Ever since Apple launched their App Store in July of 2008, developers have been faced with the challenge of increasing the number of times their App is being displayed to potential users. Up until now this could only be achieved through App Store Optimization (or ASO for short). Now, luckily, Apple has decided to make developers’ lives and livelihoods a bit easier by introducing App Store Search Ads. Which, put simply, is App Store’s equivalent to Google’s Adwords.
While search ads are nothing new for Google – the Play Store has had them for well over a year now – they’re definitely a major breakthrough for Apple, and an even greater one for iOS App developers, who will finally get the chance to rank at the very top of the charts, regardless of their app’s popularity- in return for payment, of course.
Setting up a campaign shouldn’t take too long, Apple does half of the work for you by extracting the data from your App’s landing page. That means that if you haven’t done so already, you should definitely spend a significant amount of time setting up your ASO. ASO for search ads is especially important once you consider that Apple is going to charge you on a CPT (Apple’s equivalent of CPC, short for Cost per Tap) instead of a CPI (Cost per Install) basis.
How do Search Ads work?
Search ads are delineated with a blue background, with Apple automatically generating the ad copy and images from the app metadata. Developers are able to set an overall budget and a max daily budget. With bid price and relevance being the main factors in deciding whether your ad gets displayed or not. When choosing your keywords just keep in mind that Apple doesn’t want their users to be presented with irrelevant results when they search, and you should be fine.
Search ads allow developers to bid on the iPhone or iPad, separately. A keyword suggestion tool was implemented to help you better pick your keywords, whilst targeting offers segmentation based on customer type, gender, age and location.
Like I said before, when it comes to Ad creatives Apple does almost all of the work for you by extracting data from your App’s landing page. Yay, right? Not quite so- for that which makes it easy also makes it somewhat annoying. From now on every time you’ll want to change something like the app name, screenshots etc. you’ll have to update the app and send it into reviewal which will also double down as “ad approval”.
Does this mean that A/B testing is dead?
It depends. A/B testing in the traditional sense as you know it from Facebook is, however, there is a workaround. It’s called StoreMaven and it allows you to create App Store Landing Page Simulations, in order to test icons, screenshots, videos and descriptions on the App Store and Google Play. With StoreMaven you can drive traffic to two separate landing page simulations on the web, compare the results, and pick a winner based on the results.
P.S.: You can use this calculator to tell you whether your ad is statistically significant.
Apple also introduced a new feature called Keyword Popularity which shows you which exact keywords your users searched for before being displayed with your ads. Keyword Popularity could prove to be very useful for optimizing your campaign and landing page, and decreasing your CPT (Cost Per Tap).
Even though Apple has gone above and beyond to make the Search Ads’ UI as simple as possible, that doesn’t automatically guarantee cheap installs. The truth of the matter is that you basically have two options: You can either spend countless hours setting up your campaigns and waiting for them to get reviewed, or you can hire our mob, and we’ll do all the dirty work for you.
Meet the mob.
A leading mobile marketing and user acquisition group with a combined 25+ years of App Store experience. From Chart Boost Campaigns (making your app rank in the Top 50, Top 20 or Top 10 for a specific category) to ASO, when it comes to the App Store, we do it all.
Send us an email or give us a call (+1-415-717-3330) and we’re gonna make you an offer you can’t refuse.