Apple Search Ads : Ultimate Guide & Best Practices 2020

Apple Search Ads : Ultimate Guide & Best Practices 2020

What are Apple Search Ads?

Apple Search Ads are simply App Store Ads. They appear in a blue box labelled Ad, which gets displayed in the #1 search results spot (above the organic results).

Apple Search Ads : Ultimate Guide & Best Practices 2020

Why Apple Search Ads?

There are more than 2 million mobile apps in the app store. 70% of the users visiting the app store use “Search” to discover new apps. The same way we use google.

It’s undoubtedly the #1 platform or the iOS users to discover mobile apps. That means App Search Ads is one of the best ways to maximise app exposure and installs.

Advantages of Apple Search Ads?

  • Get the first spot in the app store search results.
  • Reach users who are already looking for your brand or the services which you offer.
  • Boost both paid and organic user acquisition.

How to create Apple Search Ads?

Apple Search Ads use the metadata and visuals that are already in your app. It uses App store listing to generate your ad.

App Store Ads doesn’t support customisation of ad creatives, so you can’t the way your ad looks or upload your ad creatives.

So it is evident, App Store Optimisation (ASO) play an essential role to define the success of the Apple Search Ads campaign. Apps that are highly optimised for relevant keywords will win the bid for that keywords top spot.

Ensure your mobile app is optimised correctly for the App Store by using relevant keywords, Appealing visuals, Best app description.

Read 👉 7 Best🎖️App Store Optimisation (ASO) Tips 2020

Types of Apple Search Ads:

Apple Search Ads comes in two forms. 1. Search Ads Basic 2. Search Ads Advanced

  • Search Ads Basic 

This is for app developers and marketers who want to run just ads and do not need any sort of granular level in-depth ad campaign reports.

Features of Apple Search Ads Basic: 

  1. Apple AI chooses keywords and target, ad group.
  2. It uses the CPI model – Cost per install. You will pay for every install.
  3. You can control only the CPI bidding based on the recommendations.
  4. No extensive reporting.
  5. The basic dashboard will show a quick view of ad performance.
  6. You will have access to Apple Search Ads attribution API
  7. No keyword data or access to the campaign management API.
  8. There’s a cap of $10,000 campaign budget per app, per month.
  9. You can promote up to 50 apps.
  • Search Ads Advanced

This is for app developers and marketers who want to take more control over their ad campaigns and go in-depth in campaign reports.

With advanced, you will have an unlimited budget, and you can promote the infinite number of mobile apps.

Features of Apple Search Ads Advanced :

  1. You can choose keywords and audience, and you can set the cap for customers value or any other KPI.
  2. You can control spends campaign wise.
  3. Cost per tap model – CPT, pay when people tap on your end. (Basically cost per click)
  4. You can take the complete advantage of Apple AI and Search Match.
  5. Access to detailed reports of all the key metrics.
  6. Access to Apple Search Ads attribution API, keyword data and campaign management APIs as well.
  7. Unlimited campaign budget
  8. Promote unlimited numbers of mobile apps.
How to win the App Search Ad bid:

Getting a top spot in the search is not all about money. Apple determines the bid winner by using both keyword relevancy and the bid amount.

But make sure you are dealing with an algorithm, I mean relevancy may not always be what you expect it.

How to run Apple Search Ads:

In case if you are using the primary campaign, you no need to do anything here apart from setting up the campaign.

The ad platform chooses the keywords, audience, and it delivers the campaign insights. Note: Apple might not select relevant keywords. 

Also, remember there’s a cap of $10,000 per month for one app and 50 app promotion limit, which I mentioned earlier.

Choosing Advanced will give you the advantage of bidding on relevant keywords, pick the Advanced option to have more control and better ROI.

Keyword Match Types – Apple Search Ads:

Like Adwords (Google Ads), there are three types of keyword match types.

  1. Search Match – Automatically matches your app to search terms using your app metadata. Something similar to phrase match.
  2. Broad Match – This is the default match type. Ad will be shown for both exact and keyword variants. Ex., “Car” is a broad match for “four-wheeler.”
  3. Exact Match – Everyone prefers to use this. No need to explain this. But make sure you add variants singular, plural, close and frequent misspellings. Ex., movie, movies etc.,
Best Campaign Structure – Apple Search Ads: 

Here are a few suggestions to get the best results.

Slice you campaign into 4 sections based on keywords.

  • Discovery Keywords – Helps to increase the reach by targeting a wider audience.
  • Generic Keywords – Helps to reach an audience interested in your app and similar ones.
  • Competitor Keywords – Help to narrow the searches for app types.
  • Brand Keywords – Helps to target searches directly related to the app and brand.

💡 Ensure you exclude broad match keywords from the exact match and vice versa to avoid your ads competing against your bids.

How to choose keywords in Apple Search Ads:

Always remember the thumb rule. You are the consumer; all you need to do is find the lookalikes of you.

Just think from a users standpoint, you will know what sort of search terms would they be using to find a mobile app like yours.

💡 Focus on autocomplete or auto-populated keywords first.

In case if you are ready to afford some money from your marketing budget, find an excellent mobile app keyword analyser tool in the market.

How to optimise Apple Search Ads:

Basic – runs on cost per install (CPI) model. Just set the maximum amount you are willing to pay for an install.

Advanced – runs on cost per tap (CPT) means cost per click. Just set the maximum amount you are willing to pay for a tap/click.

Here are a few optimisation tips: 

You might ask, when or at what scenarios we need to increase the bidding amount?

🤹‍♂️ Keywords matched your app store ad to relevant search terms, and you are witnessing an increase in the number of installs.

🤹‍♂️ When you are not meeting your cost per acquisition goals.

🤹‍♂️ You are not getting results for popular keywords that are strictly relevant to your app.

🤹‍♂️ Make use of Apple’s recommended bid amount as a bottom line but plan for a flexible budget.

Impacts of not running Apple Search Ads: 

👉🏻 Brand identity loss – high chances are there you competitors might bid for you brand name and relevant keywords.

👉🏻 #1 Organic position under threat – competitors app search ads will dethrone you from the #1 spot in search results.

I hope this article helped you to understand Apple Search Ads better.

Overall make sure you are choosing the right keywords, right audience, the correct bid amount, along with the right App Store Optimisation (ASO) strategy.

Sign up start your Apple Search Ads campaigns today.

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Digital Marketer with 8 years of experience in leading fintech start-ups. Responsible for new customer acquisition, lead nurturing, branding & content marketing.

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About Me

Digital Marketer with 8 years of experience in leading fintech start-ups. Responsible for new customer acquisition, lead nurturing, branding & content marketing.

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