How are Apple Search Ads performing on the App Store?

Anne Freier | November 2, 2016

Mobile Advertising

Apple launched a new way for users to discover apps at the start of October. It began to show app ads alongside its search results in the App Store. Now, AppsFlyer has taken a closer look at the performance of Apple Search Ads to find out if developers have benefitted.
As app developers are finding it ever more difficult to get their new apps in front of an audience, the Apple Search Ad seemed like a viable move to increase engagement, retention and ultimately consumer spend. But has it been fruitful over the last month?
According to the research by AppsFlyer, the App Store is already one of the major ways to discover an app. Indeed, the majority of US users searched for apps directly in the Store. Word of mouth was also a good way to get engagement, but perhaps more remarkably discovery through advertising has gone up from 9% in 2015 to 11% this year.
App Discovery options
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Spend on Apple Search Ads doubled during October, suggesting that marketers have been satisfied with the results.
Apple Search Ad Spend doubles
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Retention rates across Apple Search Ads proved more successful than those among the top 20 ad networks. Retention remained strong until Day 30, where ad networks begin to catch up.
Ad retention rates
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The Search Ads were found to generate six in-app actions per install, which is the fourth highest ratio among top media sources.
In-App Events for a single app install
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However, making the correct keyword selection remains a core focus among app marketers. Indeed, 72% of search queries that resulted in an install were not based on the actual name of the app. AppsFlyer found that the average length of keyword was 2.4 words.
Keywords are key
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So far, so good. From these findings it’s clear that Apple Search Ads are certainly showing potential to deliver engaged users and retention. It remains to be seen if such results are sustainable.

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