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Best Practices

Campaign Structure

Choosing the right campaign structure is a key part of your success with Apple Search Ads. Being strategic about how you set up search results campaigns can help you more easily measure performance, optimize keyword bids, scale to new audiences, and more. Use the following suggestions to get the best results from your search
results campaigns.

Keep in mind how campaign elements relate.

At the campaign level, you set a budget and choose the countries and regions where your ads will run. Within campaigns, you’ll create ad groups where you can choose keywords, set bids, and set up ad variations.
The Campaigns dashboard is open for the example app, Music Teacher. Four campaigns are listed with three running, and one paused.

Separate campaigns by keyword themes.

Include four campaign types in your account: Brand, category, competitor, and discovery. Each campaign type focuses on a different keyword theme and uses specific ad group, match type, and bidding strategies.

Campaign Structure Outline

A diagram of campaign types and associated ad groups that illustrates the following content.

The first three campaign types will drive your core performance, so they should be monitored closely.

  1. Brand campaign focuses on keywords that relate to your app or company name.
  2. Category campaign focuses on non-branded keywords that describe your app’s category or genre and what your app does.
  3. Competitor campaign focuses on keywords for apps that are similar to yours, within the same or a related app category.

For brand, category, and competitor campaigns, set keywords to the exact match type, make sure Search Match is off, and apply your most aggressive max CPT bids to the highest-performing keywords.

The fourth campaign type gives you insight into effective keywords you can add to the first three campaign types.

  1. Discovery campaign focuses on reaching a wider audience and mining for popular search terms to add as keywords. Within this campaign, you’ll use broad match keywords and Search Match to automatically match your ad to relevant search terms. You’ll want to create two dedicated ad groups:

    • Broad match ad group includes all the keywords from the other three campaign types but with the match type set to broad and Search Match off.
    • Search Match ad group doesn’t include any keywords but has Search Match on to show your ad for relevant App Store searches.

In your discovery campaign, add all the keywords from your brand, category, and competitor campaigns as exact match negative keywords. This will allow your ad to match to searches related to your keywords, while preventing matches to the exact keywords you’re already bidding on elsewhere.

With Apple Search Ads, account structure is key to success. Grouping by keyword theme allows us to understand performance by market separately and take insightful action on bidding.

Use discovery learnings to optimize your
other campaigns.

Once you’ve identified search terms that perform well in your discovery campaign, add them to the appropriate brand, category, or competitor campaign as new exact match keywords. Then repeat the process of adding those keywords as exact match negative keywords in your discovery campaign. Keep in mind that you can also add non-performing keywords as negative keywords in your campaigns. This will prevent your ad from showing for those terms, and can help you control costs.

Consider countries
and regions.

Separate campaigns by individual countries or regions when dealing with larger markets that require a dedicated budget or have distinct goals. Individual campaigns can help you understand value. Or group multiple countries and regions in one campaign if they have similar goals or share attributes like customer value, language, or regional sales or financial centers. Including multiple countries and regions in one campaign will simplify ad and budget management.
If you create individual campaigns to manage regions or budgets separately, you can set up ad group types similar to the campaign types outlined above. Create ad groups dedicated to brand, category, competitor, and discovery broad match keywords, along with a discovery ad group with Search Match on. Here’s how this structure might if you were promoting a string instruments teaching app called Music Teacher.

Music Teacher Campaign Structure for a Single Country

A diagram of an example campaign named Music Teacher_US. The top row is Music Teacher Campaign, the second row is Music Teacher Ad Groups, and the third row is Music Teacher Keywords. The Music Teacher_US campaign connects to the following ad groups and keywords: Brand_exact match, with keywords Music Teacher and Music Teacher app; Category_exact match, with keywords learn guitar, guitar teacher, and guitar lessons; Competitor_exact match, with keywords GuitarEZ app and GuitarEZ lessons; Discovery_broad match with All Keywords; and Discovery_Search Match with No Keywords.

Explore how well-structured campaigns
deliver results.

Below are some of the performance gains Apple Search Ads advertisers have seen by effectively organizing keywords, bids, and ads across campaigns.

20% incremental app downloads after running Apple Search Ads.
18% average lower cost per acquisition compared with similar platforms.
38% increase in new user acquisition after running ads on the Search tab.

11X increase in revenue over two years.
24% increase in impressions in brand campaigns after running Today tab ads.
30% increase in taps in brand campaigns after running Today tab ads.

3X growth in downloads since running Apple Search Ads.
#1 platform for install-to-subscription rate.
5X increase in redownloads during Ramadan.
62% decrease in cost-per-acquisition year over year.

#1 platform for most efficient cost-per-install.
47% increase in tap-through rate with optimized creative.
48% increase in download rate with seasonal optimization.
61% decrease in acquisition costs with seasonal optimization.