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January 08, 2018

Check for Non-US traffic

Based on our data, for some apps the percentage of non-US traffic varies between 20% and 40%.

When you select a US storefront in ASA’s campaign targeting settings, the store checks the location chosen by a user on their device rather than the device IP. Meaning that any person, residing in any part of the world, can register an Apple ID with a US location and be considered an American as far as ASA is concerned.

Moreover, there are a number of countries without an App Store. The US location is used as a default for these countries, with the language device setting having no effect. Therefore, ASA considers downloads from these regions as US-based downloads at the matching rate (for example, the CPI for Iraq is the same as for the US).

According to our research, most of the geo-irrelevant traffic falls on keywords that exist in more than one language. Analysis of the campaign data from a GEO perspective shows that the average revenue per user (ARPU) of purely US campaigns is much higher than campaigns with fuzzy GEOs (AKA other GEOs that still have a US storefront within ASA). This can even lead your ASA ROI to be zero or negative.

How can you overcome this challenge?

Raw data reports from attribution platforms show that the most problematic traffic occurs at night (with respect to GMT-5 time zone). It might seem easy at first glance: you can use the native “Ad Schedule” tool within Search Ads, and set the operating hours of a campaign from morning to night in the relevant timezone. Unfortunately, this won’t work. The “Ad Schedule” tool works according to the device time, not the time zone where the user is located.

The solution: turn your ad campaigns off when it’s morning in the US, and turn them on during the day time in your relevant regions. Taking this simple action can reduce the amount of non-relevant traffic by 80%.

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