Apple Search Ads

Updated: September 17, 2021

With the Apple iOS platform becoming the backbone of most mobile and app services, it’s easy to see why marketers would be interested in iOS Search Ads to connect with their users in a more effective way.

Find out how to enhance traffic for your apps via search with sponsored text ads and increase your visibility and brand awareness with some of the top Apple Search Ads platforms.

What are Apple Search Ads?

Apple Search Ads (ASA) is designed to drive traffic to your apps via search. The Apple Inc. iOS app promotion platform can connect you with your relevant target audience, allowing users to discover your app in an efficient and simple way when typing a search on the App Store.

As mobile app installs increase by 50%, with the rate continuing to rise, they are growing more and more important for businesses. Apps are massively playing an integral role in helping marketers connect with their audience.

Reach your audience when they least expect it.

Why do I need Apple Search Ads?

Did you know that 70% of App Store visitors use search to find apps, with Apple Search Ads having an average conversion rate of 50%? This is a significant number considering there are 20million registered iOS developers earning 500 million visitors per week via the App Store.

You may now definitely want to set up Apple Search Ads to attract users that have a proven interest in your common terms.

Allow your app to get discovered before users even search and appear at the top of the suggested apps list.

Start your Apple Search Ads campaign and watch your platform gain the awareness it deserves.

How do I set up Apple Search Ads?

When you first set up Apple Search Ads, there are two solutions available that offer a variety of options to redefine your campaign.

Choose the solution that fit your unique app requirements.


Apple Search Ads Basic vs Advanced: Which to choose?

The platform features two plans: Basic and Advanced.


Maximise your performance with ads at the top of App Store search results.


  • Currently available only for the US market
  • Set up your app ad campaigns with a specific CPI you choose and let it run independently – no need to manage it
  • The minimum budget for the Basic plan is $5,000 per app per month
  • Track your performance on our quick-view dashboard


Get your app seen before people search with Search tab ads, and when users search with an ad at the top of search results


  • Set up your target keywords & audiences you want to reach
  • Set bids and budgets you plan to spend
  • Only pay when mobile users tap on your ads.
  • The average Cost per Tap of Apple Search Ads is around $0.84
  • Track key metrics with detailed reports
  • Measure value and manage at scale with our APIs


Key iOS Search Ads tools

  • Reach engaged users at the exact moment they’re searching for your app
  • 70% of App Store visitors search to find apps
  • Set your own bids and budgets
  • View detailed reports of all key metrics
  • Pay only for installs at a cost you choose
  • Intelligent automation maximizes results
  • Pay only when a user taps on your ad
  • Quick-view dashboard tracks ad performance
  • Minimal ongoing management needed
  • Choose keywords and audiences for your ads

Apple Search Ads Formats

Apple Search Ads uses a single, sponsored ad that may appear at the top of search results when a user is searching:

Apple Search Ads Format Example

These iOS Search Ads have a blue background and ad disclosure icon.

They can appear in one of several formats, depending on the user’s device and what may work best for the search query and user.

Are Apple Search Ads really worth it?

With Apple recently being considered the most popular SDK following the release of iOS 14.5, there is no doubt that setting up Apple Search Ads should be at the top of your list to take your business to the next level.

While the strategy of iOS Search Ads is fairly similar to a typical search campaign, users interact with the App Store Store in a very different manner, with, for example, various search terms performing better than they would on alternative search engines.

This comes to show already how differently the Apple platform is utilised by users.

Help users find what they are looking for

Appear at the top of the App Store search results when a user types a relevant search term that matches your target keyword.

App Store visitors are considered a high-intent audience, as they fully intend on installing an app already.

All you need to do is convince them that your app has everything they need and more with Apple Search Ads.

Instantly match with ad keywords

You not only want to be ranked #1 on your app name but also on the top highly relevant and very popular keywords.

This is why you need to invest in Apple Search Ads.

It will allow you to run a fantastic campaign against your competitors, by also incorporating App Store Optimisation (ASO) so that you rise in rank for App Store search.

The more you optimise your app and use high search volume keywords, the more App Store visitors will see your app, the more downloads you will get, and the more revenue you will make. Simple.

Make more money with iOS Apps

It’s all about the money. And it is no secret that Apple’s App Store makes more money than the Google Play Store does. With Apple being the most popular SDK, the App Store continues to significantly make higher global revenues than Google Play.

This means that Apple users spend more, allowing us to conclude that they spend more than Android users.

So by using Apple Search Ads, you are a lot more likely to hit those high numbers than you are with other platforms. That’s because iOS users are spending money.

