Boost App Visibility with Multiple Search Ads Placements

9 min read

Apple Search Ads (ASA) provides a crucial platform for app developers and marketers to effectively promote their apps in the App Store, boosting visibility and increasing downloads. For apps using comprehensive marketing campaigns through Apple Search Ads, it’s crucial to strategically leverage multiple ad placements to get optimal results.

In this blog post, we will guide you on how to use and make the most of Apple’s multiple ad placements for your app growth.


Phased objectives to optimize Apple Search Ads

In the competitive app store market, leveraging Apple Search Ads focuses on two key goals.

  • Initially, the aim is to maximize exposure, downloads, and improve an app’s visibility and brand impact, laying the foundation for market presence and user base expansion.
  • The second phase focuses on acquiring high-quality users and improving return on advertising spend (ROAS).

Let’s look at how to effectively use multiple ad placements to achieve these goals in each phase.

Phase 1: Ad placements for advertising goals

In the first phase, the goal is to boost visibility and traffic. This involves leveraging all four ad placements – Search tab, Today tab, product pages, and search results – optimizing their unique strengths to achieve significant visibility and traffic.

Search tab

Ads on the Search Tab are a game-changer for app developers aiming to boost visibility and engage users precisely when they’re searching for new apps. By featuring your app at the top of the Search tab in the App Store, you tap into the behavior of over 70% of visitors who use search to find new apps, providing a golden opportunity to increase your app’s visibility and drive downloads at the start of their search journey.

Using assets from your existing App Store product page, such as your app’s name, icon, and subtitle, Search tab ads ensure your app is presented seamlessly, leveraging what you’ve already prepared to effectively attract and engage potential users.

For developers and marketers focused on enhancing app visibility and attracting more users, these ads are invaluable. They place your app in a relevant spot where users are making their decisions. This significantly increases your visibility, acting as a crucial element of your advertising strategy to connect directly with potential users and improve your app’s competitive presence. As a result, it not only drives higher downloads but also boosts user engagement.

Search tab ads helps you capture the attention of users just before they search on the App Store
Search tab ads helps you capture the attention of users just before they search on the App Store. Source: Apple Search Ads

Today tab

Today Tab ads present a great opportunity to feature your app at the heart of where millions begin their App Store journey each week. This placement’s immediate visibility upon App Store launch positions it as a powerful tool for boosting awareness, making it especially effective for showcasing new releases, special events, or seasonal promotions.

Crafted using your app’s assets uploaded to App Store Connect – such as your app’s name, icon, and subtitle – Today Tab ads create a seamless experience. They direct users to a custom product page (CPP), with a dynamic background animation in the ad, based on your app’s icon color scheme. This ensures the ad captures attention while staying true to your app’s brand identity.

By landing a coveted spot in the Today Tab, your app gains enhanced visibility and engagement. This offers a strategic advantage to boost your brand and increase downloads, especially during significant marketing initiatives or when launching new features.

Leverage the Today Tab feature to effectively engage with users as soon as they enter the App Store, seeking out new apps for discovery and download
Leverage the Today Tab to effectively engage with users as soon as they enter the App Store, seeking out new apps for discovery and download. Source: Apple Search Ads

Product pages

Product page ads are a dynamic way to capture the attention of users who are deep into exploring the App Store, by highlighting your app at a crucial discovery point. These ads pop up at the top of the “You Might Also Like” section seen by users who have scrolled through other product pages, showing they’re keen to discover apps like yours. This crucial positioning is perfect for targeting users in search of more app options, providing a seamless promotional window.

Created from your App Store product page elements, including your app’s name, icon, and subtitle, these ads ensure consistency with your app’s branding and message, offering a cohesive look within the App Store. By placing your app prominently among those being explored, product page ads not only boost your app’s visibility but also significantly increase the chances of downloads by interested users. Tailored category targeting further optimizes your ad’s relevance, improving your campaign’s effectiveness and overall performance.

Product pages ads allows you to showcase your app to potential users as they browse various pages within the App Store
Product pages ads allows you to showcase your app to potential users as they browse various pages within the App Store. Source: Apple Search Ads

Search results

Search results ads spotlight your app in the App Store, targeting users actively seeking new downloads. These ads appear at the top of the search results, providing unparalleled visibility and meeting users’ immediate needs. By using relevant keywords, your ads align with user searches, improving relevance. Choose your keywords or use Apple’s recommendations to match user intent. This approach often achieves conversion rates over 60%, boosting your app’s visibility and engagement.

