Apple Search Ads is undoubtedly the most effective marketing channel for acquiring iOS app users. As a result, app marketers often allocate significant marketing budgets towards it in order to maximize their return on investment and optimize their spending.
To accurately assess the value of their investment, app marketers need to measure the performance of Apple Search Ads in terms of the actual value derived from paid acquisitions. This deeper understanding of ad campaign effectiveness leads to improved strategies for Apple Search Ads and more effective budget allocations.
In this article, we will discuss how to measure the performance of Apple Search Ads using a mobile measurement provider (MMP), as recommended by Apple, in order to gain valuable insights into the effectiveness of Apple Search Ads campaigns.
Before delving into the details, it is essential to familiarize yourself with all the pertinent information about Apple Search Ads.
Apple Search Ads Reports Provided by Apple
Before we reveal the reasons for using a MMP to track ASA performance, let’s first talk about what reports Apple provides.
If you are promoting your apps with Apple Search Ads, you may already know Apple offers reports for both ASA Basic or ASA Advanced.
1. ASA Basic Report
In the ASA Basic dashboard, you can see the status of your app promotions, how they‘re performing, and how much you’re spending. Metrics you can see encompass CPI (Average Cost-Per-Install), Installs, Max CPI (Maximum Cost-Per-Install), Monthly Budget, Spend, and Status. You can choose the current month, the last calendar month or the last three calendar months to see the performance metrics.
2. ASA Advanced Report
If you are using ASA Advanced, there are three kinds of performance reports with important Apple Search Ad metrics for you in your Apple Search Ads Advanced account:
- Campaigns dashboard: From this dashboard, you can see performance metrics(namely Spend, Avg CPA, Avg CPM, Avg CPT, Avg Daily Spend, Impressions, Taps, Installs, TTR (tap-through rate), CR (conversion rate), New downloads, Redownloads) of any campaigns from four taps——Campaigns dashboard; Ad Groups dashboard; Ads dashboard and Keywords and Search Terms tabs.
- Charts dashboard: The ASA Advanced Charts dashboard shows ads performance by data, countries and regions, ad groups, keywords, devices, or audience refinements. Plot metrics include Spend, Avg CPA, Avg CPM, Avg CPT, Impressions, Taps, Installs, TTR (tap-through rate), and CR (conversion rate).
- Custom reports: Custom reports in Apple Search Ads Advanced allow setting reports to the exact granularity you need, running expansive queries for key metrics at the keyword, ad group, campaign, country or region, or app level; and scheduling reports to automatically run daily, weekly, or monthly.
For more details, click the Official Apple Search Ads report to know more. And now let’s talk about why we should use a MMP to better understand how effective apple search ads are.
Why Use an MMP to Track Apple Search Ads Performance
While there are valuable metrics and reports available to assess ad performance, they may not provide a comprehensive understanding of the true value of Apple Search Ads. This is where an MMP comes in, and there are three key reasons why:
1. Inability to attribute specific app users to ads campaigns or keywords in Apple Search Ads reports can hinder understanding of in-app behaviors and product usage of acquired users. However, an MMP can link users to their acquisition channels or creatives, enabling the creation of cohorts for comparison and timely adjustments.
2. Apple Search Ads reports do not track post-install events of users from different ad campaigns, which limits the ability to determine revenue generated by each campaign or keyword, the lifetime value of users from each campaign or keyword, and breakeven points.
In contrast, an MMP can provide these insights, allowing for a clear understanding of the effectiveness and value of each ads campaign.
3. Apple Search Ads reports only offer Excel spreadsheet exports, requiring manual work to track, organize, analyze, and gain insights. On the other hand, an MMP typically presents data in a more intuitive and visually appealing way, facilitating deeper insights.
By leveraging an MMP for tracking Apple Search Ads performance, app marketers can gain a more comprehensive understanding of ad effectiveness, user behavior, and revenue generation, while minimizing manual efforts in data analysis.
How to track Apple Search Ads Performance with Appflow.ai
After understanding the significance of using an MMP to effectively monitor Apple Search Ads performance and make informed marketing decisions aligned with app business objectives, let's delve into the process of utilizing one to track the performance of Apple Search Ads. In this case, we will be using Appflow.ai as the MMP of choice.
Appflow.ai - a MMP for Subscription Apps to Track Apple Search Ads Performance
Appflow.ai is one of the mobile measurement providers as well as a subscription analytics platform to help build, analyze, manage, test, and grow in-app subscriptions.
This robust functionality enables measurement of the true value of Apple Search Ads at multiple levels, including ads campaigns, ads groups, and keywords, through easily understandable and visually presented funnels.
Measure ASA Performance for Subscription Apps Using Applow.ai
You can integrate Appflow.ai with your subscription apps to start tracking how effective the ASA campaigns are. The steps are as follows:
Step1: Install Appflow.ai SDK into your subscription apps
Sign up and install Appflow.ai SDK by following the iOS set-up instructions:
- Set up SDK
- Fill all required Keys
- Call APIs to get all required user information at Appflow.ai
Note: you can skip this step if you are already using appflow.ai for tracking in-app subscription data.
Step 2: Integrate with Apple Search Ads
Set up built-in Apple search ads integrations on the dashboard by following the step-by-step guide.
Then you are all set.
Note: You may need technical support in the above two steps.
Step 3: Track Apple Search Ads with Appflow.ai’s Funnel Analysis
When you finish the setup and start receiving in-app subscription data, it is time to track the post-install events of users acquired from Apple Search Ads. You can do it just in three steps:
- Log in to Appflow.ai subscription analytics dashboard; Direct to Analytics>Funnels.
- Select the time period that you want to analyze.
- Choose “Apple Search Ads“ from the channel filter, you can further choose the ads campaign, ads groups and keywords according to your need. After finishing choosing the filter, a visualized funnel will be presented to you automatically.
The default events tracked are installs>trials>subscriptions>refunds/renewals-off. Note that you can also send custom events to appflow.ai and create custom funnels with those events. You will also have access to the ROA of Apple Search Ads.
The post-install funnels are able to answer, at least, the following questions:
* how is the post-install conversion of all your app users?
* which marketing channel brings you the most paying users?
* which SKU selling the best across marketing channels/countries?
* which step has the highest drop-off along the entire user lifecycle?
* which keyword/campaign/channel has the highest trial/paying conversion?
* what is the ROAS of Apple Search Ads？
Pro tips: Now you can also integrate with Adjust and track the post-install events of all your user acquisition channels. And it is on the Free plan!
One of the key elements in achieving your app business goals is making data-based marketing allocations and optimizing for higher ROAS (Return on Ad Spend).
During the decision-making process, it is vital to measure the true effectiveness of your Apple Search Ads at a more granular level: at the campaign, ads group, and keyword level. So you can know exactly which to abandon and which to scale.
While Apple Search Ads may not provide these insights on its own, utilizing a Mobile Measurement Provider (MMP) like Appflow.ai can greatly assist in gaining valuable insights along the way!
Schedule a call and talk about how Appflow.ai can help improve Apple Search Ads👇
How to Measure Apple Search Ads Performance