Top 10 Apple Search Ads FAQs: Answered
Apple Search Ads

Top 10 Apple Search Ads FAQs: Answered


Buse Kanal

The purpose of this article is to help you optimize the productivity of your Apple Search Ad campaigns. We have gathered the top ten most asked questions about managing Apple’s search ad campaigns. This will serve as a guide to set your goal, budget and to find the right audience.


Apple Search Ads (ASA) are a way for advertisers to engage with a suitable target audience. Marketers can share their software with users who have a proven interest in specific phrases by bidding to appear higher when a user queries keywords within the app store. It is an effective acquisition technique because impressions are displayed to consumers searching for functions that your app provides.


Marketers can drastically boost their presence in the app store by using Apple Search Ads. The highest bidder has their ad put at the top of the results page for a given term, highlighted in blue.


ShyftUp is a global full-service mobile user acquisition firm based in San Francisco. Our key offering is boosting mobile app users with an ROI-driven strategy. App Store Optimization (ASO) and Paid User Acquisition are the two primary services we focus on to help you build your user base. We answered your top 10 questions about ASA, which can help you boost your userbase.


How do Apple Search Ads boost app growth?


Apple Search Ads is the only advertising channel that allows you to run campaigns right inside Apple’s app store. In other words, it permits your application to skip ahead of the queue. Your app ad will appear as the first result for interested audiences, above any organically ranked competition. Many consumers use the search option to discover new apps, so you should benefit from Apple Search Ads to expand your user base, increase income, and achieve success.


The top 10 questions we’ve been asked most about Apple Search Ads campaigns are:


1. Why am I not seeing any traction i.e. impressions or conversions?

Scaling your business and increasing visibility takes time. However, in order to improve your ad’s impressions and enhance your app store optimization, refer to the below steps:


    • Increase your overall budget.
    • Make sure your daily and overall spending limitations do not exceed.
    • Raise your bid (attempt 2x, 3x, 4x, 5x baseline bids for +6-8 hours in between).
    • Extend your match kinds (exact match is the most restrictive, followed by broad, and finally search match).
    • You must make sure that your TTR is high (target dimensions have the best performance, optimize your app listing, use exact match type).
    • Make sure your app store keywords have a high search volume.
    • Create a new ad group or campaign and test the results.


2. What are app conversions?

App conversions are the total number of downloads or re-downloads that result from a sponsored ad within the reporting period. Both mobile marketers and customers profit from app conversions.


3. How should my campaign structure be setup?

Although it is of intermediate complexity and may create app store keywords constraints, the recommended structure is:


    • search match campaign’s goal is to find a match (i.e. no bid keywords). Add all of the terms from your existing efforts to this campaign as broad match negatives, forcing search match to do what it does the best: create a brand new search combination. Add negative keywords to your exact/broad match campaigns for non-performing searches, and add performing search terms to your exact/broad match campaigns (and as new negatives to your search match campaign). The budget allocation recommendation is 10-30% of the total.
    • broad match campaign only uses broad match app store keywords. Re-add all keywords from this campaign as exact match negative keywords, forcing the broad match to identify new/synonymous/related search combinations. Depending on performance, gradually add search terms as new negative keywords or to your exact campaign. The budget allocation recommendation is 20-40% of the total.
    • An exact match campaign only uses exact match app store keywords and no negative keywords are used. Add performing search phrases as exact matches from your other two campaigns here. The budget allocation recommendation is 30-70% of the total.


4. What are the keyword limits?

Although the total limit is unknown, users had trouble importing a couple of hundred terms at once. The maximum number of keywords per batch is 200.


When users try to add more than a few hundred, an error message pops up. The limits are 500 terms per ad group and 2,000 keywords per campaign.


Some keywords exist already, therefore they cannot be added again. Replace the redundant keywords with new ones and try again.


5. What is a search ad auction and how does it work?

The ad auction is used every time an ad is eligible to display for a search. The auction determines whether or not the ad appears on the page and the rank of the ad, both of which are fundamental for mobile marketing.


The following is how the auction works:

    • When someone searches, the algorithm matches all ads with keywords relevant to that search.
    • The system filters out advertising that isn’t qualified, such as an ad that targets a different country or has been disapproved due to a policy violation.


6. How do match types work?

The match type analyzes whether or not a keyword is accurate. It determines the relevancy of the person’s query. It also analyses whether or not it qualifies for an online auction. We recommend applying several matching options to cater to a wide range of user searches for better app store optimization.


7. Why don’t the reports in search ads and my third-party tool match?

It could be due to a mismatch between Apple’s downloads and your third-party attribution tool’s install. To raise the flag and get the issue resolved quickly, consider contacting your 3rd party tool.


8. Why am I getting results for searches that have nothing to do with my keywords?

It might be due to the search match type, which is enabled by default unless you customize your campaign setup. We recommend testing with different match types and adjusting your campaigns according to your goals.


9. What’s the best way to keep track of in-app purchases?

At the moment, you can link in-app purchases to a search ad keyword through:

    • A third-party attribution platform or software.
    • A unique attribution code that you can set up within your app.


10. What are negative keywords?

Negative keywords prevent search queries from matching your keywords and are essential for increasing the ROI of any search ad campaign for mobile marketing.


Exact match and broad match are the two types of negatives:

    • If the search query perfectly matches the negative keyword, the exact match will block the search. For example, –[pizza recipe] will prevent searches for “pizza recipe”, but not for “pizza crust recipe” or “recipe pizza”.
    • If all of the individual words in the negative keyword are encountered in any order in the search query, the broad match will halt the search. For example, searches for “pizza recipe”, “pizza crust recipe”, and “recipe pizza” will be blocked, but not searches for “crust recipe”.

You should also note that if an exact match is not determined, wide negatives are default and can hinder a large amount of traffic. Hence, you should be cautious when using wide negatives.



How to make the most of Apple Search Ads?


There are various ways to improve the performance of your Apple Search Ads once you’ve chosen what the best solution is for you. You will have more control over how your campaigns are managed with ASA Advanced.


Reviewing app metadata before starting a campaign, targeting keywords based on your USP, using both match types for best results, making use of negative keywords, and combining and segmenting countries & regions are few ways to make the most of Apple Search Ads.


Do you need help with your user acquisition efforts? Contact us today, and let’s discuss the many ways we can work together to reach your goals.

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