Set audience refinements

Define who can see your ads and when

Apple Search Ads Advanced gives you tools to efficiently drive app downloads or reengagements among specific audiences you want to reach. Keep in mind that if you narrow your audience too much, you’ll reduce the potential impressions for your ads.

Refine your audience by device type

Apple Search Ads Advanced defaults to showing your ads to customers who use the device types your app is compatible with. You can also choose to show your ads only on iPad or iPhone, or set different bids and audience criteria by device.

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.

Refine your audience by location

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 waste your budget showing 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.

Focus on specific types of customers

You can refine your audience at the ad group level by these customer types:

  • 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 reengage 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 Limit Ad Tracking (LAT) turned on (if they’re using a device with iOS 13 or earlier), or Personalized Ads turned off (if they’re using a device with iOS 14 or later), 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 LAT turned on or 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 user” 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.

Limit Ad Tracking conversion reporting

Apple Search Ads offers transparency into aggregated counts of installs (downloads) from devices with Limit Ad Tracking (LAT) On or Off:

  • LAT On installs - Downloads from customers who have enabled LAT on their device. LAT On install totals don’t include downloads from devices running iOS 14 or later.
  • LAT Off installs - Downloads from customers who haven’t enabled LAT on their device. LAT Off install totals don’t include downloads from devices running iOS 14 or later.

Due to Apple’s Privacy Policy, LAT On install data cannot be passed through the Apple Search Ads Attribution API used by mobile measurement providers (MMPs), so the number of attributed conversions reported by your MMP may be lower. Total installs in Apple SearchAds reporting may also differ from totals of LAT Off and LAT On installs, as additional downloads may come from customers using iOS 14 or later.

From the Campaigns dashboard, you can view LAT On and LAT Off install data fields by clicking “Edit columns.”

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

Focus on particular demographics

You can refine your audience by age and gender with Apple Search Ads Advanced. 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 most of the world, including the U.S., 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. Ads for apps with a 17+ rating will also only be served to appropriately aged customers.

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 LAT turned On or Personalized Ads turned Off.