App Store Optimization: How to Write App Descriptions That Sell Your Product

App Store Optimization: How to Write App Descriptions That Sell Your Product

How much do mobile app descriptions influence sales?

Quite a hard task to answer definitely due to not that many case studies on this subject. Although some researches show that 20 percent of sales failures potentially happen as a result of missing or not clear information about the product.

Think of it this way: would you buy an app or simply download it if after checking the app description you still have questions about it? Unlikely.

So yeah, a bad app description can turn potential customers away from a sale. But what's good here is that you can always fix it

Although… Consider the following.

What are the potential pitfalls of selling your products on app stores?

  • Icon: this is a make it or break it for success
  • Description: 2-3 sentences above “More” should prompt people to actually learn more
  • Formatting: very limited options to stand out
  • Price: even above $0.99 can turn users away
  • Competitors: they are everywhere breathing down your neck

Now we can all agree that writing for Google Play or Apple's App Store is quite a mystery, to say the least. So let's figure it out by going through the user journey!

Our goal is to get people to 1) click on your application, 2) know the app's imagery, 3) hit to read more, and 4) learn to the extent they need in order to 5) click the "$1.99 Buy" button.

There is a number of ways to reach the above goal. One that definitely works is the App Store Optimization, in short - ASO. It is basically the improvement of the application’s visibility in the most popular app stores.

What’s in your power to optimize? App name, description, visuals, etc.—all for better top charts positioning and search results rankings.

Let’s help your customer find your app with the following working tips!

App Name

Unless users already know your app and search directly by its name, the first acquaintance with it goes within usual search rankings.

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You might be wondering how to find the right name for your app.

The perfect app title:

  • is unique and clear;
  • contains brand name;
  • is within each store’s symbols limit;
  • carries the main message;
  • has essential keywords;
  • is creative.

Tough, right?

Take it easy! As Steve Jobs once said, “Good artists copy, great artists steal”. No, I’m not trying to compel you for stealing someone’s app name. Remember, yours should be unique! But who stops you from getting some ideas from the most popular apps in your category on the App Store and Google Play Store?

Wouldn’t the following examples inspire you with thoughts of the right title?

Example #1:

On the App Store:

Chatagram - Personalised messaging app

On Google Play:

Chatagram: Connect and chat with your friends

Example #2:

On the App Store:

Face Swap Live - Switch faces in live video

On Google Play:

Face Swap Live

Example #3:

On the App Store:

7 Minute Workout Challenge

On Google Play:

7 Minute Workout Challenge

As you can see, each app can have a personalized name for each store or go with the same one. Check out more hacks on app naming in our next article.

For now, one final tip: keep your app title under 25 characters so people could see it entirely in search rankings.

App Icon

Okay, so your app showed up in search results. How do people choose what application to click on?

People catch visuals with a blink of an eye. So you want to make sure yours isn’t drab, grey or cluttered with words. Otherwise… users won’t get to your page. Therefore treat your icon well!

App Screenshots

If you’re lucky enough and some users got through the first step towards buying your app then the next thing they see is visuals. If you uploaded them, of course. It can be video or screenshots. Remember, that App Store gives you credit to upload up to 5 visuals and Google Play allows to put 8 ones for each supported device type.

The first screenshot is crucial as it explains what your app does. But don’t underestimate the others, select them carefully—you won’t get a second chance if the user’s impression was below expectations. To enhance the effect use verbs when you decide to add text to visuals. They will push visitors to take the next step.

Take a lesson from Snapchat. Its screenshots precisely show what Snapchat does and how fun it can be using it.

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More to that, a walkthrough video can make a huge difference comparing to screenshots. It will show to potential customers your app in action. Here's what Snapchat presented on Google Play:

How to write a description for screenshots?

The latest tendency to write descriptive text on screenshots were proven to be popular as long as it meets the following requirements:

  • Short;
  • Easy to read;
  • Clear.

Two lines of a caption are enough to catch users attention without over-boring them.

There are many principles to take into consideration while creating text pieces for each screenshot. The most important here is to show what the app does. Though you can present in many ways—from a simple description of the main features to a compelling storyline.

