google Play Store, it is essential to leverage any asset to get your mobile game in front of as many potential users as possible. Google ads can do just that. How will you promote your mobile game?