If you are reading this blog, you probably own an app. Is that true? And I am sure that your app is amazing. Am I right? Of course, it is a great app, because you invested months of work to develop it and you put all your dreams in your creation when you submitted to Apple App Store. But it seems that you are the only one that knows how useful your app is, because it is so hidden in the huge list of apps which solve big problems but nobody finds it. When a user searches for keywords related to your app, there are so many apps before yours which don’t allow him to discover that your app is perfect for his needs. If we go on with the assumption we can say that you heard about a solution for your problem. That’s right. That solution is represented by Search Ads in Apple App Store. Although you think that method solves your issue, you are not sure how it works. For this motive we are going to share the most important aspects of Apple Search Ads and we will accompany you on your way to make your awesome app visible to users.
The first question that flies through your head could be “Why is this method so special that will increase discoverability for my app?” The answer is simple. The ad looks exactly the same with other apps listed organically in the search results with a single exception. It has a small blue icon with the text “Ad” under the app title. The main reasons for its efficiency are the native aspect of the ad and the fact that your app will show up first when a user is looking for something similar to what you offer.
If your app is not relevant for users’ search, Apple won’t approve your ad, no matter how much you are willing to pay. The focal point of the entire service is the bond between users’ interests and the app. This observation is very important for those who believe that money solves everything, including the promotion of a low quality app. Moreover, Apple announced few months ago that all the apps available on app store but with errors and without technical support from their developers will be deleted from the market.
Now that we clarified what exactly mean Search Ads on Apple App Store, let’s get to work. What are the most important stages that your app needs to complete in order to be prepared for meeting its users?
First of all, be sure that your app will fulfill the expectations of users in the moment they will download it. You need to understand that your app needs to meet users’ requirements when your ad will reach its purpose.
Let’s make this straight. No matter how great your ad is, nothing assures you that the person who sees it will end up downloading your app. He will reach the app store page and if he is not convinced about your professionalism then everything is lost. You need to invest all your effort into creating a perfect app page. You are not sure how to do that? Well, every little element on this page counts and your interest in improving this page has to be equal to the energy you devoted to creating your app. Choose the best screenshots, the most appealing video and the most interesting app name using less than 50 characters. Search relevant keywords and add them to app title. After that, use them to describe your app in a fascinating manner. We have an entire folder full of articles that can inspire you in this process.
You should know by now that your vision about the app is not the same as your users’ opinion. Listen to their feedback and change your app according to their pertinent requirements. After that, don’t forget to announce them about the modification. The best practice is to explain your changes in that form you complete when you add a new version of your app, and you must do that, but be aware that not all visitors read those notes. To be sure, you can add the novelties right in the review section, since everybody reads that. You make a good impression and they will understand that you are there to maintain the app for them.
To make sure that users are satisfied by the ad they find in the top of the search results, Apple created some rules to match the search with the proper ad.
Your app will be verified to be in relation with terms searched by users on app store. Find out what words are relevant for your app and use them in both your app title and app description. There are two options for search match evaluation: the Broad Search Match, which is the default one and The Exact Search Match which can be selected for more specific words.
As we said above you need to optimize your app store page since Apple analyze the metadata to figure out whether your app is relevant for the campaign. When your app is verified, all the elements available on your app page will bring their contribution for the final result.
Users’ reaction to your ad is very important because, if your ad is not generating taps then, Apple will minimize its frequency until you will end up with no promotion for your app.
We recommend that always the center of your strategy must be your audience. From developing to promoting the app you must focus on your users and their common characteristics.
Concentrate your campaign in a specific area and specify that zone in your keywords. If your app serves just some locations there is no reason to show your ad for users which don’t live in that section. With a proper segmentation you will have better results.
Nothing stops you to choose the best keywords you consider appropriate for your app. Long tail keywords are thought to be more effective and relevant because they target a more specific audience, as the keywords have a distinct meaning. For directions you can use our guide for Long Tail Keywords.
In other cases, for better performance you can target your users following special dimensions like:
The secret is to bond your app to the most relevant audience, and this is the core of Apple Search Ads.
We know that this is your big chance for success but there is no need to break your budget in a blind way. You need to act smart and to invest the money in a proper manner even if the entire percentage of revenue will end up into your pocket.
The paying system is Click Per Tap, which means that you are bidding the maximum sum you will afford to pay for one tap and that amount will be compared with your competitors’ offers. The price is calculated on a second bid auction, so the cost will be set according to the bid of the nearest competitor. Be careful though, because as we mentioned earlier, there is no guarantee that a user who clicks on your ad will eventually download your ad. Prepare your budget to avoid bad surprises.
It makes sense to start with the smallest amount you can offer for the ad and, after that raising the sum. So the ad reaches the results you are hoping. If you start with the biggest bid you have no were to go further and you need to quit your campaign. Start small and expand only if you are on the right track. Experimenting on a low budget will give you the liberty to choose something else if the decisions you made so far are not that efficient.
Apple recommends calculating your max budget to 40% of what you think each user will cost, because not all taps convert into downloads. Keeping your eye on the budget for each day when users tap on the ad, will allow you to determine a target for your campaign.
As you can figure out, keywords are really the KEY. But you can’t see the results in real time. You need to wait a couple of days to see if your strategy is effective.
If you want to prove the relevance of your app for what your possible users will search, be careful with your keywords. They will determine whether your app is appropriate for the needs of your uses. As you can see above some effective campaigns reached success using two or three terms for their keywords.
There are times when some keywords are more special, like big events or some holidays. Why to let go such an opportunity, mainly if your app is related to those occasions. Since searches are different for each day you need to take advantage of these momentums.
We showed you in what way Apple Search Ads can help you to bring your app in front of users in the exact moment when they are looking for an app like yours. If you follow the above plan, you will be ready to spread the word about your triumphal campaign. And don’t forget that you still have time to get the $100 promotional credit offered by Apple until March 30, 2017. Invest in the success of your app!