Apple Search Ads and ASO: A Killer Combo for Low CPI and CPA in Hyper-Casual Games

Let us show you how you can lower CPI and CPA by leveraging AI-based automation rules and the synergy between Apple Search Ads and ASO.

Talip Sencan
August 9, 2022

2021 was quite a year for hyper-casuals. They have dominated the top charts for a long time and had their share of last year’s impressive spending in the App Store.

Privacy shifts have brought many uncertainties in targeting, measurement and personalization for mobile game developers and marketers.

With the competition and uncertainties in this category at its peak, the way out is to keep Apple Search Ads and ASO synergetic. However, it is not always all beer and skittles to combine Apple Search Ads and ASO.

Let us show you how you can lower CPI and CPA by leveraging AI-based automation rules and the synergy between Apple Search Ads and ASO.

A Never-Ending Challenge for Puzzle & Casino Apps: Decreasing CPI & CPA

At the beginning of our partnership, our client was concerned about the high CPIs in the storefronts they operate. They wanted to lower CPI while optimizing CPA and traffic into their account.

Although their app is in the puzzle subcategory, it shares quite similar characteristics with many casino apps. Puzzle and Casino categories are the two most competitive subgenres in terms of CPI and CPA. Therefore, acquiring users at a lower cost is challenging due to the high level of competition in the casino subgenre.

Another bump on the road was choosing the right keywords without overlapping with casino and puzzle subgenres. They were running the ads with quite overdue keywords while the competition was in the heat for hyper-casuals and casual gaming on the market.

Catching the Synergy between ASO and Apple Search Ads

We came up with a strategy where we continuously added new keywords into the campaigns based on the organic side with the help of MobileAction. Every week, we detected new keywords that our app has organically ranked for, including in Apple Search Ads campaigns to ramp up the performance.

We automated the keyword finding and bidding process to expand the keyword pool. Our AI-based automation tool identified well-performing keywords and added them to relevant campaigns for our client.

After a short while of applying the strategies mentioned above, we have observed a substantial improvement in both ASO and Apple Search Ads, with decreasing CPIs and an increasing number of organic keywords we ranked for.

In January 2022, our customer ranked for 4707 organic keywords. Around May 2022, the number of keywords our app organically ranked for increased to 4986.

Similarly, the overall CPA decreased from $4.96 to $4.69, and the overall CPI decreased from $35.33 to $30.48.

Ranking Distribution in January 2022

As seen from the graph above, we were ranking first for 75 keywords in January. From January to May, we not only had an impact on ASO with the help of Apple Search Ads but also experienced an overall increase in the total number of keywords our app ranked in the top 30. Those results refer to a segmented improvement on the organic side.

Ranking Distribution in May 2022

At the end of May, the total number of keywords our app organically ranked as first increased to 90. With the advent of the Apple Search Ads boost, ASO accelerated itself with more new organic keywords and better rankings for the existing keywords.

CPI & CPA Decline Chart

Parallelly, CPI and CPA went down on the Apple Search Ads side.

Leverage ASO and Apple Search Ads for Mobile Growth

When you find the sweet spot between ASO and Apple Search Ads, you can reach the maximum performance of your Apple Search Ads campaigns.

In a short period, we:

  • Increased the number of organic keywords by 6%.
  • Decreased CPI by 13.7%.
  • Optimized CPA by 5.5%.

With the help of, you can follow a similar strategy to accelerate the organic and paid side with lower CPI and CPAs.

If you’d like to find out more about how to improve your  Apple Search Ads performance, schedule a demo with our experts now! We’d be more than happy to help you out!

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