— 15 Apr 2024

Apple Search Ads Keywords in 2024: Basics, Expansion & Best Practices

Gabriel Kuriata

Apple Search Ads campaigns need strong keyword pools that are systematically optimized in response to seasonal fluctuations, activities of competitors, evolving trends and user preferences, as well as the development of the app itself.

Today, with proper tools, systematic keyword expansion is easier than ever. Years of experience allowed us to distinguish several best practices that lead to a process resulting in a strong keyword pool that is easy to optimize and manage.

This article will cover the subject of creating, expanding and optimizing a strong keyword pool in Apple Search Ads. In doing so, we’ll show how to maintain a balance between the volume of impressions, relevance, popularity and competition in order to boost traffic but stay within your Target ROAS (Return On Ad Spend).

Why is keyword expansion so important?

The goal of any app developer is to maximize revenue. For most mobile apps, it’s generated through actions users take after opening and running them. In Apple Search Ads, the path to that happening includes several steps:

Mobile app marketing funnel
Interaction with Apple Search Ads. The journey from impressions to actually generating revenue involves several steps, each with the risk of losing the user.

Just a quick glance at the funnel below highlights the importance of a strong keyword database, as users’ journeys start with search queries. Ads in search results that correspond to that query, generate impressions. As our own benchmarking data indicates, around 10% of those are tapped, leading to the user landing on the app’s product page. There, around 60% on average proceed to make a download (with significant disparities among categories). This step doesn’t have to result in the user opening the app, let alone spending enough time with it to generate revenue through in-app purchases or viewing in-app advertising, as according to data provided by Statista, consistently only around 25% of apps are used more than once after downloading.

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Apple Search Ads Keywords in 2024: Basics, Expansion & Best Practices

Marketers can contribute to the increase of revenue in the final stage of the funnel in two ways: by optimizing the conversion rate and / or increasing the number of generated impressions.

  1. Optimizing the conversion rate

This process increases the number of users passing through each stage of our funnel. The bigger the conversion rate, the better your return on ad spend (ROAS) will be. Methods of conversion rate optimization in Apple Search Ads include app store optimization (ASO), A/B testing, personalizing experiences with custom product pages and keyword pool optimization.

  1. Increasing the impression volume

The bigger number of users viewing your ads, the more of them can potentially get to the bottom of the funnel (with a certain conversion rate and profitability maintained). Impressions in Apple Search Ads can be maximized through utilizing additional ad placements available on the App Store (the Today tab, Search tab and product pages) and expansion of the keyword database for ads appearing in search results.

The more you open up the funnel at the top, the more users will arrive at its final stage. This is essential not only for downloads and revenue, but conversion rate optimization as well. “You can’t pour from an empty cup.” – it’s as simple as that. You need traffic before you can draw any meaningful conclusion from your A/B tests or feel the impact of other optimizing activities.

The focus of the article is on increasing impression volume and keywords expansion. As much as we’d love to cover all the things that also contribute to Apple Search Ads account profitability, due to the scope it’s simply not possible. To get more insights on bid management, negative keywords, conversion rate optimization (CRO) and approaches to account structuring (the different ways to break keywords into groups and manage them, we highly recommend reading following articles:

Bidding in Apple Search Ads: How to Win an Auction?

10+1 Apple Search Ads Best Practices: Ultimate Guide

Correlation: Share of Voice & Apple Search Ads Search Popularity

The basics of Apple Search Ads keywords

Before we dive into the technicalities of keyword expansion and best practices concerning them, we must understand the very basics of keyword research & analysis in Apple Search Ads.

Branded vs Generic Keywords: a comparison of user intent

Search queries are a direct reflection of users’ intent, encapsulating the stage of their customer journey through the App Store towards a download. Therefore, they can be classified into two groups, by the level of intent they show: branded and generic.

Branded keywords (utility-centric) are specific terms or phrases that includes the name of a brand or company. Associated with a particular brand and typed by users who are specifically searching for information about it. Branded keywords typically include the app’s name or less frequently, a developer.

