How to help users find your App using Apple Search Ads

As a PPC agency, keeping up-to-date with Paid Search related news is crucial. This is where Apple's Search Ads come into play. Apple Search Ads, launched initially in 2016, is the most efficient way to improve the visibility of your app in the App Store and get it installed by users.

What are Apple Search Ads?

Apple Search Ads is an acquisition channel improving the visibility of advertisers, within the App Store by connecting them with their targeted audience. Businesses seeking visibility on the app store bid on relevant keywords, which results in their app appearing in the top results when a user types specific search terms in the App Store. This powerful tool allows businesses of all sizes to get impressions from the right users. More specifically, users who showed strong interest in the functions your app may offer, subsequently positioning your app ahead of your competitors’.

So, how do Apple Search Ads enable advertisers to drive as many conversions as possible?

Apple Search Ads enable advertisers to set up and optimize campaigns to drive as many conversions as possible. There are two options available to advertisers: Apple Search Ads Basic and Apple Search Ads Advanced, the latter providing you with more functions to optimize your ad strategies.

What’s the difference between the 2 ASA options?

With Apple Search Ads Basic, you’re allowed to budget up to £7K/month for each app, and advertise for up to 50 apps. This version is recommended if you’re looking for an easy setup and a predictable spent. You wouldn’t need to refine your audience nor select specific keywords. Apple will do that for you! Matching your ads to the right users. You can monitor this automated matching on your performance dashboard.

If you’re looking to set up campaigns with more targeting options, Apple Search Ads Advanced is the way to go! With this version, there’s no budget limit, you can promote an unlimited number of apps. You’re allowed to bid on your own keywords and you pay only when users click on your ads. You can schedule your ads, select your targeted audiences, and set up the max spend per click you’re willing to spend.

How to use Apple Search Ads to optimize the performance of your ASA Ads?

Check your metadata

Checking your app's metadata (which is on the App Store Connect) is critical before starting setting up your new campaign. Your ads creatives’ appearance is based on meta data, and you won’t be able to change it after your campaign has been created, making it vital to check prior to launching your campaign.

Target relevant keywords

If you’re using Apple Search Ads Advanced and selecting relevant keywords that will drive installs, it’s essential to get a good understanding of which search terms your targeted audience will type in the Apple Store to find the functions your app may offer. This is where you need to target relevant keywords based on your USP, as this will help you drive more conversions. General keywords are more competitive than specific keywords, for which you may need to put higher bids. Be sure to continually monitor the performance of your selected keywords and decide to keep them or pause them.

Don’t forget to use your Apple ID

When you sign up for ASA, make sure to use your Apple ID connected to your App Store Connect account. Doing this will allow you to cross-promote your ads to your existing consumers, and to set them up as an audience type. Besides, you’re enabled to duplicate your settings which helps you save time!

Use both keyword matching types

With Apple Search Ads, you’re enabled to use “broad match” and “exact match”. As a PPC agency, we would highly recommend you to use both of these keyword matching types in your campaigns for better results. Broad match will trigger your ad by related search terms, and exact match will trigger your ad by the exact search term. Using both of these matching types helps you test what performs best for your app, and which keywords drive most of conversions.

Use negative matching

Negative matching allows you to decide which search terms you don’t want your ads to be triggered by, making it easier to control your CPC.

Create countries & regions segments

You can create campaigns grouping countries and regions which are similar. Thanks to this, you can optimise your campaigns based on particular attributes like the language.

ASA & ASO relationship is important

ASO or App Store Optimisation is important in the setup of your ASA campaigns. You will need to ensure that it’s strong enough prior to launching, by first checking your app’s presentation in the App Store.

Monitor your bids over time

As a good advertiser, it’s important that you adapt your ad strategies continually, by adjusting bids to drive more conversions and increase your ROI. Apple helps you to do this by informing you of how much more you will need to bid to win the auction.


Even if there’s still a lot to discover about the Apple Search Ads, it’s the way to go if you’re looking to improve your app awareness and installs. The ASA tool is made easy to use, all you have to do is to make sure to have a good understanding of your app’s USP to target the right users and optimize your campaigns by generating high-value consumers at the lowest costs.


Polaris is an award-winning B2B SEO agency in London specialising B2B, PPC, e-commerce and the healthcare industry.

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