How to Set Up International Targeting within Apple Search Ads

By Tinuiti Team

When you have a mobile app, you want as many customers and prospects to download it as possible. Apple has made this easier with its introduction of Search Ads, which debuted in October 2016. Search ads allow marketers to put their apps at the top of search results as ads, which could increase downloads significantly.

Recently, Apple rolled out international Search Ads for the U.K., Australia, and New Zealand. You can now target customers overseas from your Search Ads account.

If you're not sure whether Search Ads can prove to become a profitable marketing strategy, keep in mind that some of the world's biggest brands have enjoyed remarkable success with the program. According to AdWeek, some of the first companies to give it a try include major social media platforms, including Facebook and Twitter, as well as media companies like Google and Yahoo!, all of which report good returns.

To promote your app internationally with Search Ads, follow these steps.

Create a Duplicate of your U.S. Campaign

You might want to mirror your U.S. campaign on Search Ads for international audiences. To do so, simply create a shell of your existing campaign for the target country. Just make sure you select the right country because you can't change it after the fact.

On the U.S. campaign, just select the ad groups you'd like to transfer to your international campaign. Once you've selected all the groups to include, click "Duplicate" from the "Actions" dropdown.

Next, click on the name of the campaign shell you created for the project and decide whether you want to duplicate the settings only or the settings and keywords. 

You can also get more granular with locations by selecting destination countries by ad group. Customizing your campaign can help you reach more appropriate audiences with your mobile app on Search Ads.

Optimize Your App Store Content

If you want to reach a larger international audience, make sure your app store content will appeal to people in the countries you're targeting. Apple creates your ads automatically based on your app store content.

Use keywords that an international audience will understand, then specify that your mobile app works across borders and oceans. Focus on optimizing your metadata and imagery to ensure your Apple Search Ads not only reach the right customers, but also entice them to download.

Focus on Short and Brand-Related Keywords

Consider app store behaviors when selecting keywords for your Apple Search ads. When people search for apps, they tend to use short search strings with specific keywords. For instance, if a Wells Fargo bank customer wants to download the bank's app, he or she might search for "Wells Fargo banking."  That's why short, exact-match keywords often work best on this platform, and why brand-related keywords prove essential.

You can also optimize your keywords for an international audience. Since people in other countries might include their location in their search to avoid returning irrelevant app results, location-based keywords can help your app thrive with Apple Search ads.

If you're interested in giving your mobile app more publicity, Search Ads might help you achieve that goal, especially when catering to an international audience. To learn more about how we help our clients save money while enhancing their advertising and marketing campaigns, download our free report: How Digital Marketing Agencies Cost Less Than In-House Teams.

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