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5 steps to integrate Firebase conversions • Google native app campaigns


Wojtek Andrzejczak
5 steps to integrate Firebase conversions •...

Integrate Firebase conversions in Google Campaign Manager, Google Display & Video 360, and Google Ads to optimize your native app campaigns.

Native app campaigns

From the media agency point of view, running display, video, SEA campaigns are not that difficult. Clients usually have a tag manager on their website, so implementing Google Floodlight or any other conversion is not that complicated.

With native apps, things are not that simple. To track click on the button and form submission, developers must write some code for iOS/Android application, and then publish it to Google/Apple store, and then users need to update the apps to let us start measuring changes we want.

In this article, I’ll focus only on the primary example.

App installation problem

In the native app campaigns first thing, we would like to track is the app’s first open event.

A: Wait, what? Do you mean app downloads?
Me: No.
A: So you mean app installations?
Me: No.

App download event

The app is downloaded, but not installed and not opened the first time by the user. The user did not have any interaction with the app. So we have no engagement.

App install event

The app is downloaded and installed on the device. But still, the user did not interact with the app.

App first open event

The user opens the first time downloaded and installed the app on his device.

The first engagement event has happened. We have successfully generated conversion for our campaign.

Apple App Store

Unfortunately, Apple is not willing to share anything with anyone. They also don’t like cookies.

Google Play Store

Google allows linking Play Store account with Google products, so we can track how many users have interacted with our app, and optimize our campaigns base on these conversions.

Wow, great… but without the possibility to linked Apple App Store account within the same advertiser, this concept is pointless.

What is Firebase?

Firebase is a Google product for web, iOS, and Android apps. It is prevalent because it not only offers multiple (free & paid) additional functionalities but also allows you to link with many platforms and services in a straightforward way.

If you would like to advertise a native app, and you don’t know if the app you would like to advertise has already implemented Firebase, the best would be to ask developers responsible for the app.

Firebase available functionalities & services
Firebase available functionalities & services

Firebase Console

The first part of the Firebase is the console where we developers can configure users, applications, databases.

But it also contains a built-in analytics part where we can find much useful information about user behaviors, funnels. But I’d recommend linking Firebase with Google Analytics App+Web.

How to link and configure Firebase with Google Analytics, best is to follow Simo Ahava guide.

Example Firebase console overview
Example Firebase console overview

Firebase SDK

Google has prepared for developers with multiple possible integrations with your applications. Your developers will know what to do with this; just ask them to read the manual.

Firebase available platforms support
Firebase available platforms support

Firebase for React Native

Unfortunately, Google does not support modern apps that use JavaScript to build native iOS/Android apps.

If you use React Native, there is an unofficial project which solves this problem so that you can use Firebase without any problem.

Firebase for Angular NativeScript

If you use Angular NativeScript instead of React Native, you can also make use of another unofficial project.

Prepare to the integration

Depends on which Google product we would like to link with Firebase, you need to create/update your user.

Google Marketing Platform user

Make sure your user has full Read & Write permissions for your advertiser.

Add user to Google Ads user

Your user must have Admin account access level permissions.

Add Google user to the Firebase Project

Google Campaign Manager and Google DV360 require to assign at least Editor role to our user in the Firebase.

If you consider linking Firebase with Google Ads, you must have the Owner role assigned to your user.

Firebase project / User and Permissions / Add user & Role
Firebase project / User and Permissions / Add user & Role

Find Firebase Project ID

To link with Google CM/DV360, you need to use Firebase Project ID. You can find it in the main settings section.

Firebase / Settings / General / Project ID
Firebase / Settings / General / Project ID

Google Marketing Platform

If our user has required permissions and access, now we can start integration.

Google Campaign Manager integration

Within Google CM advertiser, navigate to the Floodlight configuration tab. You will find there a Firebase section where you can paste the Firebase Project ID. And don’t forget to save.

Google CM / Floodlight configuration / Link with the Firebase project
Google CM / Floodlight configuration / Link with the Firebase project

Firebase will physically not link our CM advertiser. It uses the connection with Google DV360 advertiser to link it with Firebase.

That’s why you can find only Google DV360 within the Firebase Console area.

Google is smart, they knew they want to shut down Google CM, and that’s why they use Google DV360 advertiser connection.

