What’s on the Redbox

Welcome to the Redbox Blog, where we aim to keep you up-to-date with all the latest news


Apple Search Ads – Everything You Need To Know About How They Work

January 31, 2019

App developers and marketers can’t afford to ignore Apple Search Ads. There’s just too much competition with over 2 million apps waiting to be discovered and downloaded. With Apple Search ads fast emerging as a new and effective way to acquire users, many app owners are now realising the importance of using Search Ads to stand out. In fact, according to Mobile Marketer, app install ad spend is predicted to surge to $64.1B by 2020.  Despite only being relatively new, Apple Search ads look set to take a $2 billion slice of that pie by 2020 according to Bernstein Analyst Toni Sacconaghi.

We appreciate that Apple Search Ads can be confusing for some, especially if you’ve never used it before.  In this article, you’ll find some useful and actionable tips and tricks that will help you conquer this new advertising channel.

What are Apple Search Ads?

Similar to how social media and search ads help you stand out from other content, Apple Search Ads are an efficient and easy way to get your app discovered by users browsing the App Store.

It’s relatively easy to begin creating your Search Ads campaign in Apple. If you’ve previously worked on Google Adwords campaigns, all of it will seem even more straightforward.

App Store ads look very similar to a regular search listing, but the only difference here is that it has a blue background along with a blue “Ad” icon on it. They show up right at the top of the search results when a user makes a query around a keyword (which is actually a phrase as much as it might be a single word!). The ad shown is targeted at the user according to what they have typed in and so will be relevant to what they’re searching for.

This means that your ad needs to target the keywords that users are more likely to make searches with. But additionally, to maintain high relevancy and drive more installs, you’ll need to optimise your app store listing page too.

Right from the app title, icon, description, screenshots and the promo text, everything needs to look relevant to the search made and compelling enough to nudge a download.  After all, there’s absolutely no point in creating a great ad to appear at the top of a user’s search results, just for them to click through to a really terrible or mediocre page which is highly unlikely to lead to a download.

How to pick the right keywords

As a marketer, you know how important it is for your app to be recognised for what it does. That’s why the keywords you choose for your Apple Search Ads need to be relevant to your app.

Simply put, your Apple Search Ads success is based on the keywords you choose. Any keywords you choose shouldn’t just take relevancy into account but also the competition that you’ll need to face in order for you to appear. By ‘competition, we mean the number of apps that are targeting the same keyword.

Once you start your keyword search, you might want to run a broad match, but you know in your heart that the exact keywords based on user search intent are the most likely to get you the right audience, leading to higher chances of your app being downloaded and actively used.

On the other hand, Apple’s Search Match feature intuitively understands which keywords apply to your app. Search Match is a default setting in all Apple Search Ad campaigns. This makes it simple to kickstart campaigns if you don’t have any experience in running keyword-based ad campaigns.

The thing to bear in mind is that if your ads don’t start show results in the first few days of running the campaign, you’ll need to change the keywords. This might be because the keywords that you’re using aren’t being searched for or are simply not relevant enough to your add. Or, it may be that you are being outbid by others if it is a particularly popular keyword such as ‘game’.  

As Apple itself suggests, the trick to choosing the right keywords for your Search Ads is to:

  • Think like your customers – Consider the search terms they might use to look for your app type.  
  • Try both generic and specific keywords – Pick general keywords relevant to your app to reach a wider audience, but at the same time choose particular keywords to narrow down your targeting to reach your ideal users.

The best thing about Apple Search Ads is that it gives you access to something called the ‘Relative Search Term Popularity Index’. This metric gives you insight into how many searches are being made on the keywords that define your app, or the keywords that you want to use for Apple Search Ads.

The Relative Search Term Popularity Index, it also recommends keywords based on your targeting which helps you identify the most important keywords for promoting your app.

However, search volume shouldn’t be the only factor to consider when picking a keyword to bid on. You’ll also need to consider the type of competition you’ll face for each keyword.

Another useful hint is to set up ‘negative keywords’ for your ad campaign. This will ensure high relevancy of your Apple Search Ads and keep them away from showing up on irrelevant search results. After all, you don’t want to be paying to reach a user who isn’t going to download your app.

