Apple Search Ads: How Top Fitness Apps Maximize Growth

Best fitness apps located in the top 10 are leveraging Apple Search Ads actively as a UA channel at the moment, and they do show similar patterns in their ad strategies.

Zehra Cetinel
April 27, 2021

Apple Search Ads is keeping its place as one of the most significant user acquisition channels, therefore the top charts of different categories are full of apps that are highly active in Apple Search Ads. The screenshot below demonstrates the top ten Health and Fitness apps in the USA’s top charts on April 20th, 2021.

top grossing apps

Best fitness apps located in the top 10 are leveraging Apple Search Ads actively as a UA channel at the moment, and they do show similar patterns in their ad strategies. Let’s look at some strategies of top fitness apps.

App Growth Network significantly increased the installs and rankings for their fitness app client, Spartan Apps (Spartan MMA Workouts and Spartan Home & Gym Workouts) providing another great example of how Health & Fitness apps can utilize Apple Search Ads for growth.

Protecting Brand Name

No company wants to lose users who searched for their brand name to their competitors. Therefore, protecting brand keywords is crucial not only for health and fitness companies but also for any other app. Let's look at some examples with the help of’s Keyword Auction Insights to see how top health and fitness companies prevent the competitors from driving traffic through those keywords:

At the moment 34 apps are actively giving ads for the “calm” keyword. Calm is also bidding for its own brand keyword and getting 81,2% of the impression share. 

A similar story applies to Headspace as well, they also have their brand name as their Apple Search Ads keywords and getting 81,5% of the impression share. 

apple search ads headspace

Using Competitor's Keywords

Bidding on your brand keyword is common practice when it comes to the Apple Search Ads strategy. On the other hand, many successful health and fitness apps are also utilizing their competitor’s keywords and some of them are really getting great impressions by doing so. 

For instance, Peloton is bidding on “Nike training club” which is obviously a brand keyword of a different app. Peloton is getting 67% of impressions which is a great number.

apple search ads auction insights

With's keyword tracking tool, you can sort your competitor’s keywords according to their impression scores or popularity scores and start bidding on those keywords with just one click to the “run ads” button.

Discovery Campaigns

As you all know, it is important to build well-structured campaigns in order to have better control over the overall performance of any campaign. You can see the recommended campaign and ad group structure in the following infographic:

As you can see, discovery campaigns are crucial for a successful campaign structure. No matter how good you are at doing keyword research and protecting your brand keywords, you might still miss out on keywords with high potential without using Search Match. 

Therefore, finding those possible high potential keywords should be one of your main objectives if you plan to hit the top charts. Let’s see how Flo Health is using generic keywords for optimizing Apple Search Ads:

apple search ads keywords

Even though most of the keywords in the screenshot above are not directly related to Flo Period Tracker & Calendar app itself, Flo is getting its share of impressions from them. This does not mean these keywords are coming directly from discovery campaigns. But the importance of discovery campaigns for finding generic keyword opportunities should not be underestimated for a successful Apple Search Ads campaign structure. This might be just the case in this situation.

You can easily create automations for your discovery campaigns with the help of and enjoy your broad keyword pool.

Combining Apple Search Ads with ASO

Strong App Store Optimization strategy is directly linked with having good conversion rates in Apple Search Ads. Therefore, if you are wondering how to optimize Apple Search Ads, you should pay attention to App Store Optimization.

For instance, companies like FLO have great visibility scores in App Stores. FLO is ranking organically number one for the keyword “period track” which is a highly popular keyword. It is also getting the biggest portion of the impressions for the keyword. 

apple search ads keywords

Ranking organically high for the keywords that you bid on contributes to the success of your Apple Search Ads campaigns. If you wish to be successful in your campaigns, you should not underestimate the effect of ASO.

Health and Fitness is a very competitive genre when it comes to top charts. But if you want to reach out to the top charts, the right path is quite similar. To learn more about effective campaign management in Apple Search Ads, book a meeting with our experts

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