Users often know how to solve their problems and look for specific apps. Thus, the App Store attracts high-intent users who are further down the funnel in the first place.That is why Search Ads boasts such a high average conversion rate — 50%. In comparison, Facebook Ads have to kindle user interest at the very top of the funnel.

Generic keywords (discovery-centric) are broad and commonly used terms that describe functionality of apps, their subcategory, style or problem they solve rather than a specific brand or developer. Users typically search for generic keywords when they are in the early stages of their journey and are looking for information, options, or solutions within a particular category.

Frequently having no specific goals in mind, users use generic search queries to look for something interesting or inspiring, for example, “relaxing games” or “shopping apps”.

Branded vs generic keywords: a comparison of performance

According to our data (from a most recent sample, November – December 2023), branded keywords are the basis of less than a quarter of all ongoing campaigns and even though they generate a fraction of impressions, they result in a significant amount of taps and downloads.

Performance of branded and generic keywords in Apple Search Ads campaigns, based on data by SplitMetrics
The comparison between share of keywords in Apple Search Ads campaigns, their impressions as well as generated taps and downloads. Source: SplitMetrics.

Looking back at earlier data, this fresh sample signals the bigger importance of generic keywords. It makes sense, as the possible permutations of branded keywords are limited and apps turn to generic and longer keywords for incremental growth. Older data showed a bigger share of branded keywords in driving traffic, although it’s good to remember how diverse strategies in Apple Search Ads can be. For example, there are apps relying on branded or generic traffic only. 

Nevertheless, branded campaigns have significantly higher tap-through rates and conversion rates. The conclusion is simple, both are important for campaigns, but work in different ways.

Performance of branded and generic keywords in Apple Search Ads campaigns, based on data by SplitMetrics. Comparison for CTA and CPA
Average TTR and CVR as observed for generic and branded campaigns. Source: SplitMetrics.

Keyword Search popularity and impressions

Understanding the search popularity of keywords is crucial for advertisers using Apple Search Ads. It helps them choose relevant and high-performing keywords to target in their ad campaigns. Keywords with higher search popularity are more likely to attract visibility, as they represent terms that users commonly use when searching for apps similar to what an advertiser is offering.

Search Popularity: the popularity of a keyword is based on App Store searches. Search popularity is displayed as numbers from 1 to 5, with 5 being the most popular. Source: Apple Search Ads

SplitMetrics Acquire expands the default display method of Search popularity by providing values ranging from 5 to 100, for a more accurate and granular representation of the number of users searching for a particular query. In any case, the value isn’t absolute and depends on the population of a particular market. The same value of 50 in the US and the UK storefronts will differ in absolute terms and therefore – maximum impressions that can be gained.

The bigger Search popularity of a keyword, the more search traffic it gets. Such keywords are limited in number, hence competition for them is very high. To understand the relationship between Search popularity and attainable impressions, look at the chart below:

A relationship between search popularity index and generated impressions, based on Data by SplitMetrics and Phiture
An illustration of the number of observations (represented by blue bars) and the number of impressions (represented by dots). Data source: SplitMetrics Acquire, analysis by SplitMetrics and Phiture. Read more about this relationship in the article “Correlation: Share of Voice & Apple Search Ads Search Popularity”.

The relationship is simple: while Search popularity increases linearly, impressions do so exponentially. Keywords with Search popularity of 5 can be ignored, as they have little to contribute to the number of impressions, while those in the top range can be a source of significant traffic.

Logically, competition for the top 10% of keywords in terms of popularity is very high. Examples of keywords with Search popularity in the 95-100 range are mostly, if not all top brands like Facebook, Snapchat or TikTok.

A comparison between Search popularity index in Apple Search Ads and more elaborate metric found in SplitMetrics Acquire. Visible inside the system and in Apple Search Ads with a Chrome plugin.
You can use our detailed Keyword Popularity score with your Apple Search Ads account, by adding the SplitMetrics’ Apple Search Ads Keyword Popularity Checker to Google Chrome. It’s a free ASO tool for everyone.

