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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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!
The Google Play store has been growing at a rapid pace over the last few years. While that gives users plenty of mobile apps and games to try out in every category, it is becoming difficult for app developers and marketers to gain attention for their apps. The competition for the attention of the same target market is never-ending and the only way out is to leverage the power of Google App Campaign. But when everyone is taking the same approach, how do you make sure your ad gets maximum user engagement that turns into installs?
On analysing thousands of Google App Campaigns, we found some common traits in the winning campaigns. Here’s what you need to know!
Traits of a winning Google App Campaign
1. They have great app store optimisation
Your campaign picks data such as the app title, description and images from your listing. That’s why one of the very first things we noticed in a successful Google App Campaign is how optimised the app store listings were.
This is the step where you need to take into account how your target users search for apps similar to yours. Most would make the search with a simple pattern that follows their main search with the word ‘app’. For example, ‘fitness’ + app, or ‘food delivery’ + app.
But when optimising your app store listing, don’t forget to take into account your competitor’s strategy. Take note of the keywords they are targeting, how they have changed their app title over time and what their description includes. This will not just help you target keywords that are more likely to get a response from target users, but also avoid mistakes that might hamper your Google App Campaign results.
Smart tools like SEMrush and Serpstat, are a good place to start your competitor research for optimising your app store listing.
2. They optimise target keywords continually
Another practice we picked up from the search advertising examples we observed, was continual optimisation of the Google App Campaigns.
There is no one way that a user makes a search query. But additionally, how they make searches also changes over time. That’s why it is important to understand what’s trending in your target market and analyze to identify the changing search behavior.
At any given point of time, your campaign should match the keywords that are being used by your target audience. Now doing so manually can be overwhelming and that’s where the best campaigns leverage the power of automation.
The Blackbox Platform combines the power of automation with industry-leading expertise to help you optimise your Google App Campaign continually.
All you need to do is tell the platform which app you want to promote, who you’re targeting and how much you want to spend.
The automated learning and auto-generated keywords that are led by performance data save you time and money in keeping your campaigns optimised. Actionable insights also enable app marketers and developers to make data-driven marketing decisions.
3. They don’t target duplicate keywords
Every app marketer will set up at least two to three Google App Campaigns to be able to reach a wider audience. But one of the most common mistakes they make is using duplicate keywords across the campaign.
By definition, duplicate keywords are those target keywords that are being used by more than one ad in different campaigns or ad groups.
A lot of marketers believe that using duplicate keywords is just competing against themselves, so they will not have an impact on their performance. But what it actually does is make it difficult for you to track which keywords are actually working for your Google Play Search Ads campaign.
Here is a good example. You reduce the bid on one of the keywords you’re targeting. But at that point, you neglect the other versions of the keyword. When you do so, you will not realise when Google switches over to the other listing, impacting the performance of your search ads.
So when you create different campaigns, remember to remove duplicates. You want your campaigns to be driven by concrete data for maximum performance.
4. They track more than one goal
The obvious metric to track is the number of app downloads you get. But to get a clearer picture of how your target market is responding to your Google App Campaign, track another metric that indicates their interest – for example, clicks.
This will help you understand how a typical user you’re targeting, moves across the sales funnel. Right from the point, they discover your app on the Google Play store to clicking on your ad to know more about it and then downloading the app.
Diversifying the metrics you’re targeting ensures that you understand what your target users need to convert. It helps you identify where you’re losing a user’s interest and how you can improve a campaign to get maximum downloads.
For example, you’re getting a number of clicks on your campaign. But you’re not getting as many downloads.
So you know that your app title and text peak a user’s interest. But what they read and see further on your app listing isn’t as compelling. You need to test different variations of your app images and description to get better results.
5. They adjust your ad schedule for improved targeting
Your Google App Campaign will perform better at certain times. You need to keep a close watch on this data as it tells you when your target users are the most active.
For example, you have an app that enables users to be more productive during the work week. It offers them a way to plan their to-dos for the week and set deadlines for themselves.
Now these users are more likely to either be active on Sundays or Mondays. While they can be targeted throughout the week, there is a higher chance of them downloading your app on those specific days.
By adjusting your ad schedule as per your target user’s behavior, you improve your targeting by bidding only at those particular times. At the same time, you reach more of your relevant audience and are able to optimise your spend as well.
Creating a winning Google App Campaign
With the increasing amount of competition, it is important for app marketers and developers to focus on understanding their target market.
The closer you are to understanding how your ideal user searches for apps, who they are, where they come from, what they are looking for and what it takes to convert them, the higher is the success rate of your campaigns.
Need help strategizing and running your Google App Campaign? Why not contact us today.
Do you have an app? If so, do you want to get more downloads? App store paid search is an effective and inexpensive way to increase traffic to your app.
The team at Redbox Mobile Plc have created a platform known as Blackbox, a machine-learning tool for managing your Search Ads campaigns. Blackbox optimises keywords every 10 minutes and makes 500,000 decisions a day so you don’t have to. We save our clients time and run efficient campaigns, helping businesses to get discovered in the App Store.
Blackbox currently operates on iOS, with Android coming soon, so watch this space for more information!
The Blackbox team can’t wait for #MWC2018 next week – we hope to see you there! Come and find us on stand 8.1J16 !
To book a meeting with a member of the Blackbox team, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The world of mobile marketing is an ever-changing beast; you need to be ahead of the curve in order to win in this sector. Redbox Mobile plc. is an award winning App Store Optimisation and Paid Search agency. We have come up with a list of our top 5 predictions that will shape app marketing strategies for agencies and brands over the next year. Read on if you’d like to hear about our predictions…
1. Instant apps will open up a new channel for app discovery
As you may know, Google began rolling out Instant Apps last year. Instant Apps allow users to ‘try out’ apps without actually downloading them onto their device. They can be accessed through clicking on a link in a search engine, on social media or within an instant message. The idea is that they will reduce barrier to entry, as users won’t need to worry about using up space on their device. We anticipate Apple will follow suit and offer Instant Apps to IOS customers this year. This is likely to spur on the already buoyant app development industry, so having an app that stands out from the rest has never been more important.
