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Five insanely powerful Apple Search Ads best practices

April 29, 2019

The number of apps getting launched in the App Store is increasing by the day. While the competition for attention also increases, Apple Search Ads have proven to be an effective way for developers and marketers to get their app discovered. But with every app out there using them to reach their target users, how do you optimise your campaigns for the best results?

Here are five powerful Apple Search Ads best practices we think you should be optimising for your campaign.

  1. Create ad groups according to user intent

Instead of putting all your target keywords in one group, create different ad groups based on how a user might search for your app.

To do this, create smart user personas of your target users. Analyze their search behaviour and shortlist the keywords they tend to use as well as those that competing or similar apps have been using to reach them. Shortlist these keywords and then further segment them based on the user intent behind using those keywords.

For example, a user searching for ‘productivity app’ could be categorised as someone just exploring the App Store. On the other hand, someone who searches for ‘increase productivity’ could be a user who immediately needs a solution.

This helps you identify which segment of users are the most likely to convert on your Apple Search Ads. This also enables you to create ad groups based on individual top-performing keywords to drive more downloads.

  1. Use creative testing for your Apple Search Ads

A Creative Set is basically an asset kit for your Apple Search Ads. It consists of screenshots and app reviews that are chosen from your app’s product page in the App Store. Apple launched Creative Sets to give app marketers more variety with their Apple Search Ads as well as the ability to align different assets with different ad group keywords and audience segments.

Simply put, it produces creative variations of your Apple Search Ads based on the keywords and user intent that you’re targeting.

Setting up this A/B test with different creative sets will help you understand which variations of images and videos in an ad group drive the maximum conversions. This is similar to how you would conduct A/B testing on your marketing campaigns.

You can upload three app previews and up to ten screenshots to your App Store listing to be able to create creative ad sets. But they all need to be approved by Apple before use.

When making your Creative Sets, avoid using screenshots/ app previews that are tagged as ‘default’. The default assets are the very first creatives from your App Store listing. The creative sets you make should be actionable, leading the user to download your app. That way you can compare the performance of your default ads with ones from your Creative Sets.

Here’s an example of how the Bumble App uses Creative Sets for their Apple Search Ads:

  1. Leverage automation for maximum results

Automation has proven to improve the ROI on marketing efforts across various channels. So why shy away from using it to optimize your Apple Search Ads?

With smart solutions like the Blackbox Platform, you can combine the power of automation with industry-leading expertise to create higher converting Apple Search Ads.

All you need to do on the platform is select which app you want to promote, what budget you want to set aside and then leave the platform to manage your campaigns 24/7. With continuous learning and real-time statistics, the platform optimizes your target keywords, the budget and also predicts further optimization and performance based on real-time data.

Considering how users change the way they search for apps or how they interact with them, automation is the real hack in these Apple Search Ads best practices.

  1. Optimise your Apple Search Ads’ TTR (tap through rate)

Most Apple Search Ads best practice would suggest bidding higher for a target keyword. While this is a good strategy to follow in the short term, the logic that the higher the bid, the better the placement of your ad, isn’t completely true.

In the end, Apple presents ads that are the most likely to be clicked. That’s why you should be focusing on maximizing your TTR (tap through rate) to boost your Apple Search Ads’ impression frequency.

The only way to do that is to optimize your ads with content that your target users are more likely to find interesting, and click on.

Adding negative keywords is one way to optimize for higher TTR rates. These are keywords that you don’t want your Apple Search Ads to display for.

But there are other Apple Search Ads best practices that you can follow. For example, increasing your App Store rating.

Users who are actively engaging with your app could be nudged to drop a rating and a review on the App Store. Be it by asking for feedback at the same time or incentivizing the action. The higher (and better) the reviews for your app, the more likely it becomes to be shown in ‘relevant’ search results for App Store users.

Another one of the Apple Search Ads best practices to increase TTR is to use exact match targeting for your keywords. This means your ad will only be shown to users who use the exact, same words to make a search for an app in the App Store. The tactic works because exact matches drive more relevant impressions. Relevancy increases the tap through rates.

  1. Go beyond Apple Search Ads best practices

There are a number of ways in which you can optimize your Search Ads. But the one tactic that actually works is understanding the changing needs and interaction patterns of your target users.

You shouldn’t just be tracking what your existing users are doing, but also how their search behaviour has been changing over time. Taking note of how your competitors are adjusting to these changes is also important.

Apple Search Ads that perform well usually have a few things in common – high relevance to their target keywords and creativity that makes users want to click on them.

Struggling to create Apple Search Ads that reach your target users? At Redbox Mobile, we help you identify the target markets that are best suited for your app. Our team of experts work with the latest technology to dive deeper into user data and help you create high-converting campaigns.

How do we do it?

We’d be happy to show you. Contact us today!

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