Lightning Fast Keyword Analysis for Apple Search Ads is an Apple Search Ads campaign management and intelligence tool that helps advertisers have scalable and profitable campaigns.

Yarkın Tepe
September 20, 2023

In one of our most recent webinars, Lightning Fast Keyword Analysis for Apple Search Ads, Alaattin Yertürk, our Senior Customer Success Manager, shared his valuable knowledge about the potential that lies under search results ads, what to look for in the keywords, how to find good keywords to target, and what keywords should not be targeted.

Also, he covered some more ground with how we actually do the keyword research and come up with the keywords to include in our Apple Search Ads campaigns. At the end of the session, our expert, Alaattin, answered all of the attendees’ questions. 

If you also have any questions that pop up in your mind, schedule a demo, discover how MobileAction experts can help you, and take your mobile app promotion to the next level!

Also, by visiting our official Vimeo account, you can watch the full version of this webinar and listen to the talks of many experts from the mobile app industry. Or, if you are someone who prefers reading to watching, you can reach what Alaattin Yertürk has mentioned by reading this blog.

Key Points

1) Search Results Ads

When customers are seeking apps to download, search results ads can help them find your app. Your advertisement can show up at the top of a user's search results when people search on the App Store.

Since users are very engaged, the level of intent for this type of ad placement is very high, making search results ads one of the most commonly utilized ad placements on Apple Search Ads.

2) The Correlation Between Organic & Paid

As previously mentioned, you have the ability to advertise your app at the very top of search results with search results ads. Additionally, your application appears organically when a relevant search is conducted. A significant insight we gained earlier is that running successful Apple Search Ads campaigns for specific keywords, particularly those closely relevant to your application, results in a positive impact on your organic rankings for the same keywords. 

As an example, using the combination of SearchAds Intelligence and ASO Intelligence tools developed by MobileAction we can infer that Candy Crush began advertising for the keyword "Subway Surfers" on Apple Search Ads. After mid-July, when comparing data from June 22nd to July 22nd, we observed an increase in the ranking of organically ranked keywords. These keywords were related to "Subway Surfers," "Subway," and other variants.

While it's not officially confirmed that this has a positive impact, it's a pattern we frequently observe when we begin targeting new keywords.

This aligns with the core theme of the webinar: conducting keyword analysis and targeting new, relevant keywords can enhance your organic visibility on the App Store. Remember, organic traffic is the most valuable since it's free.

What to Look For in Keywords?

1) Search Score

Let's start with why utilizing MobileAction intelligence, in particular, is important. When I conduct keyword research myself, the first thing I check is the search score for a given keyword. This score indicates the keyword's popularity, or, in other words, how frequently it's searched. 

Search scores of various keywords as displayed in MobileAction dashboard


This score ranges from 5 to 100. Approaching 100, which I've rarely seen, indicates an exceptionally popular keyword. Around 10, for instance, suggests a keyword with decent traffic value. However, don't underestimate keywords with lower search scores. A low score doesn't necessarily mean a keyword is ineffective or won't yield results. Success depends on factors like relevancy and demand. Moreover, keyword popularity can be seasonal and influenced by current events.

For example, the upcoming Black Friday, not too far from now, will likely result in a significant boost for shopping-related applications and the corresponding keyword searches on the App Store. Hence, the initial aspect to consider is the search score.

2) Relevancy Score

Moving on to the next factor, you can also utilize the relevancy score that is calculated by MobileAction’s algorithms. This score, available in the MobileAction ASO Intelligence tool, serves as an index indicating how closely a keyword aligns with your application. While this tool provides an objective measure, you can also assess relevancy yourself by envisioning the connection between a keyword and your app. You possess an inherent understanding of which keywords suit your application.

Relevancy scores of various keywords as displayed in MobileAction dashboard


However, keep in mind that there might be long-tail keywords, variations, or even terms in different languages that you might not consider otherwise. Ultimately, three key factors determine if a keyword is suitable for your application: popularity, relevance, and competition. 

Popularity is crucial—the more popular a keyword, the better. Equally important is relevance; if a keyword lacks relevance, its performance impact will be minimal.

When conducting keyword research and deciding whether to include a keyword or not, one other aspect to take into account is your competitors.