Understanding how Apple Search Ads appear

While the keywords you pick decide what searches your app will show for, it’s the relevancy of the app and the bid you place that determines if it will get the top spot on the search results.

For instance, if your app isn’t as relevant for the keyword you’re targeting, it won’t be shown to the user – no matter how high a bid you place on it.

Another important thing to bear in mind is that Apple Search Ads will charge you based on what your campaign is optimized for – taps or installs. The cost per tap model will charge you every time a user taps on your ad; irrespective of whether they download it or not. On the other hand, cost per install is when you get charged only for the number of installs that the Apple Search Ads have driven.

This means you should decide carefully how much you can spend on App Store Search Ads so that you can get a positive return-on-investment (ROI). Keep in mind that the market demand is what determines how much you pay for an ad.

It’s even more important to understand that relevance is critical to winning at bidding. As such, you must separate your Exact Match and Broad Match keywords so that they are not in the same Ad Group and don’t have Search Match running in an Exact Match keyword Ad Group.

Advanced targeting controls

With advanced controls, you can run precise targeting and optimise your ads for keywords as well as user demographics.

The filters help you refine the audience you want your Search Ads to be shown to. It allows you to decide if you want your ads to be shown to your existing users, new users, users of competing apps or to everyone. Additionally, you also get to finetune the targeting based on gender, age, location and device type.


Demographic targeting

Demographic targeting will narrow down your audience base and show ads only to highly specific categories that you wish to see conversions from. You can run demographic targeting based on:

  • Audiences: New users, existing users of your app and users of other apps you own
  • Gender
  • Age
  • Device location

If you have a complete understanding of your ideal audience type, it’s beneficial to go as precise with targeting as possible. However, avoid going for precise targeting if you have a new app. With no idea of who your ideal users are, you will only end up limiting the reach of your Apple Search Ads.

Attribution and reporting

Reporting on how your ads are performing is vital to understanding where you are faltering and where you’re succeeding. From the Apple Search Ads attribution reports, you can understand which of your keywords are performing well. The report gives you insights into the impressions, taps and downloads that every keyword generated for your ad campaign, in an easy-to-understand format.


In summary

Apple Search Ads may take you a little time to understand and you may well end up targeting the wrong keywords initially.

To avoid losing your advertising budgets on common mistakes, you can take the smarter route to continually optimise your Apple Search Ads for better results. The Blackbox Platform is an app campaign manager that combines the power of automation with industry expertise to generate the best possible results for you.

All you need to do is tell the platform which app you want to promote, decide on how much you want to spend and who you want to target. Making use of Apple Search Ads best practices and proprietary technology, Blackbox platform ensures you remain at the top of the search results for your target users.

But with that done, don’t forget that the real hack to winning the game is to retain the users you acquire from Apple Search Ads in the first place.

Apple Search Ads: Avoid These 10 Mistakes That Could Doom You To Failure

It’s so easy to get started with Apple Search Ads that most of the time digital marketers miss out on the much-needed details. They rush into creating their first campaign without giving much thought to as to where they could potentially go wrong.

Pressing the accelerator full-on as soon as you’ve started with Apple Search Ads isn’t much use. The smallest of things can have a significant impact on your campaign performance. For example, the metrics you choose to measure, the design of your app screenshots, your app store description, the promotion text you use or even the keywords you choose to target can all have a bearing on your results.

In this article, we’re taking a look at the 10 most common errors that app marketers are likely to make with Apple Search Ads and how they can avoid them.

  1. Not optimising your App Store listing page

With over 2 million mobile apps waiting to be discovered on the App Store, optimising your App Store listing page is crucial. But the sad reality is that the majority of publishers aren’t doing this. Only the best Search Ads have managed to reap the benefits of optimising the App Store listing page.

This is essential because Apple uses your title, screenshots, app icon, and promo text to populate the adverts. Having these elements optimised in your metadata will also be beneficial for your ad’s keyword relevancy.

The better these elements are optimised for relevancy, the higher you’ll rank and the more discoverable you’ll be for potential customers.

  1. Not setting up Search Ads attribution

It’s vital to know where your customers are coming from and to gain as much insight as possible. This is usually known as ‘attribution’.

