Modify audience settings

Make optional adjustments to define who can see your ads

When you create an Apple Search Ads Advanced campaign or ad group, audience settings are automatically optimized to help you reach the most App Store customers. If you’d prefer to drive app downloads or reacquisition among specific audiences, you can adjust your audience settings. Keep in mind that modifying your audience settings will narrow your audience and reduce the number of impressions your ad receives.

If you’re going to modify audience settings in any of your campaigns, it’s a good idea to also create a campaign that will reach all eligible users. This will allow your ads to appear to a broader set of users who may also be interested in your app, but may fall outside of your modified settings.

Device type settings

Apple Search Ads Advanced defaults to show your ads to customers who use device types that are compatible with your app. You can also choose to show your ads only on iPad or iPhone, or set different bids and audience criteria by device. Note that if you choose to serve your ad on iPhone, it may also show on iPod touch devices.

Tip: Use separate ad groups to optimize campaigns.

After running ads for a few weeks, say you notice the tap-through rate and conversion rate of people viewing your ad on iPad is higher than on iPhone.

Consider creating an ad group specifically for iPad users. This can help you optimize your campaigns by setting a max CPT bid that will maximize your impressions and reach with iPad users.

Location settings

By default, ad groups are set to reach all users in the countries or regions you choose for your campaign. However, Apple Search Ads Advanced supports location refinement within certain countries and regions. If your app serves specific areas only, this feature ensures you don’t use your budget to show ads for searches occurring outside those areas.

Some examples include:

  • A food delivery app that serves only the area around San Francisco.
  • A company licensed to do business only in Tokyo.

Note that location refinement capabilities are currently available in the following countries and regions only:

Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, China mainland, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Philippines, Poland, Romania, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, UK, and U.S.

Location refinements can’t be set within campaigns that are running in multiple countries and regions.

Customer type settings

Apple Search Ads Advanced automatically sets your ad groups to reach the broadest audience, but you can modify optimizations to focus on specific groups of customers. Customer type options include:

  • All users
  • New users
  • Returning users
  • Users of my other apps

All users

This is the default customer type when you create a new ad group. To provide your ads with the maximum reach for relevant App Store searches, it includes all prospective, former, and current customers of your app.

New users

This customer type maximizes the number of your conversions that will come from first-time downloaders of your app.

Returning users

This customer type enables you to reacquire customers who have previously downloaded your app. The customers who see your ad may have had the app in the past but have since deleted it, may have it downloaded on another one of their devices, or may have it currently on a device. Downloads in the first two scenarios would show up as redownloads in your reporting. If customers already have the app, they’ll see an Open button. If the app isn’t present on the specific device they’re using, they’ll see a redownload icon.

App redownloaders can be a valuable audience to target. Setting up your Apple Search Ads campaigns to include Returning users can help you optimize potential for both downloads and in-app spend.

Users of my other apps

Use this customer type to cross-promote your app to users of other apps you own.

Audience volume minimum

For ads with specified audience criteria to run, audiences must have more than 5000 customers. If the audience minimum isn’t yet reached, you’ll see your ad group on hold and a message informing you that the audience is below the threshold. Once the minimum audience size is attained, your ad group will automatically start running.

New downloads and redownloads

Gain insight into how many of your installs are new downloads or redownloads of your app to better understand customer behaviors and inform your marketing strategies. Redownloads occur when a customer downloads your app, deletes it, and downloads the same app again following a tap on an ad on the App Store or downloads the same app on an additional device.

You may still see some redownload conversions when using the “New users” setting due to the following:

  • A customer may have Personalized Ads turned off, which would prevent Apple Search Ads from knowing them as a returning customer.
  • Apple Search Ads doesn’t collect data on customers below the age of 18. App Store users under 18 may still see ads for apps they have previously downloaded, similar to customers who have Personalized Ads turned off. No ads will be shown to customers whose Apple IDs are registered to minors under 13 years of age or whose accounts are registered as Managed Apple IDs.
  • The first time the “New users” customer type is selected for an app, it can take up to seven days for Apple Search Ads to ensure prior downloaders of your app are excluded from seeing your ad. During this time you may receive a small number of conversions that are redownloads of the app. Any future ad groups that use the “New users” customer type for the same app will automatically exclude prior downloaders from seeing the ad.
  • A customer who very recently downloaded the app may not yet have been identified by Apple Search Ads as having the app and may be served the ad.

For Campaign Management API users, the New Downloads and Redownloads install data fields are available in the Campaign Management API via the reporting endpoint.

Demographics settings

Apple Search Ads Advanced optimizes your ad groups to reach customers across demographics, but you can refine your settings by age and gender if preferred. Keep in mind that no ads will be shown to customers whose Apple IDs are registered to minors under 13 years of age or whose accounts are registered as Managed Apple IDs. The youngest audience age you can target in the countries and regions where Apple Search Ads is available, including the U.S., in Europe, and in Latin America and the Caribbean, is 18. In Canada and Korea, it’s 19, and in Japan, it’s 20. If you run a campaign across multiple countries and regions, you’ll see 18 as the youngest targetable age, but ads will only serve to customers who are the appropriate age as defined by their country or region, as specified above. Ads for apps with a 17+ rating will automatically serve to only users age 18 or older (19 or older in Canada and South Korea, 20 or older in Japan) even if you don’t set any age refinements.

For other apps, if you select All Ages, you may reach users under 18 years old. However, Apple Search Ads doesn’t target only users under 18 years old. Again, no ads will be shown to customers whose Apple IDs are registered to minors under 13 years of age or whose accounts are registered as Managed Apple IDs.

Note that when you apply age and gender refinements, you automatically exclude customers with Personalized Ads turned Off.

Understand how the Personalized Ads setting works on users’ iPhones
and iPads

The Personalized Ads setting on iOS and iPadOS devices gives customers choice to control how their information is used for Apple-delivered advertising. Starting with iOS 15, Apple presents an active prompt to users when they first open the App Store. A growing number of users are choosing to turn off the Personalized Ads setting, limiting the use of their information for advertising delivered by Apple. In fact, 78 percent of App Store iOS 15 search volume came from devices with Personalized Ads turned off in the first quarter of 2022.*

When a user turns Personalized Ads on, their age, gender, or app downloads and purchases may be used to help determine which ads they see. If you modify your audience settings to reach certain types of users, those within your desired audience who have Personalized Ads turned on will be able to see your ads.

When a user turns Personalized Ads off, their information won’t be used to deliver ads. If you modify your audience settings, the people in your desired audience who have Personalized Ads turned off will not see your ads.

To maximize impressions, you may want to choose to display your ads to all eligible users.