app marketing

Apple Search Ads: A Basic Overview

Unlock the potential of your iOS app with Apple Search Ads platform. Boost visibility, track metrics, and optimize for success with Newton.

Do you want your iOS audience to see your app as the Apple of their eyes? It's your key to reaching the right audience at the right time with precise messaging and keywords. Boost app visibility and downloads significantly using this unique advertising channel exclusive to the App Store. If you're aiming for quick results, Apple Search Ads(ASA) is the sole paid channel to consider. When combined with App Store Optimization, it accelerates your app's reach. Elevate your app's visibility and downloads on the App Store – Apple Search Ads is your go-to strategy for immediate and impactful outcomes.


Understanding Apple Search Ads(ASA)

Apple Search Ads stands out as the exclusive paid acquisition channel for the App Store, connecting advertisers directly with their target audience through relevant keyword searches. In a landscape boasting over 1.8 million apps, the competition for visibility is fierce. With 70% of users relying on the search function within the App Store, strategic placement and ad types are crucial for effective promotion.


What sets ASA apart is its unwavering commitment to privacy. In a digital age where privacy concerns are paramount, Apple prioritizes user privacy in every aspect, including advertisements. Unlike many other advertising platforms, ASA refrains from tracking user behavior. This distinctive approach limits the ability of app marketers to target users based on behaviors or activities, setting it apart from the predominantly behavior-driven targeting options on other platforms.

In navigating the highly competitive App Store environment, ASA not only offers a unique and effective means of reaching the right audience but also aligns with Apple's core value of prioritizing user privacy. 

Basic vs. Advanced Apple Search Ads

The Apple Ads platform caters to advertisers with both Apple Search Ads Basic and Advanced options, ensuring convenience in reaching your audience. The Apple Search Ads Basic platform, true to its name, offers a straightforward approach to getting started. Simply set a campaign goal, select your target regions, and allocate a budget of up to $10,000 per app. Determine the maximum amount you will pay for Cost Per Install (CPI). While there are multiple advantages with Apple Search Ads basic platform like minimal management time and auto-optimization they also limit your control over optimization decisions.


Apple Search Ads Advanced platform provides enhanced customization, More specific reporting, the ability to utilize Custom product pages in Ads, and More control over the keywords and ad data. Additionally, there is also a possibility to use API and MMPs. 


While Apple Search ads basic is a very good option for an advertiser who wants to run ads on the App Store but does not have the time to manage, if you are someone who wants more control over the ads and if you have the right expertise then advanced is an option you should probably be looking at.  


Apple Search Ads Basic 

Apple Search Ads Advanced

Ease of use 

Very easy to use with most of the tasks having basic features 

Requires some level of expertise to be able to use all the options and navigate campaign success.


There is not much possibility of control since Apple controls most of the campaign for you 

You can control the ad performance and optimize it as per your goals.


It has a limited number of metrics available for tracking i.e. number of installs and redownloads, Cost Per Install (CPI), Budgets and spends, and Campaign status. 

Multiple Apple search ads metrics are available for very precise targeting and optimization. Viz  CPA (cost-per-acquisition), CPT(cost per tap), Impressions, Taps, TTR(Through rate), CR (conversion rate), New downloads, Redownloads, etc. You can also create custom reports. 


You cannot judge how Apple optimises your ads which limits the transparency 

The entire control of ads is with you, which makes it very transparent 

Setting Up Apple Search Ads Account

All you need for setting up an Apple search ads account is the Apple ID associated with your App Store Connect account. You can click the start button on either Apple Search Ads Advanced or Basic as per your goals. Choose your relevant language, date, and time preferences. The next step is to fill in the business details like legal entity name and other information. Accept Apple’s terms and conditions. Complete all the details on the page along with tax and payment methods. Ensure that you don't make a mistake while choosing the currency and time zone. These details cannot be changed. 


Make sure to set up the Apple Search ads carefully to get maximum advantage. Start with organic App Store data, use Apple’s Keyword Suggestion Tool, categorize keywords, and A/B test for optimal performance. Avoid the common mistake of neglecting a negative keyword list. It is always a best practice to explore multi-lingual keyword research for global app presence and higher conversions.


Apple Search Ads Metrics to be Measure

Measure Apple Search Ads performance with key metrics like Popularity Score, Impression Share, Max Cost-Per-Tap (CPT) Bid, Bid Min, Bid Max, and Match Source for iOS keywords or search terms. For campaigns and ad groups, focus on Daily Budget, Impressions, Conversions, and Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC).


Apple ads as an advertising platform are costly when compared to other counterparts like Facebook, Google, or any other search engine. It needs external traffic sources and comprehensive optimization data. This is when Apple Search Ads third-party platforms like Newton come into play and provide a holistic solution by integrating Mobile Marketing Platforms with Apple Search Ads.


We help marketers track the full funnel performance of each campaign they are running to make optimization decisions. Gen AI keywords are inbuilt within the Newton platform which helps identify the multilingual vernacular keyword recommendations to tap into multiple geographies.


Scaling the campaign with limited resources is another greater challenge that comes to a marketer, auto bid management is designed specially to help increase the scale of campaigns managed to automate the bidding process which eventually keeps Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC) under control. 


ASA stands as a powerful tool for app marketers seeking immediate and impactful results within the competitive App Store landscape. While offering both Apple Search Ads Basic and Apple Search Ads Advanced options, it uniquely prioritizes user privacy, refraining from behavior-driven targeting. Setting up an account is straightforward, requiring only an Apple ID associated with the App Store Connect account. However, the platform has its challenges, including costs and limited optimization data. Third-party solutions like Newton address these issues, integrating Mobile Marketing Platforms with ASA, providing full-funnel performance tracking, and leveraging Gen AI keywords for multilingual targeting, offering a holistic solution for effective campaign management.


Here is an Apple search ads case study on How Myntra’s iOS app boosts conversions and revenue with these ads.

Myntra one of India’s leading e-commerce apps faced a growing mobile market saturated with competitors, making it difficult to reach Gen Z and Y shoppers.

They decided to leverage App Store ads 

  • They structured keyword campaigns for maximum reach, including brand terms, partner brands, and trending searches. 
  • Performance was closely monitored, with bids adjusted for high-performing terms and irrelevant ones removed. 
  • They capitalized on seasonal trends with bidding adjustments. 

Myntra achieved a 50% increase in paid iOS installs. ASA drove a 20% improvement compared to other platforms. Furthermore, the app saw a 15% increase in average revenue per user.

Multiple brands globally have achieved great results with ASA. They have seen 20% better conversions(Intsall to purchase rate), 60% higher conversions(approved loans), and 50% lower cost per acquisition compared to other paid channels. 

Newton's expertise in leveraging Apple Search Ads and innovative strategies can propel your app to success. Contact us today to tailor your acquisition and retention approach for the dynamic iOS finance app market.

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