High popularity drives competition, which in turn has tremendous impact on target CPT for keywords. This is why the Suggested bid range and Bid strength in Apple Search Ads are so  important to observe. Frequently updated, they provide close to real-time data on how expensive bidding can be. The level of competition and cost-per-tap fluctuates with seasonal patterns, so it’s important to have a clear understanding of our own goals and budget in order to avoid overspending or having our share of voice drastically reduced.

Long-tail vs short keywords

The relationship between Search popularity and impressions, as well as the differences in average CVR and TTR between branded and generic keywords begs the question of value that generic, long-tail keywords have for our campaigns.

Long-tail keywords are specific and detailed keyword phrases that typically consist of three or more words. Unlike short and generic keywords, long-tail keywords are more specific and targeted, often reflecting a user’s specific query, intent, or niche interest. These keywords are called “long-tail” because, when visualized on a graph, they represent the longer end of the distribution curve.

According to our data, well over half of campaigns are targeting queries consisting of no more than two words. However, just a quick glance at the chart below shows that three or even four letter keywords shouldn’t be dismissed. Compared to older data shows that the role of longer keywords increased, evidence of evolution of both user behavior and advertising strategy.

The big role of branded keywords contribute to the average keyword length. Branded keywords drive a significant amount of traffic in Apple Search Ads campaigns, but what makes generic and long-tailed keywords a key component of user acquisition is their sheer volume and many instances –- their specificity.

Keyword distribution in search queries, by number of words
The majority os App Store Search queries aren’t long. Source: SplitMetrics.

Long-tail keywords are more specific and therefore can bring traffic of a higher quality and bigger conversion rates. Compare “games” vs. “education games for kids”. The second query is more relevant to the searcher, so it can attract traffic of a higher quality and has a greater conversion potential.  

Long-tail keywords are also less competitive, and therefore cheaper. People often ignore such keywords, as they imply more work and advertising expertise.

Therefore, it’s possible to have sustainable results with them. If you target only popular keywords, the chances are that a big player will come and outbid you, which will cause your impressions and revenue to immediately drop. With long-tail keywords, all traffic is distributed between multiple keywords, which makes the problem less pressing.

Keyword relevance in Apple Search Ads

Scale makes you seen, but it’s the quality that creates a connection. 

Popular, branded keywords will drive traffic to your app’s product page, but won’t give you any downloads if they aren’t relevant to your app. On the other hand, a large pool of generic, longer keywords with modest Search popularity values but high relevance can prove to be a steady source of revenue, especially when your brand just doesn’t have that recognizability (yet ????).

Relevance score is a technical parameter that shows the potential of a given search query to your Apple Search Ads campaigns. Driven by your app’s metadata, it’s a good indicator of potential convertibility and influences your chances of appearing in paid search results.

Utilize custom product pages to increase your relevance for a keyword, especially when your app is feature-rich and not all of them can be granted equal exposure on the default product page.

Apple Search Ads takes both bids and relevance into account when choosing an ad to be displayed. To make it into the auction, your app should be considered “relevant” to the keyword that matches a particular user query.

So, if you get no impressions for a keyword regardless of a high bid, it may be that your app’s score is below the relevance threshold. This is why app store optimization (ASO) is such an integral part of any successful Apple Search Ads campaign. You can try to add the keyword to your metadata to improve relevance and be eligible for the auction. But you also need to consider whether such a move makes sense in the bigger context of what your app actually does for its potential users. Logical relevance, that’s decided by actual, real-life CVR and TTR for a given queries is equally vital to your success.

SplitMetrics Acquire, an AI-driven app growth platform, provides an ML-based relevance score parameter that indicates how a given keyword is relevant to our app. Available in all our semantic tools, Keyword Discovery, CPP Intelligence and Keyword Gap, it will help you eliminate those queries with little potential.

