Tutorial: Optimize AdMob ad frequency using Firebase

testing various ad frequencies and their impact on revenue and retention

Solution tutorial

Optimizing ad frequency while keeping a high-quality user experience can be tricky, but Firebase offers tools that help you test and then make data-driven decisions about optimal ad frequency.

  • Using Firebase, you can A/B test the performance of various ad frequencies with a small subset of users.

  • You can observe the test results and review recommendations from Firebase about which ad frequency is performing better with minimal impact on retention.

  • Once you're confident that the changes will likely have a positive impact, you can roll out the changes to more of your users with a click of a button.

What you'll learn

In this multistep tutorial, you'll learn how to use Firebase to test various frequency caps for Google AdMob ads in your app. It uses interstitial ads as the example test case, but you can extrapolate and use these same steps to test frequency capping for other ad formats.

This tutorial assumes that you already use AdMob in your app and that you'd like to test whether changing the frequency of an interstitial ad unit will have an impact on your app's revenue or other metrics. However, if you don't already use AdMob in your app, that's ok! The steps in this tutorial can also help you understand what ad frequency you should use in your app.

Learn more about the business case and value for this solution in our Optimize AdMob ad frequency solution overview.

Products and features used in this tutorial

Google AdMob

Google AdMob enables you to create ad units with various ad frequencies or refresh rates that will be served within your app. When you link AdMob with Firebase, AdMob sends ad revenue information to Firebase to improve ad strategy optimization.

Google Analytics

Google Analytics gives you insight into user engagement, retention, and monetization metrics like total revenue, AdMob revenue, purchase revenue, and much more. It also allows you to create user audiences and segments.

Firebase Remote Config

Firebase Remote Config enables you to dynamically change and customize the behavior and appearance of your app for desired user segments — all without publishing a new version of your app. In this tutorial, you'll use Remote Config parameters to control which ad unit is shown to your users.

Firebase A/B Testing

Firebase A/B Testing provides the interface and infrastructure to run product and marketing experiments in your app. It takes care of distributing experiment variants to users, and then performs statistical analysis to determine if an experiment variant is outperforming the control group based on your selected key metric, such as revenue or user retention.

Flowchart of solution and products used

Tutorial overview

Go directly to the step-by-step tutorial

  1. Use AdMob to create new ad unit variants for testing

    1. Create two new interstitial ad units in AdMob.

    2. Set the Frequency capping of each ad unit to an impressions per user value that you want to test.

    3. Implement the ad unit placements within your app's code.

  2. Set up an A/B test in the Firebase console

    1. Define testing basics, targeting, and the goals that the test will run against.

    2. Define test variants and set up the Remote Config parameter that will control which ad unit is shown to users in the test.

  3. Handle Remote Config parameter values in your app's code

    1. Use the Remote Config parameter in your app.

    2. Implement the logic for displaying the ad unit based on the parameter's value.

  4. Start the A/B test and review the test results in the Firebase console

    1. After starting the test and allowing it to run for a few days or weeks, check the Firebase console for whether the A/B test has a winning variant based on the primary goal of the A/B test.

    2. Review the impact on secondary metrics for each variant to ensure the variants didn't cause unintended negative impacts to those metrics.

  5. Decide whether to roll out the new ad unit with the updated ad frequency

    1. If A/B Testing determines that the variant showing the new ad format is the winner, you can start showing the ad format to all users targeted in the experiment, all users of your app, or to a subset of your users.

    2. If a clear winner isn't yet determined, you can either continue running the experiment to gather more data, or end the experiment if it's already been running for a long period with inconclusive results.

What you'll need

  • Your own app (iOS, Android, or Unity project)

  • Your app registered as a Firebase App that's linked to an AdMob App (learn more)

  • Access to your app's associated AdMob account, with permissions to create new ad units

  • Access to your app's associated Firebase project, with permissions to create and manage Remote Config and A/B Testing as well as to view Google Analytics

  • Your preferred IDE


Step 1: Use AdMob to create new ad unit variants