Apple Search Ads Filters: Account Performance Checkers

1) Ad Groups with low TTR

Our research has revealed that the average tap-through rate (TTR) is approximately 7%. As a rule, however, TTR is higher for Brand campaigns than for Competitors campaigns. 5% (used in the example above) is a threshold level, and if TTR is below 5%, then the ad group performs worse than it could, and you need to find the reasons why.

Low TTR indicates that there’s low relevance between a keyword and a creative set. By optimizing your ads, you can improve this score and thus get higher TTR.

Here are the most effective ways to increase the relevance score (and TTR):

  • A/B testing of creative sets
  • Using creative sets more relevant to user queries
  • Localize and adjust your app metadata to specific storefronts

To avoid search queries with low TTR, you can use:

  • Negative keywords
  • Exclude segments with poor performance, for example, disable non-working hours or weekends

2) Ad Groups with low Download Rate

Similar to the filter above, groups with low Download Rates show the areas that require optimization. According to Apple, the average Download Rate is 50%. The example above includes a more conservative rate of 30%.

Creative Sets use the assets on your App Store product page, or metadata, such as texts, screenshots, icons. Thus, by optimizing metadata you can improve the tap-through rate of an ad (TTR) and the number of downloads (Download Rate).

Optimization techniques are very similar to those in point 1) and are often used together. Some elements have a bigger impact on the TTR of a creative set (icon, name, rating), others — on the Download Rate (screenshots, description).

3) Install Rate and discrepancies between Apple Search Ads and Mobile Measurement Partners (MMPs)

According to Apple, the discrepancy between the data provided by MMP and Apple Search Ads can reach 60% for some apps. Here are the key reasons:

If the install rate is under 40%:

  • Make sure that enough time has passed, that you’ve received enough data available from MMP or downloaded the historical data
  • Check the MMP attribution window settings for Apple Search Ads; the window should be 30 days
  • Such a discrepancy may be caused by Search Match
  • Keep in mind that installs and conversions have a delayed effect, meaning that users do not always tap and buy on the same day. Analyze the data for the previous periods: they will typically show a higher rate

4) Share of keywords with no impressions (low technical keyword relevance)

Apple Search Ads functions on an auction basis. For your bid to enter the auction, your app should be relevant to the keyword that was matched to a particular user query. This is called technical keyword relevance. Apple’s algorithm determines this relevance based mainly on your app category and metadata — title, subtitle, and keywords.

How to count the share of keywords with low technical relevance?

1. Get the total number of Exact Match keywords (e.g. 23,085)

2. Use the filter to count keywords with few (e.g. from 0 to 5) or no impressions (e.g. 17,211)

3. Divide the number of keywords with few/no impressions by the total number of keywords: 17,211 / 23,085 = 74.6%

If this share exceeds 85%, then only 15% (or less) of keywords get impressions.

Here’re some reasons for such poor performance and what can be done about it:

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