To understand the importance of relevance, take a look at the chart below:  

Keyword - free games, analysis of bids and relevance, source: SplitMetrics
App 1 and App 2 have higher CPT bids, but Apple Search Ads ignores them due to low technical relevance. App 4 wins with App 3, because of a higher bid. Source: SplitMetrics.

Keywords match types for Apple Search Ads

Before we go into the process of keyword expansion, in addition to keyword types, we need to understand their place in our Apple Search Ads account.

In Apple Search Ads Advanced campaigns, match types play a crucial role in determining how your ads align with user searches. There are two types at your disposal: broad match and exact match. Incorporate both types of matching in your campaigns for optimal coverage and performance.

Broad match

The default in Apple Search Ads Advanced, broad match extends your ad’s reach to relevant close variants, including singulars, plurals, misspellings, synonyms, related searches, and phrases containing the term. Utilize broad match for keyword discovery campaigns, complementing it with the automatic Search Match feature of Apple Search Ads.

Exact match

For precise control over ad placements, use exact matching. Ads will be shown only for specific terms and their close variants, encompassing common misspellings and plurals. This ensures your ad appears only when a user’s search query precisely matches the keyword, considering both order and wording. In a typical semantic account structure, exact match should be the only keyword type used in brand, competitor, and generic campaigns, with broad match reserved for discovery, for optimum spending.

Search Match

Search Match is a feature of Apple Search Ads Advanced that matches ads to search queries automatically. To do this, the platform relies on multiple resources, including metadata from your App Store product page and information about similar apps. Use Search Match for discovery campaigns, as an excellent tool for identifying new keywords.

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Apple Search Ads Keywords in 2024: Basics, Expansion & Best Practices

The basics of Apple Search Ads keywords: a summary

To sum up, when choosing a keyword, remember the following:

  1. Brand keywords are crucial: they offer high conversion rates and drive significant traffic and downloads. 
  2. Never overlook generic keywords, even long-tail ones: due to scale and possible relevance, they can offer a steady inflow of users to your app’s product page.

Pay attention to these keyword metrics:

  1. Impressions volume: it can be assessed by Search popularity. While Search popularity rises linearly, impression volume grows exponentially.
  2. Competition level: it can be assessed by the number of search results, and is also expressed by the Default CTP Bid (the average bid for a category or a given app to reach target KPIs).
  3. Technical relevance: can be assessed by the app’s position in search results. SplitMetrics Acquire provides an estimate of this metric in a descriptive manner.
  4. Logical relevance: you run campaigns for people, not robots. Logical relevance can be measured indirectly with TTR and CVR. Low values mean keywords don’t fit your app;

On a final note, we’d like to share this great piece of advice that was shared during our most recent and biggest digital event, App Growth Week 2023, during a session titled Unlocking the Power of Apple Search Ads: Strategic Tips for Brand and Non-Brand Campaigns.

Constantly search and test new keywords. This should be a constant process, as there is a limited number of keywords that will perform well on the first try. Active competitors, expensive traffic, low conversions or low LTV – all of these can affect your opportunity. The best solution is to not give up. If you think that keyword is relevant to your app, test it from time to time until you see the progress.

Apple Search Ads Keywords in 2024: Basics, Expansion & Best Practices
Anastasiia Shagaaleva
User Acquisition Manager at Flo

You can view the entire session in this article: App Growth Week 2023: Day 2 — Apple Search Ads.

Apple Search Ads keywords: best practices & expansion

Now let’s get down to business and build a large keyword pool. The process is pretty straightforward. First, we expand our pool as much as possible with four fundamental methods in a process called keyword picking and then analyze & review it, chipping away keywords without potential or not relevant to us.

Today, it’s hard to imagine this process without access to an Apple Search Ads management platform such as SplitMetrics Acquire. After all, you need to generate, order and evaluate hundreds, if not thousands of keywords. Whether you use such a platform is up to you, but we’ll be running this process showcasing our service, as it offers unique semantic tools, without which some tasks might seem extraordinarily difficult if not downright impossible.

