Apple Search Ads - Keywords & Winning Creative

. 3 min read

Does your business have a mobile app component? If so, Apple Search Ads (ASA) should be one of the highest areas of interest to run your marketing efforts.

Just about anyone can set up ASA through the basic version but to see significant scale, marketers have to understand best practices for ASA advanced. Thats’ where we come in.

A financial tech client at Jump, who primarily runs their business through mobile app, was able to increase new customers by 612% and reduce CAC by 23% through ASA advanced keyword segmentation and creative testing in the span of a year.


Apple Search Ads (ASA) is an acquisition channel that connects advertisers with a relevant target audience. By bidding to appear when a user enters a particular keyword in the App Store, marketers can share their app with users that have a proven interest in specific terms.

When Apple first launched its App Store Ad network, it was only available in the US. It is now currently available in a total of 59 countries with plans on expanding. These expansive geographical locations gives marketers the opportunity to secure large amounts of high-quality users across the world.

ASA provides high quality users, as those that go to the App Store are there to complete a single task- install an app, therefore leading to high conversions. The ads in the App Store are not disturbing visitors but instead helping them find what they’re already searching for.

70% of App Store visitors use search to find new apps.

65% of installs happen after an App Store search.

Apple Search Ads boasts an average and impressive conversion rate of 50%.

The Hack:

Choosing the right keywords is crucial to create the best campaign structure.

General keywords help you reach a wider audience. These keywords can be more popular and competitive. Make sure they’re relevant to what your app offers, otherwise your ad may be unlikely to win the auction for those searches.

Specific keywords help your ad appear for search queries that are more narrowly related to your app. These terms can help you improve the rate of ad taps to installs, but if keywords are too specific you may not reach as many customers as you’d like.

In addition to your broad match and exact match keywords, you can use negative keywords to define which terms you don’t want to be included for your bids. This narrows the options for your targeted ads, but also ensures you aren’t bidding against yourself.

The best way to improve an app’s Conversion Rate (CVR) and Tap-through Rate (TTR) is through creative testing –  creating different versions, running different ad groups and rotating keywords.

The idea of creative variation is that being used across almost all digital performance platforms (Facebook, YouTube, and even Google!).

By creating and running different versions, you can A/B test and quickly see which screenshot creatives are performing best. Once you narrow it down to the top performers, you can focus your efforts (and budget) on those.