Google Ads Web integration for PC and console apps

At a glance: Use Google Ads web campaigns to promote your apps on PC and console platforms and enable attribution. AppsFlyer supports Google web-based campaigns using cross-platform landing pages or direct attribution links.

 Important!

This integration is only available for PC and console apps, such as Steam, Epic, or Native PC. For mobile apps, see the Google Ads (AdWords) integration setup page.

Overview

This article contains information and steps on how to set up and use Google Ads Web for PC and console apps with AppsFlyer. This includes:

Prerequisite

Before activating the Google Ads Web integration, make sure you have:

Activating partner in AppsFlyer

To activate the partner integration:

  1. In AppsFlyer, from the side menu, go to Collaborate > Partner Marketplace.
  2. Search for Google Ads Web and select it.
  3. Click Set up integration. You’re directed to the Active Integrations setup page.
  4. In the Integration tab, turn on Activate partner.
    Note: The toggle must stay on (activated) for as long as you work with the partner.
  5. Complete the configuration using the relevant tabs, as described in the next section.

Setting up Google Ads Web in AppsFlyer

In this part of the setup, you can also set up postbacks to Google Ads. The Google Ads Web (googleads_int) integration uses an API tool provided by Google Ads for advertisers to send data from their PC and console apps directly to Google's servers. Such data may include user actions, such as purchases, registrations, and other types of conversions performed on non-mobile platforms (websites or applications). The data is then used by Google Ads to optimize ad targeting, measure ad performance, and build custom audiences for retargeting.

The integration with Google Ads Web only supports sending postbacks for installs and in-app events. 

Integration tab

The Integration tab includes a number of sections, as described below.

Activate partner

To configure the integration, you must first turn on the Activate partner toggle. 

General settings

  1. Enter your Customer ID. You can retrieve it from your Google Ads Manager:
    1. Sign in to your Google Ads account.
    2. In the top right corner, click the Google account icon in the top right corner and scroll down to where the Customer ID is displayed.
  2. Click Sign in with Google. Select your Google Ads account and click Allow.

Default postbacks

Postbacks for installs are automatically sent only to Google Ads Web.

In-app event postbacks

Configure mapping of in-app event postbacks sent to Google Ads Web. These events can be viewed in the Google Ads Manager: 

  1. Turn on In-app event postbacks.
  2. Click Add event to add an SDK or server-to-server event to the list. The following table describes the fields to complete:
    Parameter name Description
    AppsFlyer event

    The name of the event, as received by AppsFlyer either from the SDK integrated into your app or from server-to-server events.

    • Click Add item, enter the event name, and click check.png
    mapped to partner event

    The unique name or ID of each event, as defined on the partner's side. 

    • Enter the partner event name
    for users from

    This partner only: In-app event postbacks are sent only for events attributed to this partner—meaning, the user who performed it came from this partner.

    including

    Values and revenue: All event parameters, including the revenue value (if exists in the event), are sent in the postback.

  3. [Optional] Click the Add conditionconditional-iae-postbacks-icon.pngicon to set conditions for an event.
  4. Set the In-app event postback window, if required (read more about in-app event postback window configuration).
  5. Click Save integration.
  6. [Optional] After saving the integration, while remaining on the configuration page, you can integrate more of your apps with the partner:
    1. From the top-left corner, under the partner name, click the app name to open the list of apps. 
    2. Select a different app from the drop-down list.
    3. Repeat the integration steps for the selected app.

Attribution link tab

Generating an attribution link in the AppsFlyer UI isn't currently available. However, you can either use a cross-platform landing page with SmartScript or create a direct attribution link for your app (see table below).

Option Actions Who's involved

Cross-platform landing page

Recommended: For when your campaign promotes an app that's also available on multiple platforms, like Epic and Steam.

Learn about cross-platform landing pages

Learn how to set up a cross-platform landing page

  • Make sure all relevant URL parameters (that are later captured by the Smart Script) are appended to the ad URL
  • Make sure the script takes the GCLID from the incoming URL and adds it to the generated link. Meaning, map the outgoing GCLID URL param gclid to the incoming URL param gclid. Note! To display in AppsFlyer raw data reports, the incoming gclid param must also mapped to one of the outgoing params  af_sub[1-5].
Marketer (may require developer assistance) 

Direct attribution link

If you don't use a cross-platform landing page, because you only have 1 app on 1 platform, you can create direct attribution links to place behind ads.

Learn how to create direct attribution links

  • Make sure the following parameters are included in your link:
    • af_media_source
    • af_campaign_id
    • af_r
    • gclid. Note: This Google click identifier parameter can be automatically added by Google to any outgoing click if you are using auto-tagging.
  • For af_camapign_id, af_adset_id and af_ad_id parameters, you can use Google’s value track parameters (dynamic URL parameter) macros. All other parameters should be set manually.
  • Don't include the af_dp parameter.

