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April 28, 2023

Apple Search Ads best practices

Your guide to Apple Search Ads: Tips and best practices

Apple Search Ads (ASA) is a powerful advertising tool that allows app developers and marketers to promote their iOS apps to users who are actively searching for relevant keywords in the App Store. Apple Search Ads is only available for iOS apps, which means that developers of Android or other operating system apps will need to use different advertising platforms. Let’s take a look at how to leverage ASA for your mobile app effectively.

What are Apple Search Ads?

Apple Search Ads are the App Store equivalent of paid SEO. They are a form of in-app advertising that allows app developers and marketers to bid on specific keywords that are relevant to their app. This is in contrast to more general advertising platforms like Google Ads or Facebook Ads, which may be less effective for app-specific lower-funnel advertising.

When a user searches for one of these keywords in the App Store, your ad will appear at the top of the search results with a blue "Ad" icon next to it. If a user clicks on your ad, they'll be taken directly to your app's download page in the App Store. These ads can be targeted based on a range of factors, including device type, location, time of day, and more. This means that you can ensure that your ads are seen by the right people, at the right time, and in the right place.

How does Apple Search Ads work?

The ASA platform works on a pay-per-click (PPC) model, which means that an advertiser only pays when someone clicks on their ad. In this way, Apple Search Ads offer a highly targeted and cost-effective way to reach new users and drive app downloads.

However, there are also some disadvantages to consider, such as the limited availability of the platform in certain countries, the potential for high competition for certain keywords, and the need for ongoing optimization and management to get the best results. Luckily, we have a few best practices that’ll give you the best shot at creating successful Apple Search Ads. But first, let's look at the process holistically.

How to set up Apple Search Ads

To set up Apple Search Ads, you'll need to:

  1. Create an account on the Apple Search Ads website and link it to your app in the App Store.
  2. Choose a campaign objective. The campaign objective determines the overall goal of your advertising campaign, such as driving app downloads, increasing user engagement, or generating revenue. Consider your overall advertising goals and what you hope to achieve with your campaign.
  3. Define your target audience. Start by considering the demographics, interests, and behaviors of your ideal app users. This can include factors such as age, gender, location, and device type.
  4. Select relevant keywords. Brainstorm a list of potential keywords related to your app that your target audience may be searching for in the App Store. Consider what motivates your target audience and what problem your app solves for them. Then, use keyword research tools like Keyword Tool or AppRadar to analyze the search volume, competition, and relevance of each keyword. Look for keywords with very high relevance and low competitive density; then, prioritize keywords from that shortlist by volume.
  5. Set up ad groups. Ad groups allow you to group similar keywords and ads together, which can help you better track and optimize the performance of your campaign. You can also use ad group-level targeting options such as device type or location to further refine your ad group audience.
  6. Set an Apple Search Ads budget. The amount you spend on Apple Search Ads will depend on a range of factors, including the competitiveness of your target keywords, the size of your budget, and the potential value of each click. Set a budget that is realistic based on the potential value of each click and the overall cost of acquiring a new user.

Apple Search Ads best practices

Creating a successful ASA campaign requires more than just setting up a few ads and hoping for the best. Here are some best practices to keep in mind for effective Apple Search Ads optimization.

Align your ASA with your ASO

ASA is not a substitute for good App Store optimization (ASO) practices. Save high-intent keywords, such as branded keywords, for your organic ASO strategy and focus on strategically promoting high-volume, low-competition keywords that are not already bringing organic traffic to your page with your marketing budget.

Test and learn, then test again

A/B test and experiment with different versions of your ad copy and creatives. Adjust your campaigns accordingly to get the most out of your budget. Better yet, let artificial intelligence do the work for you. Tempr.ai's prediction technology uses advanced machine learning algorithms to analyze historical data and identify patterns and trends that can be used to forecast future performance.

Optimize continually

Your ad optimizations should not be limited to human working hours. Set up automated bidding strategies with Tempr.ai's automation technology that optimize your bids based on your campaign goals and budget without having to lift a finger.

Apple Search Ads can be a highly effective tool for promoting your app and driving downloads in the App Store. By tying in your Apple Search Ads strategy with your ASO strategy, experimenting with ad copy and creatives, and optimizing your budget, you can create successful campaigns that drive results and help your app stand out from the crowd.

Learn more about how Tempr.'s AI technology can predict the performance of your Apple Search Ads campaigns and help you automate optimized budget allocation and bid strategies.

Justine Fleureux
Marketing & Happiness Manager at Tempr.

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