Apple Search Ads functions on an auction basis. For your bid to make it into the auction, your app should be considered “relevant” to the keyword that matches to a particular user query. This is called “technical keyword relevance”. The Apple’s algorithm determines this relevance based on your app category and metadata — title, subtitle, and keywords.

So, if you get no impressions for a keyword regardless of a high bid, it may be that your app’s score is below the relevance threshold. In this situation, try to add the keyword to your metadata to improve relevance and be eligible for the auction.

Here’s how the second price auction works. App 1 and App 2 have higher CPT bids, but Apple Search Ads ignores them due to low technical relevance. App 4 wins the auction because of a higher bid:

Second price auction in Search Ads

To sum up, when choosing a keyword, consider the following criteria:

  1. Impressions volume which can be assessed by search popularity
  2. Competition, which can be assessed by the number of search results
  3. Technical relevance, which is the app’s position in search results (preferably <100)
  4. Logical relevance: the bigger TTR and download rate for the app, the better
  5. Default CTP Bid: the average bid for a category or a given app to reach target KPIs

According to Neil Patel,

80% of SEOs and marketers do keyword research wrong. They plug in a main keyword to Google’s Keyword Planner, download the result, and then start sorting through them in a spreadsheet. But here’s the thing: literally thousands of other marketers have already searched the exact same keyword.

Hence, it’s vital to discover uncommon keywords which are still likely to bring value.

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