A Practical Guide to Apple Search Ads: Tips & best practices

Apple search Ads

Apple Search Ads, or “SFS,” is a new way to advertise on Apple’s search engine. It’s meant for app developers looking to acquire new app users and improve their App Store ranking. The best part about SFS is that it doesn’t cost you as much as traditional paid advertising methods (e.g., Google AdWords). That said, it still requires some knowledge of optimizing your strategy to get the most bang for your buck. Without further ado:

Why use Apple Search Ads?

Apple Search Ads are a great way to reach your audience on mobile devices. They are easy to set up and manage, so you can get your ad campaigns up and running quickly.

Apple Search Ads offer high-quality traffic that converts well—generating higher click-through rates than other networks. It also provides access to the powerful customer insights of one of the world’s most valuable companies.

Getting started with Apple Search Ads

Ads are the main component of Apple Search Ads. An ad group is a container for ads and keywords, which are used together to define your campaign’s target audience. For example, you could create one ad group for users in the United States and another for those who live outside the US. A single campaign can contain multiple ad groups.

Each ad consists of one or more lines of text (called headlines), an image, and optional extensions like Call Extensions or App Store interstitials that appear at the bottom of search results on mobile devices. When users click on them, they’ll be taken directly to your app’s landing page within their device’s browser or app store (depending on where they’re located).

In order to start creating ads, you need to first create an ad group with at least one keyword assigned to it:

Choosing your target market

To create your campaigns, you will first need to choose the devices and locations you want to advertise. This can be done using the product, device, keyword, audience, and store location catalog.

When choosing your products in the product catalog, search for a set of devices that have similar attributes (e.g., iPhone XS Max). Once selected, click on “All Targeting” under “Show:” and select any additional parameters needed, such as language or geographical location, before clicking “Done” to save this selection for future use. You can also choose from several targeting options under “Show:” such as age range or gender, by selecting one at a time from each drop-down menu located under “Targeting Options.”

Optimizing bids

Optimizing bids is a way to increase your click-through rate (CTR) and ad position by decreasing your bid. This is not the same as cost-per-click (CPC) bidding, which might result in higher costs due to increased competition for keywords. Optimizing bids allow you to set a maximum bid for each keyword, ensuring they never exceed their budget.

Optimizing your keywords

Use long-tail keywords.

Long-tail keywords are more specific than broad matches and, therefore, more targeted to your audience. For example, if you’re selling baby carriers in your store, “baby carrier” is too broad and likely to be too expensive per click (CPC). A better keyword would be “baby carrier black”. That’s a specific type of product that only people searching for black baby carriers will be interested in.

A broad match is good enough for most advertisers. Broad match means that the ad will show up when someone searches for any word or phrase within the phrase chunk of your keyword. For example, if you choose “women’s shoes” as a keyword, it will also show up when someone searches “men shoes”. While this does increase competition slightly (as other advertisers are more likely to pick up these less-specific queries), it still allows Apple Search Ads to accurately identify what users are looking for based on their search terms and serve relevant ads accordingly.

Use negative keywords wisely. Negative keywords help prevent irrelevant traffic from reaching your website by excluding certain words from triggering an ad impression. For example, if you’re targeting women’s clothing stores but don’t want men clicking on them by mistake (or vice versa). Adding “-Men” or “-Unisex” would prevent those types of results from being shown on the SERP itself.

Copywriting best practices

It’s important to know that Apple Search Ads is a paid search platform. This means ads are shown according to keywords. When creating your headline and body copy, you should use the product name in the headlines and your body copy. You can also include a call to action in the headline (e.g., Sign Up Now). You must use a descriptive benefit of your product within the body copy (e.g., Save 50% on Flowers). Finally, ensure a strong closing statement at the end of each ad (e.g., Get Started Today!).


We hope this guide has helped you get started with Apple Search Ads. If you have any questions or comments, feel free to reach out to our team!