Apple Search Ads App Attribution enables you to track the number of downloads from Search Ads campaigns. It lets you measure the effectiveness of your campaigns and the lifetime value of the acquired users.

Apple Search Ads will only attribute a conversion when users click on your ad and then download the app within 30-days.

After all, it’s entirely possible that a user who’s in the process of downloading an app has likely searched for it more than once and interacted with it a number of times without actually clicking on the download button. This might be indicative of how your app screenshots and description need to convey the value better.

We strongly recommend setting up attribution because, without it, you can’t measure app downloads and re-engagements accurately. This also means that you won’t be able to find out how much return-on-investment (ROI) you’re getting out of your Search Ad investment.

  1. Not knowing the difference between Exact and Broad Match for keywords

When undertaking any keyword research, It’s really important to understand the differences between the keyword match types – Exact and Broad Match.

Broad Match is used to drive the maximum amount of user views. Let’s say you have a farming game that will appeal to a specific audience. If you choose a generic keyword, such as ‘Games’, your ad will appear even when users search for something like ‘Sports games’, ‘Kids games’, and ‘Strategy games’, and might go so broad to the extent that it appears even when the search wasn’t even remotely close. This runs the risk of you showing your ad to a lot of irrelevant prospects.

On the other hand, Exact Match keywords match user search terms that are the same keyword phrase you’re bidding on, which means highly relevant searches even if the audience searching for that exact phrase is comparatively small. Depending on your goal – reach or relevancy – you’ll need to pick your keyword match type to reach that target. Of course, with exact matches, the aim is to research a list of exact matches that all bear some relevance to your actual app.

  1. Using too many keywords for Broad Match

In Apple Search Ads, broad match is the default type for keyword targeting. Broad match basically refers to taking close, relevant variants of the keywords you want to target – singular, plural, misspellings, synonyms, related searches and phrases that might or include a part of the term you’re targeting.

While this type of targeting gets you an increased number of impressions, getting actual conversions can be tricky.

This is due to the fact that when your campaign uses broad match for keyword targeting, it is displayed for searches on even the close variants of the keyword – singular, plurals, misspellings, synonyms, related searches and phrases that might include the term fully or partially. So in some cases, words in a foreign language may also get matched to the searches if relevant to the app – even if they’re not your defined target user.

However, if ad impressions don’t match search query intent it can lead to a huge rise in your Cost per Tap. You don’t want to lose out on too much money, right? This is why having too many keywords on Broad Match can be risky.

Instead, we recommend aiming for at least 80% of taps on an ad from Exact Match where you can have more control over the searches. You can target a specific term and its close variants such as misspellings and plurals only. Even though these ads will get you fewer impressions, they are more relevant to the search intent.

  1. Mixing Exact Match keywords and Broad Match together

Whether you plan on using Exact Match or Broad Match for Apple Search Ads campaigns, remember to not use both for the same campaign.

Since Broad Match is enabled by default on the Apple ads platform, many marketers unintentionally leave it on. Now if they’re running an Exact Match campaign in this case, their ads will also end up showing for words similar to the target keywords due to Broad Match.

This only results in confusion and not being able to identify if a specific keyword is getting you the desired number of impressions and installs.

Its good practice is to set up different Apple Search Ads to experiment with both the Exact Match and Broad Match type of campaigns. That way you can also monitor and identify which works the best for your campaign.

  1. Using Web Search Keywords for Apple Search Ads

Users behave differently on different devices. They might not type in the same search query on Google Play as they do on the Apple App Store. Also, unlike web search, App Store search is a relatively lesser known territory to marketers. You can’t simply replicate your keywords from web search campaigns to your Apple Search Ad campaigns. This would only result in a decrease in ad keyword relevancy.

Branch actually studied the top 500 App Store keywords and identified that they were all either single words or related to brands. This only goes to indicate that there are very few users who search with long-tail keywords like ‘top 10 songs of the 90s’. The best way to find the right keyword is to think like the user.

  1. Using Apple’s CPA goal

While your ad campaigns will get you more impressions, there isn’t any guarantee of conversion – a user installing your app. Using a cost-per-acquisition (CPA) as your goal might seem like the best way to maximise your app downloads, but it doesn’t guarantee downloads.

