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Advanced | Overview

Book Search tab campaigns

Reach customers before they search

Ads on the App Store Search tab let you drive awareness and downloads of your app by promoting it in a prominent location, at the top of the suggested apps list. Millions of users visit the App Store Search tab every day to find and download their next app. With Search tab ads, you can capture the attention of these customers before they search. Like ads in App Store search results, ads on the Search tab can run in any eligible country or region where Apple Search Ads is offered. Ads are automatically created and seamlessly integrated into the user’s experience.

Search tab campaigns are only available as part of Apple Search Ads Advanced. Ads on the Search tab are created using the assets you’ve already uploaded to your App Store product page, and feature your app name, icon, and subtitle. Because of this, keywords aren’t needed for Search tab campaigns and Creative Sets aren’t available.

How Search tab campaign budgets and pricing work

When it comes to budget and pricing, Search tab campaigns offer flexibility similar to search results campaigns. There’s no minimum spend, you can invest as much or as little as you want, and you can also start, stop, or adjust your campaigns at any time.

Managing your spend is easy. Simply set your campaign budget and add a daily cap to control how your budget is spent over time.

Ad pricing is based on a cost-per-thousand-impressions (CPM) model, and you determine the maximum amount you’re willing to pay. The actual cost is a result of a second price auction, which calculates what you pay based on what the next closest bidder is willing to pay. As a result, you can bid competitively without the worry of overpaying. When you create a Search tab campaign or ad group, you’ll set a max CPM bid at the ad group level, and you can adjust it anytime, just as you do with bids for search results campaigns.

Note that an impression is counted each time at least 50 percent of your ad is visible for one second.

Create a Search tab campaign

  1. From the Apple Search Ads Advanced Campaigns dashboard, click the Create Campaign button.
  2. Choose the app you want to promote.
  3. Select where you want your ads to run. For Search tab campaigns, you’ll click that ad placement.
  1. Choose one or more countries or regions where your campaign will run. Note that if you plan to advertise in multiple markets, you may want to consider grouping similar countries and regions in one campaign for easier management.
  2. Click Continue.
  3. Apply campaign settings:
    • Name your campaign. If you’re running multiple Search tab campaigns, it’s a good idea to include a reference to the theme in your campaign name.
    • Set a campaign budget. The amount you set can be increased at any time, but you can’t decrease your budget once your campaign has started. Your ads will run until you exhaust your budget, reach your campaign end date, or pause your campaign.
      Learn more about managing budgets
    • Set an optional daily cap. This will help distribute your spend each day so your budget will last for a specific time period.
  4. Create an ad group:
  5. Refine your audience by device type, customer type, demographics, and location. The same types of audience refinements are available for Search tab ad groups as for search results ad groups.
    Learn more about audience refinements
  6. Set a start date for your campaign, along with an optional end date.
  7. Specify the times and days of the week your ads will run, if you have a preference.
    Learn more about ad scheduling
  8. Preview your ad.
  9. Click the Create Campaign button.

Duplicate Search tab campaigns

Duplication of Search tab campaigns and ad groups works the same way it does for search results campaigns and ad groups. When duplicating, keep in mind that campaigns and ad groups can only be duplicated to the same ad placement as the original campaign (that is, App Store search results or App Store Search tab).

Learn more about campaign duplication

View Search tab campaign reporting

Just like with search results campaigns, you can view performance reporting for Search tab campaigns on the Campaigns dashboard, Charts dashboard, and in custom reports. The Ad Placement column on the Campaigns and Ad Groups dashboards helps you quickly distinguish Search tab campaigns from search results campaigns.

Note that some reporting metrics only apply to search results campaigns, so you won’t see them in the reporting for Search tab campaigns. These include average CPT, impression share, rank, and search popularity.

You can also use the Apple Ads Attribution API to measure installs that originate from Search tab campaigns.

Learn more about reporting options

Set up budget orders for Search tab campaigns

You can use budget orders for Search tab campaigns, however they’ll need to be separate from budget orders for search results campaigns. When you create a new budget order, you’ll be able to assign the correct ad placement.

Learn more about budget orders

Use the Campaign Management API for Search tab campaigns

You can use the Apple Search Ads Campaign Management API 4.0 to programmatically create, manage, and report on Search tab campaigns. Earlier versions of the API won’t support this type of ad placement.

Note that the Campaign Management API 4.0 also requires users and third-party service providers to be authenticated using OAuth 2.0.

Get more details on using the API