How Apple Search Ads Helps to Increase Organic Traffic

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SplitMetrics Agency
Rockbite Games created “Deep Town: Idle Mining Factory” that has over 10+ million downloads and was awarded Editor’s Choice.
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Deep Town: Mining Idle Tycoon is a science-fiction strategy game made and published by Rockbite Games where a user plays as an AI, with the key objectives being mining, crafting, and expanding the town while facing challenges and exploring the surrounding environment along the way.

We’ve already shared a story where our client, Rockbite, managed to increase organic traffic for their Deep Town: Mining Idle Tycoon game.

This time, based on the case of Rockbite Games, SplitMetrics’ experts decided to test a hypothesis implying that Apple Search Ads may have a positive impact on the number of organic installs and prove that ASO and Apple Search Ads bring the best results under a holistic approach.


By analyzing the traffic and ROAS of competitors, it was revealed that most traffic for this category comes from the US, and most of all competitors acquire users there. So we decided to focus on the US in terms of paid and organic promotion.

As part of the strategy, SplitMetrics Agency’s experts started running Apple Search Ads for this market, in particular, discovery campaigns to get relevant keywords and transfer them to the exact match group.

The team also decided not to use branded keywords and focus on general and competitive queries, but only on the condition that Deep Town: Mining Idle Tycoon gets 95% ROAS.

As the next step we chose a number of keywords especially relevant for ASO and tried to boost them with the help of Apple Search Ads. We started running Apple Search Ads in January 2022, and it’s still running today, being an integral part of the app promotion and user acquisition strategy. We chose keywords important for ASO and included them into Apple Search Ads campaigns to get a boost in ranking for these keywords.    


After having launched Apple Search Ads campaigns, we noticed that positions for some keywords started moving higher. Users downloaded the game coming from ads for a relevant keyword, the conversion for the keyword grew and, as a result, the algorithm raised it to a higher position in the search results.

Before going for Apple Search Ads, there were only 26 keywords in the top 10, now there are 112 keywords relevant to Rockbite Games’ Deep Town. Top 11-30 included 81 keywords, and now the number is 161.

Below you can see some of the mid-frequency search queries for which, after launching Apple Search Ads campaigns, the game started to rank in the top 10 and for which the game gets organic installs.

For example, SplitMetrics Agency experts started running Apple Search Ads for the Sandship keyword on January 25th. After analyzing the historical data of the “sandship” ranking, we saw that before launching Search Ads campaigns, the Rockbite’s game wasn’t ranking for this keyword, and now it’s in the 3rd position, and this keyword brings organic traffic.

For the keyword Exominer, we launched Apple Search Ads on February 15th. After analyzing the historical data for the “exominer” ranking, we also found out that the game was not ranking for it before the ads on the App Store were launched for the Client. Now it can rise to the second position, and this keyword brings organic traffic.

After analyzing the data on installs for the period of May 12-June 10 in the US from App Store Connect and the Apple Search Ads account, we saw that we got 1.88K installs from organic search solely (since search includes installs from Apple Search Ads, we subtract installs from Apple Search Ads from all search-driven installs and get the number of pure organic installs).

A month before we launched Apple Search Ads campaigns for the client, the number of organic installs was 1,24K.

As a result, considering that during the experiment there were no ASO activities implemented (neither textual, nor visual optimization) we can assume that just with the help of  Apple Search Ads we received approximately +640 installs per month by raising the keywords to the top 20.

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