Apple Search Ads

Apple Search Ads(ASA) helps users discover your apps in the most efficient way as promoting your apps on the App Store for iPhone and iPad. You can display your apps in the suggested Apps list or on the top of search results when users search for your apps.

Please read on below guide and learn how to run ASA ad campaigns and track your performance in the Airbridge.

 

Basic Setup

  1. Install or update Airbridge iOS SDK 1.15.3 or later version.
    • Necessary frameworks to measure ASA Ads performance are automatically applied if you've installed Airbridge SDK via Cocoapods.
    • If directly installed Airbridge iOS SDK, refer to the Airbridge Developer Guide to directly apply the AirBridge.framework and Dependency framework.
  2. Create and run Ad campaigns in the Apple Search Ads Dashboard. ASA doesn't require to have a tracking link to measure performance.
  3. Any conversion attributed to ASA, can also check from the Airbridge Dashboard.

 

Apple Search Ads Reporting

iAd Framework and AdService Framework

With the release of iOS 14, ASA campaigns are measured by the newly added framework 'AdService' along with 'iAd' framework.

While iAd framework offers a richer attribution than 'AdService' framework, it doesn't offer attribution data if ATT Status is not 'Authorized' on the devices running iOS 14.5 and later. Hence, Airbridge will try to request the attribution data from iAd framework first, but if it's not available, it will retry to call AdService framework which offers attribution data regardless of the ATT status.

As shown below table, iAd and AdService framework supports different attribution data fields; the AdService framework only supports 'ID' fields, not 'name' fields.

Data Field

iAd

AdService

Campaign Name O X
Campaign ID O O
Ad Group Name O X
Ad Group ID O O
Keyword O X
Keyword ID O O
Creative Name O X
Creative ID O O

 

Campaign Data Fields Mapping

AdService framework only offers 'ID' fields, which it makes difficult to analyze the data in your Actuals report. To provide better readability, Airbridge supports data fields mapping by using 'Apple Search Ads API' providing both 'ID' and 'Name' fields.

To use the reporting data of Apple Search Ads API, Airbridge needs to acquire advertisers' certificate of Apple Search Ads account. Please refer to Apple Search Ads API Certificate FAQ for further inquiries.

Agency Setup

By default, only the 'Owner' and 'In-house marketer' has the access to ASA data. To grant data access permission to the specific agencies, go to [ Integrated Ad Channels > Apple Search Ads > Agency Settings ] and assign them.

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Apple Search Ads API Certificate FAQ

1. Why do we need to set up an API certificate?

With the advent of a stronger user privacy policy starting on the iOS 14 release, the iAd framework can no longer report attribution if ATT status is not 'Authorized' on the devices running iOS 14.5 and later. Alternatively, Apple introduced a new framework called 'AdService', which includes attribution data for users with iOS 14.5 and later regardless of their ATT status. But, AdService has the limitation that it only includes 'ID' fields(e.g. Campaign, Ad Group, Keyword, etc), not 'Name' fields (e.g. iOS_install_campaign).

Therefore, to continuously provide ASA attribution report with 'Name' fields for the AdService framework, Airbridge supports campaign data field mapping by Apple Search Ads API which requires Advertisers' ASA account certificate.

2. How can I set up API Certificate?

API Certificate Integration is being done only for the advertisers who operate ASA ad campaigns, upon request. If you need the integration, please reach out to your CSM or Airbridge Platform Team.

3. What's changing after setting up the API Certificate?

After API certificate integration, your ASA campaign data will appear both in numerical ID and name.

* ID and Name field mapping is applied once integrated with API Certificate while previous data is not applied.

4. Is there any way to check the mapped data before the API certificate setup?

Yes, even though the Actuals report does not offer mapped data before the API certificate setup, this data is available via [ Raw Data Export ].

5. 'ID' and 'Name' fields are mapped in real-time? Can I check from Actuals Report?

Unfortunately no, it may take up to 48 hours to view the mapped data in your Actuals Report.

For example, let's say the install was attributed to ASA on May 5th, but you may see only the ID fields(CampaignID, Ad GroupID, etc) in the report. This might result from the user with ATT Status is not 'Authorized' on the devices running on iOS 14.5 and later. The mapped data will appear in your report on May 7th, two days(48 hours) later.

However, if you wish to check mapped data faster than Actuals Report, then use the [ Raw Data Export ] that updates every 4 hours.

 

6. Does Airbridge report Keyword ID (Term ID) for ASA Search Match?

No, If you enable search match, the ASA API doesn’t return  keyword Id in the attribution response. Therefore, you may find some ASA campaigns with blank Term ID and Term. To check whether it is due to the Search Match, filter it by Ad Group. 

Search Match Keyword can be found on Apple Search Ads Dashboard.  

💡 What is Search Match?

Search Match is a default feature of Apple Search Ads Advanced search results campaigns that your ad may be matched automatically to search terms without you having to figure out all keyword possibilities and actively bid on them.

→ See Apple Search Ads Guide 

 


 

Cost Integration 

Connect your Apple Search Ads account to view and measure cost, click, and impression data from Apple Search Ads within the Airbridge dashboard.

