How to Analyze Apple Search Ads Performance?

Suleika Vanmaeleby 
App Growth Consultant at AppTweak

11 min read

Apple Search Ads Analytics is a powerful platform that provides valuable insights and data to optimize your Search Ad campaigns on the App Store. By leveraging this tool effectively, advertisers can make data-driven decisions, improve campaign performance, and maximize returns on their advertising investment. In this blog post, we will explore what Apple Search Ads Analytics is, why you should use it, and provide strategies to help you make the most of this platform.

What is Apple Search Ads Analytics?

Apple Search Ads Analytics is a platform provided by Apple that allows advertisers to track and measure the performance of their search ad campaigns on the App Store. It offers a range of metrics, reports, and features that provide valuable insights into ad performance, user behavior, and keyword effectiveness. By utilizing this tool, advertisers can gain a deeper understanding of their campaigns, optimize their strategies, and drive better results.

There are 3 dashboards or reports in Apple Search Ads Analytics:

Campaigns dashboard

The Campaigns dashboard provides a detailed view of individual campaigns within your Apple Search Ads Advanced account. It displays key performance metrics for each campaign, including impressions, taps, conversions, spend, and more. This dashboard allows you to assess the performance of specific campaigns, make optimizations, and track the success of your advertising efforts at a campaign level.

Charts dashboard

The Charts dashboard in Apple Search Ads Analytics offers a visual representation of your campaign data using bar graphs, charts, and trend lines. This feature enables you to quickly visualize the performance of your search ad campaigns over time. With the Charts dashboard, you can easily track key metrics and analyze trends. It provides flexibility to view data by date, ad group, device, or apply specific audience refinements. By utilizing this interactive dashboard, you can gain valuable insights into your campaign performance and make informed optimization decisions.

Custom reports

Custom reports lets you create personalized reports that showcase data exactly the way you want it. Tailor your reports by selecting dimensions, metrics, and granularity that are most relevant to your campaign goals. With custom reports, you have the flexibility to run extensive queries at any level within your campaign group, allowing you to dive deep into specific segments and gain comprehensive insights. You can easily set up reports to run once, daily, weekly, or monthly to receive timely and relevant data. Keep in mind that there may be a delay of up to 3 hours before the latest data becomes available in your reports.

What are the benefits of Apple Search Ads Analytics?

Apple Search Ads Analytics provides several key benefits for app advertisers:

  • Performance measurement: The platform offers a comprehensive set of metrics and reports to measure the performance of Search Ad campaigns. This data enables advertisers to evaluate the effectiveness of their campaigns, identify areas for improvement, and make data-driven decisions to optimize their strategies.
  • Keyword attribution & optimization insights: Apple Search Ads Analytics provides attribution data, allowing advertisers to understand which ads and keywords are driving app downloads and user engagement. This information is crucial to optimize budget allocation and improve targeting. It also provides insights into keyword performance, enabling advertisers to identify which keywords are driving the most impressions, taps, and conversions. This data helps optimize keyword targeting and bidding strategies to enhance campaign performance.
  • Creative optimization: Apple Search Ads Analytics allows advertisers to compare the performance of different custom product pages, helping them identify the most effective visuals and messaging. This feature enables advertisers to optimize their creatives and maximize engagement and conversions.

Check out these tips and best practices to get the most out of your Apple Search Ads campaigns

Apple Search Ads reporting metrics

Apple Search Ads Analytics offers a wide range of metrics to evaluate your campaign performance. Take the time to understand the meaning and significance of each metric. These metrics provide valuable insights into the performance and effectiveness of your Apple Search Ads campaigns, allowing you to optimize your strategies, allocate your budget efficiently, and maximize your advertising ROI.

  • Impressions: The number of times your ad was displayed to users on the App Store search results page.
  • Taps: The number of times users tapped on your ad to view the app’s product page.
  • TTR (tap-through rate): The percentage of users who tapped on your ad after seeing it (taps divided by Impressions, multiplied by 100).
  • Average CPC (cost-per-tap): The average cost incurred for each tap on your ad.
  • Spend: The total amount spent on your ASA campaign during a specific period.
  • Installs: The number of app installations that occurred as a result of users tapping on your ad and downloading the app.
  • Conversion rate: The percentage of users who installed the app after tapping on the ad (Installs divided by Taps, multiplied by 100).
  • Average CPA (cost-per-acquisition): The average cost incurred for each app install (spend divided by installs).
  • Average CPT (cost-per-tapped-search): The average cost incurred for each time your ad was tapped in response to a user’s search.
  • TCR (taps to conversion rate): The percentage of users who tapped on your ad and then completed a specific conversion action (e.g. making an in-app purchase).
  • New downloads: The number of unique downloads of your app that can be directly attributed to your search ad campaigns. It represents the total count of users who have installed your app for the first time after clicking on your search ad.
  • Redownloads: The number of installations or downloads of your app that have occurred when a user reinstalls your app after previously uninstalling it. Redownloads can occur for various reasons, such as when users switch devices, restore backups, or temporarily uninstall the app. It is a good metric to understand re-engagement of users.
Choose the performance metrics and dimensions you’d like to show or hide in your reporting
Choose the performance metrics and dimensions you’d like to show in your reporting. Source: Apple Search Ads

Scale your campaign with insights from ASA Analytics dashboard

Define clear goals

Before diving into the data, establish clear goals for your search ad campaigns. Determine the key performance indicators (KPIs) that align with your objectives, such as app downloads, revenue, or user engagement. By defining goals upfront, you can focus on the relevant metrics within Apple Search Ads Analytics and measure campaign success more effectively.

