Three Easy Steps to Optimize Your App’s Search Ads

Apple Search Ads put your app in front of the right audience. There are specific actions you can take to optimize this marketing channel to ensure it is cost-effective and provides positive ROI.

Step 1: Create Foundational Campaigns

  • Branded Campaign: This campaign should include all branded keywords. It is important given that competitors are most likely bidding on your brand and their ad will show above your app. Creating this campaign will ensure that your brand is placed at the top of the list when some searches for it.
  • Competitor Campaign: You should develop a comprehensive list of all competitors. Separating out data on competitor keywords will allow your business to understand how much of its total search budget is going to increasing market share over competitors. If increasing market share over key competitors is a strategic priority, budget should be allocated accordingly.
  • Top Performers Campaign: Should include highest converting, lowest CPI (cost-per-install) keywords. Assuming scalable demand, increasing spend allocated to these keywords should increase marketing efficiency. We recommend testing a high budget to determine at what point demand taps out.

Step 2: Add Negative Keywords

Negative keywords help filter out search terms that trigger your ad to show, but are not relevant to your app. It’s important for your company to add negative keywords in order to maintain high Tap-Through-Rates. Tap-Through-Rates are essential to improve because, along with bid and relevance, they determine your ad rank. Negative keywords also prevent you from wasting money because you won’t pay for taps that won’t ultimately install the app. We recommend regularly adding negative keywords by viewing the “search terms” report, then sorting keywords by low Tap-Through-Rate (TTR) and low CPI. For example, if your app is a PDF scanner tool you would want to add negative keywords for “bar code scanner” or “QR code scanner” by adding negative keywords your ads will not show up for these irrelevant search terms.

Step 3: Optimize by Device

Apple Search Ads allow you to optimize campaigns by device. By looking at Google Analytics data a company is able to see downloads from iPads vs. iPhones. It is important to optimize your campaign based on the device that works best for your app. You don’t want to waste money on iPhone impressions if your app is better suited for iPads.