Apple says it will bring more installs with less effort “at a predictable cost.” That’s how the company is pitching its new Search Ads Basic offering.
Apple rolled out Search Ads for the App Store in September 2016. Since that time, Apple has seen significant adoption by developers seeking to drive app downloads. Search Ads Basic is a simplified version of Search Ads that eliminates keywords and bidding.
Apple won’t appreciate this analogy, but it’s kind of like AdWords Express for the App Store. Search Ads Basic is designed for developers who don’t have the time, interest or expertise to manage search campaigns. Currently, it’s available for the US only.
However, Search Ads is available in selected non-US markets, so over time, we can probably expect it to go international. The current product now becomes “Search Ads Advanced.” Beyond the differences in bidding and keywords, the two have different dashboards, with simplified data available for Basic and more granular data available with Advanced.
To get started with Basic, you specify a monthly budget and a cost-per-install (CPI) maximum. As with Search Ads Advanced, Apple generates the creative.
Using its data and analytics, Apple will recommend a CPI amount, but developers can set their own. Regardless, the company will seek to optimize campaigns to bring the actual cost in under the daily CPI. Apple is offering a $100 credit for new campaigns.
Users pay only for taps (clicks). I was told that Apple is seeing a very high average conversion rate of 50 percent. However, some campaigns perform even better. The company also indicated that many developers are achieving CPIs of less than $1.50 and some well below $0.50.
The move toward greater simplification is also happening at Google. Earlier this year, the company decided to turn all app-install campaigns into Universal App Campaigns.