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Destruction of the IDFA by IOS 14: ASO and SEO organic referencing become essential.

During the WWDC 2020 conference, the Apple company announced that with the release of IOS, IDFA would become an opt-in feature, that is, if the user did not say “ yes”, it’s “no”. Here, mobile users would have to give explicit consent to both the advertiser and the apps to allow them to track them on the internet and use their data to advertise.

Indeed, we expect a very low acceptance rate, because it is difficult to imagine that users use the apps to do so. This announcement worries the mobile marketing industry, how will they adapt to this?

What is IDFA?

IDFA is the English acronym for “identifier for advertisers”. This is a series of letters and numbers that is unique to each IOS device. It allows advertisers, applications and advertising networks to track user behavior and thus serve them targeted advertisements.

Before the arrival of iOS 14, advertisers used users' IDFA to measure the effectiveness of their advertising. They could see if a mobile user had clicked on an ad or downloaded the application. This allowed ad networks to tailor their ads and better target them.

For example, an application containing an advertising poster with an embedded link contains a parameter associated with IDFA. When the user clicks on the ad, it triggers a network request during which the advertiser collects their IDFA before redirecting them to the App store. If the user downloads the app, the advertiser's SDK collects their IDFA again and combines the two values, click, and download, to then perform attribution.

This action helps create truly effective and more targeted ads because users who want to remedy this by hiding or resetting their IDFA must manually and explicitly opt out in their device settings to limit targeted ads. In fact, you not only had to know that this functionality existed and take the time to carry out the operation. Now they simply have to refuse advertisers, apps and ad networks from tracking them whenever they download the app or perform a similar action. A small window automatically appears to ask them whether or not to accept being tracked. Advertising networks must therefore use a new strategy to remedy this and continue to create targeted and qualitative advertising.

The Apple Search Ads exemption.

The use of Apple Search Ads becomes particularly interesting here because Apple has control over the network and ASAs are exempt from the rule of collecting user consent before accessing their IDFA. Instead, users who want to opt out of Apple Ads tracking must do so manually in their device settings. Without this, their IDFA may be collected whenever they encounter an Apple Search Ads ad or other Apple Ads inventory.

Logically, mobile and mobile-first marketers prioritize ASA over other ad networks. This strategy will certainly be emphasized until more is known about the strategy of other ad networks regarding targeting and the levers they will use for attribution.

Combine Apple Search Ads and App Store Optimization.

This is where ASO can give a huge advantage to those investing in the ASA channel. We must not forget that keyword volumes on IOS are mainly calculated based on the popularity score provided by Apple Search Ads. Additionally, most ASO tools offer ASA-specific data. For example, they allow you to determine which applications obtain the greatest share of voice for certain keywords.

As you test your first search ad campaigns, you should consider the benefits of synchronizing the ASA strategy and the ASO strategy together. “The relevance of your app to the user's search query, among other factors, determines whether your ad is the one that is served” states the official Apple Search Ads website. This means that factors specific to the 'App Store Optimization such as the conversion rate of your app will have an impact on the chances of your ad being displayed and can therefore reduce the CPI (cost per installs) and increase the ROAS (Return On Ad Spent), the return on advertising expenses.

Apple Search Ads campaigns can provide additional data, such as your app's conversion rate for a specific keyword, that is not available in App Store organic data and can help you select keywords, to prioritize or remove during your next round of ASOs. Therefore, we advise you to not only target keywords already present in your app's metadata, but also dedicate a small percentage of the budget to testing new keywords for which your app could aim to rank organically in the future .


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