Mastering Apple’s Custom Product Pages to level-up your ASA and ASO performance
As part of a slew of updates that came with iOS 15 back in 2021, Apple released its Custom Product Pages (CPPs) and Product Page Optimization (PPO) features. This brought about huge new potential for brands and user acquisition managers to engage and convert users with much more precision than was formerly possible on the App Store.
Whether you’re new to the world of Custom Product Pages or are looking to refine your approach, we’re here to help you define the most strategic way to leverage their full capabilities. Meet your audiences with the most relevant and engaging representation of your app possible, boost your Apple Search Ads (ASA) and App Store Optimization (ASO) performance, and drive up conversion rates.
What are Custom Product Pages and how do they work?
Every app on Apple’s App Store has a product page, which is the landing page users are directed to either via organic discovery or paid advertising. Custom Product Pages enable developers to create similar but distinct versions of these product pages so that different app features and elements can be highlighted according to the needs and preferences of the intended audiences.
The idea is to match the specifics of the product page to either the user’s search intent, or to the expectations of the user arriving via a paid campaign. By tailoring all customizable aspects of the content included on the page, users are given a crystal clear understanding of how they benefit from the app in relation to the creative (or keyword) that drove them to the page. And high relevance equals high conversion.
It’s currently possible to make 35 Custom Product Pages, with each page able to have different app screenshots, preview videos, promotional text, and more. Anything you’re able to edit when creating the default product page can be changed for each of these 35 versions, and you can edit any of them at any given time.
By creating unique URLs for each of the 35 variations, you can easily send your specific target audiences to the pages you’ve created, test the conversion performance, optimize as needed, and ultimately decrease your UA costs. You can also create specific pages for promotions and events, seasonal relevance, marketing channels, locations, and more.
What’s the difference between Custom Product Pages and Product Page Optimization?
Both iOS 15 features, Custom Product Pages and Product Page Optimization, are similar but distinct. PPO is a feature that allows you to test the performance of your default product page creatives, and should be a fundamental part of your ASO strategy. CPPs, on the other hand, are versions (customizations) of the default product page, where the focus is shifted to highlight different app features or experiences. CPPs are accessible via the unique URLs assigned to them and are attached to paid keywords/ad groups. PPOs are available organically and are used for A/B testing to determine the most effective standard, parent version of your product page.
PPO focuses on perfecting and optimizing your product page, and you can select how much traffic you want to send to a specific version/treatment, but can’t specifically link them to targeted audiences. The idea is to optimize for the best possible catch-all, high conversion, default product page. CPPs are indeed versions of the default page, but are not designed for A/B testing, per se–at least not directly.
You can create three additional variations to your standard product page for PPO testing and optimization, and you can create 35 additional CPPs with unique URLs to reach and target specific audiences. In short, think about PPO as an organic, ASO feature, and CPPs as a paid, ASA feature.
Custom Product Pages for Apple Search Ads
Custom Product Pages are a fundamental way to improve your Apple Search Ads performance, because you’re able to assign the specific pages to ad groups (this is the level at which the integration takes place in Search Ads) and create ad variations and creatives that match to the CPPs or vice versa. This means that when a specific ad is run, traffic flowing from that ad will be sent to the CPP you assigned instead of to the default product page.
In practice, the functionality can be understood like this: If you’re running a campaign focused, for example, on a specific element of your fitness app such as a wellness and meditation feature, it will be significantly more effective to send users to a CPP with videos, text, and images that focus on those features within your app, instead of a more generic, catch-all page that covers everything from A-Z. In the example pictured below, you can see three CPPs for the app Mountain Climber.
Setting up Custom Product Pages for ASA
When creating your Custom Product Pages variations, you need to land on the perfect amount of personalization to achieve utmost relevance to the target audiences of each—highlighting the key feature for relevancy without necessarily burying the overarching theme and offering of your app. To do so effectively, there are two things to focus on. The first is setting everything up in Search Ads correctly so that you are sending the right audiences to each page, or rather, ensuring you have the perfect page for each of your unique audiences. Next is the conversion optimization on the pages themselves.
Let’s start with the Apple Search Ads side of the equation.
A fundamental part of working on the App Store, keywords are the key way that rankings and visibility are achieved. When a user searches and sees your ad, a CPP with correlating ad copy will help you stand out from the competition because of the granular matching. Let’s think about the Mountain Climber app example above, for the keyword ‘Bike Trails,’ they’ve created a CPP that specifically targets this search intent, and the same for Backcountry Trails and Rock Climbing. This makes the resulting page highly relevant for users, instead of it being generic. They immediately see the keyword they searched. Imagine you search ‘Bike trails’ and get the generic Mountain Climber ad which links to the default page. You might still click, but you’ll be far more likely to click if you get their ad highlighting Bike Trails along with the CPP that provides information and visuals on this feature.