In SplitMetrics Acquire, I use Keyword Discovery a lot, because there is AI incorporated into the tool, which is really good. In the past, when I did the keyword research, it was mostly based on the keyword itself, so each time it gave me the same results. Now with this AI-based feature in SplitMetrics Acquire, I have a broader picture on what words people search, and it’s more on the intent level.

Apple Search Ads Keywords in 2024: Basics, Expansion & Best Practices
Victoria Chan
Lead Growth Marketing Manager at Yousician
All the keywords are here
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Our Keyword Discovery tool suggests keywords in three ways:

  • By your app: keywords related to your app’s metadata, campaigns and other information
  • By your competitors: keywords that your competitors rank and run campaigns for
  • By keywords: by expanding your own suggestions.

In addition, our semantic tools include Keyword Gap –- for a comprehensive competitive analysis and CPP Intelligence, for examining running custom product pages of your competitors.

Run Discovery campaigns with Search Match in Apple Search Ads

One of the ways to generate new keyword ideas is to run discovery campaigns. Search Mmatch and broad match are the match types used to produce keyword ideas, and those efficiently performing ones are later transferred to Exact campaigns.

How to Run Apple Search Ads Discovery Campaigns? Find out by reading this article.

In a nutshell, the Search Match feature of Apple Search Ads will give you new keyword ideas automatically. In addition, you’ll be running multiple campaigns set to broad match, in order to find new variations of your especially important keywords.

While Search Match will work on its own, broad match campaigns require extensive manual preparation, as the system needs something to work on. You can use three methods listed below to improve your discovery campaigns.

Use Your Own Apple Search Ads organic report

The simplest strategy of finding relevant keywords is to examine those which your app is already ranked for in a particular market.

In order to access those keywords, you’ll need an external tool with capabilities for monitoring organic traffic, such as SplitMetrics Acquire’s AI-driven Keyword Discovery :

Keyword suggestions in SplitMetrics Acquire, based on app analysis
A screenshot of Keyword Discovery from SplitMetrics Acquire.

In SplitMetrics Acquire, start with selecting an app (if you’re managing campaigns for more than one with our service) and choose the “Keyword Discovery” tab. In the “By my app” tab apply the “Has organic rank filter” to immediately access keywords your app is ranking for organically. You can adjust the filter to only show those keywords you have top positions for and so on.

The Keyword Discovery tool can provide insights and statistics for all the keywords your app is ranking for, so that both keyword picking and keyword analysis are a breeze.

Research your competitors

Apple enables matching ads to competitors’ brand names and keywords, which is a great opportunity to get more impressions. Like in the previous method, using the Keyword Discovery you can obtain a list of keywords which your competitors rank for.

Select “By my competitors” and pick up to ten apps you wish to examine.

Keyword suggestions in SplitMetrics Acquire, based on competitor analysis
A screenshot of Keyword Discovery from SplitMetrics Acquire.

The Keyword Discovery tool shows the top 10 apps in search results for each keyword. As shown in the screenshot above, you can get insights by navigating through the apps right in the Keyword Discovery. As a rule, we recommend researching up to 10 main competitors. This is enough to get a wealth of keyword ideas.

Run a complete, semantic analysis of your competitors

Keyword Gap is our newest feature that will allow you to greatly expand the scope of your competitive analysis. Keyword Gap is a newest feature in SplitMetrics Acquire that offers a complete semantic analysis of your app in comparison with multiple competitors at the same time. These features of Keyword Gap will revolutionize your competitor analysis:

  • Discover keywords your competitors use and you don’t
  • Find out your app’s unique keywords and those you share with others
  • Compare multiple competitors at the same time
  • Compare keywords by Share of Voice and their Organic Rank
  • All data is presented on interactive bubble charts & in tables for your convenience.
Screenshot of Keyword Gap, feature of SplitMetrics Acquire
A screenshot of Keyword Gap: a market intelligence feature of SplitMetrics Acquire.

