We've had a lot of opportunities to test a lot of different strategies regarding to keywords.
One of the interesting thing is to see the difference when you rank for competitor's brand keywords and relevant long tail keywords.
Brand keywords are great because usually if you know how to do deep keyword research, you can really find ones, where is almost 0 competition and traffic score is good.
So in summary sometimes is pretty easy to rank for them. Take a look at this screenshot.
But do they really bring a lot of downloads?
If we compare it with the most relevant keywords, no they don't.
This is the graph from Itunes Connect Analytics that represents change after keywords optimization with brands only. We didn't use any new relevant long tail keywords. All we did was simply putting brands with very low competition into the keywords field and submit for a review.
Here is what happened after we released the app.
And here is what happened few months before when we did keyword optimization only with relevant long tail keywords and low competition without using brands.
Of course not every time has the optimization significant success like in this case and there are a lot of other variables, but it says a lot. Also we did tons of tests when we ranked for branded keywords and only a few quality long tail keywords and the downloads were little bit smaller when we removed brand keywords from keyword field and then released the new update. Basically we decreased impressions but there wasn't such a big change in downloads.
So why do we use them? You can definitely increase impressions with this strategy. But we care about downloads, right? So yes, you will get more downloads. But it won't be a significant change in numbers. With this strategy you will bring another option to users than what they are searching for and increase visibility score, which will give your app more power to try more difficult keywords.
Also if you are a small developer that feels that your app doesn't rank at all for all the keywords you tried, you can try to rank for brands to see if you are able to at least have some rankings there. If not, our opinion is that your app is probably dead and you should consider to create new developer account and launch the brand new app. But you need to remove your old one from your old account first otherwise your new app doesn't have to get approved by Apple because they started removing reskinning apps and spams from the App Store in big.
But it's a topic for another post:)
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