Now that you see your full funnel in SearchAdsHQ, you may be wondering why there is a difference in the number of downloads and installs.
Below are the main reasons for the discrepancy and the ways to fix it:
1. The difference in the definitions of what an install is.
One thing to remember - in Apple Search Ads "install" is the moment when your user hits the "Get" button. It is different from the "install" you see in your MMP (Adjust, AppsFlyer, Kochava, Tenjin, Branch, Singular), where it means the moment when your users open the app. Keep in mind that if your user installs the app and then deletes it without opening, you will see an install in Apple Search Ads, but you will not see any installs in your MMP dashboard and SearchAdsHQ.
2. Attribution window in your MMP
Attribution window in Apple Search Ads is set to 30 days. Make sure that you have the same in your MMP. Why? Because when your MMP / tracker receives an event it pings Apple Search Ads network and in the request, it uses the attribution window you have set. So if MMP receives an install and the attribution window is set to 7 days, you may be missing some installs if the tap happened 8 days ago. Since taps and installs usually happen within minutes from each other that's not that big of a deal, however, it's best to keep things accurate and clean.
3. LAT ON downloads
LAT ON downloads are downloads by users, who have enabled limited ad tracking function on their devices. You will see LAT ON downloads in AdGroups, where you do not have any targeting/demographics set up (meaning no gender, age or device specified, ). If targeting is on, the ads are shown only to people who do not have limited ad tracking function enabled. If there's no targeting, you'll see LAT ON downloads (and LAT ON downloads share when it comes to SearchAdsHQ). The problem is that your MMPs / trackers don't get any information about LAT ON downloads from Apple and thus cannot attribute them to ads. This means that when you evaluate the performance of your campaigns, you might want to keep in mind that a certain percent of installs were not attributed to Apple Search Ads channel because they came from LAT ON downloads.
4. Duplicates in account
If you have the same keyword in a few different AdGroups / Campaigns.
5. API lag or glitch
API lag or problem with API.
6. Users not really opening the app
Yes, some of your users actually never open your app after download.