Once successfully connected, the below data is available at the campaign and ad group level.

  • Metric
    • Impressions (Channel)
    • Clicks (Channel)
    • Cost (Channel)
  • Groupby
    • Event Datetime fields
      • Event Date, Event Year, Event Month, Event Week, Event Day of the month, Event Day of the week, Event Hour
    • Campaign Parameters
      • Channel, Campaign, Ad Group, Term, Campaign ID, Ad Group ID, Term ID, Ad Account ID, Country

How to Setup

1. Go to [ Integrated Ad Channels > Apple Search Ads > Cost Integration ] and turn on the toggle. 

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2. Connect your Apple Search Ads account that currently running the Apple Search Ads campaigns,

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3. Allow Airbridge to access your Apple Search Ads API. 

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4. When prompted, select the ASA campaign group you'd like to connect. 

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5. After the setup, Airbridge shows the status of cost integration, and the last time Airbridge synced to pull matching cost data.

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💡 Tip! When you change settings on the dashboard, the update date and the account information will be displayed respectively. You can also click the arrow icon to quickly jump to the Activity History page filtered by 'Apple Search Ads' to see more details.

⚠️ Please be noted that the currently linked ASA campaign groups are not displayed in the accessible campaign group list.

 

Stopping ASA Cost Integration

  • Turning off 'Apple Search Ads Cost Integration' toggle will stop pulling Apple Search Ads cost from all linked campaign groups. You may re-activate the toggle without an additional login.
  • The previously linked campaign groups will remain deactivated until it gets deleted.
  • Once the toggle is turned off, Airbridge stops getting the cost immediately. Stopping the sync does not have any impact on historical data. 

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Deleting the Apple Search Ads account connection

To delete the linked campaign groups, click [Action > more_horiz_black_24dp.svgicon > Delete] on the right side of the table. 

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Adding an additional campaign groups

You can add another ASA campaign group for the same app by clicking 'Login with Apple' button. The rest of the process is the same as the above.

 

Note

Cost Data Update Cycle

  • Data sync is not real-time supported but syncs every 4 hours(12AM, 4AM, 8PM, 12PM, 4PM, & 8PM). This may cause data discrepancies between the Apple Search Ads dashboard and the Airbridge dashboard. 
  • Airbridge pulls the cost data 7 days retroactively including today's date

 

Cost Data Sync Status

  • Waiting: New campaign group is added and is now waiting for the cost data to be updated. Cost data updates every 4 hours(12AM, 4AM, 8AM, 12PM, 4PM, and 8PM).
  • Active: The integration is up and running. The last time Airbridge successfully updated cost data is displayed.
  • Error: Cost data can't be updated if one of the following happens.
    • Invalid Credential: Login error. Login info changes such as password change may cause this type of error. To resolve this issue, delete the account and re-register it again.
    • Apple Search Ads API is not responding: In the latest update, Apple Search Ads API is not responding to Airbridge.
  • Warning: In the latest update, the API has not returned any cost data matching Airbridge campaign attribution data in the last seven days.
  • Expired: Cost data will not be updated if one of the following happens.
    • Apple Search Ads Token is expired
    • The user deletes access to the Airbridge dashboard app within Apple Search Ads.
    • The linked campaign group is deactivated

 

Cost Data in Reports

To view your Apple Search Ads cost data, add the below metrics in the Actuals report.

  • Touchpoint
    • Impression (Channel)
    • Clicks (Channel)
  • Cost
    • Cost (Channel)

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💡 'Impressions' and 'Clicks' metrics are touchpoint data collected via Airbridge tracking link, and 'Impressions(Channel)' and 'Clicks(Channel)' metrics are touchpoint data directly received from ad-network(Apple Search Ads).

Note

Please be aware of the below limitations when viewing Apple Search Ads Cost data. 

  • Time Data Segmentation
    • The cost data for the 'Display' type campaign is available for daily data. (showing Event Hour 00)
    • The cost data for the 'Search' type campaign is available for hourly data.
  • Cost Data Discrepancy
    • ASA cost data updates every four hours, and indexing takes a couple of days for the cost and campaign parameters which may cause discrepancies compared with the data on the ASA dashboard. 
    • ASA cost data may be changed over time. In other words, for instance, the cost data of Sep 8, 2021, which you viewed on Sep 9, 2021, may differ from when you viewed it on Sep 10, 2021. Airbridge pulls the most recent data.
    • ASA doesn't provide cost data for Search Term. Therefore, cost data is shown blank for the search term in Airbridge.
  • Changing Campaign Parameters
    • Airbridge highly recommends you NOT to modify 'Campaign', 'Adset', and 'Ad'. 
    • It may cause an issue with the conversion data mapping if you change those names after integrating cost data.
  • Currency
    • As ASA supports only USD, Airbridge shows ASA cost data in USD.
  • Available GroupBy for Cost Data
    • Cost data is available with Campaign, Ad set, and Ad creative groupby only. Please refer to the below examples.
      • Cost(Channel) data is available with Campaign ID
        ASA_cost.png
      • Cost(Channel) data is not available with Event Category
        Cost_null.png

⚠️ If you'd never saved your campaign group name, it will be displayed blank.

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