Apple Search Ads in Google Data Studio: Tips & best practices

Google Data Studio has become an indispensable tool for marketers and businesses. Visualizing Apple Search Ads (ASA) in Google Data Studio is one of the best ways of measuring and reporting on the performance of your ad campaigns.

And one of the easiest and the best ways for acquiring new users for iOS apps and mobile games within the App Store is by running relevant and optimized ASA campaigns. Apple Search Ads is a user acquisition channel that brings advertisers and relevant audiences together.

Running a successful ASA campaign requires prior Search Ads knowledge and a way to track your progress towards your goals. You risk wasting your valuable time and finances if you don’t know how well you perform. Without proper knowledge of Search Ads, you also risk getting a continuous loss of potentially valuable users.

Use this guide today to learn more about ASA and the tips to use and visualize your Apple Search Ads data in Google Data Studio,.

What are Apple Search Ads, and Why are they Important?

As a marketer, you can use ASA campaigns to improve the visibility of your apps in the App Store. All you have to do is ensure you are the highest bidder and your ads are the most relevant. That way, you get an advantageous position on the user’s search results page for specific keywords. 

Appearing on the first pages of App Store search is an important marketing strategy for your business. Why? Because it puts your app first before your competitors, even if your competitors have an effective app store optimization. And to appear at the top of the search results of your target keywords, bid on relevant keywords that increase conversions. 

Apple Search Ads are important to iOS developers in dealing with the huge competition in the market. Currently, over 30 million registered iOS developers cater to over 1.8 billion active iOS devices.

With Apple Search Ads, it is easier for app developers to connect with their customers ahead of their competitors. According to a recent benchmark report from Splitmetrics, the Apple Search Ads conversion rate is 50% on average, and over 70% of App Store users use the search function to find the right app.

How Apple Search Ads work


Apple ensures that users do not see what they have already installed on their devices. This is favorable for marketers representing smaller brands because it eliminates the majority of bigger brands.


Apple favors the most relevant ads rather than the ones paying higher for the space. If users are not tapping on a certain ad, Apple demotes that ad immediately, irrespective of whether it is a big brand.


Apple considers relevancy as the most important practice above anything else. Users always get what they are searching for, despite the cost and amount of storage that the search result requires. Thus, it creates fair competition between the large and smaller brands.

Apple Search Ads Tips and best practices in Google Data Studio

Before we dive into the best practices for using Apple Search Ads in Google Data Studio, let’s check out the five tips and best practices that can significantly improve the performance of your Apple Search Ads campaigns.

Understand who your audience is and choose relevant keywords

The first step that sets you for success in Google Studio is to ensure that you run great campaigns on the App Store. One way to ensure that is to know your target audience and the relevant keywords.

Understanding your audience will also enable you to choose the right keywords. Choose the right keyword match types to keep your ads up and running at all times. There are three keyword match types: the Broad match, Search match, and Exact match. 

In Broad Search, a user enters a keyword and gets close variants like misspellings and related keywords in search results. The Exact Match type gives you the most relevant search results of what the user is searching for. And finally, the Search Match is an automatic search that uses metadata and other search data to set up your ads with relevant keywords and search terms.

To optimize your campaign results, use all three keyword matches. But how? By setting up multiple ad groups to organize your dashboard and campaigns.

In addition to the three keyword matches, you can also use the negative keywords to define the terms you do not want to be included in your bids. Thus, it prevents you from bidding against your brand or narrowing the options for your targeted ads.

Reacquire Customers who already know your product

Renewing interest in your app is particularly critical. It includes previous customers in your audience who may still be interested in your app, thus can drive growth and unlock extra revenue for your business. So, which strategy should you use to develop a re-acquisition strategy?

The major strategy is understanding the value of redownloads. You should engage returning customers because they represent a key growth opportunity on the App Store. Because of several reasons, many people may download and delete apps, justifying themselves that they can redownload them later at any time. Data shows that 92% of iOS users redownload the apps after deleting them, and 33% of returning users said they wanted to use the app and make a purchase.

Also, you should promote new features on your app by updating the App Store product page to reflect them. That way, you make the returning users aware of the updates since their last update or download. Make adjustments to your keywords, app title and description, app reviews, and screenshots in App Store Connect to make the updates visible.

The returning users should also see you before searching. Apart from promoting your app in search results, you can also run the ads on the Search tab so that previous customers can reach you faster. Therefore, you can remind your customers about your products even before they search for them.