Google Display & Video 360 integration

If you use only Google DV360 without a linked Google CM advertiser, you need to add the Firebase Project ID in the Floodlight section.

Google DV360 / Floodlight / Firebase integration
Google DV360 / Floodlight / Firebase integration
Google DV360 / Floodlight / Firebase / Link with the Firebase account
Google DV360 / Floodlight / Firebase / Link with the Firebase account

Note
You can not link Google DV360 from Firebase.

Google Ads integration

We have two ways to link Google Ads with the Firebase project. We can do this from the Firebase, or from the Google Ads interface. Which way you prefer is up to you.

Google Ads / Linked Accounts / Link with Firebase project
Google Ads / Linked Accounts / Link with Firebase project
Firebase / Settings / Integrations / Google Ads / Select main account
Firebase / Settings / Integrations / Google Ads / Select main account

Firebase Console

If you manage to start the linking process, you receive an e-mail with the confirmation link.

Pending integration confirmation

If you don’t confirm integration, you find a notification that the integration process is pending.

Google DV360 & Google CM / Pending confirmation
Google DV360 & Google CM / Pending confirmation

Confirmation process

When you click on the verification link, you will have to confirm the account linking.

If you link Google Campaign Manager advertiser, you will still receive Google Display & Video 360 notification, as I’ve described above.

Google Ads links the Firebase without any confirmation mail.

Google DV360 & Google CM / Linking confirmation screen
Google DV360 & Google CM / Linking confirmation screen

Check integration status

On end, we should see the information that we have 1 account linked.

Firebase / Integrations / Linked Google DV360 & Google Ads
Firebase / Integrations / Linked Google DV360 & Google Ads

Firebase Floodlight conversions

Google Campaign Manager native conversions

After a few minutes after successful linking, in the Campaign Manager, you should see new Floodlight activities. Please note that on the right side, you find now Firebase icon.

You can now set up an Audience and use it with new Floodlight activities in your campaign like it would be standard Floodlight.

You will also find two different sets of conversions, for iOS and Android app integrated within the Firebase project. At the end of the name, you can find the event name. In our case, we are interested in the “first_open” one, which counts the situation when a user opens the first time installed the app on his device.

Google CM/ Imported Firebase conversions - Floodlights
Google CM/ Imported Firebase conversions – Floodlights

Google Display & Video 360 native conversions

Similar to Google CM, DV360 automatically pulls all available conversions from the Firebase project. But without the fancy Firebase icon 🙁

Google DV360 / Imported Firebase conversions - Floodlights
Google DV360 / Imported Firebase conversions – Floodlights

Google Ads native conversions

Unfortunately in Google Ads, we need to import conversions manually.

Google Ads / Conversions / Import Firebase app conversion
Google Ads / Conversions / Import Firebase app conversion
Google Ads / Conversions / Imported Firebase conversion
Google Ads / Conversions / Imported Firebase conversion

Define new native Floodlight conversion

We could also set any available event in the Firebase / Analytics / Events, as a conversion. Like for example, the screen_view event fires each time when the user switches between the app screens. It is precisely the same thing as Page View in Google Analytics. But here we don’t have a website, but a native app instead.

Firebase Events / enable event as conversion
Firebase Events / enable event as a conversion

In the Google CM and DV360, a few minutes after the event changed to be a conversion, a new conversion will appear in the Floodlight activities. In Google Ads, we need to import this event manually.

Google Campaign Manager / new custom Floodlight conversion
Google Campaign Manager / new custom Floodlight conversion

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Show Comments (4)

Comments

  • Max

    Hi, thank you for the topic.
    Could you tell me why Firebase event report and DV360 floodlight have different figures?
    For example for the yesterday I have 40K first_open events in firebase but floodlight DV360 show me only 2000k.
    What the reason is?
    thank you!

    • Article Author
    • Reply
    • Wojtek Andrzejczak

      Hi Max,
      2000k? I think you mean 2000, right? 🙂

      DV360 shows “attributed” conversions to the campaigns under the Advertiser. Firebase shows ALL reported conversions.

      If you want to check 1:1, you need to go to the Report Builder (CM/DV360) and select “Include: Unattributed conversions.” For the same day (yesterday, for example – full 24h time range), you compare in the Firebase. Then, you should see more accurate data.

      I hope it helps 🙂

      Wojtek.

      • Article Author
      • Reply
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