Ads placed in search results allow users to find your app precisely at the moment they are exploring the App Store for new downloads
Ads placed in search results allow users to find your app precisely at the moment they are exploring the App Store for new downloads. Source: Apple Search Ads

Discover the potential impact of Apple Search Ad placements on ASO

Optimize keyword selection for Apple Search Ads

Effective keyword selection is fundamental in targeting your Apple Search Ads campaign efficiently. By categorizing keywords into brand and non-brand terms, you can tailor your strategies for improved visibility and increased conversion rates. 

  • Brand keywords: These terms are your golden tickets, directly linked to your app’s name or unique branded elements. They often lead to higher conversion rates, since they draw users already familiar with your brand, increasing the likelihood of downloads. Leveraging brand keywords is vital for enhancing your brand’s footprint on the App Store.
  • Non-brand keywords: This captures a wider audience and is indispensable for broadening your app’s reach. These can be segmented further into:

a) Trending: Capitalize on the latest trends or seasonal interests with these keywords to connect with the current public interests, making your app more relevant and sought-after.

b) Competitor: Attract users looking for apps similar to yours by including keywords associated with competitors’ apps.

c) Generic: Broad terms related to your app’s features or category can attract users in the early stages of decision-making.

d) Long-tail: Specific phrases with potentially lower search volumes but higher conversion rates due to their precise nature.A strategic approach to selecting and using various keyword types can significantly expand your reach and appeal to a wide array of user interests. This lays a solid foundation for your app’s growth in the App Store, ensuring a comprehensive advertising strategy.

Learn how to select effective keywords to maximize the performance of your Apple Search Ads campaigns

Phase 2: Improve user acquisition & ROAS

In the next step of our optimization strategy, we focus on attracting high-quality users and improving our return on advertising spend (ROAS). This involves utilizing two key ad placements provided by Apple Search Ads: product pages and search results.

  • Product pages: By targeting individuals with a higher predicted lifetime value (LTV), we can adapt our advertising to appear across different app categories. This precision in targeting allows us to either aim for a wider audience or concentrate on specific categories that align closely with our app. This increases relevancy for our target audience. Implementing this strategy is crucial for targeting users who demonstrate significant payment behaviors and a high LTV within the App Store.
  • Search results: Positioning our app at the forefront of search results for pertinent queries captures the attention of users who are not only ready to engage but are also more likely to make in-app purchases, signaling a strong customer lifetime value (CLV). Through strategic bidding on keywords, we improve our visibility to a high-intent audience, thereby elevating our ROAS.

Case Study: Idle Heroes

Idle Heroes, a game where players earn rewards through battle even when inactive, saw Apple Search Ads as its top user acquisition platform. The challenge was to find an efficient, quality-driven acquisition strategy to support the game’s in-app purchase model.


“Our goal is to always seek out valuable players. Our experience with other games showed that users actively searching on the App Store possess a higher LTV compared to other audiences, leading us to invest in Apple Search Ads for Idle Heroes,”  Futao Zhang, COO of DHGames.
Idle Heroes strategically optimizes its campaigns & increases CVR with Apple Search Ads
Idle Heroes strategically optimizes its campaigns & increases CVR with Apple Search Ads.

Strategy

  • Improve customer acquisition with keyword optimization: Idle Heroes and their partner agency MStars deployed targeted Apple Search Ads campaigns centered around distinct keyword strategies to boost efficiency. These strategies included campaigns for brand terms, as well as competitive and category terms to capture users searching for similar apps. By closely monitoring campaign performance and optimizing for conversions, they were able to allocate more resources to high-performing keywords and adjust bids for maximum relevance and impact.
  • Boost ad performance with tailored ad creatives: To increase relevance and attract the ideal audience, the Idle Heroes team utilized Creative Sets aligned with the most effective keyword themes. This approach involved showcasing the app’s unique features and how it stands out from other RPGs, thereby engaging potential users more effectively.

Impact

  • #1 in user acquisition performance
  • 60% higher conversion rate compared to other advertising platforms
  • 50% greater lifetime value from users acquired through this platform

Together, product pages and search results ads create a comprehensive approach to attracting users who are not only interested in the app’s category but are also at a stage where their engagement is more likely to lead to conversion. This targeted strategy is essential for driving both immediate downloads and long-term user retention.


Bottom line

Leveraging Apple Search Ads through strategic keyword optimization and ad placement combination is paramount for app growth. In the initial phase, the focus should be on increasing visibility and engagement through extensive keyword research, establishing a strong foundation for brand awareness.

The subsequent phase should then aim to acquire valuable users and improve ROAS by taking advantage of the targeted capabilities of product pages and search results ads. This dual-phase strategy ensures not only a spike in downloads but also long-term user engagement and value, which are vital for achieving sustained success in the competitive landscape of the App Store.


Nathan Huang
by , Founder & CEO
Senior Apple Search Ads Expert / Extensive experience in digital marketing & Apple Search Ads & SaaS