Most apps have multiple unique selling propositions (USPs) and each will have a somewhat different target audience or will appeal to users in different ways. Much like with the bike trails and rock climbing examples above, the page can be leveraged to focus specifically on these features in terms of content, but you might also want to hone in on a specific tech relevant to these topics. For example, there might be certain AI aspects relevant to bike trails, or a social feature for rock climbing. Anything linked to the keyword should be highlighted, and these features should be reflected in the ad copy. The closer the ad and the CPP match to the keyword (or campaign copy) the higher the conversion rate will be. You want to show users exactly what’s great about your app, in relation to exactly what they’re looking for.
We talk about the importance of localization all the time. CPPs can also be used to further improve your internationalization efforts and reach audiences with the most appropriate messaging and feature optimization. So, instead of just running translated versions of your pages, you can specifically designate CPPs tailored toward your key markets, including specific countries and regions, as well as other demographics like gender, age, etc. if relevant.
Optimizing Custom Product Pages for conversion
Now that you know the frameworks to keep in mind when determining which CPPs to make and how to reach audiences by leveraging ad groups in ASA, let’s look at how you can effectively and strategically optimize each of your 35 variations for enhanced performance. Think about all the work you put in to optimizing your default page from an ASO standpoint. For CPPs, you’ll basically want to do that another 35 times but with the individual page theme and goals in mind.
Nail the promotional text
At only 170 characters, getting the promotional text right can be difficult. These 2-3 sentences are essential to conversion and a key way to differentiate your CPPs from one another. Promotional text won’t impact your keyword rankings on the organic side, so it's purely an on-page conversion mechanism. It should, however, be as relevant to the search intent of the specific keyword or campaign goal as possible. The intention of this text is to grab peoples’ attention as quickly as possible, clearly and concisely summarize the information, and drive conversions.
Screenshots are one of the most important things to get right in your entire App Store strategy, and are an essential customization point on your CPPs. As with all conversion optimization, it’s about matching the content you include to the keyword or ad group you’re linking to the given page. Each page can have up to 10 screenshots. You should always have the first screenshot reserved for the most impactful and relevant for the given page, with the next two also extremely important, and the following six a little more flexible. They should be engaging, visually beautiful, and work to highlight the best parts of your app while portraying it in a very positive light. Don’t overpromise, but also don’t be afraid to be a little optimistic, either.
High-quality, well-designed video content works well across the board, and that’s no exception on your App Store landing pages. You should clearly communicate your app’s value—as related to the topic of the CPP. The length should be between 15-30 seconds, should incorporate text elements in case viewed on mute, and should be created in both landscape and portrait. This is your opportunity to showcase the best possible in-app footage to entice users to hit the download button.
Learn more about crafting the perfect videos for the app stores.
Custom Product Pages and App Store Optimization
Custom Product Pages are not indexed organically on the App Store, meaning if a user searches for a keyword that a CPP was specifically designed for, they’ll only be able to see it as a paid ad result. This means there isn’t any direct impact on your ASO efforts, but the uplift can be significant.
In general, successful paid efforts on the App Store/ASA front positively impact ASO, as the conversion rate of a page will influence the likelihood of Apple’s algorithm to push the app’s rankings up. And because CPPs should fundamentally improve conversion rates, et voilà, organic/ASO results should benefit greatly.
A great way to measure this is by leveraging incrementality, which makes it possible to see any incremental impact served to your organic results by your paid efforts. Any move toward privacy-centric measurement and analytics in general is also a smart one, making implementation of incrementality a win-win.
Running an ASA campaign where you’re bidding on specific keywords that drive traffic to CPPs and yield improved conversion rates should, in turn, result in significantly increased impressions, downloads, and better organic performance. Regardless of whether the traffic comes from paid or organic, converting higher on a keyword should result in an improved position for that keyword. These efforts can also be directly linked to your app’s category rankings, which will bring in further traffic.
While we generally think about the ways that paid efforts can help boost organic results, you can also use the analytics gained from ASA and CPP results to inform your ASO. For example, specific keywords and CPPs that perform well will give you insight into strategic optimization that can be made on the PPO side.
Custom Product Pages and Adjust
CPPs are an extremely useful tool for marketers and app developers on the App Store, allowing granular capacity to highlight features and functionalities relevant to target audiences, tailor content preferences, showcase deals, promotions, and seasonality, and meet traffic sources and mediums with the most accurate representation of your app offering and USP possible.
Once you have your set up in place and are ready to go live, test, and optimize, you need analytics and measurement capabilities you can rely on. This way, you’ll know where to allocate your budgets, the right moments to pause or scale a campaign, and when to dedicate your team’s time to rethinking a CPP and its intention.
Adjust fully supports CPP functionality via redirect parameters, campaign-level parameters, and dynamic callback parameters. The former allows you to send users to a specific App Store page, and the latter two enable measurement of performance from the different pages. When running an ASA campaign specifically, you can also use the iAD parameter to share the AdId from the Apple Ads API response. All of this data can then be plugged into our attribution and analytics suite to allow full, privacy-compliant measurement and insight into performance.
For more information on how to tackle your Custom Product Page strategy to bolster your Apple Search Ads and App Store Optimization performance on the App Store, and how Adjust can support in the measurement and optimization of your efforts, get in touch with your contact person today or request a demo to get started.
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