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August 23, 2023
8 min read

Apple Search Ads Guide: How to Launch and Analyze Your ASA Campaigns

In this article, we will talk about the benefits of Apple Search Ads, different types and structures of campaigns, and also look at revenue analysis using Apphud and other services.

Apple Search Ads Guide: How to Launch and Analyze Your ASA Campaigns

Do you want to promote your app and increase the number of installations? Consider Apple Search Ads (ASA for short) as one of the most effective channels to attract users! It is a powerful platform that will help you reach your target audience and increase awareness of your app.

Benefits of Apple Search Ads

An important feature of this advertising channel is that the users attracted are partially organic (the advertised applications appear at the top of the search query with a low visibility badge indicating that it is an advertisement). This fact means high-quality traffic.

Considering that 70% of App Store installs come from search, this is a significant factor.

Of course, we shouldn't discount the merits of other popular iOS user engagement channels such as Meta/Facebook, Google Ads, Snapchat, and TikTok. But ASA is also a great and not badly scalable source of traffic.

Why is Apple Search Ads an important marketing channel?

In addition to direct traffic, this channel helps protect and promote your app's brand.

Brand Protection

It is not uncommon to see situations in the App Store where competitors rise above the target app by brand key and collect the most delicious traffic for themselves. This can be due to miscalculations in SEO as well as a lack of protection of your own brand keyword with App Search Ads.

If competitors are encroaching on users searching for your brand, it's worth running a campaign to outbid them.

Brand Reinforcement

The same thing works in reverse. You can advertise on competitors' branded keywords that don't protect your own key positions, thus increasing user awareness of your app.

Boost Key Positions

Another piece of good news is that paid installs through Apple Search Ads count as organic installs, strengthening the positions of targeted keywords by pumping natural organic traffic to them.

Apple Search Ads Basic vs Advanced

There are two solutions for marketers: Apple Search Ads Basic and Apple Search Ads Advanced. Which one you choose determines the tools available to you, with ASA Advanced offering significantly more options to refine your strategy.

In the case of Basic mode, the main rate will be CPI (Cost per Install), while in the case of Advanced campaigns, it will be CPT (Cost per Tap).

  • *Advantages of Advanced Mode
  • More ad placements
  • Keyword and ad group optimizations are available
  • Full access to all available Apple APIs
  • No limit on the maximum budget and number of apps
You can use both solutions, but any optimizations made in ASA Advanced will not be applied in Basic when you promote the same application. However, the optimal choice is always to use the Advanced mode, as it offers much more flexibility and options.

Types of Apple Search Ads campaigns

Exact match

In this case, the application will appear in searches ONLY for the keywords you specified when setting up your Apple Search campaign.

Broad match

In this case, you still need to specify the desired keywords, but Apple will display the app not only for these keywords but also for other similar keywords that the system deems relevant.


This type of Apple Search Ads campaign is suitable for finding new high-converting keywords, as well as for new apps at the beginning of their growth when specific keywords that will perform well are not yet known.

Optimal campaign structure

It's important to create well-structured campaigns to better control their overall campaign performance. For example, Apple recommends structuring campaigns based on search results by dividing keywords into 4 separate campaigns.

Apple Search Ads recommends the following campaign structures:

  • Brand Campaign: Important to protect your brand name from competitors and to easily reach users who want to download your app.
  • Generic Campaign: Important for identifying users searching for keywords related to your app.
  • Competitor Campaign: Attract customers using keywords related to competitors' brand names. Create app visibility for users searching for keywords related to competitor brand names.
  • Discovery Campaign: Need to understand what users are searching for and discover new relevant keywords using Broad Match or Search Match to increase user reach.

This is the best structure for launching campaigns:

The best structure for ASA campaignsThe best structure for ASA campaigns

To successfully find profitable keywords, you can think like a potential user, use app store optimization platforms, or search for new keywords through discovery campaigns.

Thinking like a potential user helps advertisers target more relevant keywords, especially when researching competing brands.

Advanced analytics for insider insights

Revenue Analytics with Apphud

Apphud provides advanced revenue analytics for Apple Search Ads. It allows you to understand the revenue from different cohorts of users broken down by Campaign/Ad Group/Keywords. Here are some examples to help you understand how it works.

For example, you can see which campaigns generated the most revenue over a selected time period.

Revenue from Apple Search Ads campaigns, ApphudRevenue from Apple Search Ads campaigns, Apphud

You can also track subscription retention at the keyword level in Exact Match campaigns.

Retention of subscriptions in segmentation by ASA Keywords, ApphudRetention of subscriptions in segmentation by ASA Keywords, Apphud

Another key metric is the long-term LTV. In this case, we see a significant difference in this metric for different keywords.

Cumulative LTV up to 365 days across various ASA Keywords, ApphudCumulative LTV up to 365 days across various ASA Keywords, Apphud

Automation with Asapty

The built-in analytics in the Apple Search Ads console allows you to evaluate overall campaign performance and basic metrics such as TTR and CVR.

However, there are tools that provide more detail and analysis, as well as added convenience in the form of automation tools. Also, you can use Asapty for more granular analytics.

Example of analytics in AsaptyExample of analytics in Asapty

Apphud has an integration with Asapty to transmit additional revenue data.


Advertisers have many ways to promote their apps. With Apple Search Ads, you can promote your apps at the top of the App Store search results.

Apple Search is a great user engagement channel because you are promoting an app that the user is already interested in. By following our tips, you can create successful Apple Search Ads campaigns, reach a wider and more targeted App Store audience than ever before, and drive quality installs.

Launch your Apple Search Ads and analyze it with Apphud to gather even more successful results!

Head of Product at Apphud
10+ years in mobile. Anton started his career as a backend developer, last 3 years has been working as a product manager. He created a podcast dedicated to software dev. Successfully launched (and sold) his own apps.

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