Instead, use CPA to guide your campaign optimization. If the impressions of your Search Ads are very low, raise your cost-per-acquisition goal because if it is priced too low, you may not be able to enter the auction for your targeted keyword.

Since the Apple algorithm strictly takes into account the relevancy of your campaign to the keywords you’re targeting, choose taps as your goal to achieve higher impressions.

But if you still want to keep acquisition as your goal, steer clear from low converting keywords.

  1. Not optimizing your daily budget  

Apple Search Ads let you set a budget for your campaigns. But most marketers tend to set a daily cap and not revisit it until the campaign has exhausted the budget, is ended or it has been paused.

While you can’t decrease your budget, you can always add or adjust the daily spend cap at any time. Monitor the performance of your Apple Search Ads closely, identify the day-to-day trends that cause a spike or diffuse your performance. This will help you make the most out of your campaign budget.

  1. Not checking Search Match traffic

Search Match is the default feature offered by Apple to enable you to get your ads up and running in no time. With Search Match, your ads are set to automatically be matched to search terms without the need for you to figure out all the keyword possibilities or even actively bid on them.

It’s easy to get carried away with the Search Match setting to win a huge influx of traffic in a relatively short time period. However, this is not one of Apple Search Ads best practices. It’s better to stop and think about the keywords that are actually relevant to your app.

As a best practice, find out how relevant the Search Match traffic is for your ad campaign. Sometimes, what’s good for the App Store doesn’t really spell quality, high-converting traffic for your ads.

  1. Not testing different creatives

If you’re not testing your creatives regularly, you’re limiting the ROI you could reap on your Apple Search Ads. In Apple, you can experiment and create ads based on the app’s existing metadata and creatives with Creative Sets.  

Creative Sets enables you to leverage your additional App Store assets to create multiple variants for your Apple Search Ads. Each set includes screenshots and app previews that you select from the App Store page. You can create up to 10 ad variations per ad group with this feature, which then run in addition to the current image and text ads that Apple automatically creates for your app.

This ultimately helps you create a winning ad set that gets maximum views and conversions. The best Apple Ads are those that have been continually tested for engagement and conversions.  

In summary, they say that you should learn from your mistakes, and you’ll only win the Apple Search Ads game when you understand precisely where you can go wrong. Your Apple advertising strategy should be created in such a way that it doesn’t just address the current search patterns of your target users, but also is optimised for changing trends.

As Benjamin Franklin once said, “An investment in knowledge pays the best interest.”

Keep up to date with all the latest app store search marketing news and views by subscribing to our mailing list here.

Apple Search Ads: 6 Tips To Market Your Mobile Game

December 30, 2018

The mobile games industry is growing leaps and bounds with 2018 data showing that mobile games account for around 51% of global game revenues. In fact, users are so fond of mobile games that data shows that 62% of smartphone owners install them within the very first week of buying a phone. With mobile games continuing to receive so much love, it’s obvious that competition for consumer attention is also fierce. That’s where Apple search ads come in.

Businesses in the mobile games space are trying to find newer ways to increase discoverability. Improving discoverability is the only way they can prevent their apps from drowning in the swamp of app overload. Did you know that 50% of apps don’t get even a single download?

While most mobile game owners/publishers largely rely on Facebook, Twitter, and ad networks to fuel app growth, those who have an upper edge understand how important it is to focus on other emerging channels amidst the rising competition. This is where Apple Search Ads is emerging as a new way for anyone looking to promote their mobile games

According to Apple, using search ads to promote your mobile game can result in a whopping 50 per cent conversion rate. They also state that the games industry is one of the biggest spenders on Search Ads.

So when an increasing number of mobile game developers out there is turning to search ads to get discovered, how do you optimize your Apple search ads cost to achieve the best possible ROI amidst the competition?

Your Game Changing Strategy with Apple Search Ads

  1. Pick the right keywords for your mobile game

Your app name and keywords are two important determinants of your app’s search relevance. There was a time when you could use an app name that was 200 characters long. However, as per the latest Apple guidelines, app names can be only 50 characters long. Terms and descriptions other than the name of your mobile game should be avoided.