2. Internet of Things
The world we live in is becoming more and more connected, with smart homes, smart health, wearable tech and more. We are addicted to having ultimate control over our lives at the tap of a finger. For example, the ability to instantly find out how many steps we’ve walked today, to turn our heating up via an app before we get home from work or to record our favourite show remotely because we’re going to arrive back late. There are even apps to order a repeat prescription of the medication you are running out of!
Technology is making our modern lives more and more streamlined. Apple watch apps are already booming and will continue to grow, and with the increasing popularity of voice activated digital assistants like Amazon Echo, Apple HomePod or Google Alexa, the face of search is changing. Consumers no longer have to physically go into the app store and search for the latest app, they can ask their device to download it for them. For that reason, compliance with ASO and paid search best practices are more important than ever, as is keeping abreast with the latest algorithm changes. UX is still really important, but it is becoming more a more likely that you will be vying for a machine’s attention, rather than a human’s.
3. Location based services to go mainstream
Location-based services already made headlines in 2017 and their functionality is only set to grow in 2018. We predict the next big breakthrough to be real-time, location-based offers and advertisements. Companies will be able to suggest you shop from a retail store that you’re standing right in front of in real time.
We know that local search heavily impacts how major search engines like Google rank the websites in their index. Mobile device usage continues to grow and traditional desktop usage is declining. The mobile browser is effectively dead, with 90% of time on a mobile device spent in apps. As the number of apps in the app store continues to grow, local references will begin to be used as ranking factors in the app store. We already see this within Search ads, and are able to target our ads to specific cities, e.g. Manchester in the UK app store.
Of course, privacy remains a big concern, especially with upcoming changes to European data protection regulations later this year. When developing location-based apps and services, the consumer must always have a choice on whether or not they reveal their location based on the service they subscribe to.
4. M-Commerce is growing, putting pressure on cyber security to keep up the pace
Digital commerce is no longer restricted to just computers or smartphones. In-app payments across devices continue to grow, with payments from ‘other mobile devices’ expected to increase $1.75 billion this year. Consumers expect frictionless checkout experiences combined with the same level of security across all devices. With the number of cyber attacks and data breaches on the rise last year, mobile security will be a key theme for 2018. We expect to see tighter regulations around app security, which will impact app development trends.
(Image source: crysberry.com)
Cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin are other factors to be thrown into the mobile commerce mix. They have received an increased amount of media attention and as such, mass market interest in these currencies is starting to grow. The appeal of cryptocurrencies lies in increased security they offer, fast secure global transactions and lower transaction fees, when compared to all existing currencies. These benefits could be particularly useful to app owners who have a global user base.
5. In App UX becomes more sophisticated… but data is still king
With the release of the iPhone X and Samsung Galaxy S8, frameless design has become a huge trend. In 2018 we will continue to see an increase in full screen app designs and consumers will become accustomed to more sophisticated mobile experiences which, will continue to drive competition in app development and design.
Of course having a beautifully designed app will increase your likelihood of getting downloads, but as an app marketing agency, Redbox Mobile is particularly interested in a user’s behaviour and engagement in app. This can be viewed though implementation of an SDK. The data your SDK provides enables us to optimise your campaign so that we are targeting your most valuable users. For Search Ads, we have a machine-learning platform known as ‘Blackbox’, which automates the running of Apple Search Ads campaigns, making 500,000 optimisations a day. Blackbox optimises towards conversions and ensures your search ads campaigns run really efficiently.
We hope you enjoyed reading our top 5 Mobile Marketing predictions for the year ahead. To get in touch with a member of the Redbox Mobile team about your app marketing strategy, email email@example.com.
Currently the Android App Store holds over 2.8 million apps and the Apple App Store 2.2 million. This is an immense amount of competition for visibility inside the already confined space, causing so many apps to fall flat unable to generate any volume from either organic or paid search. But are the likes of Google and Apple making it too hard for developers to establish themselves and be discovered?
Redbox Mobile will be demonstrating its next generation App Store Optimization delivery
Redbox Mobile PLC, the global leader in app ecosystems and ASO in the commercial and mobile markets, has announced that it will be demonstrating its next generation App Store Optimization strategies – ASO Plus – for delivering the best enhanced ASO to complement iOS 10, combining its Search Ads function with existing organic search optimization.
WHAT IS ASO
As the number of apps in the App Stores has grown, the chance of being found has dramatically dropped. App marketers have realised the importance of being able to find an app and thus started trying to improve app rankings, which has led to the creation of App Store Optimization.
In simple terms App Store Optimization or ASO is
Churn rate is the number of customers or subscribers who stop using an app during a given time period, app churn impacts user acquisition and lifetime value.
There are many factors, which make users stick with an app, such as, a bug free experience, a great UI or simply a unique service. Most developers want customers to become loyal users, the challenge is how to know what customers are feeling and how to establish accountability for the customer experience.
NPS or Net Promoter Score is a metric, used widely to measure customer satisfaction, and acts as a leading indicator of growth. If your apps NPS is higher than those of your competitors, you will likely outperform them.
The exciting augmented reality game has got users out and about searching for and battling Pokémon, including the elusive Pikachu.
Developed by Niantic Labs, in conjunction with Nintendo and The Pokémon Co., Pokémon Go has become an immediate hit and the biggest ever game in the US. The mobile app is currently the top downloaded free app in both Apple and Android stores and is continuing to grow at an unprecedented rate.