For iOS users, the App Store is an important marketplace for quickly finding games, tools, and all the other apps that make our connected devices so useful that we’re rarely without them.
In fact, users spend the majority of their time on mobile–86%– in apps. However, because most mobile users are engaging via apps, Apple’s App Store is incredibly crowded. And in order to reach the top of those packed search results, Apple Search Ads bidding has become a bit of an art, especially since Apple makes no guarantees about which ads end up at the top.
According to Apple’s website: “Whether your ad shows over other advertisers bidding on that same query is determined by the combination of your app’s relevance to the search query and the amount of your bid.”
3 Types of Apple Search Ads Bidding Strategies
In order to win the top spot in search results, which goes to the most relevant app with the winning bid, advertisers must master keyword precision while understanding how to bid enough to stay competitive without overpaying. But best practices for Apple cost-per-tap (CPT) campaigns—in which advertisers pay only for the number of taps on their ad—go beyond simply adopting the advanced option. Different types of CPT campaigns require different strategies. A brand new, evergreen campaign, for instance, requires a different approach than a seasonal or existing campaign.
Here are 3 best practices for Apple Search Ads bidding across different CPT campaigns.
1) New Apple Search Ads (ASA) Campaigns
While no advertiser wants to overpay for a campaign, for new campaigns, hitting the sweet spot between a bid that is too high and one that is too low is often complicated. Luckily, Apple offers some help in finding the exact right bid.
In order to calculate how much you should be bidding for new search ads, Apple suggests that advertisers first decide how much they are willing to pay for each new customer or action. From there, make an estimate of how many new customers are likely to tap your ad, download your app, and take other desired actions.
Finally, take that percentage from the overall amount you’d planned to spend on a new customer. That should be the max bidding for search ads. Apple also automatically presents a suggested max bid when you create a new campaign or ad group in Apple Search Ads. Use that number as a guide, while also using the Apple Search Ads bidding formula to make a final decision on max bids.
2) Existing ASA Campaigns
Once you’ve gotten your Apple Search Ads bidding for new campaigns off the ground, it’s important to continue to monitor keywords and performance in order to adjust bids. For example, some keywords spike according to the season, so you don’t want to keep paying top prices in the winter for a keyword that really only performs in the summer.
Here are a few times you might want to raise your bids:
- Search Match is boosting conversions. Apple Search Ads can automatically match your ads to relevant keywords. If you notice that those terms are boosting conversions, you may want to up your Apple Search Ads bidding for them in order to earn more impressions.
- Keywords are delivering conversions below your cost per acquisition (CPA) goal. If your keywords are delivering conversions for less than the number you’d originally estimated, it might be worth it to up your bid to try and earn more impressions and conversions by gradually increasing your CPT goal.
- Popular keywords are not delivering impressions. If you’re not seeing the number of impressions you’d like from keywords that are highly relevant to your app, it may be time to increase your bid, then measure whether or not you see a boost in impressions and conversions.
However, sometimes it is best to lower your Apple Search Ads bids, especially when the keywords you have bid on are earning taps but not converting. Lowering the bid will decrease your CPA while also likely still winning you some taps.
3) Promotional ASA Campaigns
Some campaigns are only meant to run for a short time, perhaps around holidays or other seasonal events. For instance, a workout app might want to do a big push to win New Year’s focused on keywords that have to do with fitness trackers or logging fitness journeys. However, those keywords are only likely to see a boost in taps and conversions for a few weeks, which presents a different challenge from those posed by new or existing campaigns designed to be evergreen.
One of the best ways to see results for a promotional CPT campaign is to create a discovery campaign using the Search Match functionality in Apple Search Ads. Search Match will provide real-time reporting on keywords that are trending with searchers, and for campaigns that have a short shelf life, focusing your Apple Search Ads bidding on those seasonal keywords and then decreasing those bids when the seasonal rush is over might mean the difference between a successful promotion and one that disappears in a sea of search results.
Skai’s App Marketing solution for Apple Search Ads and more
As part of Skai’s omnichannel marketing platform, our App Marketing solution helps your app stand out among millions in the top stores with Apple Search Ads, Google Universal App Campaigns, and more. Skai leverages an advanced algorithm based on AI and machine learning to ensure your ads reach your target users. Increase installs and user acquisition with streamlined automation, optimization, and reporting.
For more information, schedule a quick demo to see all of our Apple Search Ads innovations for yourself.