app store advertising

5 pro tips to maximize your Apple Search Ads measurement metrics

In this article, we discuss tried-and-tested strategies to maximize Apple Search Ads measurement metrics to scale iOS App Store success!

Privacy-first marketing initiatives often face a key challenge in terms of the data that can be secured to measure campaign performance. A core complaint has been the data is more of an aggregated insight, rather than granular metrics. The lack of granularity prohibits app marketers from targeting precise audience segments and complicates the ability to serve personalized ads. Apple surely has heard the marketers. Apple Search Ads measurement metrics may follow all principles of privacy-first mobile marketing, but the data provided and the flexibility of the platform to integrate with other MMPs, make the platform a commanding asset in any AdTech stack.

A brief overview of the Apple Search Ads platform

Apple Search Ads platform is an exclusive app marketing channel that targets iOS users, without compromising their data security. Like SKAdnetwork, this platform also helps to amplify the mobile marketing initiatives of iOS app marketers. The platform works on the principles of search-intent marketing and utilizes the App Store users’ search queries to match the right ads to the right audience. Here are a few resources to help with understanding the concept of the platform: 

Apple Search Ads measurement metrics

For each Apple Search Ads campaign capability, the platform offers different layers of measurement metrics. Let’s take a quick look at it.

In the context of iOS keywords or search terms

  • Popularity score: This helps to understand how many users are searching for specific queries in the App Store
  • Impression share: Also referred to as Share of Voice (SOV), this helps to understand how many times a brand is showing up for a particular keyword vis-a-vis competition
  • Max Cost-Per-Tap (CPT) bid: This showcases the maximum amount that the advertiser is willing to pay for each tap on a keyword-led ad placement
  • Bid Min and Bid Max: This refers to the minimum and maximum bid that the advertiser has spent on the keywords
  • Match source: For Search Terms specifically, advertisers can also view the Match source (exact, broad, or Search) that has yielded the conversions

In the context of campaigns or ad groups

  • Daily budget: Indicator of regular expenses made while the campaign is active
  • Impressions: Total number of views the various ads within the campaign or ad group has received
  • Conversions: The funnel of this conversion is like taps > downloads. In the case of retargeting campaigns, redownloads are also a good Apple Search Ads measurement metric to look at
  • Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC): In terms of CAC, Apple Search Ads helps to look at Cost-per-Thousand Impressions (CPM), Cost-Per-Tap (CPT), and Cost-Per-Download (CPD) to get a holistic idea of the total CPA. If the platform is integrated with MMPs, advertisers can also add a post-install goal to calculate Cost-Per-Goal (CPG), which can be a true indicator of total Ad Spends and also help to arrive at more accurate data on Return on Ad Spends (ROAS)

Pro tips to amplify Apple Search Ads measurement metrics

The Newton team has been actively working with brands in India, Southeast Asia, and the Middle East across shopping, finance, gaming, entertainment, travel, lifestyle, and other popular iOS categories. It has helped the team to arrive at a few tried-and-tested strategies, that consistently deliver high campaign performance.

Refining targeting strategies to amplify top-funnel goals

Apple Search Ads allows advertisers to target based on device, gender, age, and region. In this platform, the key to refining the targeting mechanism is by streamlining the target keywords. The target keywords represent a variety of audience segments with unique needs which can be resolved by the various features of the app. Refinement of targeting strategies can help to maximize impressions and therefore, increase the brand’s Share of Voice (SOV) in the App Store. SOV is an indicator of how one brand is performing in the App Store vis-a-vis their competitors or other category players. 

A few to-dos to keep in mind for refinement initiatives: 

  • Refine the target keywords by type - brand, category, competitor, seasonal, multilingual. This will help to focus on the type of keywords that consistently drive higher campaign ROAS
  • Negative keywords updation - this will help to reduce ad appearances for irrelevant keywords, improving measurement metrics like Taps, Installs, and Ad Spends
  • Local language keyword streamlining - this can largely boost CPA metrics to keep the ad spends of Apple Search Ads initiatives within the control
  • Also look at the age group, gender, and region driving the highest Tap-Through-Rates (TTRs) to optimize measurement performances

Optimizing ad creatives to nurture higher engagement

Three ad placements in the App Store can be leveraged with Apple Search Ads - Today Tab on the App Store home page, Search Tab ads right below the search bar, and Search Results Page ads just after submitting search queries. The Today Tab and Search Results Page leads to a Custom Product Page (CPP), while the Search Tab ad leads to the default product page. 

The CPPs help to look at additional metrics like retention and average proceeds per user. Therefore, optimizing creatives is Step 2 in achieving healthy Apple Search Ads measurement metrics.


The iOS App Store allows advertisers to upload a 30-second app preview video and about 10 screenshots of the app. 

The CPPs must always be localized - the text should be in the preferred language of the targeted region; the visuals must represent the local population and cultural preferences of the region. Ensure the screenshots are clear and not overtly modified, such that they hardly represent the actual app screenshots. The data from high-performing CPPs can be utilized to optimize the default product page content to help secure higher numbers on Downloads and Redownloads. 

In the case of the Today Tab and Search Results Page, optimized CPPs also boost TTRs.

Leveraging bid strategy automation to amplify Apple Search Ads measurement metrics for keywords, search terms

Step 3 in this process is about getting the bid range right. Lower bids can often hinder the performance of Apple Search Ads which impacts all the campaign metrics there is. To improve on the campaign metrics, advertisers need to find out what kind of Max and Min Bids work with the keywords. With automation, the platform can instantly regulate bid amounts in real time to ensure -

a) the brand is not bleeding ad spends unnecessarily on low-performing keywords
b) the brand is not losing out on precious Impressions, SOV, taps, and downloads due to lower-than-recommended bid ranges.

With the bid amount stabilized, it will go on to impact CAC and ROAS positively.

Continuous testing and learning to understand keywords, campaign structures

The App Store doesn’t work for all app marketers the same way. For some, it can be a great space for brand dominance, while others may find the App Store ecosystem suitable for category leadership, competitive edge, or even discovering newer user segments. Consistent testing of different campaign structures, keywords, match types, and bid amounts can influence the full-funnel metrics starting from Impressions and ending with In-App Transactions. A spray-and-pray approach on the App Store can get too expensive on the pocket and may not help in garnering high ROAS. It’s not just the paid efforts but even organic efforts like App Store Optimization (ASO) can also help to amplify Apple Search Ads measurement metrics.

Utilizing advanced analytics tools to maximize full-funnel impact

The App Store is home to a high-quality, high-intent captive audience. App Store users' average downloads exceed 747 million per week. The average conversion rate of the ads is also quite high at almost 60% average for popular categories.


Therefore, to ensure the Apple Search Ads measurement metrics are going strong, advanced analytics and optimization tools can help to boost refinement strategies, creative perfection, and bid stability. Platforms like Newton, integrate with MMPs to give advertisers a holistic analytical view of campaign performance. On a unified dashboard, advertisers can see the source keyword and the match source that has not just driven high Downloads or Redownloads but has also driven high Registrations, App Sessions, In-App Purchases, Purchase Frequency, and Average Cart Values. The mapping to post-install data, helps marketers to back track and optimize their pre-install efforts driving high-quality Impressions, TTRs, and Downloads while reducing CAC and amplifying ROAS.

Following these tips, the team has been able to consistently generate high metric values like: 

  • 60% CAC reduction
  • 55% MoM growth in post-install end funnel goals. 

If you looking to understand more about how these optimization strategies work for Apple Search Ads measurement metrics growth, block our calendars for the product demo.

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