Template to use for most platforms (Epic, Steam, Xbox, PlayStation, etc.):

https://engagements.appsflyer.com/v1.0/c2s/click/app/{platform}/{app_id}? af_media_source=googleads_int&af_campaign_id={campaignid}&af_campaign={campaignname}&af_adset={adgroupname}&af_adset_id={adgroupid}&af_ad_id={creative}&af_r={lpurl}

Sample link leading to Steam: https://engagements.appsflyer.com/v1.0/c2s/click/app/steam/123456?af_media_source=googleads_int&af_campaign_id={campaignid}&af_campaign=campaign1&af_adset=adgroup1&af_adset_id={adgroupid}&af_ad_id={creative}&af_r={lpurl}

Template to use for Google PC and Mac apps ONLY:

https://app.appsflyer.com/{app_id}?af_media_source=googleads_int&af_campaign_id={campaignid}&af_campaign={campaignname}&af_adset={adgroupname}&af_adset_id={adgroupid}&af_ad_id={creative}&af_r={lpurl}

Sample link leading to Google PC: https://app.appsflyer.com/123456?af_media_source=googleads_int&af_campaign_id={campaignid}&af_campaign=campaign1&af_adset=adgroup1&af_adset_id={adgroupid}&af_ad_id={creative}&af_r={lpurl}

Marketer

Cost tab

Cost isn't available for Google Ads Web.

Ad revenue tab

Ad revenue isn't available for Google Ads Web.

Permissions tab

Currently, permissions aren't granted for Google Ads Web.

Setting up campaigns in Google Ads Web for PC and console apps

When you set up a new campaign, you can either direct users to a:

  • Cross-platform landing page: Recommended for when your campaign promotes an app that's also available on multiple platforms, like Epic and Steam.
  • Single store: This uses a direct attribution link and should be used when you only have 1 app on 1 platform.

The instructions for setting up campaigns to redirect users to either of these options are detailed in the sections that follow.

Note: During campaign setup, you may want to configure your own conversion actions and goals. Instructions on how to do this are also detailed in the sections that follow.

Campaigns that redirect to a cross-platform landing page

To set up a campaign that redirects users to a cross-platform landing page:

  1. Set up a cross-platform landing page as described in the attribution link section.
  2. Log in to Google Ads and create a new campaign.
  3. Select the campaign objective.

    • All objectives are applicable, except "App promotion" (which can only be used for mobile app campaigns).
    • We recommend setting the "Sales" campaign objective for optimization based on specific in-app events.
  4. Select the conversion goals.

    • By default, you see the predefined account-level campaign goals. You can keep those, or remove ones that aren't relevant for your campaign.
    • If you don’t see the goal you want, add the conversion action and conversion goal.
    • You can also edit your predefined goals in the Conversions page.
  5. Select the campaign type.

    • All campaign types are applicable, except "Shopping" which requires a product catalog and is limited to verified domains.
  6. Enter the cross-platform landing page URL as Google's final URL.

Campaigns that redirect to a single app store

To set up a campaign that redirects users to a single platform and app store:

  1. Set up a direct attribution link as described in the attribution link section.
  2. Log in to Google Ads and create a new campaign.
  3. Select the campaign objective.

    • All objectives are applicable, except "App promotion" (which can only be used for mobile app campaigns).
    • We recommend setting the "Sales" campaign objective for optimization based on specific in-app events.
  4. Select the conversion goals.

    • By default, you see the predefined account-level campaign goals. You can keep those, or remove ones that aren't relevant for your campaign.
    • If you don’t see the goal you want, add the conversion action and conversion goal.
    • You can also edit your predefined goals in the Conversions page.
  5. Select the campaign type.

    • All campaign types are applicable, except "Shopping" which requires a product catalog and is limited to verified domains.
  6. Enter the link to be used as Google's final URL.
    • This must be the final web location you want to redirect your users to. It can be any web URL including a web landing page or store URL. For example: https://store.steampowered.com/app/{appid}/{myapp}/.
    • The final URL can't be an AppsFlyer URL, as this may cause your campaign to be rejected. Only use a direct web address that has no redirects.
  7. Enter your AppsFlyer direct attribution link as Google's Tracking Template URL.
    • For parallel tracking to function as intended, the final URL must be placed in the {lpurl} ValueTrack parameter in Google’s Tracking Template URL as specified by Google.
    • Don't include the af_dp parameter.

Creating conversion actions and goals

In Google Ads, you can either select from the predefined list of conversion actions and goals or create your own.

Important! For AppsFlyer to send a "First Open" event postback, you need to create a conversion action and name it "First Open."

To create your own Google Ads conversion actions and goals:

  1. In your Google Ads account overview page, from the side menu, select Goals > Conversions > Summary.
  2. Click + New conversion action.
  3. Select Import from the list of conversion types, then select Manual import using API or uploads > Track conversions from clicks.

     Note

    If Manual import using API or uploads is not available:
    1. Select CRM, files, or other data sources > Track conversions from clicks.
    2. In Data source select Skip this step and set up data source later.
  4. Click Continue.
    A form displays.
  5. Fill out the form and click Create and continue to finish creating your conversion tracker.
  6. For Goal and action optimization, select a category to map your conversion action into.
    Note: Google ads campaign optimization is per category; not per specific action). If you only want your campaigns to optimize to a single action, make sure to map only that action to this category. For example, if you want your campaign to optimize towards the "install" action, make sure to map the "install" action to its own category, for example, “Other.” You’ll then be able to select this category as the campaign goal when creating the campaign.
  7. Enter a Conversion name.
    This is the partner event name used when mapping the AppsFlyer event name to the partner event name when setting up the in-app event postbacks.
  8. Click Create and continue.
  9. Click Finish.