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Best Practices


Bidding effectively will help you stay competitive and increase the likelihood of your app showing in App Store search results. Use the following suggestions to get the best results.
Start off with a strong max CPT bid.
When you create a new search results campaign or ad group, we’ll provide a max CPT bid suggestion based on what we know about your app and what advertisers with similar apps are willing to pay. Remember that the max CPT bid you set is the most you’ll ever pay for a tap — many times you’ll pay less.  
Inform decisions with
our bid recommendations.
You may see recommended bids under the Max CPT Bid column on the All Keywords dashboard. Applying recommendations can help give your ad a better chance of appearing to customers.

In the example below, you can see a recommended bid for a travel app called AwayFinder.
The All Keywords dashboard is open for the example app, AwayFinder. In the Max CPT Bid column, a bid is selected to be edited. Below the current bid amount, a recommended bid amount appears with an Update link. Clicking the link will cause the current bid to be updated to the recommended bid.

To dive deeper into bid recommendations, go to the Recommendations page in your account. Alongside each recommendation, you’ll find current performance metrics and estimates to help inform your decisions with added context on why we’re suggesting specific bids. These include:

  • Impression share, rank, search popularity, installs, spend, average CPA, average CPT, impressions, and tap-through rate
  • Estimated installs, estimated spend, and estimated average CPA

    Learn more about the Recommendations page
Setting a max CPT bid of $1.00 for a keyword set to the broad match type.

Set max CPT bids
on match type.

Apply more aggressive bid amounts on exact match keywords, as they’re your core performance drivers and the most relevant to your app. More investment provides you with more control over when your ad appears.

Generally, more moderate bids should be placed on broad match keywords and Search Match ad groups. These drive discovery and can help you tap into search trends, peaks, and lower-volume terms, but may not drive high efficiency like exact match terms. For optimal performance, most of your traffic should come from exact match.

Keep broad match and exact match keywords in separate ad groups or campaigns so you can manage bid strategies individually.

Know when to raise and reevaluate your bids.

You may want to raise your max CPT bid if:

  • You’ve learned from your discovery campaign or ad group that certain terms are performing well. You can add those high performers as keywords in your brand, category, and competitor campaigns or ad groups and test raising your max CPT bid to see if you can get more impressions and downloads.

  • You have a keyword that’s delivering conversions below your target acquisition cost. Consider making incremental increases to your bid on that keyword to see if you can get more downloads within your target. Use our suggested bid range as a guide.

  • You’re not seeing many impressions for popular keywords. If the keywords are relevant to your app, it’s possible that you’re being outbid by other advertisers. Raise your max CPT bid for specific keywords to see if you can improve results. Use our suggested bid range as a guide.

You may want to reevaluate your max CPT bid if:

  • You have a keyword that’s delivering taps, but low conversions at an acquisition cost higher than your target. Adjust your bid to keep acquisition costs down.

We continuously optimize our bidding strategy, increasing investment on these top-performing search terms to ensure that we stay as competitive as possible in
each market.

Entering $500 in the field for daily budget.

Set a daily budget to control your
monthly spend.

Your daily budget is the average amount you want to spend on your campaign each day over the course of a month. Your campaign will run continuously, automatically extending to each new month based on your daily budget amount — unless you pause, remove, or set an end date. Campaigns will optimize for high-opportunity days and your monthly spend won’t be more than your daily budget times the average number of days in a calendar month — which is calculated as 30.4 days.

For help determining daily budget amounts, check the Recommendations page in your account.

Monitor performance and spend regularly.
Check keyword performance frequently and stay on top of which terms deliver the best results. Ensure you have enough budget available to maximize the potential of your high performers. You may want to increase bids or reallocate budget for specific keywords.
Consider seasonality, trends, and current events.
To make the most of seasonal opportunities and trends, you may want to periodically adjust
your max CPT bids for existing keywords, or add new keywords with more aggressive bids.
The All Keywords dashboard is open for an example campaign named AwayFinder_Category. A modal says Edit Max CPT Bid for 24 Keywords, and a radio button is selected for the option to Set new bid.

If you were running a campaign for the travel app, AwayFinder, you could increase bids on high-performing brand and category keywords during summer months to ensure you reached users during peak travel times.

See how effective bidding pays off.

Below are some of the performance gains
Apple Search Ads advertisers have seen
after taking steps to optimize their bids.

50% higher return on ad spend than similar platforms.
30% higher conversion rate (subscription trial) than similar platforms.
20% lower cost-per-acquisition than similar platforms.
23% higher conversion rate for ad variations than default ad.

100% global subscriber growth year over year.
80% of downloads in new markets driven by Apple Search Ads.
60% increase in annual subscriptions.
#1 platform for conversion rate (10%).

2X increase in registrations during three-month peak season.
2X higher tap-through rate (TTR) after creative optimization.
50% decrease in cost-per-conversion for brand keywords in three months.

26% more iOS downloads after a quarter of running Apple Search Ads.
30% increase in new subscribers globally year over year.
40% increase in annual subscriptions in the U.S.

Campaign Structure