Use Apple Search Ads Advanced

Deciding the type of Search Ads campaign to run is the first step. Choosing between Basic and Advanced is the second step that can be challenging to pick out. After reading this, it will no longer be a chewy question.

For a powerful Apple Search Ads campaign, choose Apple Search Ads Advanced. Do you want to know why? Here is the reason:

Apple Search Ads Basic will land you a minimal return on ad sales(ROAS) that you anticipate. The reason for its low ROAS is its limited features. The only management task you can do as a marketer or developer on Apple Search Basic is setting your maximum cost-per-install(CPI). After establishing your CPI, you leave the rest to the system, like choosing target keywords and Ad Groups.

Apple Search Ads Advanced is the best way to prevent your Search Ad campaigns from going to waste. With Advanced, you can select the Target Keywords and get full access to Apple’s Search Ads API and more services. So you will lose a lot of opportunities while using ASA Basic campaigns, so it is best to move to Advanced campaigns.

Optimize your bids over time

As a marketer, it is essential to adapt your strategy over time and change your bids and budgets according to performance to create more installs and increase your ROI. 

Therefore, you need to know what time you need to raise or lower your bids for specific keywords that are underperforming or when you need to evaluate your keyword performance to know whether your budget is spent well.

The main goal of doing all the analysis is to remain adaptable. The good news is that Apple suggests bid amounts to help you know what amount is needed for you to win the bids. Therefore, you should use the recommended bid amount as the baseline while doing your Search Ads analysis.

Tips and Best practices for visualizing Apple Search Ads in Google Data Studio

Use Google Data Studio templates for your Apple Search Ads reporting

Using templates in Google Data Studio saves you time and simplifies the creation of your reports.

You can use Google Data Studios’ inbuilt templates from the template library. You can find those relevant to marketing under the marketing template section. We also have great templates on our Dataslayer templates gallery for Google Data Studio, which you can use for your Apple Search Ads reporting.

Choose a template that fits your goals and provides the layout that will work best for you. You can then customize further to tailor those templates to fit your preferences while aligning them to match your business brand guidelines.

Google Data Studio templates can also ease your workloads, save time and money, and increase efficiency. Additionally, many templates provide more clarity through colorful and thoughtful layouts that can also increase your audience’s attention and satisfaction.

Add external links

In Google Data Studio, adding more external links to your dashboard increases your impact on the users. The embedding of content in your page makes it more interactive than using screenshots. Therefore, you can insert links to your other pages, such as Google Sheets, Google Docs, YouTube, etc.

Always use an Apple ID linked to your App Store Connect account when signing up for Apple Search Ads. Linking your App Store Account can enable you to cross-promote your ads to your current users and add them as your audience. You can also use the apple duplication feature allows you to copy most of your settings and preferences quickly.

Connect to multiple data sources and use data studio’s data blending features

Visualizing your data in Google Data Studio is best when you combine all your marketing data from all other sources to centralize your marketing data. 

Google Data Studio allows connection to various Google family apps through Google connectors and third-party sources, like Google Trends, Shopify, HubSpot, Amazon Ad, etc., through partner connectors.

You can easily connect to these sources by providing the necessary connection parameters and credentials to stream the data directly to your dashboard in Google Data Studio.

Use Dataslayer for Google Data Studio to bring all your marketing data into Google Data Studio. You can then use the powerful data blending features to draw a unified picture of your marketing efforts.

Check out our recent article on the limitations of data blending in Google Data Studio, and how you can overcome them.

Build reports with your audience in mind

I bet the first things you do that is important when building a great dashboard to visualize your Apple Search Ads marketing data in Google Data Studio is to consider the needs of the end-users of your reports.

To maximize the uptake and usage of your Google Data Studio reports, you need to think about your audiences — who they are, what they prefer, and how they can benefit from them. 

When you can relate to your audience, you ensure that your reports consistently resonate with your end users. Telling a visual story of your data allows them to extract maximum insights from your reports without wasting too much time and money with analysis.

Thus, the best thing to do is to ensure that your audience can enjoy practical, easy-to-digest dashboards for your Apple Search Ads data.

Wrapping up

As we conclude, remember that you need to be ready to discover new tactics to improve your ASA performance and visualization with Google Data Studio. You don’t have to rely on Apple’s automation features, but you should learn new ways of operating your design, data analysis, and budgeting. 

Discoverability can enable you to understand the app’s product better and the thoughts of your audience, for you to gain a competitive edge. We hope that the tips and best practices you have learned from this article will take you ahead of your competitors and increase your conversion rates at a favorable cost.