Google is making a big bet on mobile app marketing, judging by the new and improved AdWords features it announced recently.

Innovative new ad formats are designed to drive greater engagement, allow for more effective app promotion, and boost measurement capabilities for companies offering their audience a mobile app.

The updates are likely motivated by rapidly increasing app usage, which is stealing from Web-usage time, and Google's need to shore up Google Play, which made just 13% as much revenues compared to Apple in 2013.

Here are the highlights from the recently announced Google AdWords updates.

Enhanced App Discovery and Installation With New AdWords Features

Engagement is critical, but first, you have to get your app in front of the right audience and installed on their devices. Google aims to make this easier with new ad targeting options that allow advertisers to home in with greater intent on audiences.

Now, you'll be able to see keyword suggestions based on searches from the Google Play store and target users based on which apps they use. For example, a women's clothing retailer with a mobile app could choose to promote its app through AdWords to people who already have women's fashion apps installed on their phones. Even better, Google will consider not only which apps are installed but how often they're used and the user's history of in-app purchases.

That gives brands greater control over their AdWords spend when promoting their app. It also helps expand your potential audience without sacrificing specificity or intent.

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image of Larry Kim

Larry Kim is the founder and CEO of Facebook Messenger marketing platform MobileMonkey. He is also the founder of WordStream Inc.

LinkedIn: Larry Kim

Twitter: @larrykim