Apple Search Ads has helped app developers target keywords and audiences directly in the search results. Paid marketing through Search Ads has proven to be helpful not only for getting paid downloads, but also for increasing organic keyword rankings. Now it appears that Search Ads is expanding to outside the App Store, presenting new opportunities for app marketing.
Search Ads Expansion
Reports of a recent update to Apple’s Search Ads Campaign Management API indicate that ad inventory will be opening to other search channels. This extends beyond the App Store and potentially into channels such as Maps, News or Safari.
The API has two new parameters: “supplySource” and “adChannelType.” This indicates that advertisers will need to specify the end location for their Search Ads campaigns, although they do not yet make it clear what the end location options will be.
According to Apple’s developer documentation, “supplySource” parameter indicates where Apple’s platform can find the source of ads in a campaign. It also indicates that “adChannelType” specifies conditions such as the channels the ads are made for – the App Store’s spot for Search Ads is one such channel.
Apple has attempted running advertisements outside of the App Store before, such as 2010’s iAds, which ran display ads across mobile devices. Search Ads has proven to be a successful marketing channel on the App Store, so if it can extend this methodology to other channels, it may be helpful for app developers.
What Developers Should Know
Apple Search Ads has provided high returns on investment for mobile apps, as well as an average conversion rate of 50%. Extending it to additional channels could prove beneficial to app developers and marketers hoping to reach users outside of the App Store.
One major benefit Apple Search Ads has is that by placing ads in the App Store search results tied to specific keywords, it directly targets interested users. If it extends to additional channels, it should still be tied into search results. This can potentially work well for channels such as Maps, where Search Ads can be tied to specific or nonspecific searches; users looking for a local restaurant may be interested in downloading an app for food delivery, for instance.
Depending on the channels Search Ads extends to, developers should consider if their app is relevant to searches made in those channels. As an example, users are unlikely to search Maps for mobile games, but may use Apple’s Safari to search for game recommendations.
Another important benefit of Search Ads is the impact it has on organic positioning. If a user clicks on a Search Ad in the App Store, it will count as a click for the targeted keyword. Whether that will remain the same if the ad appears in channels outside the App Store remains to be seen.
Depending on the channels Search Ads extends to, this can be beneficial for app developers and marketers. Developers and marketers should consider how their app can benefit from Search Ads in new channels and be prepared for new updates as they arrive.
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