Apple limits keywords to 100 characters in all, with the terms separated by commas. So make sure you maximize the number of words that fit in, by avoiding the use of plurals of words that are already included in their singular form, the names of categories, the word ‘app’ and duplicate words.  

This is where you need to think about what keywords are the most appropriate for your app and which ones help distinguish it from other similar apps in the market. Answering such questions can help you determine the best keywords that will make your app more search relevant. Best keywords for your app are those that get searched by the right audience and describe your app correctly to the user base.

Some keyword etiquettes for your paid ad campaign include separating each keyword with a comma, not using plurals, and breaking phrases into words.

  1. Structure your Apple search ads campaign

If you have experience in running keyword search campaigns on Google and Bing, you will understand how important it is to design a campaign structure for paid search in the App Store too.

You can borrow hints from your AdWords campaign structure and create interesting App Store campaigns as well. Your campaign structure will help you understand performance on metrics such as install volumes and the decrease in CPI.

For example, you could have campaigns around:

  • Product – include all your product keywords
  • Competition – include all your competitors’ keywords
  • Brand – include all your brand related keywords

By running and testing these campaigns you can understand which ones give you more conversions, and thereby allow you to figure out where to put most of your budget.

  1. Optimize your Apple search ads using Audience Demographics

Optimizing the Apple search ads cost per install requires that your ad does not get clicked by an irrelevant audience or those who are likely to ignore downloading after clicking. That’s why Apple has introduced an advanced feature called Audience Demographics.  

You can use this feature to filter out those who are highly unlikely to use your app. For example, a mobile game is not likely to be of much use to people above 50 years of age. In fact, there are some games that are of more interest to women than men, and vice-versa.

You can test this ‘filter’ out for a few weeks and also compare generic results with segmentation based ad campaign results. This will help you see for yourself how this awesome feature helps you cut down on CPI.

  1. Use the Search Match option to your advantage

The Search Match feature by Apple is a blessing. You can call it the Apple search ads keyword tool that enables you to match your ads with users who are making searches similar to your app.

Within this feature,  Apple automatically matches your ad to users who are searching for apps like yours. It’s similar to AdWords dynamic search ads in that you don’t have to select keywords. Most notably, Apple’s Search Match will only find keywords that it deems relevant to your app.

The Search Match feature is also a great way for you to gather insights on how many people might be looking for your app,  what the competition is like with a specific keyword, discover new keyword phrases and understand user queries.

  1. Learn from the existing Apple search ads performance

One of the Apple search ads best practices include letting data drive your campaigns. You’ll always have an advantage over others if you’ve studied what you’ve learned from campaigns run on other channels. Closely analyze what you’ve learned but also use the features Apple offers to help you optimize and improve what you get back.

  1. Target users based on their journey

Targeting capabilities with Apple are really advanced. With such advanced capabilities, you can quite easily run an acquisition as well as a re-targeting/re-engagement campaign in the App Store. You can specify your users based on their journey with your app so far:

  • Not downloaded
  • All users
  • Have downloaded
  • Have downloaded your other apps

With this data at hand, you can improve your download rates, increase retention and engagement. You can show your ads in real time to those users who are downloading other apps.

In summary

If effectively optimized, Apple Search Ads will give you maximum return on investment. However, the App Store is a complex ecosystem, and simply having your app optimized for searchability is not enough. Your paid ads can win over competition only if they are able to appear magically to the right users, at the right time.

Remember, while discoverability might get you searched, only relevance is going to get your downloads.

Another Day, Another Update: iOS 12

September 17, 2018

Since 2007, when the first iPhone was released we often waited for the obligatory “ping” on our iPhones to let us know the latest update is available. Today is no different as the latest software, iOS 12 is now available across iPhones and iPads globally.


iOS 12

Out of all the iOS softwares that we have seen, iOS 12 is going to be the most reliable out of the lot. If you’re thinking like we are i’m sure you’re aware this is much needed since Apple products are well known to start falling short after the first year of ownership. Problems such as decreased battery life and crashes become like a common cold, possibly short lived but very annoying