Read more about Keyword Gap in SplitMetrics Acquire in this article: Revolutionize Your Competitor Analysis with Keyword Gap in SplitMetrics Acquire.

Study custom product pages of your competitors

As we’ve mentioned before, custom product pages are a great tool for providing users with the most relevant results in response to their search queries. They can be used to highlight specific features of an app, or reach narrow audiences. Because of this, they can be a great source of inspiration for new keywords that can be also beneficial for your app.

Screenshot of CPP Intelligence, a feature for analysis of custom product pages in SplitMetrics Acquire
A screenshot of CPP Intelligence, a custom product page analysis tool of SplitMetrics Acquire.

CPP Intelligence is another feature that can take your keyword expansion even further. Used primarily to inspect active custom product pages of your competitors, it also provided insights on their related keywords, with additional information about them.

Suppose you already have an initial keywords list or a list of keywords that have performed well in your account. It’s logical to assume that keywords which are similar in meaning or more specific variants of them may perform the same way. Sometimes you need to take matters into your own hands (nobody knows your app more than you do). “By keywords” tab in our Keyword Discovery tool allows you to find all those variants of keywords you have, expanding your list even further. Use all additional metrics we provide to evaluate each of the results. 

Keyword suggestions in SplitMetrics Acquire, based on keyword input
A screenshot of Keyword Discovery from SplitMetrics Acquire.

It’s also worth knowing that Apple Search Ads will provide you with keyword recommendations, based on your ongoing campaigns that you can implement manually. This is a very basic, yet effective method of expanding your pool.

Where to find even more inspiration for keyword research?

With proper tools, the keyword expansion process is highly automated and streamlined, enabling us to constantly look for new opportunities and reevaluate them. However, ultimately, even the very best, AI-driven systems require human input. After all, suggestions are based on descriptions, metadata and keywords you provide.

It’s good to do some creative brainstorming before you even begin the process. Here are places to get some ideas to build upon and use pro tools to expand into big, highly performing keyword pools.

Talk to Artificial Intelligence

ChatGPT can be a great assistant in the early stages of the keyword discovery process. AI can provide you with variants, synonyms or help you categorize your results in little to no time. But AI can also show you a direction to take your research based on a simple conversation about your app and its functionality.

Work with ChatGPT or other Large Language Models type of AI can be chaotic and frustrating without some preparation, so we’ve prepared a comprehensive report about it, aimed at mobile marketers. With 100 reliable prompts and lots of examples of practical use, it sure will help you make keyword discovery fun:

State of AI in mobile marketing, a playbook of AI and ChatGPT in mobile marketing

State of AI in Mobile Marketing

Discover AI’s transformative role in mobile app marketing and learn how this technology is reshaping competitive research, ASO, and user acquisition strategies.

Access the Report

Study App Store suggestions

In order to obtain more specific variants of your top keywords, you can refer to App Store search hints. The new keywords are likely to have lower popularity, but competition for them will be lower as well.

Suppose you have been running a campaign for the Angry Birds 2 app for a while, and the keyword [fun games] has proved to be well-performing. To get recommendations, go to the App Store and start entering the keyword in the search box.

The App Store will start offering hints at the end of the phrase. These are the keyword variants that have already been searched. Use them to get additional traffic.

Search suggestions from the Search tab on the App Store. Source: App Store.
Search suggestions from the Search tab on the App Store. Source: App Store.

This is an old-school approach. Alternatively, you can use special tools, such as our Keyword Discovery, to aggregate all possible hints for a given market automatically and quickly.

A snapshot of history in keyword research

Keyword expansion used to be a much more labor intensive process in the early years of Apple Search Ads than it is now. Marketers would look in all kinds of places for inspiration. Any experience with Google Ads and its advertising ecosystem was useful and perhaps can be used today, even though differences between these platforms call for caution.

