What Are the Different Match Types in Apple Search Ads?

Sukanya Surby 
Content Marketing Manager

4 min read

In the competitive landscape of the App Store, Apple Search Ads stand out as a pivotal tool for app developers aiming to boost their app’s visibility and drive downloads. By harnessing the power of different match types in Apple Search Ads, advertisers can fine-tune their campaigns to reach their desired audience more effectively, control ad expenditures, and amplify campaign performance. This blog dives into the nuances of each match type offered by Apple Search Ads and outlines strategic practices for leveraging them to your advantage.

Match types in Apple Search Ads

Apple Search Ads offer two primary match types to target potential users: Broad Match (also referred to as Search Match), and Exact Match. Each match type functions differently and can impact your ad campaigns in unique ways.

Broad Match

Broad Match allows your ads to appear for search queries that are relevant to your keywords, even if the exact keywords are not used. This match type offers the broadest reach, making it ideal for attracting a larger audience.


  • Expands your reach, increasing the chances of your ad being seen.
  • Catches a wide array of search terms, some of which may be unexpected.


  • Offers less precision in targeting, potentially leading to lower conversion rates.

Exact Match

Exact Match targets users who enter search queries that exactly match your selected keywords. This match type offers the highest level of precision, ensuring that your ads are shown to users who are specifically searching for terms directly related to your app. While Exact Match may result in fewer impressions compared to Broad Match, it often leads to higher conversion rates and more efficient ad spend.


  • Improves ad relevance and conversion rates through precise targeting
  • Simplifies monitoring and optimization efforts due to the specificity of targeted searches


  • Narrows your ad’s reach
  • May exclude potentially valuable traffic from searches that are similar but not identical

Negative keywords

Negative keywords optimizes your targeting by excluding your ad from searches containing certain keywords. This increases the relevance of your traffic and optimizes ad spend by eliminating wasteful impressions.


  • Filters out non-converting traffic, improving campaign effectiveness
  • Helps control costs by avoiding clicks from irrelevant searches


  • If overused, could overly restrict your campaign’s reach
  • Demands continuous adjustment to address new irrelevant search terms

Check out our comprehensive guide to Apple Search Ads

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Best practices for using match types in Apple Search Ads

Using the right match types effectively can significantly enhance your campaign’s performance. Here are some best practices for using match types in Apple Search Ads:

  • Leverage Broad Match for discovery & expansion: Broad Match are invaluable for developers looking to discover new keyword opportunities without dedicating hours to manual research. By automatically matching your ads with relevant search terms, Broad Match can significantly expand your reach and introduce your brand to audiences you might not have considered before. They act as a discovery mechanism, constantly working in the background to improve your campaign’s reach.
  • Focus on high-intent keywords for better conversion rates: Prioritizing Exact Match for keywords that show strong user intent is a smart tactic. Keywords with strong intent are those that are closely related to your app’s core features or the specific solutions your app offers. These keywords are more likely to convert searchers into users or customers because they accurately reflect the searcher’s needs and interests. By focusing on these high-intent keywords, you can improve your conversion rates and make your advertising spend more efficient.
  • Combine match types strategically: Initially, start with Broad Match to cast a wide net and identify which keywords bring in the most traffic. This helps in uncovering high-performing keywords. Once identified, switch those keywords to Exact Match to zero in on your target audience more accurately and optimize your ad spend by reducing wasted clicks.
  • Monitor & adjust for continuous improvement: Regularly review your campaign’s ad performance to see which keywords and match types are performing best.
  • Implement negative keywords to exclude irrelevant searches that waste your budget and muddy your analytics. This ensures your targeting remains sharp and effective.

Check out these best practices to get the most out of Apple Search Ads

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Effectively using match types in Apple Search Ads is a dynamic process that necessitates a balance between reach and relevance. By starting broad and systematically refining your approach through exact and Negative Matches, you can build a campaign that not only conserves your budget but also significantly improves the visibility and download rate of your app. Leveraging these strategies will ensure your app stands out in the competitive App Store.

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Sukanya Sur
by , Content Marketing Manager
Sukanya is Content Marketing Manager at AppTweak, creating intriguing content for app marketers. She possesses strong editing skills, delights in storytelling, and holds a deep appreciation for classic literature.