Alongside the previous mentioned bug fixes, iOS 12 is likely to bring some fun changes to the Messages App… For all you lovers of photo filters on Snapchat and Instagram you’ll be happy to hear Apple are picking up on the quirky trend. You’ll now be able to send your much loved filtered faces to your friends and family with Apple products. Unfortunately though, for those of us who haven’t kept up with the regularly updating models we can’t take part in the fun. The new filters feature is only available on the iPhone x and later devices. Don’t panic though there are plenty more exciting features…


If you’re into Augmented Reality (AR) or Virtual Reality (VR) this feature is for you. The new iOS 12 gives developers the ability to create multiplayer AR games. Now for those of you who read that as a jumble of fancy words. Augmented Reality is a technology that superimposes a computer-generated image on a user’s view of the real world, thus providing a composite view. For those previously mentioned Snapchat filter lovers or Pokemon Go fans you’ve experienced AR first hand. Pretty cool right?

Pokemon GO

Restricted usage

One feature that will be available on the new iOS 12 software is likely to cause some controversy, Screen Time. Screen Time is designed to restrict the amount of time you spend on your device. So for those of you who want to restrict the amount of time you spend on your devices or have parents who think you should. You may want to start conquering your addictions with Kylie Jenner’s instagram because you may be limited on time. Before your screen time is limited by the new update why not follow us on social media:


Another more exciting and useful feature of the iOS 12 update is Group Notifications. In case the name doesn’t give it away, group notifications is a great way to “group” notifications from the same app. This is great if you’ve just posted a picture on Instagram and get hundreds of likes – yes some people are that popular! Alternatively, those group chats which are constantly taking up screen space while you’re expecting an important message. IOS 12 has you covered by grouping them all together.

Siri Updates

For the more tech savvy among us , the new Siri Shortcuts app and section in Settings is a great way to automate your daily tasks. For example, you might use the Tile app to locate your keys. Siri will suggest adding this as a Shortcut and you’ll just need to say “Find My Keys” next time you lose them!

When is it available?

Are you currently running on iOS 11? After reading this blog are you dying to get your hands on the latest software? All these new features and more will be available very soon, today in fact, so get downloading.

Interested in a new device to test these features out? Check out our blog: Gather Round’ – Apple’s latest announcement, in case you missed it” for the low-down on Apple’s brand new iPhone Xs and XR which were available for pre-order as of Friday (14th September).

iPhone XR

App Developer or Owner: Get in touch today to find out about how to optimise your app.

‘Gather Round’ – Apple’s latest announcement, in case you missed it

September 13, 2018

Yesterday Apple treated us all to a 2-hour, in-depth talk about the release of three new iPhones, as well as two new Apple Watch sizes at their annual launch event in San Francisco.

iPhone Xs

The two new iPhone models mentioned were the Xs and Xs Max. The iPhone Xs is set to replace the company’s 2017 product, the iPhone X. The other, the iPhone Xs Max is a bigger version coming in at a whopping 6.5” screen, the largest screen size ever seen on an iPhone! The smaller of the two has a 5.8” screen – the same as the existing iPhone X. The existing Black & White colours were shown with a new Gold colour device added to the lineup for those of us that like to jazz things up a bit.

New iPhone Xs
The iPhone Xs Max will feature the largest display ever for an iPhone


iPhone XR

After revealing other key information about the new products such as performance, battery and camera improvements. Apple revealed a brand-new line to replace the existing iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus – The iPhone XR! This phone, released to be a slightly more reasonable priced product as the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus was for the iPhone X, has a single lens camera with an 6.1” screen and comes in 6 colours: Black, White, Red, Blue, Coral & Yellow.

iPhone XR
The iPhone XR introduces the first Liquid Retina 6.1” display

But what do these new sizes mean for App Store content?

Well, it’s hard to say exactly. Seeing as this was Apple’s hardware announcement.

What we do know is that Apple have now updated App Store Connect to require developers to upload 5.8” screenshots for their apps, with 6.5” screenshots required from March 2019 and onwards.

iPhone XR
5.8” Screenshots will no longer be optional in the App Store

Apple Watch & Other Products

In other exciting news, Apple revealed the biggest redesign to the Apple Watch since it went on sale. As well as a larger watch face, new features like the first publicly available ECG and Haptic Digital Crown were added. The screen also fills more of the Watch face too – in-line with the striking iPhone X line.