All other semantic tools, like keyword multiplicators, synonym generators have been made obsolete with the rapid growth of Apple Search Ads management platforms like SplitMetrics Acquire or app store optimization systems like AppRadar that have everything a keyword pool builder would ever want.

For those on a budget, the rise of AI and the freely available ChatGPT did the same, the tool is really good at such work, giving us all variants, synonyms or suggestions a beginner would want – all through a simple conversation.

Apple Search Ads keyword expansion: keywords analysis

Now that we’ve gathered a large pool of keywords, let’s exсlude non-performing and irrelevant ones and divide the remainder into the groups — top, middle and low performers.

1. Get keywords performance metrics

The absolute bare minimum for each keyword are:

  • Search Ads popularity: a popularity indicator. The higher the indicator, the more search traffic can derive from such a keyword.
  • Search ranking: the app’s ranking for a keyword in a particular market. The higher the ranking, the more relevant the keyword is.
  • Total search results: the number of search results for a keyword. It can be assumed that the more search results, the more the keyword is popular with publishers, and as a result, more publishers will compete for this keyword.

All of these can be found either in Apple Search Ads, or through the App Store. However, we’ll use the following found in SplitMetrics Acquire for a more comprehensive overview:

  • Keyword: the keyword you are interested in.
  • Search Popularity: the popularity of a keyword in a given market. This indicator can help estimate the keyword traffic. The bigger popularity, the better. Words with popularity <= 5 can be simply ignored.
  • Organic Rank: this is an organic search position of your app for a keyword. The higher the position, the more relevant the keyword and the more efficient it is. Also, the higher the position, the bigger the outflow of organic traffic due to so-called “keyword cannibalism”. In practice, this percentage can hardly be calculated, only at the level of trends.
  • Relevance Score: a machine-learning powered tool to evaluate the relevance of a particular keyword.
  • Top 10 Apps by Share of Voice: a list of top 10 apps running campaigns for a specific keyword.
  • Organic Results: the number of apps ranking organically for a keyword
  • Impression Volume: estimated number of impressions per day.
  • Top by Rank: top 10 apps ranked for a keyword in a given market.

2. Remove low volume terms and irrelevant keywords

Regardless of the method you use to make the list of keywords, it’s necessary to make sure that users really search these keywords on the App Store. Otherwise, you’ll see zero impressions for such keywords in the report. To do this, remove all the keywords with popularity less than or equal to 5. You can get rid of the keywords which your app doesn’t rank for. 

3. Keyword grouping: Create a structure

Now let’s divide keywords into groups – Brand, Generic, Competitors. The idea is to group keywords with similar metrics (conversion rate, cost), which will simplify bids management and account structure creation.

There are 3 main groups of keywords:

  • Brand: keywords that include the app and company name enable you to capture high- intent users.
  • Generic / non-brand: keywords based on themes and descriptive terms for your app also help reach new users and raise your brand awareness.
  • Competitors: using keywords relevant to major competitors is a great way to get new users.

The workflow of discovery campaigns includes 6 steps which are recommended to repeat every week or fortnight to gradually increase the number of relevant keywords.

The semantic account structure in Apple Search Ads
A typical, semantic based account structure, recommended for beginning users that also showcases the workflow of a discovery campaign. Well performing keywords found with broad match and Search Mmatch are transferred to three separate campaigns utilizing exact matching for optimal cost-effect relationship.  Source: SplitMetrics.

Apple Search Ads keyword expansion, analysis & best practices: final words

With proper tools, the process of keyword expansion can be streamlined, fun and engaging. Although there are methods that are cost-free, the complexity and competitiveness of today’s mobile market calls for versatile sources of keywords and those simply can’t be obtained without some advanced technology.

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Gabriel Kuriata
Gabriel Kuriata
Content Manager
Gabriel is a professional writer with more than a decade of experience in bringing advanced b2b tech solutions closer to the people - with content in all forms, shapes and sizes.
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