What are Apple Search Ads (ASA)?

Glossary What are Apple Search Ads (ASA)?

Apple Search Ads (ASA) is an advertising platform designed to help app developers and marketers promote their iOS apps directly within the App Store. The platform facilitates the creation and management of campaigns with specific budgets, ad groups, and targeted keywords. With custom keyword-bidding strategies and the search match feature, ads are automatically aligned with relevant user searches. Apple Search Ads also allows for audience refinement, ad scheduling, and multi-regional promotions through customized App Store product pages.

How do Apple Search Ads work?

Apple Search Ads offers two service levels: Basic and Advanced, catering to different expertise levels. Apple Search Ads Basic is ideal for newcomers, automating campaign setup, keyword selection, and bid optimization, allowing quick launches with minimal effort. It sets CPI goals and budgets but offers limited control over targeting and optimization.

In contrast, Apple Search Ads Advanced provides extensive control, and supports promotions across search results, the Search tab, the Today tab, and product pages. Advanced offers detailed performance metrics and reporting, enabling deeper insights and optimization.

There are four promotion methods to select from:

  1. Branded
  2. Category
  3. Competitor
  4. Discovery

There are also four ad placements:

  1. Search results
  2. Search tab
  3. Today tab
  4. Product pages (You Might Also Like)

How to optimize Apple Search Ads with Adjust: Your Apple Search Ads partner

Adjust reports aggregated ASA campaign data in Datascape. To set up Apple Search Ads reporting, start by linking your Apple Ads account in Adjust's DataWorks > Connections. Then, once the SDK and AdServices framework are integrated, the Apple Ads Attribution API measures and attributes app installs. One of two attribution responses will display:

  1. User has opted into ATT: Detailed response types with a click time rounded to the minute.
  2. User has not opted in: Standard response types without a timestamp.
How Adjust integrates with Apple's attribution API

Since the Apple Ads Attribution API and Apple Search Ads Campaign Management API are different, there might be instances where campaign details are not immediately available at attribution. When campaign details aren't available straight away, Adjust initially displays IDs only, which are updated once the details become available.

Adjust can provide keyword-specific data at the creative level if you're using the Advanced solution of Apple Search Ads and have disabled Search Match at the ad group level, manually setting the targeted keywords. If Search Match is enabled, Adjust will list keywords as unknown since Apple automatically matches ads to search queries. You can have ad groups with both enabled and disabled Search Match simultaneously in the same campaign, giving you flexibility in your targeting strategy.

Ready to start optimizing your ASA campaigns? Learn more about Adjust’s ASA reporting, or request a demo to see how we can scale your app growth.

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