Optimizing Today tab custom product pages and performance

Back to course
Next in this course:
Class 32 Apple Search Ads

Optimizing Today tab custom product pages and performance

Intermediate | 7 minutes

Now that you know how to set up your Today tab campaigns, learn how to optimize your custom product pages for them. Here, you’ll get 6 tips for creating Today tab custom product pages so you can boost your campaign’s performance.

Today tab custom product pages best practices

Now, for the tips.

Tip 1: Be specific

You can always use Today tab ads for evergreen campaigns, but they’re also really great to use when you have a specific point to focus on. This can look like showcasing a new app launch or feature, or even highlighting a special event specific to your company.

Tip 2: Don’t use existing ad variations

Don’t just try and re-use custom product pages created for ad variations. There’s two reasons for this. First, Today tab ads are meant to be more brand awareness focused – the goal is to get a lot of attention. Plus, like we mentioned before, they work best when there’s a specific reason like a new launch. Meanwhile custom product pages for ad variations need to be intent driven and connected to the keyword that users are searching for. So you’re using each custom product page type to promote different messages.

Second, Today tab creatives have more specific guidelines than the ones for ad variations. So if you submit previous ones used for ad variations, Apple Search Ads is likely not going to approve them for advertising on the Today tab. It’d be rare that they’d fit all the guidelines.

Now if you do have existing custom product pages you’ve set up for ad variations, think about what you’re trying to achieve differently with your Today tab ads and consider what existing elements on your custom product page may transfer over well. Remember that generally, Today tab ads can be used for broader messages that appeal to a wider audience, while custom product pages for ad variations are more niche.

Tip 3: Design for Today tab first

If you’re committed to having the same custom product pages for both your ad variations and Today tab ads – for whatever reason, maybe you don’t have enough resources or time – try flipping it and design your custom product pages for Today tab ads first. That’s because approved custom product pages for Today tab ads can easily be used for ad variations too.To make sure you don’t get stuck in approvals and rejections, it’ll help to plan ahead. Since there’s additional guidelines for Today tab, if you prioritize them as a starter there’s less of a chance you’ll need to go back and reengineer your regular custom product pages for ad variations.

Tip 4: Push seasonality

Use seasons to your advantage. It’s a nostalgic time, and we know that emotion is a key factor in increasing IPM and conversion rates.

If you have existing custom product pages already, you can change them to capitalize on a seasonal moment. For example, try incorporating the holidays into your custom product pages.
Experiment with switching out regular elements with holiday themed ones – for example, you can switch out an image of a sword with a Christmas tree. Or use images of people wearing holiday clothing – like Santa hats.

If you need to create new ones, you can too. Here’s another example where you can leverage seasonality. At the beginning of every new year, as people are setting new year’s resolutions, they might be setting personal health goals for themselves. Say you’re a health or fitness app and have a yearly January sale, you may want to change all of your campaigns to run with a specific custom product page motivating users to take part.

Tip 5: Set expectations

Like we discussed, custom product pages for Today tab ads aren’t going to be the same to the ones you’ll have for your ad variations. And because there are different guidelines and best practices, this can translate into different performance results. The purpose of Today tab custom product pages is usually to drive brand awareness, so it’s doing a different job than say search results ads which are typically seen as performance campaigns.
If you’re not getting the same results from other placements, don’t automatically turn Today tab ads off. Instead look at the larger picture of what you’re trying to do with Today tab ads, and make sure it aligns to brand awareness goals. It might also be good to look at their impact on search volume, organic reach, and so on.

Tip 6: Bend your budget

Moving on to budget and bids. First you need to make sure you have an additional budget for the Today tab, since it’s a new placement. If you don’t have more budget to add, you’ll need to re-allocate the budget running on your existing campaigns and placements. The best way to do this is to optimize your bids – find places where you can lower bids on low-performing campaigns on other placements, which will let you increase budget on the Today tab.

Tips for analyzing and optimizing performance

Okay, now you’ve created and set up your custom product pages for your Today tab campaigns. How are they performing and how can you optimize them to perform better?

Make sure you’re analyzing the right KPIs. First, impressions. Impressions show you how many people have seen your ad. With the Today tab being a very visual placement, growing the number of impressions is one of the options to increase brand awareness as well, and can in the long run also influence your ASO. Remember that we’re paying for taps only. and not impressions, so increasing budgets with a lower bids approach can actually work.

For your initial round of testing, we’d also recommend starting with click through rate. Why? For the Today Tab you’re putting impressions in front of a large range of users so you’ll want to make sure your ads are attractive enough to get that initial first click.

If you’re seeing a low click through rate, it can be a signal of low engagement on the initial tap. If you’re seeing a low conversion rate, it can be a signal that when the user gets to the page, it doesn’t meet their expectations. To improve results you need to optimize the targeting and the custom product page itself. Are the assets you’re adding engaging enough to a broader audience? Remember this is a fairly broad audience. Also, make sure the assets are maintaining relevance throughout, so that the users who are clicking at first aren’t surprised by the content on the app page following their click. We want to make sure our creatives aren’t misleading otherwise we’ll end up with high CTR and low CVR. Treat these as creative tests.


That’s it! Thanks for tuning in. I hope you came away with some new insights about the Today tab ad placement – and strategies for scaling up.