How much do Apple Search Ads cost?

While we are on the subject of money – let’s talk about the golden question.

Well, in short, Apple Search Ads is still fairly new in the digital space, so it is low in cost, promising high returns.

The emerging iOS Search Ads is a product that requires next to no special installation, or any configuration or modification of any sorts, allowing you to kickstart your campaign more or less right away.

This means that you can secure a high-quality volume of users to your app at extremely low costs.

Apple Search Ads is the only promotional channel that lives directly within the App Store

When users scroll through Facebook, Google, Youtube, and Instagram and come across ads, there are most probably not looking to install the app.

However, App Store visitors sure are!

So you can imagine how Apple Search Ads are converting, as they are helping them find what they are looking for, rather than disturbing and disrupting their browse.

But how much will it cost you to get started?

Apple Search Ads promo credit

When you first set up your Apple Search Ads account, Apple offers an Apple Search Ads promo credit, automatically giving you a $100 (U.S.) credit.

So, you can test the platform for free and see the results for yourself, understanding how well this will work for your business.

Anyone can get a new account credit if you’re a developer and registered account holder on App Store Connect, and have at least one app ready for sale on the App Store in the available countries and regions.

Get started with Apple Search Ads and give your app the recognition it deserves.

List of the best Apple Search Ads Companies


#1 ASO Tool for Apps & Games Driven by Data Science

(1 vote)
For example, you can find out which keywords your competitors are bidding on with Apple Search Ads, learn which keywords Google displays your UACs on, compare your ads’ Share of Voice....

AppTweak is the leading ASO tool driven by data science. AppTweak empowers mobile leaders – such as Amazon, Jam City, Yelp, Zynga and Adobe – to grow their apps and games with actionable insights in a simple interface.

Committed to developing the most accurate, transparent and easy-to-use ASO tool on the market, AppTweak supports over 1,500 app developers and game publishers worldwide. AppTweak’s all-in-one platform offers ASO Intelligence, Ad Intelligence, App Intelligence and Market Intelligence.

Services: ASO Intelligence, Ad Intelligence, Market Intelligence, App Intelligence
Offices: Brussels, Belgium – San Francisco, USA – Bangalore, India – Tokyo, Japan
Tagline: #1 ASO Tool for Apps & Games Driven by Data Science


Learn more about AppTweak



(3 votes)
Growth Consulting Paid User Acquisition on Facebook, Google, Apple Search Ads, Snap, TikTok, and Twitter App Store Optimization (ASO) User Engagement and mobile....

REPLUG is a leading app marketing consulting agency, supporting mobile-first startups and traditional organizations launching and scaling their mobile apps.

  • Services: Growth Consulting, Paid User Acquisition, Apple Search Ads, Social Media Marketing, App Store Optimization, User Engagement, Mobile CRM
Learn more about REPLUG


Your App Store Optimization (ASO) KPIs on One Dashboard

(2 votes)
202010-50---'s install growth, rating velocity, average keyword rankings, store listing conversion rates, and Apple Search Ads spend on one dashboard.

Metrikal keeps track of all of your ASO optimizations and visualizes how much growth they drive. Know exactly how your ASO efforts turn into results. Track all your ASO KPIs in one dashboard. Metrikal is perfect for UA managers, ASO managers, CEOs, and marketing executives since it allows you to monitor your app\'s install growth, rating velocity, average keyword rankings, store listing conversion rates, and Apple Search Ads spend on one dashboard.

Learn more about Metrikal


Boost your app growth with competitor intelligence

(1 vote)
com, an Apple Search Ads campaign management and optimization platform.

MobileAction is an app marketing insights & intelligence tool. Founded in 2013, the company has become the only platform that provides intelligence and analytics tools for every step in the app growth journey. 

  • Intelligence products include: Ad Intelligence, App Store Optimization (ASO) Intelligence, Market Intelligence, App Intelligence, SDK Intelligence.
  • Tagline: Boost your app growth with competitor intelligence

Learn more about MobileAction
Redbox Mobile is a fully service App Marketing and User Acquisition specialist agency and Apple Search Ads Partner.

Redbox Mobile is a mobile app marketing agency that specializes in search-related app marketing channels. The agency ‘s team consists of experts in App Store Optimization, running ad campaigns on Apple’s App Store Search Ads platform and Google Play search ads.

  • Services: ASO, App Store Search Ads, Google Play PPC
  • Offices: London, UK
  • Tagline: a multi award-winning App Store Optimisation and Search Ads agency


Learn more about Redbox Mobile

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