How to Best Use Apple Search Ads for Subscription Apps?

Best practices to promote subscription apps using Apple Search Ads.

Apple Search Ads is a valuable marketing tool for developers and app marketers. It is a mobile advertising platform that helps promote subscription apps on the App Store. If appropriately used, ASA can acquire high-quality users who perform the desired actions and reward your marketing expenditure. That is why it is essential to have an effective ASA strategy. Every app needs a different approach to make the best use of ASA. You can follow several tips to create a unique plan for your advertisement strategy and optimize it when needed.

You can optimize Apple Search Ads by including search ads best practices like Apple Search Ads keyword research, using negative keywords, and ensuring to measure ASA post-install performance. Before we dive into these practices, let us discuss what exactly Apple Search Ads is and how it benefits your subscription apps.

What is ASA or Apple Search Ads? 

Apple Search Ads is a brilliant way for users to discover your apps. It is an acquisition channel that brings in more customers by increasing the discoverability of your subscription apps. It is an effective marketing strategy for developers to promote their subscription apps on the Apple Store. Advertisers bid to appear on the page when a user searches for a specific keyword. It connects the app to the right clientele at the right time, increasing the chances of conversion.

It is a cost-effective solution to create specifically tailored campaigns. You can use custom parameters like demographics, keywords, and user behavior. Hence, you can increase app visibility and reach potential customers. ASA has many features like audience insights, conversion tracking, creative sets, etc. It brings in more downloads and conversions by maximizing the effectiveness of the advertisement campaigns.

There are two versions of Apple Search Ads- Basic and Advanced.

Apple Search Ads Basic

Apple Search Ads Basic is suitable for new app marketers. As the name suggests, it is the simplified and automated version of ASA. App marketers who are new to advertising will benefit from this app. It is simple to set up, and you can suspend your app advertising whenever you want. The functions are more straightforward, and a quick-view dashboard tracks your progress. ASA Basic is available for a budget under $10,000 per app. Above that, you need to get an advanced version. 

Apple Search Ads Basic has many advantages. For instance, you only pay for the installations at your selected price. It has intelligent automation and simple management. It is suitable for people spending 10,000 USD or less per month. Since it is the Basic version, it lacks features like keyword refinement, audience refinement and restriction on access to the attribution API.

Apple Search Ads Advanced

You can optimize your audience strategy to maximize efficiency and improve your ROI. The advanced version gives you more control over your campaign. It gives you more control over parameters like Ad groups, keywords, targeting, budget, and custom reporting. The access to advanced analysis gives you a better undertaking and thorough insight into how your campaigns work. This way, you can tweak the parameters needing improvement and achieve desired outcomes. 

The Basic version only allows ad placements on the search result page. But with Apple Search Ads Advanced, you can promote your app on the Today tab, Search tab, Search results and other apps’ product pages. If you put in effort and time, you can realize the parameters that work the best for you and give your app the marketing it needs.

How are Apple Search Ads Helpful for Subscription Apps?

ASA shows up above the search results at the top of the page. It connects advertisers with potential clients searching for your same or related services. When potential customers search for an app, your app will show up on the first spot. Since the user is already interested in the service you provide, the conversion chances are high. 

The App Store has over 1.7 million apps. So your subscription apps must be visible in the relevant search results. If you have a proper marketing strategy, you can avoid getting lost in a sea of similar service providers. Your aim should be to leave behind the competition and show up at the top place. Apple Search Ads is the best way to accomplish it. You can set your apps apart from thousands of other similar apps. Your app will show up in the search results of specific keywords. The users searching for the service your app offers will connect to your app when they need it the most. If you use ASA properly and use apple search ads best practices, you can reach your target audience and ensure maximum conversion. 

Apple Search Ads Best Practices for Subscription Apps

There are many ways to optimize the performance of your Apple Search Ads. You definitely get more freedom with the Apple Search Ads Advanced version. Here we talk about the Apple Search Ads tips/practices you can use with both the Basic and Advanced versions. Some of these tips are based on the broader range of control the advanced version gives you. Follow these Apple Search Ads tips/practices and optimize Apple Search Ads for the best results.

1. Review App Metadata

Your metadata determines the appearance of the ad, so review it carefully before launching the campaign. You won't be able to change it afterward, so ensure it paints the picture you want.

2. Bid Optimization

Advertisers should optimize their bids to keep up with the latest trends. Track your performance and change bids accordingly. For instance, increase bids on high-performance keywords that generate more revenue and change strategy for campaigns that do not yield desired results. 

3. Use Target Keywords

Understand your target audience and determine the keywords they will use to search services you provide through your subscription apps. Focus on specific keywords for more conversions- they have limited competition but a targeted approach.  

4. Negative Keywords

Using negative keywords wisely can filter out insufficient bids and cancel out competition against yourself. 

5. Geo-Segmentation

ASA advanced allows you to group similar countries or regions for a joint campaign. It is helpful for targeted settings. 

6. App Store Optimization

ASO- App Store Optimization is also essential for successful Apple Search Ads campaigns. Ensure your ASO game is strong since Apple uses the app's metadata fed in the App Store.

7. Cross-Promotion and Duplicate Settings 

Using your existing Apple ID linked with your App Store Connect account can help cross-promote your ads to existing users. Additionally, the duplicate settings allow you to copy settings easily. It is a helpful tip that can increase your customer base.

8. Measure ASA Post-Install Performance of Keyword

To evaluate the effectiveness of your ASA campaign or keyword, subscription apps need to track the conversion performance of paid acquisitions from ASA after installs. Apple's dashboard primarily tracks app installs. It is not precise enough to evaluate the lifetime customer value. For that, you should integrate ASA attribution or Campaign Management API into a competent subscription platform like, which is capable of tracking the post-install events at the campaign, ads group, and keyword level.funnel-analysis-with-ASA-advanced is free up to $10K MTR, create a free account(no credit card required) and begin tracking ASA's post-install events.

Wondering Why Apple Search Ad does not Work As It Should- Here's Why

If you encounter any problem with your Apple Search Ads, it could be due to the following issues. 

Lower Search Volume: If your target keywords have a lower search volume, people cannot reach your apps.

Technical Issues: Sometimes, the issues could be technical. Check your target settings and tracking options and see if they are set right.  

Bland Ad Copy: An ineffective ad copy could be why your Apple Search Ad is not generating enough conversions. Always write compelling and relevant ad copy.

Ineffective Ad Targeting: You should target your ads appropriately for better click-through rates. If the ad targeting is too broad or narrow, you can miss out on the target audience. 

Low-Quality Score: If your ad does not match the search queries, it has a low-quality score. It will not show up in search results, getting fewer clicks. 

Fortunately, Apple Search Ads has analytical tools to help you track your performance. You can use them to see where the problem lies and fix them to maximize the efficiency of your campaigns. You should use a third-party app like to track your progress and measure ASA post-install performance for additional security.

Measure ASA Post-Install Performance with the Best Free Subscription Platform is a mobile subscription measurement tool that allows you to create funnels. funnel analysis enables app developers and advertisers to evaluate the effectiveness of marketing channels with entire app users' lifetime value. It will track everything: from installs >> trials >> subscriptions >> churn. It will follow the lifetime value of your installs and give you valuable insights for data-driven decisions. You can use's funnel analysis for free up to $10K/MTR. So, what are you waiting for now? Create a free account(no credit card required) on and try it today!

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How to Best Use Apple Search Ads for Subscription Apps?

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