Why advertise

What is Search Ads?

Search Ads is an efficient, easy way to help people discover your app on the App Store for iPhone and iPad.

There’s no better place to be seen than at the top of App Store search. You can reach high-intent, engaged users on the most affordable mobile ad platform.

About Search Ads Basic

What is Search Ads Basic?

Search Ads Basic brings you quality app installs with minimal effort at a predictable cost. Just set your goals and let us do the rest:

  • Pay only for installs at a cost you choose.
  • Intelligent automation maximises your results.
  • Quick-view dashboard tracks ad performance.
  • Minimal ongoing management needed.
  • For budgets up to $10,000 (U.S.) per app, per month.
  • $100 (U.S.) credit for a new account (eligibility applies).

Who can use Search Ads Basic?

You may be eligible to use Search Ads Basic if you’re a developer and have an app currently on the App Store for iPhone or iPad in:

  • Asia Pacific: Australia, Japan, Korea, New Zealand
  • Europe: France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Switzerland, UK
  • North America: Canada, Mexico, US.

You must have a valid email Apple ID to sign up. Apple IDs that use phone numbers only are not accepted. Certain exceptions apply, and all advertisers must comply with Search Ads Content and Advertising policies at all times.

View a list of countries and regions where your business must be located to be eligible to sign up for Search Ads.

How to choose the right version of Search Ads for your business

Search Ads has two solutions to choose from: Search Ads Basic and Search Ads Advanced. Choose the version that suits your level of expertise, resources, budget and experience with paid app marketing.

Search Ads Basic

  • How it works: No keywords or audience refinements. Intelligent automation matches your ad to interested users and maximises your results.
  • Payment: Pay only for installs at a cost you choose.
  • Management: Minimal ongoing management needed. Check your performance dashboard a few times per month. Adjust CPI based on Search Ads recommendation.
  • Reporting: Quick-view dashboard tracks ad performance.
  • API: Search Ads Attribution API but no keyword data.
  • Max Monthly Budget: Up to $10,000 (U.S.) per app, per month.
  • App Promotions: Promote up to 50 apps.

Search Ads Advanced

  • How it works: You choose keywords and audiences for your ads and set the max you want to pay for a tap based on customer value or other KPI. Control spend at the campaign level.
  • Payment: Pay only when a user taps on your ad up to a maximum price you choose.
  • Management: Access powerful marketing tools to control campaigns. Keep it simple with Search Match or manage by keyword and audience type to ROI goals.
  • Reporting: Access detailed reports of all key metrics.
  • API: Measure value and manage at scale with APIs.
  • Max monthly budget: Unlimited.
  • App Promotions: Promote an unlimited number of apps.

Can I use both Search Ads Basic and Search Ads Advanced?

Yes: but be aware that if you use both Search Ads Basic and Search Ads Advanced to promote the same app, any optimisations you have made in your Search Ads Advanced campaigns will not be considered for Search Ads Basic.

There is no advantage in the auction for running both Search Ads Advanced and Search Ads Basic at the same time as only one ad for the same app is eligible per auction, so you may just be transferring impressions from one to the other.

How to switch to Search Ads Advanced or to Search Ads Basic

If you already use Search Ads Advanced and would like to try Search Ads Basic, learn more or start now.

If you already use Search Ads Basic and would like to try Search Ads Advanced, learn more or start now.

You will still be able to access your account information for either Search Ads Basic or for Search Ads Advanced by clicking on the Search Ads logo in the upper left of your account screen.


How pricing works

Search Ads Basic uses a cost-per-install (CPI) pricing model. Your maximum cost-per-install (max CPI) is the price you set as the maximum amount you’re willing to pay for a customer to install your app. We suggest a max CPI based on what we know about your app and what similar apps are willing to pay to reach the same users. You can use our suggested max CPI, or choose your own. However, we recommend using our suggested max CPI to increase the likelihood of your ad being shown for relevant user searches.

Ad details

How ads are created

Search Ads Basic uses the app name, subtitle, description, preview videos and screenshots approved for your App Store product page to create your ad. If you change your App Store metadata, it can take up to 24 hours to be reflected in the ad preview within your account, and up to two hours for it to be reflected in your ad on the App Store.

All ads have a blue background and ad disclosure icon. It could appear in one of several formats as shown below in “How ads appear”, depending on the user’s device and what may work best for the search query and user.

Since ad appearance relies on metadata, take the time to review your app metadata in App Store Connect, before you start.

Review App Store metadata best practices.

How ads appear

Whether your ad shows over another developer’s ad is determined by the combination of your app’s relevance to the search query, your maximum cost-per-install and other factors.

Search Ads does not show ads for apps that are not relevant to what the user is looking for regardless of how much you may be willing to pay.

To see an example of what your ad will look like, sign in to your account, and select the promoted app you wish to view. An example of your ad will be shown to the right of the screen.