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WEBINAR|Apple Search Ads Problem Solving: A Strategy Workshop.

What Is Apple Search Ads (ASA)?

Apple Search Ads | Definition

Apple Search Ads is an advertising platform within Apple’s App Store for app developers and marketers to promote iOS and iPadOS apps to users while they are searching for apps to download. It is a demand-capture platform targeting users at the moment they demonstrate intent to find apps, often leading to high conversion rates.

  • Functionality: When a user types a query into the App Store search bar, Apple Search Ads may display an ad at the top of the search results, giving the advertised app prominent visibility. The platform uses a cost-per-tap (CPT) model, meaning that advertisers pay each time a user taps on their ad.
  • Platform options: Apple Search Ads offers two platform options—Basic and Advanced. Basic campaigns are automated and allow for simple setup with minimal management, while Advanced offers more control over targeting, budgets, and bidding strategies.
  • Keyword bidding: Advertisers can bid on specific keywords related to their app; the platform uses an auction system to determine which ads are shown. Advertisers can use exact match, broad match, and negative keywords to refine targeting.
  • Measurement and attribution: Apple Search Ads provides metrics to measure ad performance, such as impressions, taps, conversions, and cost per acquisition (CPA). For more detailed post-install analysis, such as in-app purchases and user engagement, integration with third-party mobile measurement partners (MMPs) is used to attribute in-app events to ad campaigns. The resultant comprehensive analysis highlights the essential role of MMPs alongside Apple Search Ads for full-funnel performance attribution.
  • Privacy compliance: Apple Search Ads operates within Apple’s privacy guidelines and does not require user tracking or personal data collection, making it compliant with privacy regulations such as the App Tracking Transparency (ATT) framework.
  • Importance for marketers: With changes in user privacy and tracking on iOS, Apple Search Ads has become an increasingly important channel for app discovery and user acquisition on Apple devices. It allows for targeted advertising while respecting user privacy, providing a valuable source of high-intent app installs.

Related Terms

App Store