New in Apple Search Ads: Recommendations

apple search ads recommendations


If you have logged into your Apple Search Ads account within the past week, you may have noticed something different. Honestly, you could not have missed it because Apple had a pop up of their new feature… Recommendations!

On March 18, 2020, Apple announced its new Recommendations feature. If you missed the pop-up, you can find the link to the Recommendations page in the top right-hand corner when logged into your Apple Search Ads account.

Advertisers promoting their iOS app will now get three different recommendations they can review to decide if you want to make these optimizations to your accounts.

Here are the three new Recommendations you can now receive in Apple Search Ads.


When creating your campaigns in Apple Search Ads, you can already search for keywords to add to your campaign. One problem I run into is trying to find enough relevant keywords to add to my initial campaign that has some sort of search volume. Now the new Recommendations page can help find new keyword ideas.

 apple keyword recommendation

This example is only giving us one recommendation, but in your account, you may have several to review. If you click on the blue View link, you will be shown all of the new keywords Apple recommends testing.

I can’t prove this, but in my initial experience, every recommended keyword has had a match type of “exact.” If you find some keywords you like you can review the Max CPT (cost-per-tap) Bid and then choose an ad group to place the recommended keyword. Then all you have to do is hit apply.

For whatever keywords you do not want to be added to the account, it is really easy to select them and then choose the “Dismiss” button to ignore the recommendation.


The second recommendation feature in Apple Search Ads is bid adjustments. Now, surprise, surprise. You won’t get any recommendations on where to decrease your bids. All of the recommendations are going to be for increasing your bids. But the reason for increasing bids on these keywords is to help them gain more exposure if you are seeing good results from them in the first place.

keyword bid recommendation page

You can see in the image above we have a column for the Current Max CPT Bid. Then right next to it we have a column for the Recommended Max CPT Bid.

Some of the bid adjustments Apple recommends are just slightly above your current bids. Some will be noticeably higher. You do not have to go with the recommendations Apple has given you. Advertisers can click on the recommended CPT bid and adjust it to be whatever you want it to be. Then you can either accept the new bid, or deny the bid recommendation completely. If you are used to Google showing you potential impact on impressions and clicks, do not expect that in Apple. We get no additional information on the potential impact of these decisions. Be cautious when applying these bids and understand they are only going to help increase your reach and visibility. You will have to monitor any conversion impact later on yourself.

Daily Cap

The last recommendation you may receive from Apple Search Ads is for your campaign budget caps.

When setting up a campaign in Apple Search Ads, the budget you choose is a lifetime budget. If the advertiser wants to add a daily cap, we have to enter that daily cap in an additional step. This recommendation feature now makes it easier for advertisers to know how much they could be spending in a single day making it very helpful for any advertisers who want to have as close to 100% exposure as possible for certain keywords.

daily cap recommendations

You will get a list of which campaigns are limited by budget on a consistent basis. Advertisers can adjust the amount in the Recommended Daily Cap column to be whatever amount you want it to be if you do not want to max out the daily cap right away. Like the other recommendation options, you can then apply the changes or dismiss them completely. If you are getting consistent downloads from these campaigns, you can now easily see where you have the opportunity to get more downloads from your current campaigns.

Final Point

For promoting apps I have found Apple Search Ads to be, by far, the most affordable and effective way to push my iOS apps for my clients. While we don’t get a ton of new features released from Apple Search Ads, I am happy with the Recommendations page. This will make reviewing optimization opportunities and implementing those changes a lot easier than having to go campaign by campaign.

Have you tried out any of these recommendations in your Apple Search Ads accounts? If so, we’d love to hear how they’re working for you in the comments below!