Go back

Appier Explains Apple Search Ads

Apple’s “App Store” is one of the leading app stores in the world that houses millions of mobile apps for download. 

As one of the go-to app marketplaces, the App Store sees billions of app downloads annually and thousands of new app uploads daily. If you are looking to get your app to stand out from the crowd, you are going to need all the help you can get. 

Luckily, Apple created the Apple Search Ads so app developers can more easily reach the users who have a use for their apps. 

If you are looking to market your app on the App Store via Apple Search Ads, this is the Appier article for you. 

What is Apple Search Ads? 

Apple Search Ads is a search advertising channel that allows app marketers to promote their apps to the relevant target users. 

These ads take the form of text ads that show up at the top of search results whenever an iOS user searches for an app in the App Store. 

These Search Ads are currently available in 61 countries and regions, with advertisers residing in 121 countries and regions having access to use these ads to target their global audiences. 

Since users typically use the App Store when they are looking to download an app, Apple Search Ads are a highly effective advertising tool that can prompt users who are already in the market for an app to install a new one.  

Benefits of Apple Search Ads

Apple Search Ads offers several benefits for app developers and advertisers, including:

  • Increased Visibility: Apple Search Ads places your app at the top of the search results, increasing its visibility and making it more likely that users will download it.
  • Targeted Advertising: Apple Search Ads allow advertisers to target their ads to specific users based on their location, device type, and other factors, making their campaigns more effective.
  • Secure Environment: Apple Search Ads has multiple verification processes in place to protect against advertising fraud and create a safe and trustworthy environment for add developers and potential app users 

Two Types of Apple Search Ads: Basic & Advanced

Apple offers two versions of the Apple Search Ads to advertisers: the Apple Search Ads Basic and the Apple Search Ads Advanced.

Which one you choose is largely dependent on your budget and your goals, so here is a quick look at the two versions : 

Apple Search Ads Basic

Search Ads Basic has a user-friendly dashboard and automated features that make it easy to use, even for beginners. 

You can create a campaign with a few clicks because Apple’s intelligent automation handles all the tasks related to selecting keywords and targeting audience groups for you. All advertisers need to do is select the app you want to promote and set a monthly budget and maximum cost per installation (CPI), and the platform will do the rest. 

This campaign type comes with data on total spend, total installs, average CPI and maximum CPI. It  is recommended for those who are new to the platform, have a smaller budget, or want to gain familiarity with Apple Search Ads.

Apple Search Ads Advanced

Search Ads Advanced gives advertisers more control and customization options over the campaign. 

Advertisers can select keywords, define ad groups, and update visuals. Furthermore, you decide whether to set a daily or monthly budget for your cost per tap (CPT), and you are privy to information such as impression share, total taps, CPT, conversion rate, and rank.  

This campaign type is ideal for more experienced advertisers who know the audiences they want to reach and may have multiple apps to promote. 

Apple Search Ads Basic vs. Advanced

Appier Explains Apple Search Ads_ChartInformation compiled by Appier from the Apple Search Ads website

Ad Placements 

Apple Search Ads Basic has one placement: at the top of the search results page in the App Store. 

Apple Search Ads Advanced has four placements: on the Today tab, on the Search Tab, in search results, and on product pages as users browse. 

The idea behind these four different ad placements is to help advertisers promote their apps across the user journey in the App Store. 

Today Tab Ads 

Today tab ads enable advertisers to reach users with high-impact creatives on the front page of the App Store where their journeys begin. The ad creative for this placement is based on a custom product page that advertisers can design while adhering to Apple’s Today tab ad guidelines. .

Search Tab Ads

Search tab ads allow advertisers to get in front of users before they even search for something specific. The ads are featured at the top of the suggested apps list on the Search tab.

Search Result Ads

Search result ads lets advertisers target users who are searching for something specific, with an ad displayed at the top of relevant search results.

To ensure the ad matches potential customers' search terms, advertisers have the option to select their own keywords or use those the Apple Search Ads platform suggests. A user’s search query will determine whether a match takes place and the ad is displayed.  

Product Pages — While Browsing

Product pages —  while browsing ads allow advertisers to reach users while they browse apps on relevant pages across the App Store. Ads appear at the top of the “You Might Also Like” list once interested users have scrolled to the bottom of relevant product pages.

How Appier Can Help You With Your Apple Search Ads Advanced

While the Apple Search Ads Basic allows advertisers to rely on Apple’s intelligent automation, advertisers who want to bypass the limitations in customization and scalability opt for the Apple Search Ads Advanced instead.

The Apple Search Ads Advanced affords advertisers more control and freedom, but with them comes the responsibility of decision-making. Which keywords should you bid for? How much should you bid? Which audiences should you target? How granular should you go?

These are all decisions advertisers using the Apple Search Ads Advanced can make, and with Appier’s help, they can make better decisions. 

Appier’s Apple Search Ads AI Service (AAS) uses our campaign automation cloud to automate and optimize advertisers’ Apple Search Ads campaigns. 

Here are five unique points we want to highlight about Appier's AAS: 

    • Committed Cost-Per-Install Results: While Apple Search Ads Advanced operates on a cost-per-tap pricing model, we offer a guaranteed CPI based on your historical campaign performance and targeted CPI.
    • Keyword Expansion with Generative AI: We use the latest GPT model to continuously generate and update relevant keywords for targeting based on real-time performance.
  • Granular Bidding Strategy: Our AI technology helps you approach each keyword with a unique and effective bidding strategy, so you are not bidding the same price on all keywords.
  • Automated Bidding: We dynamically adjust the bidding price to align with your CPI goal and real-time performance in order to keep your campaign as cost-effective as possible around the clock. 
  • Automated Budget Control: We have mechanisms in place to control your budget, such as an hourly checker to prevent overspending and an automated pause on bidding for keywords whose CPI have risen unexpectedly due to competition or unanticipated traffic issues. 


Interested in leveraging the our AI service for your upcoming Apple Search Ads campaign? Reach out to us now to learn more. 

Want more from Appier about Apple Search Ads campaign optimization? Subscribe to our newsletter now to get new articles right in your inbox. 


Subscribe to the Appier Blog

Your source for the newest in marketing technology and automation, industry trends and best practices, and Appier insights.