In the month of Apr’16, we learnt that Apple jump on the bandwagon of SEM business in an attempt to explore adding Google-like `paid search ads’ feature. After a beta period, they have finally introduced Search Ads for the app store.

What is Apple Search Ads?

Apple Search Ads is a similar program like Google Search Ads that allows developers to promote their app at the top of App Store search results.  Similar to Google, developers pay only when a user taps on the ad (cost-per-tap model – CPT), and Apple auction system ensures they pay a fair market price.

Why was Apple Search Ads Introduced?

The Apple app store now has more than 1.5 million apps. Over the years, developers have experienced apples inability to add fresh app discovery tools for users (despite the acquisition of app search engine – Chomp), making it extremely hard to discover new apps in the crowded market.  According to Apptentive, there are more than 85 percent of apps that rarely get visibility at the top list of the app store.  Considering these challenges to the current state of app discovery, Apple introduced search ads.

Why You Should Start Advertising with Apple Search Ads?

Reason 1: Be in the driver’s seat and control app discoverability in the App Store to drive app downloads.

Reason 2: Reach your target customer at the very moment searching for apps like yours

Reason 3: Increase app awareness/app name recall value by positioning at the top of  app store search results

How the Apple Search Ads Auction Works (pricing) ?

Search Ads program work on a cost-per-tap model (CPT) model, developer pay only when a user taps on the ad. The cost per tap is calculated based on the amount nearest competitor is willing to pay for a tap on their ad, up to your maximum CPT bid.

How to Create Apple Store Search Ads (ad details)?

Technically, you don’t need to create anything. Search ads use the metadata information and images uploaded during App Store listing.  If you are planning to run search Ads Campaign,make sure you have compelling metadata and images to attract taps on the ads.

One thing to remember though, if you change App Store metadata, it will take up to 17 hours to reflect in the ad preview (under campaigns) and up to two hours for it to be reflected in your Search Ads listing.

How do App Store Search Ads look?

Please see the below the snapshot. All search ads are shown in blue color background with ad disclosure icon.


A couple of things to remember, app ad would appear only when, app is relevant to the search query and the amount of bid.

If you are excited to give maximum mileage to your app, then head to and launch your first campaign. According to Apple, “Eligible developers can receive a $100 promotional credit when they sign up for Search Ads. Promotion starts on September 20, 2016 and ends on December 31, 2016”.