Three people viewing their Apple Search Ads accounts on computer screens.

Best Practices

Bidding

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.
Inform decisions with
bid insights.
To help you evaluate the competitiveness of your search results keyword bids on an ongoing basis, we provide bid insights in your account. They’re designed to help you make more educated decisions on how to adjust bids and maximize your budget. Alongside each keyword, you’ll find: 
  • Bid strength: An assessment of the competitiveness of your max CPT bid.
  • Suggested bid range: The suggested range for where your max CPT bid should fall to increase the likelihood of your ad displaying. The range is based on your bid history, your tap-through rate, and other advertisers’ bid histories for it.

Below, you can see bid strength indicators and suggested bid ranges for an example app called TripTrek that offers travel tracking and sharing.

Keywords tab showing bid strength and suggested bid ranges for example app TripTrek.
Bid recommendations available by app on the Recommendations page.

Use our bid
recommendations.

On the Recommendations page, you may find suggested adjustments for your max CPT bids. For added context, additional metrics such as average CPT and tap-through rate appear alongside each recommendation. Remember that your max CPT bid is the most you’ll ever pay for a tap — many times you’ll pay less. Applying our max CPT bid recommendations can help give your ad a better chance of showing in search results.

Setting a max CPT bid of $1.00 for the broad keyword match type.

Set max CPT bids
based
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.

Use ad groups to differentiate bidding strategies.
Create separate ad groups for keywords or audiences that require different bidding strategies. Place your highest max CPT bids on the keywords in ad groups targeting your core audience segments. This could include ad groups set for particular age groups, gender, location, and so on. However, because users’ search queries are the strongest signals of intent, many of your ad groups may not even need to include audience refinements like age and gender. Remember, your max CPT bid is the highest amount you’d be willing to pay for a tap — not necessarily the actual amount you’ll pay.
Entering $50,000 in the field for lifetime budget.

Set your budget
for the long term.

Your budget is a lifetime budget. If it’s set low, you run the risk of exhausting it quickly even with moderately set bids. It’s best to set an amount that will keep your campaign running for at least a month or more, then control spending with a daily cap and, potentially, a budget order.

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.

Control your spending with a daily cap.

Setting a daily cap helps distribute your spend over a desired time period. Once your daily cap is reached, ads will stop appearing, but will restart the next day until your  budget is depleted.
 

Here’s how our example app TripTrek sets its daily cap to ensure its budget will last a full 30 days:

 

Budget: $1200 (U.S.)

 

Daily cap: $40 (U.S.) 

 

If you find you’re hitting your daily cap every day and meeting your goals, consider increasing the daily cap to get additional impressions and downloads. For help determining daily cap amounts, check the Recommendations page in your account. 

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.
Bids being increased by 10% in edit CPT bid modal for example app TripTrek.

To ensure it’s reaching users during peak travel times, our example app TripTrek increases
bids on high-performing brand and category keywords during summer months.

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