For example, if your primary goal is to increase app downloads, your KPI could be the number of downloads generated through your search ads. If revenue growth is your focus, your KPI might be the return on ad spend (ROAS) or the total conversion value (TCO) attributed to your campaigns. Alternatively, if user engagement is your priority, metrics such as average session duration or in-app actions per user could be your KPIs.

Analyze search terms

Go to the “Ad Group Keywords” tab in the tool and view the section “Search Terms” to gain insights into the specific search terms users are using to discover your app through Search Ads. Identify high-performing keywords and optimize your keyword strategy accordingly. Similarly, identify irrelevant or underperforming search terms and add them as negative keywords to improve campaign targeting.

For instance, let’s say AdventureQuest is running Search Ads to promote their mobile game. Upon analyzing the search terms data in Apple Search Ads Analytics, they discover that the term “best adventure games” is driving a significant number of taps and conversions for their ads. This indicates that users are actively searching for adventure games, and their game appears prominently in those searches.

Recognizing this as a high-performing keyword, AdventureQuest can optimize their keyword strategy by increasing bids or allocating more budget towards it. They could even consider creating a dedicated ad group specifically targeting the keyword “best adventure games” to maximize its impact.

Conversely, the search term “free puzzle games” generates a large number of taps but very few conversions for their ads. This suggests that users searching for this keyword may not be AdventureQuest’s ideal target audience or may have different intentions. In this case, they could consider adding “free puzzle games” as a negative keyword to prevent their ads from appearing for this search term. By doing so, the game refines their campaign targeting, saves ad spend on irrelevant clicks, and improves the overall efficiency of their Search Ad campaigns.

A/B test ad creatives

Utilize the Creative Sets feature to experiment with different variations of ad visuals and messaging. Test different combinations to identify the most effective creative elements. By continuously testing and optimizing your ad creatives, you can maximize engagement and improve conversion rates.

It is worth mentioning that you need to avoid comparing the performance of a CPP to your default screenshots. But you can compare the performance of different CPPs with each other. This approach ensures a fair assessment as custom product pages are only displayed to iOS 15+ users and on specific targeted keywords, while the default page reaches a much broader audience. Drawing comparisons without considering these differences may lead to skewed results and introduce bias in your analysis.

Let’s take the example of the app Fitness Pro. To optimize conversion rates, they could consider making a series of A/B tests with different custom product pages (CPPs) for the same set of keywords in their Apple Search Ads campaign. This could be CPP1 showcasing the app’s unique features, such as personalized workout plans, progress tracking, and social sharing capabilities. After a sufficient period of time, they could plan to run CPP2 for the same keywords, with a focus on affordability, highlighting pricing plans, and special discounts. They can then evaluate which CPP performed better in terms of achieving their campaign goals and driving user engagement and, finally, implement the best-performing CPP.

Analyze custom product pages on AppTweak and gain insights into your competitors’ strategies

Search Ads Manager

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Optimize keyword bidding

Monitor the performance of your keywords closely and adjust your bidding strategy accordingly. Increase bids for high-performing keywords to maximize exposure, and decrease bids for low-performing keywords to optimize cost-effectiveness. Regularly review and refine your keyword bidding to maintain campaign performance.

Let’s consider an example of the fitness app FitnessPro. After analyzing the performance data in Apple Search Ads Analytics, we find that the keyword “fitness tracker app” consistently generates a high number of taps and conversions, indicating its strong performance. To ensure maximum exposure and capitalize on its success, it’s advisable to increase your bid for this keyword. By increasing the bid, you increase the likelihood of your ad being shown in prominent positions within relevant search results, thereby increasing the chances of attracting more engaged users.

On the other hand, the keyword “free workout app” generates a significant number of taps but has a low conversion rate. This suggests that while users are interested in exploring a free workout app, they might not convert to paid subscriptions or in-app purchases as expected. In such cases, it’s prudent to decrease your bid for this keyword. By reducing the bid, you maintain visibility but allocate your budget more efficiently, focusing on keywords that deliver higher returns.

Read this blog to select effective keywords and maximize the performance of your Apple Search Ads campaigns

Leverage advanced filters and customization

Apple Search Ads Analytics offers advanced filtering options and customizable views. Utilize these features to focus on the specific metrics, date ranges, campaigns, ad groups, or keywords that matter most to your goals. Tailor your analysis to extract the most relevant insights for your optimization efforts.

Regularly monitor and iterate

Successful optimization requires continuous monitoring and iteration. Regularly review your Apple Search Ads Analytics data to identify trends, patterns, and areas for improvement. Use this data to refine your strategies, experiment with new approaches, and iterate on your campaigns for ongoing success.

Final thoughts

Apple Search Ads Analytics is a valuable platform for advertisers to measure, optimize, and improve the performance of Search Ad campaigns on the App Store. With these strategies, you can develop a deeper understanding of the platform, leverage its insights effectively, and make data-driven decisions to drive better results. Embrace Apple Search Ads Analytics as a powerful tool in your marketing arsenal and unlock the potential for success in your App Store advertising endeavors.

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Suleika Vanmaele
by , App Growth Consultant at AppTweak
In my free time I love to discover new restaurants and bars with friends. I also like to stay active by doing weight training.