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Case Study

Gaming Powerhouse Boosts Apple Search Ads ROAS 79% With Automation

Vertical: Gaming


Increased average D3 ROAS

Increased in-app purchase revenue

Decreased average CPG


A popular online gaming platform with over 70 million DAU and 216 million MAU that provides users with cutting-edge technologies for game creation and gameplay. The platform offers an acclaimed array of user-generated content and immersive experiences while fostering a vibrant community of players and developers.


The user acquisition (UA) team struggled to scale their growth efforts on Apple Search Ads (ASA) in the face of several common pain points:

Optimizing spend based on post-install engagement: While new user acquisitions were a key success metric, the more important goal was post-install engagement in the form of registrations and in-app purchases. Since the ASA platform optimizes only on taps and installs, the UA team had to build reporting flows to find the keywords driving the best purchase and registration rates, then adjust bids manually. The process was slow and clunky, allowing the team to make such adjustments only once a week, resulting in wasted spend.

Efficiently testing new keywords: To scale their growth potential and move beyond non-incremental brand terms, the team was always on the hunt to test new keywords across different countries and regions that could drive a healthy tap-to-install ratio with solid post-install engagement. Unfortunately, the process to identify the keywords, manage test spend, monitor the results, and quickly pause underperformers proved laborious. The process wasn’t scalable and limited their ability to deploy a vibrant keyword-expansion strategy.

Time-consuming bid adjustments: The UA team spent hours each week adjusting minimum and maximum bid amounts across hundreds of keywords in different countries and regions to target their optimal cost per acquisition (CPA) and return on ad spend (ROAS). This tedious process had to be repeated whenever market dynamics changed bid pricing—resulting in a never-ending cycle that consumed valuable time and reduced team efficiency.

The UA team knew they needed to invest more to level up their ASA game. However, until they could figure out a scalable approach to manage additional keywords and campaigns and get the most out of any increased spend, they were reluctant to allocate more ad dollars to this channel partner.


The UA team engaged with Search Ads Maven, an Apple Search Ads campaign management provider and automation platform. Our experts worked closely with the company’s UA team to understand their challenges, growth goals, key performance indicators (KPIs), and ROAS targets on ASA. With this foundation, a strategy was devised for scaling the team’s workflows and automating campaign management with guardrails to maintain desired CPA rates and ROAS goals.

Utilizing Search Ads Maven, the UA team

  • Connected MMP data to auto-optimize to target cost per goal (CPG): Via the integration dashboard, the team was able to connect their mobile measurement partner (MMP) to auto-import post-install event data, then build custom goals into the platform based on specific post-install event actions and/or revenue from in-app purchases. This eliminated the manual reporting process and enabled them to create automation rules that prioritized budget toward keywords, ad groups, and campaigns able to drive optimal down-funnel engagement.
  • Templatized new keyword testing and optimization: The team activated Keyword Optimization Journey, a built-in strategy template. Groups of new keywords could be bulk-added and assigned desired test-spend caps. An automated process managed keyword bid ranges to gain traffic volume across impressions, taps, installs, and post-install goals, vetting out which keywords were performant enough to be added into dedicated campaigns. AI Suggestions within the Keyword Analysis dashboard could be leveraged to identify the best keywords to run through this process across countries, regions, and languages.
  • Automated time-consuming bid adjustments: Using Automation Studio, automation rules were set up to monitor CPA and ROAS hourly throughout the day and auto-adjust min and mix bids across brand and non-brand keywords to maximize spend efficiency. This saved hours for UA team members who previously did this manually.

The combined efficiency gains from automation saved hours of manual labor every week, freeing up time to focus on overall strategy.


The company analyzed results for 13-day periods before and after employing Search Ads Maven. The results were exemplary:

  • 79% increase in D3 ROAS
  • 50% increase in revenue from in-app purchases
  • 12% decrease in average CPG, defined as registration events

Moreover, with automation revealing which keywords shined via increased budget, the company saw a boost of 8% in keyword terms driving registration events. Two overseas regions in particular enjoyed ROAS increases of more than 125%.

By harnessing the power of Search Ads Maven, the case subject experienced remarkable outcomes. This assured them that each new ad dollar spent to scale Apple Search Ads would now pull its full weight, empowering them to increase advertising spend with confidence and continue to drive exceptional performance while maximizing ROAS.

Implementing ASA Automation with Search Ads Maven

In the ever-evolving landscape of digital marketing, embracing innovative campaign management and automation tools such as Search Ads Maven is a strategic move that not only keeps agencies and brands ahead of the curve, but also unlocks a world of data-driven possibilities. ASA campaigns become more strategic and efficient when you’re not stuck in the weeds trying to perform all of the manual adjustments and optimizations yourself. Automation makes your ASA campaigns quick and responsive to changing market dynamics, fluctuating keyword bidding rates, and other variables.

Interested in running a free 30-day automation test against your ASA campaigns? Request a demo here.