Apple also revealed that iOS 12, watchOS 5 and tvOS 12 will all be released on 17th September, with an update to HomePod bringing new features like multiple timers, phone calling & more. Apple’s macOS version 10.14 will be released a week later to consumers on 24th September.


Here are the base prices for the products revealed by Apple:

iPhone Xs (64GB): £999

iPhone Xs Max (64GB): £1,099

iPhone XR (64GB): £749

Apple Watch 40mm: £399

Apple Watch 44mm: £429


If like us you’re willing to take out a second mortgage for the infamous Apple products we will be seeing you on the 24th of September when the iPhone Xs and new Apple Watch models will be released. Or for those of you who need to do a bit more saving and are after more colourful options we will be seeing you on the 26th of October when the iPhone XR is due to hit stores.

Why screenshots matter to ASO

March 13, 2018

Recently Apple extended their screenshot limit from 5 to 10 images. Why do iOS Screenshots matter to you, and how to maximise your ASO impact with them.

Screenshots are a massive part of ASO. They convert users when they find your page. They draw the users eye and showcase what you are about. And when done right, they should pull you through to the next screenshot, and the next, and so forth until you have seen them all.

Our latest blog tells all and answers your pressing questions on the latest update launched by Apple on the 22nd February 2018.
It’s a simple fact, around 15% of users swipe through to the 5th screenshot. That figure will likely drop with each additional screenshot added. The question remains though, Is it worth investing your budget in this feature.

There are a number of things we must remember when considering Screenshots. Take for example an App with a 30 second preview video. This would be the main focal point for the App page, with the next two screenshots being a priority. If there was no Video, the First 3 would be the crucial elements.

This also relates to Apple Search Ads, for when an advert is displayed in the App Store, 3 Vertical screenshots or 1 Landscape screenshot are shown as part of the advert.

The additional screenshots will allow apps to showcase further features to users and in theory this sounds full proof, but realistically, what percent of users would really scroll through to Screenshot 10 before making up their mind? Users react quickly and need to be hooked within 10-15 seconds of landing on your preview page.

Now obviously the quality of screenshots differs massively from App to App, and the quality of them should not be underestimated. The better the quality the screenshots/video, the higher chance you have of converting to a download.


Landscape or Horizontal screenshots? Well this depends on your choice, but research shows that around 15% of users look through all 5 Landscapes Screenshots, and 11% look through all 5 Portrait Screenshots.


To optimise your screenshots, you need to consider:
• The number of screenshots
How many are needed, should I invest in more than 5?

• The order of them
Ensure your best features are in the first so that users are hooked in from the start

• How they work together
Best screenshots flow to tell a story, they work together to offer the user a journey of what they will have should they download the app

• The features shown
What are the key features of the app that you need to showcase? Don’t waste an important screenshot showing you can unlock with a thumbprint, if that isn’t a key feature to the user

• The style: Portrait or Landscape
What works for one app wont work for the next, play around and A/B test what works best. Portrait allows more messaging, whilst landscape has been shown to have a higher conversion rating.

• The call to action
One of the most important parts of the screenshot process is ensuring the correct messaging reaches the user. Make sure your call to action is clear and concise, and speaks directly to the user about your features.

In summary, it boils down to budget. If your budget is small, concentrate on getting your top 2 to 5 screenshots looking good. If you budget is slightly more flexible, then the additional slots allow you to showcase a little more. Our view is its better to have a set of 5 great screenshots, rather than 10 mediocre ones.

Our agency Redbox Mobile can help further with your creative, ASO and Paid search needs, so please feel free to reach out and discuss your needs. Also, don’t forget our Blackbox platform can get your app in front of the right people with an optimised Search Ads campaign.

MWC Attendees Get $100 FREE to Spend on Blackbox!

February 28, 2018

Do you have an app? If so, do you want to get more downloads? Well then you’re in luck. The team at Redbox Mobile Plc have created a platform known as Blackbox, a machine-learning tool for managing App store paid search campaigns.

Blackbox is sleek, easy to use, feature full platform. We are offering this year’s MWC attendees and exclusive $100 FREE media spend for every new app on the platform. This allows you to fully test out all the features yourself, before committing your own budget, so why not give it a whirl? The Blackbox team are on hand to assist you if you have any set up queries, just email admin@blackbox-platform.com.

