The one about using Search Ads for ASO

I wanted to improve our category ranking in the App Store and improve our keyword ranking for some of the words that are highly relevant.

It would make sense to use Search Ads, Apple’s own ad platform, to pump up your App Store rank. Currently we’re at Top 50 in Health & Fitness which is very good. (We climbed from Top 250 in the last 3 months). At Top 50, each higher rank position becomes more and more difficult. From what I’ve seen, a lot of is simply the amount of time the app has been available. Older apps seem to have an advantage in ranking, as long as they are still good of course.

But there are things you can still do. I thought that I would do Advanced Search Ads. Target exact keywords matches in the right countries. If we could win on the important keywords, I would be willing to pay 2 – 3x for those keywords, then I pay for regular installs on other platforms.

I tested this hypothesis for about 3 – 4 weeks. Keyword ranking didn’t seem to be much effected by my bidding strategy. I would drastically increase / decrease budget or CPT bid and it didn’t correlated with daily rank.

Instagram ads on the other hand, had an obvious, direct correlation across all keyword ranks. Instead of focusing on individual keywords for our app, I could group-increase all keywords if I did a blast campaign on IG.

For instance on a day where my IG ads were super low, I would pump up the budget and get 25% more downloads. Immediately after (well, after a few hours), my keyword rank would jump up across almost all keywords.

If this is the case, it makes no sense to pay more for Search Ads if they have no impact on keyword rank. In our case, Search Ads don’t compete on price (at our current scale) with Instagram Ads.

I think I will only continue with IG ads. Killing two birds with one stone. Installs and keyword rank.

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