How to Measure and Optimize Apple Search Ads Campaigns

Apple Search Ads is one of the most powerful tools in a modern marketing toolbox. Running Apple Search Ads campaigns helps mobile marketers increase brand visibility and app downloads by promoting your app exactly where users are looking: the top of App Store search results.

How Effective is Apple Search Ads?

According to Kenshoo, Apple Search Ads spend by app marketers on the Kenshoo platform has grown by almost 90% since Q3 2018.

Why are so many marketers investing in this channel? Likely because 70% of App Store visitors use search to find apps and 65% of all downloads follow an App Store search.

Even more compelling? Apple Search Ads has an average conversion rate of 50%, so incorporating them into your mobile growth strategy is a no-brainer.

Here’s why Apple Search Ads is so effective: An ad is displayed in response to an App Store search, where users show extremely high intent by actively searching for an app.

Best Practices for Running Apple Search Ads Campaigns

Let’s take a look at some of the ways you can maximize your Apple Search Ads campaigns for even more powerful results.

1. Start with a Solid Foundation

Before you do anything else, put in the work to make sure your app’s product page is high-quality enough to get users to convert once they land there. Optimize your app metadata in App Store Connect before you start a campaign or risk users dropping off between ad click and install.

2. Keep a Close Eye on Performance

Actively monitor your Apple Search Ads campaigns to scale back low performing campaigns and expand high performing campaigns. This will enable you to maximize results and ROI – and avoid wasted ad spend.

As a recognized Apple Search Ads partner, Branch’s attribution engine uses the highest quality Apple Search Ads data available, helping you accurately monitor the results of your campaigns to meet business objectives.

3. Look at the Full User Journey

Work with an MMP (mobile measurement provider) to help track your campaigns’ performance against other user acquisition efforts. To accurately monitor the results of all of your user acquisition efforts, it’s important to look at the full picture. Leveraging a cross-channel, cross-platform solution—like Branch—as your MMP will allow you to understand the full user journey to inform your overall mobile growth strategy and maximize ROI.

For more information on how to build effective campaigns, visit the Apple Search Ads Advanced Help site.

How to Set up Apple Search Ads Campaign Performance Measurement with Branch:


  1. Complete setup. In order to check if the user came from Apple Search Ads, you must make the attribution call before Branch initializes.
  2. Enable Apple Search Ads checking.
  3. Set up cost data. See the available cost metrics here.
  4. Explore analytics. All the attribution can be visible on the Branch dashboard summary page. Define attribution windows for Apple Search Ads and Branch to ensure accurate attribution.

For detailed instructions on how to set up Apple Search Ads campaign measurement and analytics with Branch, visit our docs site.

Branch + Apple Search Ads

Branch can help track your Apple Search Ads campaigns by fetching the Apple Search Ads Attribution API. You can then use the parameters you’ve set in the Apple Search Ads dashboard, such as the campaign name, to take special action in your app after an install – or simply track the effectiveness of a campaign in the Branch dashboard along with other your other Branch statistics, such as total installs, referrals, and app link statistics.

With Branch’s Universal Ads solution, you can gain complete pre- and post-install visibility into app users acquired via Apple Search Ads – measured against all the other ad networks you utilize for mobile growth. Even better? You can solve attribution ambiguities by correctly attributing complicated user journeys.

In addition to measuring Apple Search Ads together with other ad networks, Branch lets you compare every acquisition channel you have in one place, from ads to email to organic search, helping you to understand which of your marketing campaigns are working most effectively.

To learn more, watch the on-demand webinar: Measuring Apple Search Ads Campaign Performance with Branch