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 money by running efficient campaigns and helping businesses like yours to get discovered in the App Store. It works by allowing advertisers to bid on relevant keywords, based on your app’s Meta data, and gives everybody a chance to reach the crucial number 1 position and achieve more downloads than ever before.

Of course, you can set up a campaign yourself on Apple Search Ads directly, using the Advanced version, or Basic if you are based in the U.S. Neither has the feature set and A.I that Blackbox does, so unless you are able to employ an army of experts, Blackbox will save you a serious amount of time whilst ensuring your campaign runs at maximum efficiency. Blackbox currently operates on iOS, with Android coming soon, so keep an eye on www.blackbox-platform.com for more information, or to be kept up to date with our news email admin@blackbox-platform.com and ask to be opted into our newsletter.

Want to know how to get started on Blackbox? Simple! We have created a video on the Blackbox homepage that shows you everything you need to know. Or Follow the steps below to be live in less than 2 minutes minutes:

  1. Go to www.blackbox-platform.com
  2. Select your app store territory and app
  3. Click “lets get started”
  4. Sign up with Google or your email & confirm your email address
  5. The campaign will now build for you, pulling in keywords from your metadata, category and competitors.
  6. Select any keywords you wish to boost
  7. Select your CPA Goals and budget
  8. You’re ready to go live! Make sure to check back regularly to see your results

The Blackbox team are on hand to assist you with campaign setup queries and to make optimisation suggestions. We look forward to working with you and wish you every success in the app store!



Redbox Mobile Plc was founded in February 2013. Redbox is an award winning, global, multi-lingual App Store Optimisation, Apple Search Ads and Google UAC agency that has successfully serviced over 700 apps and brands. We are proud to include The Times, Wall Street Journal, Sky and Redbull in our client portfolio. In June 2017, Redbox Mobile launched the Blackbox Platform, a first of its kind, machine-learning platform for managing App store paid search campaigns. Blackbox optimises towards conversions and is an efficient, scalable and easy to use method of driving more users to your app.

For media enquiries contact: Katharine@blackbox-platform.com

Useful links:

Follow us on Facebook

Connect on LinkedIn


Android is coming to Blackbox!

February 23, 2018

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 admin@blackbox-platform.com.

5 Mobile Marketing insights you need to be thinking about in 2018

February 2, 2018

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 admin@blackbox-platform.com.

Blackbox, The Machine Learning based Search Ads Tool

January 19, 2018

So you’ve developed an App and are ready to go to market. What next?

Hopefully you’ve invested some time into App Store Optimisation, this will aid your next step.

Paid search comes in many forms, at Blackbox we concentrate on Apple Search Ads right now, with more coming. Apple Search Ads Is the ability to advertise your App at the top of the app store, for selected keywords. It gives everybody a chance to reach the crucial number 1 position.

Blackbox superchargers Apple Search Ads to ensure you get the cheapest cost and the highest downloads for your budget. It is a machine learning based, sleek, easy to use and feature full platform. We are even offering $100 free media spend to every new app that comes on the platform! This allows you to fully test out all the features yourself, before committing any of your own budget.

Of course, you can set up a campaign yourself on Apple Search Ads directly, using the Advanced version, or Basic if you are based in the U.S. Neither has the feature set and A.I that Blackbox does, so unless you are able to employ an army of experts to make 500,000 tweaks and changes every day, Blackbox will save you a serious amount of time, whilst ensuring your campaign runs at maximum efficiency!

How do I get started? Simple! We have created a video on the Blackbox homepage that shows you everything you need to know. Or Follow the steps below to be live in minutes:

  1. Go to www.blackbox-platform.com
  2. Select your app store territory and app
  3. Click “lets get started”
  4. Sign up with Google or your email & confirm your email address
  5. The campaign will now build for you, pulling in keywords from your metadata, category and competitors.
  6. Select any keywords you wish to boost
  7. Select your CPA Goals and budget
  8. You’re ready to go live! Make sure to check back regularly to see your results

The Blackbox team are on hand to assist you with campaign setup queries and to make optimisation suggestions. To get in touch, email admin@blackbox-platform.com.

Facebook Twitter Twitter