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Mobile ad network Admob is making it possible for application developers on the iPhone to track how often their ads entice users to actually download their applications from Apple’s App Store.

The San Mateo, Calif. company’s download tracking has already been adopted in testing mode by some prominent app makers like UrbanSpoon and TapJoy. These developers can place ads within other iPhone applications, in order to promote the use of their own applications.

Previously, Admob let advertisers track views and clicks on a specific ad. Now, advertisers can also see how many times a click led to an actual download — which, is of course, what they’re really looking for. That, in turn, lets them know how successful a campaign has been, as well as which types of ads in that campaign lead to the most conversions.

Admob says it is the first mobile ad network to offer this kind of tracking, which is a smart addition, particularly as companies watch their ad dollars more closely. The company’s iPhone ad business has been growing, but some advertisers have been wondering if Google AdSense is better.

The early test of download tracking has already unearthed some interesting — though presumably limited — data:

* Advertisements for free applications have an average conversion rate of 10 percent, compared to an average of 1 percent conversion rate for ads for paid applications.

* Ads for games generally have higher conversion rates than ads for other categories of applications — up to a 100 percent improvement over non-game applications at similar price points.

* The App Store is an effective distribution platform for free applications. Advertisers end up paying $1.00 per download for free applications, significantly less than average application download costs on the PC web.

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