App Description Best Practices – Get App Downloads with Amazing Descriptions

It’s easy to let your app description slowly slip down your to-do list. But getting those few hundred words right can make a HUGE difference when it comes to driving mobile app downloads.

Even if everything else is on point, a poorly written app description can completely tank your app. Below are some tricks to improve your descriptions and get more downloads.

You’re in this business because you want to achieve success and live the appreneur lifestyle. To reach your goals, it’s important to create a killer app description that will get people to 1) read more and 2) click the “Buy” button.

If writing isn’t your thing, you’ve probably already discovered that writing a GOOD app description is actually pretty tough. No worries. I’ll show you some simple strategies you can use to keep users from tapping the back button.

Get the Intro Lines Right

You have 580 characters to hook your audience. That’s how many characters will show before the “More” link in the App Store. If you can’t generate interest in what basically amounts to 4 Tweets, you’re simply out of luck.

Since space is limited, it’s best to lead with a strong message that’s relevant to your audience. This isn’t the place for details about the development process or filler text. Instead, consider including the following types of information:

  • Your value proposition. One sentence that succinctly describes why your app is awesome. If you met an investor in an elevator and wanted to pitch your app, what would you say?
  • Media mentions. If your app has appeared on a popular website, publication, or TV show, mention it in the intro. Featured in the New York Times.
  • Influencer quotes. If a well-known person has endorsed your app, include the quote here. “Highly addictive!” —Important Person
  • Promotions.  Running a special?  Tell people about it!
  • Number of downloads or users. Only if the number is pretty large, of course. More than 20,000 active users.
  • Star ratings. If you already have some positive ratings in the App Store, post the numbers. Over 500 5-star ratings!
  • Be Weird. Ever read a description and think to yourself, WTF?  Capture your users attention by any means necessary.  Make them laugh, make them think.  Pretend like your life will end unless they read the first two sentences of your description.

You can’t fit everything in the intro, so pick the strongest points. You can put everything else in the full app description. Need an example of an app intro done right? Check out Jewel Blitz:

JEWEL BLITZ

Create Your Complete App Description

Getting users to click “more” is just the first part of the battle. Now you have to make the sale.

Your full app description can be around 300 to 500 words. But that doesn’t give you the green light to drone on endlessly about the features of your app.

Make every word count.

The copy should be clear, concise, and relevant to your target audience. No matter how great you think a certain feature is, always think about it from the user perspective. In general, people are more interested in benefits than features.

It may help to ask yourself these questions:

  1. What’s unique about your app?
  2. How is it different from other similar apps?
  3. Why would someone want to use your app?
  4. How does your app improve or enrich people’s lives?

Include the most relevant details and omit everything else. Oh, and don’t forget to close the sale! An app description is actually more like a sales page than a description.

At the end, include a strong call-to-action that invites users to actually download your app.

Checkout Bluecloud's Mobile App Development Guide to learn more about targeting your audience.

Formatting Tips for App Descriptions

Your full app description can be long, but make sure it’s easy to digest. No one wants to see a wall of text.

Break it into small sections and use asterisks and other symbols to draw attention to important information.

Bullet point lists can help you clearly present benefits and features. Here are few tips to help you get it right:

  • Use short lists.
  • Put important points at the top.
  • Are you even reading this?
  • Vary the opening word.
  • Group points by topic.

If you make one ginormous list, most people will skip the middle points. That’s why it’s important to place key points at the top. People tend to read the first few points, scan the rest, and then maybe read the last bullet point.

We’re a lazy bunch.

Use Your App Description for Cross Promotion

Cross Promotion
App descriptions are prime Internet real estate. In many cases, your iTunes page will outrank your website in the search engine results. That’s why it’s important to link back to your website, social media, and other apps.

Sometimes your app description will be copied directly onto different review sites. By including links, you can connect with potential users AND get free traffic to your website, Facebook page, Twitter feed, and other social channels.

Also include a link to your support page and email. If people can’t contact you for support and get a quick response, you could receive bad ratings and negative reviews. Not a fun time.

App Description Mistakes to Avoid

iOS doesn't measure keywords in descriptions like other platforms do, so don’t bother with keyword stuffing. It’s useless in the App Store and it tends to scare people away. Just focus on creating a badass app description that will appeal to your target audience.

Never lie or exaggerate. It will only come back to bite you in the ratings and reviews. Present your app in the best possible light, but always be honest and upfront with potential users.

When you’re all done, proofread everything carefully. Get a fresh pair of eyes on it if you can. Ask a friend to look for typos and grammatical errors. Little mistakes can affect how people perceive your app.

App Description Best Practices – Putting it all Together

Sometimes it’s best to learn by example. Here are a couple kickass app descriptions to reverse engineer:

Pocket:

Pocket

Rocket Cars:

Examples of App Description Best Practices

The final question is, how does your app description look on the device its intended for? Your copy will need to format properly on desktops, iPhones, and iPads. Test your app description on each device to ensure that it looks nice on small and large screens.

Update Your App Description Regularly

Remember that your app description will change and evolve over time. When you update your app, reach a new milestone, or get new reviews, you can add information to your app description.

It’s never too late to make improvements that could help you sell more apps. You can change your app description whenever you want, so don’t be afraid to experiment.  Checkout Bluecloud's Ebook to learn more about marketing your app.

To see some examples of apps that do excellent ASO, read this post or this post.

What strategies have you tried in your App Store descriptions? Share your experiences in the comment section.

How to Make An App
 

COMMENTS

  • Matthieu OSADA March 4, 2015

    Melissa, thanks a lot for that one! We’re in the process of tweaking our ASO for our firsts reskins and we’re re-writing our descriptions. You provide some very useful tips here 🙂

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