3) Competitors

Consider the scenario where more than one of your competitors is utilizing the same keyword or a similar set of keywords. As you scan through a mobile app intelligence tool, you might notice repeated or similar keywords frequently employed by your competition. These could be keywords where competitors are either organically ranking or actively bidding. This dual perspective makes such keywords potentially valuable for you.

In the screenshot provided below, for instance, you can observe the keywords that "World of Tanks" is bidding on within the United States for Apple Search Ads. On the right side, you see other applications bidding on the same keywords—these might be competitors. If "World of Tanks" is among your competitors' keywords, you can gain insights into their keyword strategy using intelligence tools developed by MobileAction.

Some of the keywords that World of Tanks Blitz is bidding on in the U.S.


Search score, relevancy score, and competitor keywords are three indicators that help you decide whether a keyword should be added to your portfolio or excluded from it. Now, we're moving on to discussing how to generate these keywords in the first place. Let's delve into the methodology, the magic itself.

A Strategic Approach to Competitor Analysis

1) Competitor Analysis with SearchAds Intelligence

The screenshot displayed below is from the MobileAction SearchAds Intelligence tool. The Search by Competitor feature allows you to easily compare your Apple Search Ads activities with those of your competitors. In this case, I chose to compare Uber with Lyft.

Search by Competitor feature of SearchAds Intelligence

Uber has a stronger presence in the market. They are advertising in more countries on Apple Search Ads, with an impressive 31 active regions. Their visibility on Apple Search Ads is also notable. Under this, we have three distinct segments:

  • Unique paid keywords of Uber (3290 keywords)
  • Keywords where both Uber and Lyft are bidding concurrently (38 keywords)
  • Unique paid keywords of Lyft (68 keywords)

These numbers indicate that Lyft is bidding and receiving traffic on these 68 keywords where Uber isn't competing. For instance, either Lyft or Uber would pay special attention to the overlapping keywords where both competitors are bidding. Additionally, both should explore the keywords that the competitor is bidding on while they are not bidding. This presents a valuable opportunity to uncover potential areas for growth.

2) Competitor Analysis: Search by App

If you are particularly interested in a specific application and keen to understand its strategies, you can utilize the "Search by App" feature within SearchAds Intelligence by MobileAction. This functionality provides a detailed overview of the Apple Search Ads activities for a given application.

Examining the Apple Search Ads activities of PensionBee, it is evident that they are actively advertising in the United Kingdom. They've engaged in bidding on various keywords. With this tool, you can access a comprehensive list of these keywords along with their corresponding impression share.

PensionBee's impression share analysis enabled by Search by App feature


This data provides insights into crucial aspects: How extensive is their market share? Are they dominating numerous keywords? What level of traffic are they gathering from these keywords? Additionally, it offers insights into the popularity of these keywords and more.

For instance, if PensionBee is among your competitors, you definitely should analyze these insights and find some key data. This allows you to identify potential opportunities and areas where you might capitalize, even within the same keyword landscape.

3) Competitor Analysis: Search by Keyword

If a keyword holds significance for you, whether it's your brand keyword or a highly relevant generic keyword closely aligned with your app's genre, you should prioritize examining those keywords. Your focus should be on understanding who else is bidding on them and how their impression share is evolving over time.

In the screenshot below, the keyword refers to the United States market. As depicted, Remitly is obtaining an impression share that is more than double that of Pangea. Suppose you were in the top management team of Pangaea and observed this scenario, you would probably recognize the need to enhance the bids for your own brand keyword. It's evident that someone else is targeting your brand keywords, and they are receiving significantly more impressions.

Impression share graph of money transfer apps Remitly, Pangea, and Sigue

This practice enables you to promptly identify such situations, proactively adjust strategies to maintain a competitive advantage, and continually identify opportunities for elevating your performance on Apple Search Ads.

At, we have developed robust tips and strategies to help you take your keyword game to the next level.


One of our testimonials from one of our valued clients, Orad Eldar, Director of Paid Social & Search at Moburst, stated that working with and creating a strategy together with us enabled them to save 60% of data collection and campaign management hours. In this way, Moburst had the opportunity to invest these hours in optimization.

