Apple is rolling out its Search Ads feature in the UK, marking the first expansion of the service since its US launch in September. These in-app paid ads offer publishers the opportunity to get their app discovered in an efficient and easy way, allowing advertisers to bid on keywords that will surface their ad to the top of the app store search results.

The app store is the primary place where people come to find apps. In fact, Apple claims that over 65% of downloads come directly from a search on the App Store. As a result, back in October 2016, Apple launched app store Search Ads in the US. These have now been rolled out into the UK, Australia and New Zealand.


The paid ads appear under the search banner within the app store when they are related to a user’s search query, for instance a search for a “to do list” may prompt an ad for a task management app first.

The service gives advertisers the ability to refine their audience by gender, age, or specified geographical areas. The service operates on a cost-per-tap model, meaning advertisers only pay when a user taps on their ad.

Finally, the ad units are automatically created using the metadata and imagery from the app store listing.


  • User intent is expected to be very high, as users will be exposed to the ads directly in the app store
  • Only one ad will be visible for searches, indicating that some terms may become very competitive.
  • As organic search rankings are also influenced by the number of downloads, this may be a good tactic to drive early downloads of newly launched apps and stimulate organic visibility
  • Apple offers an attribution API that can be implemented directly or with a third party tracking solution such as AppFlyers in order to track and attribute app downloads coming from Search Ad campaigns

Apple Search Ads also launched in the U.S. in September of 2016.

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