How to track mobile app installs as conversions

Find out how to track every time someone installs your app as a conversion.

Not everyone has this feature yet. If you don’t, don’t worry—it's coming soon!

You can track conversions and other site activity for any of your campaigns by creating conversion goals. Normally, you create a Universal Event Tracking (UET) tag, add it to your website, and then create a conversion goal. But for mobile app installs, all you have to do is use the app-specific URL that is provided by the Microsoft Advertising-certified partner. One conversion goal is required per app platform for each app, per manager account.

All you have to do is create an App Extension or an App Install Ad, and then create a mobile app install conversion goal later.

Step 1: Create measurement/tracking URL for app install conversionsexpando image
In order to help you create tracking/measurement URLs, Microsoft Advertising has partnered up with Kochava, Tune, Appsflyer, Singular, Adjust, and Branch. Each partner has a template of exactly what Microsoft Advertising expects the tracking/measurement URL to look like, and the only mandatory parameter required is the MSCLKID.

You can also add additional tracking parameters in Microsoft Advertising to customize your tracking URL.


Please note that you will need one tracking URL for each respective app in the app store.

Step 2: Track mobile app installs as conversionexpando image

Microsoft Advertising supports the following sites as third-party measurement URL partners. This is an app-specific measurement URL that is provided by a Microsoft Advertising-certified partner, along with an SDK, to track installs from App Extensions and App Install Ads as conversions.

Add an App Extension

  1. From the Campaigns page, click the Ad Extensions tab (or from the main menu on the left, click All campaigns > Ads & extensions > Extensions).
  2. In the View menu, select App Extensions.
  3. Click Create new extension and select the campaign and ad group you want to add the app extension to.
  4. Select Available apps. The Selected apps will appear in the right window.
  5. Select your Mobile operating system.
  6. Enter your App ID/Package name. The app ID/package name can be found in the URL of the app from the respective app store.
    1. Look up the app ID/package name:

      App Store: Windows Store

      App Store: Windows Phone Store

      App Store: Google Play

      App Store: Apple App Store

    2. Next to Link text, enter the text you want customers to click in your ad to download your app.
    3. Optional: To set this app as the preferred extension, under Device preference, select Mobile.
    4. If you want to report app install conversions, you will have to sign up with a Microsoft Advertising certified partner to be able to view app installs as conversions within Microsoft Advertising report.

      Note: When you include app installs as conversions, it will create a goal for you. If you decide to not include app installs as conversions at a later time, keep in mind that the goal must be disabled through the Goals and Conversions page, as unchecking this box will not disable the goal. Learn more about tracking conversions and other site goals.

    5. Enter the App or Measurement URL. This is an app-specific measurement URL that is provided by a Microsoft Advertising-certified partner, along with an SDK, to track App Extension installs as conversions. Visit the following sites to create the third-party measurement URL:
    6. Click Apply.
  7. Click Save.

Learn more about App Extensions.

Create an App Install Ad

  1. From the Campaigns page, click the Ads tab (or from the main menu on the left, click All campaigns and then Ads & extensions).
  2. Click Create ad and then select an ad group.
  3. For Ad type, select App Install Ad.
  4. Enter your Mobile app details by searching for the app and selecting your mobile app from the results. If your mobile app can’t be found by searching, you can also look for your mobile app by entering the Apple App ID or the Google Package name.
  5. Enter your Ad title and Ad text details.
  6. If you want the ad to appear only on mobile devices, select Prefer Mobile Devices under Device preference.
  7. App Install Ads' landing page is automatically set to your selected mobile app's Final URL.
  8. Click Ad URL options to set up the tracking and redirect information for your ads.
  9. Enter a Tracking template for app install conversion tracking. Learn more
  10. Enter the Custom parameters. Learn more
  11. Click Save.

What you need to know:

  • When you do a manual search of your mobile app, Microsoft Advertising will query for it and populate the app details as soon as it’s available. If your mobile app is brand new, it can take up to 96 hours for the data to populate. For existing apps, it can take up to 24 hours.
  • All ad attributes can be edited except for Ad type and Mobile app.
Step 3: Create a conversion goal for mobile app installsexpando image

Create a mobile app install goal manually and put in the measurement URL from the partner into the App URL field. Microsoft Advertising treats both App URL and Measurement URL the same way. Follow the steps to create a goal for app installs:

  1. In the left navigation pane, click Conversion Tracking and then Conversion goals (or from the global menu at the top of the page, click Tools and then Conversion goals).
  2. Click Create conversion goal.
  3. Enter a name for your goal, under Type, select Mobile app install, and then click Next.
  4. Select the App platform and enter the App ID/Package name.
    Windows Store
    Where to find app ID/package name:
    Windows Phone Store
    Where to find app ID/package name:
    Google Play
    Where to find app ID/package name:
    Apple App Store
    Where to find app ID/package name:
  5. Optional: You can assign a Revenue value to set how much each conversion is worth to your business. Note: Variable revenue is not supported.
  6. Optional: You can enter a conversion period to track up to 90 days in the past.
  7. Click Save.

When setting your mobile app install goal in this section, you are not creating the mobile app extension. To learn how to do this, see Link your apps in your ad.

How mobile app installs are trackedexpando image

Here is the workflow of how a mobile app install is tracked:

  • Once you entered a measurement URL from the partner, Microsoft Advertising appends a parameter called MSCLKID to that URL during ad delivery. When someone clicks the app extension, the call goes to the partner which logs the MSCLKID and redirects to the app store.
  • After someone installs your app and opens it for the first time, the partner SDK on the app notifies the partner that app has been installed and opened. At this point, the partner does conversion attribution.
  • Then the partner uploads conversion goal data back to Microsoft Advertising using the clickID and AppId as the keys.
  • Lastly, Microsoft Advertising identifies the goals associated with the AppId, checks if the clicks are in the conversion window, and associates the conversion with the app extension.

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