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The Most Effective Account Structure for Apple Search Ads

Apple Search Ads (ASA) run ads within the App Store to drive downloads to your app. ASA is a great ad-platform to grow the user base of your app and it is not very hard to get used to. Unlike Facebook Ads & Google Ads, you don't need ad copies & creatives to advertise. ASA lets you run keyword-based campaigns. So, starting advertising on ASA is comparatively easy because all you need is a list of keywords to run campaigns.

Today, I’m sharing the easiest and effective way to structure your Apple Search Ads Advanced account that would not only drive quality installs but also help you in better campaign optimization. So, let's get straight into it!

To start with, for every targeted country, you need to run these four campaigns - Generic, Brand, Competitors, Discovery. Below is the explanation and structure guide for the campaigns mentioned above:

  • Generic Campaign: Create a list of generic & relevant search terms you think people would type to search for your app on the App store. For example, to download a cab booking app, a user might use search terms like - cab, online cab, online cab app, cab app, book cab, book a taxi, etc. Take some time to brainstorm and make this list.

Once you are done, add these search terms as the ‘Exact Match’ keywords in your campaign and turn off ‘Search Match’ in the campaign settings. You can also eliminate a few keywords if their ‘Popularity’ score is very low.

By creating this campaign, your ads will start appearing on the most relevant search terms for your mobile app and you will start receiving quality paid traffic on your ads.

  • Brand Campaign: If you are an established brand, you should run ads even on your brand keywords. It is possible that other brands would target your brand keywords in their campaigns and steal your organic traffic.

For this campaign, you need to create a list of brand keywords and run them as ‘Exact Match’ while keeping ‘Search Match’ off.

Can you think of keywords that Uber would use in their Brand Match Campaigns? Maybe - Uber, Download Uber, Uber app, Book an Uber, etc. Use the same thought process to create a list of your own brand keywords.

By advertising on your brand keywords, your organic traffic might take a hit. But it will make sure that a user who’s looking for your app will not download any other app because the sponsored and organic search results will show your app first.

  • Competitors Campaign: As I mentioned above, other brands could steal your organic traffic, you should do the same by targeting the brand keywords of your competitors. Add competitor keywords to your campaign while keeping ‘Exact Match’ on for all keywords and ‘Search Match’ off.

This strategy will be highly useful to target a relevant audience and boost your search ranking above competitor brands.

  • Discovery Campaign: Of course you cannot list each and every traffic-driving keyword on your own. But Search Ads is there to help you identify new keywords that can be added to your campaign. As the name suggests, a discovery campaign is run to discover keywords you were not using earlier in your campaigns.

This campaign would include two ad-groups and both will serve different purposes.

  1. Broad Match: Combine all the keywords currently targeted, add them in an ad-group and select their match type as 'broad match'. You can name this ad-group ‘Broad Match’. You also need to add the same list in negative keywords, but set the match type of these as 'exact match'. By doing this, Search Ads will get you install on new keywords similar to your exact match keywords, but, since you have also added the negative keywords, this campaign won’t cannibalize the other Exact Match campaigns. Remember to turn off 'Search Match' in ad-group settings.

  2. Search Match: Starting this ad-group is very simple. Add all your targeted keywords in the negative list (as an exact match) and turn on the ‘Search Match’ in the ad-group settings. This will allow Search Ads to find any keyword other than what you have already added to the campaigns and you’ll start getting installs on new keywords.

I have been running campaigns on Apple Search Ads for around two years and found this as the most effective and optimized way to structure your Apple Search Ads account and generate quality results.

Don’t forget to leave your comments below and let me know if you have any questions :)

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