Search Ads and ASO

Ohad Galitz

Previously, we’ve mentioned how Search Ads and ASO have become so important, particularly regarding their effects on organic ranking and growth.

We’ll look into this in more detail, to see how you can best maximize the opportunities that search ads provide. In this post we’ll focus on Apple’s App Store Search Ads.

Apple Search Ads: A Primer

Apple search ads work similarly to Google ads prior to the UAC revolution (when you had some control over keyword targeting) – a user searches within the App Store, and an ad is served at the top of the search results.

The ads look native, that is it looks like any other app in the store, however the background is blue and the word “Ad” appears on the offering. Depending on the context, either just your app icon, or your app icon and screenshots, will be shown.

The options available when setting up your campaign for Search Ads include “Basic”, where you pay for each install, and “Advanced” where you pay for each tap on your ad – with the Advanced option there is no guarantee of an install, however there is more functionality to this option.

In terms of targeting, you can define audiences according to age, location of device, gender, and also new users or users who have downloaded other apps of yours. Search ads also have a number of secondary benefits, particularly when it comes to metrics and analysis, but more on this in a bit.

Success With Search Ads

The 3 key places to start when it comes to Search ads are keywords, creatives (in this case app icon and screenshots), and descriptions.

Keywords consist of your keyword field terms, your description, and your title and subtitle. It’s important to ensure affinity with high-volume keywords, so that your app is relevant enough to be shown for these search terms.

Creatives and descriptions are critical because sometimes your app’s ad can be truncated by Apple into showing just your app icon and one line of text. You’ll need to grab users’ attention right then and there, before they carry on scrolling down. Obviously a successful keyword strategy ties back into this, so that based on the user’s search, your app will be exactly what they’re looking for and there will be no need to keep scrolling.

It’s also a good idea to set up your campaign and let it run, without tweaking it too much at first in terms of your budget and your bids. This allows the algorithm to learn, and forms a solid base from which you can go ahead and start making small changes to optimize results.

Leveraging Search Ads For ASO

While testing keywords for your Search campaign, Apple provides keyword testing tools. So for your app, you can see which keywords provide the best results, and take this into your general ASO strategy.

Now here’s where the magic comes in: you can actually use the tools that Apple provides to find relevant keywords for your app. By utilizing Search Match, you’ll get suggestions (and analytics) on relevant keywords to incorporate into your ASO strategy.

Search Ads Have A Ton To Offer

Correctly leveraging Search Ads can offer so much, both in terms of boosting quality installs, and by helping to hone your ASO strategy.

It’s fascinating to see how strategy is all-encompassing: creatives, keywords and other strategic touch points all have to be working together perfectly to create the ultimate result.

To get your Search Ads and ASO strategy to its potential, get in touch with the experts.

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