Since its inception in 2016, Apple Search Ads have been an important feature of Apple’s App Store. With millions of apps listed in the store and limited real estate on small device screens, landing a top spot with a relevant product listing is often a critical component of making sure an app finds its audience.
Here are six Apple Search Ads targeting tactics you can use to reach and engage your customers better.
Search Match targeting
One of the most interesting default features of Apple Search Ads Advanced is Search Match, which allows you to more quickly get your searches off the ground.
This feature analyzes ads and then offers automatic Apple Search Ads targeting by linking your ad with a search term, saving the time and money advertisers usually spend making lists of keyword possibilities for bidding. Search Match draws its suggestions from many different sources, including the metadata from your own App Store page and those of apps in the same category.
While Search Match offers a quick and easy approach to Apple Search Ads targeting, keywords are still critical to any successful App Store advertising strategy.
In Apple Search Ads, advertisers can bid on keywords the same way that they would in a PPC ad and offer additional ways for advertisers to refine their keywords. The default setting is its “broad match” function. Broad match saves time normally spent on cultivating keyword lists by running ads on related variants of your keywords. Some Apple Search Ads targeting examples using broad search include things like foreign language matching. Apple uses the difference between “amigo” and “friend” to explain related terms.
However, advertisers can also choose the “exact match” option. Advertisers can select a specific keyword and limit the variants for which ads will run, such as misspellings. With Apple Search Ads, negative keyword matching is also possible, allowing advertisers to choose terms with which they do not want their app associated in search results.
Customer Types targeting
Another interesting tool for Apple Search Ads targeting is the ability to target audiences based on how they have interacted with your app in the past.
Using the audience refinement tools, you can target all App Store customers, new users, returning users, or users of your other apps. This feature ensures that you can customize ads to target all searchers, whether they’re just learning about your app, have used it in the past, or might be interested based on their enthusiasm for your other products. Pairing the right creative with each customer type can help you boost your ad ROI.
For most advertisers, finding and targeting the ideal user is important. And once you’ve decided who your app is for, Apple Search Ads targeting makes it easier to find those audiences by targeting based on age and gender. Demographic targeting is one of the most popular targeting types offered by every ad channel—including offline advertising.
One caveat: No ads are served to children under 13, and the youngest audiences advertisers can target in the U.S. are 18, with age requirements even higher in other countries.
Also, marketers should know that using demographic targeting can limit audience size depending on if users have turned on or off Personalized Ads.
When a user turns Personalized Ads on, their age, gender, or app downloads and purchases may be used to help determine which ads they see. If you modify your audience settings to reach certain types of users, those within your desired audience who have Personalized Ads turned on will be able to see your ads.
When a user turns Personalized Ads off, their information won’t be used to deliver ads. If you modify your audience settings, the people in your desired audience who have Personalized Ads turned off will not see your ads.
To maximize impressions, you may want to choose to display your ads to all eligible users.
Device type targeting
One important way that Apple Search Ads allows advertisers to target new audiences is by device.
By default, Apple will only serve ads for apps designed for tablets to those users and likewise for other apps intended specifically for a certain device. However, even if your app is compatible with all devices, Apple Search Ads targeting features will allow you to adjust your bids based on device type, set different audience criteria based on device, or show specific ads only on iPads or iPhones.
Note – not available in all countries and regions.
For many apps, location is everything, and Apple Search Ads offers options for region-specific apps. Some Apple Search Ads targeting examples for location-based targeting include offering interactive trail maps to users located near national parks or food delivery services that are focused on local cuisine.
As explained earlier in the demographic targeting section, location targeting may also restrict your audience if users have turned off Personalized Ads. If you aim to maximize impressions, it might be preferable to display your ads to all eligible users.
Apple Search Ads targeting solutions 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.
To learn more about Skai or to see our cutting-edge innovation firsthand, please schedule a brief demo today!