Google announced a number of improvements in AdWords this morning, but the big news was all around mobile.

US consumers now spend 2 hours and 42 minutes a day on their mobile devices, on average, with 86% of their time spent in mobile apps. The mobile web is in decline; consumers use it just 14% of their time spent on mobile.

Consumers aren’t necessarily looking for apps, though, said Google’s VP of AdWords Product Management, Jerry Dischler. “They’re looking for solutions to their problems,” he said. “If there’s one thing that you take away from my talk today, it’s this: it’s no longer about devices. It’s about connecting people with the content they care about, whether it’s online, on mobile, or in apps.”

Dischler also shared that on Google Play as of May 2013, Google saw 50 million app downloads. Every day, he noted, users in 190 countries are downloading apps to their devices. Google’s app strategy is all about connecting users with high quality content in the right context, regardless of device or platform.

These changes positions Google at the front of the industry in terms of ad targeting and analytics for mobile apps. They’re leading the charge in more app-friendly advertising with these new AdWords features:

1. Direct people from TrueView ads right to your app install.

TrueView Ads on YouTube really resonate with users; 8 out of 10 viewers said they prefer them to standard in-stream ads.

Now, Google will allow advertisers to add app installs as an enhancement to their TrueView ads.

This is important for businesses trying to get users onto their apps. Instead of sending them to a download page, they’ll be able to click and install the app right from the ad on YouTube. It’s seamless.

2. Targeting based on which apps people use and how often.

AdWords will now allow advertisers to promote their apps to people who are more likely to be customers, based on their existing app installs and usage.

For example, if your company sells fitness clothing, you could choose to target people who have a running app installed on their phone.

It gets even more specific, though--Google will let you factor in not only the install, but the frequency of app use and even the types of in-app purchases a person makes.

This more precise targeting will help businesses with mobile apps get in front of more motivated consumers who show greater purchase intent.

3. Deep linking to your already-installed app.

Once you’ve convinced a person to download your app, the real work starts. How do you get them to keep using it? Only 16% of people will even try an app out more than twice. Even if your app is really cool, people need to be prodded to remember it’s there and continue using it.

Enter Google’s new deep-linking to apps feature.

Now, you can direct your ad traffic to specific pages within your app, instead of the download page or even the app’s homepage.

This allows for super-precise messaging and should help you reach app users with greater intent.

4. Soon, you’ll be able to measure conversions across the lifecycle of an app.

The ability to measure the impact of each touchpoint in an advertising campaign is critical.

Google will soon give advertisers the ability to measure conversions across the entire lifecycle of an app. You’ll see the effect of the install, each engagement and the in-app purchase.

This is a much-needed feature that is going to bring app marketing measurement more in-line with what advertisers have come to expect from AdWords for the web and even cross-device.

Google Just Made App Advertising Way More Awesome for Advertisers

These improvements don’t solve all of the targeting and measurement issues with apps, but they show that Google is committed to leading the charge in app marketing. They want their advertisers to have the tools necessary to make smarter app marketing decisions.

Apps are where it’s at. Is your business there? If you don’t have a mobile app for your business, it’s time to get one!