In 2020, Moburst initiated a partnership with By meticulously tracking key performance indicators at the keyword level, Moburst can efficiently manage bid amounts for each keyword and explore suggested bids to stay competitive with other advertisers targeting the same keywords. 

Thanks to the platform, Moburst can now seamlessly perform all these tasks in one place, simplifying campaign optimization, performance analysis, and actions such as bid adjustments, campaign budget modifications, and even the creation of new campaigns, all without the need to switch between multiple platforms.

4) Identifying Low-hanging Fruits 

When you do some research with the Search by Competitor feature and this comparison finds that a competitor's name yields no results, it shows that they aren't currently running Apple Search Ads in the specified region. This presents an excellent opportunity for you.

This situation implies that your competitor isn't targeting relevant keywords that are already present in their organic metadata. Additionally, they might not even be protecting their own brand keywords through paid Apple Search Ads activities. Consequently, you can seize the advantage of targeting keywords that your competitor is ranking organically for.

Here, the process that can be followed is relatively simple. You can navigate to the ASO Report on MobileAction and identify competing applications that don't engage in Apple Search Ads.

Then, you can apply two filters: a search score filter with a threshold of 5 and a ranking filter that shows keywords within the top 10 organic rankings. This approach ensures that the selected keywords are both popular and organically strong.

Later on, you can export them for later analysis. This strategic approach enables you to tap into a pool of valuable keywords that your competitors are neglecting, granting you a competitive advantage and boosting your Apple Search Ads performance.

Here, to help you get the most out of your keywords, our Senior Customer Success Manager, Alaattin Yerturk, came up with some alternative methods.

5) Alternative Methods

“The approach I am just sharing, which is the one I primarily employ, involves identifying competitors, scanning through their Apple Search Ads activities and organic performance, and detecting opportunities as described earlier. This method is actually quite efficient, especially when dealing with applications that are not very small and competitors that aren't extremely niche. In such cases, I often end up with over 50 keywords for expansion in a relatively short amount of time, perhaps around 15 to 20 minutes”.

Keyword Auction Insights & Organic Keyword Hunt

If you're utilizing, and if you're running Apple Search Ads, within the platform, there's a section called "Competition Analysis," where you can perform a similar analysis. You can start by using the "Keyword Auction Insights" feature to observe an application's paid keywords.

By utilizing the "Keyword Auction Insights" section and selecting the application of interest, you'll see all the keywords they're bidding on through Apple Search Ads. With the “Organic Keyword Hunt”, you can conduct a parallel analysis of their organic keywords. In cases where you select an application for "Keyword Auction Insights" and find no results, indicating that they're not running Apple Search Ads, you can proceed to perform the analysis on the “Organic Keyword Hunt” to potentially target their organic keywords.

6) Bonus Tip: Keyword Advisor

This bonus tip, our AI-powered tool Keyword Advisor, is a feature exclusive to MobileAction.

When using, you simply choose your application and select your regions. With a simple click, it generates a list of keywords that you might want to consider adding to your Apple Search Ads campaigns. It even provides you with insights on the breakdown of keyword types, such as brand keywords, competitive keywords, or generic keywords. 


You can easily click the plus button next to any keyword you find suitable and directly add it to your campaigns. Essentially, the Keyword Advisor streamlines most of the processes discussed so far, condensing them into a matter of seconds. If you are too busy and have no time for extensive keyword research but still recognize the importance of new keywords in your app's campaigns, you should definitely give our Keyword Advisor tool a try.

Key Takeaways

  • Make sure to stay ahead of the competition by checking out their activities.
  • Keep in mind that Apple Search Ads is based on an auction system, so competitive intelligence is a huge plus.
  • Always prioritize keywords with high relevancy and a high search score to generate more efficient traffic to your app.
  • Enlarge your keyword pool to cover more ground and capture more interest.
  • Your efficient Apple Search Ads activities also boost your organic visibility.

How Can We Help You?

MobileAction webinars, presented by experts in the field, continue to provide valuable information about mobile app promotion to their participants, answer their questions on this subject, and take the ASO strategies of the apps to the next level with their solutions.

To ask further questions, learn more about ASO, and discover our smart tools, schedule a demo with MobileAction experts and go beyond your competition!

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