Apple Search ads are paid ads that appear first in the app store search results. They help you acquire better visibility and higher conversion rate. In addition, ASA acts as a user acquisition channel to connect the app marketers with the target audience. 

How do Search ads work?

App developers bid onsearch keywords. So, when an app store search is done, their apps with these keywords appear among the ads. The apps that bid the highest appear topmost among the search results. 

Many apps run Search ads, so to stay ahead of the competition, use a Search ad inspector to better understand the following factors.

  •  Information about the keywords that your competitors are running Search ads on.
  •  Track your share of ad impressions per keyword.
  •  Competitors, who’re running aggressive campaigns.

Understand Search ads terminology

  1. Impression – the number of times your ad is opened and viewed.
  2. Conversion rate – This is the number of people who download the app after visiting the app’s product page. This factor also helps you understand how effective your campaign is.
  3. Tap through rate (TTR) – It is the ratio of the number of users who saw your app listing and the users who tapped on the ‘Get’ button.
  4. Cost per click (CPC) – It is the ratio of your total ad cost and the number of clicks your app received.
  5. Cost per acquisition (CPA) – It is a marketing metric that measures the aggregate cost to acquire one customer. 
  6. Cost per installation (CPI) – It is the cost spent on digital advertisements for more downloads and the total number of app installs.
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Difference between basic and advanced Search ads

By default, the algorithms in the Apple Search Ads will match your ad to searches that are most relevant to your app. So, you can optimize app growth with minimal commitment. Choose the ad type according to your budget and target audience.


  • For monthly budgets below $10,000.
  • Choose your cost per install (CPI).
  • Campaign support by Apple’s automation and machine learning.


  • For monthly budgets of $10,000 and more.
  • Choose your target keywords and audience.
  • Manage and control the campaign budget.
  • Promote any number of apps.
  • Detailed analysis for optimization of key metrics.

How to make the best of the Search ads

Test your keywords 

Apple Search ads have basic and exact keyword match settings for your ads. You can control the keyword searches and redesign your campaign according to user searches. So, test your keywords to better target the audience and the campaign’s success.

Optimize the app content

Apple picks information from the metadata fields to run the search ads. So, before you run the search ad, duly update and accurately present the app’s metadata fields, screenshots, preview videos, and links.

Create search ad groups

Divide the keywords into ad groups for each segment of the target audience. This will show you the top-performing search keywords. You can further segment the ad groups by tracking their performance to increase the conversion rates.

Use Creative sets

One of the new features in Apple Search ads is ‘Creative Sets.’ You can create and test different visual asset themes to understand and implement which one works best.

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Consistent content

Maintain consistency throughout the transition process. Apple algorithms look for relevance in every ad. So, ensure the app content, and the campaign content remain the same for a seamless conversion.


Apple Search Ads are a new opportunity to reach a wider App Store audience. ASA enables improved App visibility and downloads to target new and retain existing users. 

Also, an App Store Optimization strategy helps you analyze and understand better the key metrics that drive the app conversion rate. It can help you scale up the results of Apple Search ads.