For example, Asana pinpointed at the core features.

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And Todoist showed a way from chaos to a calm life with full control over the tasks.

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How to write an App description?

Once the visuals grab users' attention they start reading the actual product description for apps which is required to be the most informative part. Although a simple "more" link separates a visitor from it. So you should work very hard to engage people with 2-3 first text lines that much so they were willing to click that link and see the whole app description.

Just check the powerful description that Facetune offers in the App store:

  • "Facetune helps you look your Hollywood best, even in photos taken on mobile phones." - Roy Furchgott, The NY Times
  • Facetune is a fun and powerful portrait & selfie photo editor!

A quote from a respectable source along with a clear explanation of the problem an app successfully solves makes it the one that sells i

Within these first lines, a visitor should clearly understand your main message and should be willing to know the details. So tease and magnetize!

How to write an app short description?

Consider using the following:

  • Value proposition: “My product is the one that...”;
  • The “ideal for” statement: “Made exclusively for..”, etc.;
  • A product review quote: “Facetune helps you...” - The NY Times (Remember?);
  • An influencer quote: “A game-changer” – Seth Godin;
  • Reasons to believe: “Todoist is free forever…”;
  • Media mentions: “As shown by ABC News...”;
  • Teasers: “Click ‘more’ to get...”;
  • Achievements: ”Raised X funds...”;
  • Previous expertise: “From the creators of...”;
  • Star ratings: “Top health mag *SELF Magazine* gave us a whopping 5 stars!”.


Conquering one of the mentioned pitfalls, even with limited formatting options your short description can stand out. There’s always Unicode symbols: arrows, stars, hearts, etc. Use them wisely! What’s good for an entertaining app won’t suit a financial one.


Do you remember your main goal while writing the description? Sell.

To make that possible use the following rules:

  • WIIFM – What’s in it for me?

Don’t think your audience understands your writing work by default. Make it so no one even had a room for confusion or guessing. People should clearly see what they earn right after downloading your product.

  • SLAP – Stop. Look/Listen. Act. Purchase.

You have to be sure that your description catches the users attention, makes them want to listen to your message, pushes them for certain actions to get to know your app better and finally motivates to purchase.

  • KISS – Keep it simple stupid.

Offer your audience only important, valuable information in a very clear and understandable language. No jargon or hard words. Keep it as simple as possible.

Imagine you are a user yourself, then think about the core features your app offers. No need to concentrate on tiniest functionalities. Define the major ones and present them in the best possible light.

Let’s check what is the perfect app description:

  • clear about the app functionality;
  • well-structured;
  • professionally localized;
  • within the symbols limitation;
  • has core features set emphasized;
  • contains contact information;
  • lists crucial facts and achievements.

Unlike short descriptions that contain up to 80 characters, the long descriptions are limited to 4000 symbols in both app stores. Some apps use it to the fullest, others are satisfied with just a few sentences. Although it is advisable to put a text of around 800 characters. Context is way more important, you know!

Just check out how the Todoist app description looks like on Google Play:

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Here is the list of the most popular writing tips:

Problem and solution

It is the most important part of any product. Users should easily understand what problem the app solves. As they are looking for some solution. If you additionally open up the non-obvious pain points your app might gain more audience. Take an example from the well-known Uber that offers convenience highlighting the problems that users didn’t know about it.


Most people like to be rewarded for their actions. Some app owners create special loyalty programs that serve for attracting and retaining users. That also includes instant rewards for app downloading. You should mention it while you write about the app and your potential customers will see an immediate value of your app—in the end, it will work out well for you.

Awards and reviews

People trust authoritative sources. Or simple reviews. Credibility statement will highlight the value of application for potential customers.

When people first meet your app they become skeptical. There are lots of questions arise in their heads, like: ‘What does the app do?”, “Can this app really help me solve my problem?”, “Is it worth downloading it?”. Some kind of “social proof” can add greatly enhance the chance for your app to be downloaded. As it shows new visitors that someone has already used your application and received positive results.

Here’s what puts your app into a winning position:

  • Awards

If your app was chosen for an award, put that into a description along with the reasons for such appreciation, like Musixmatch Lyrics Finder done:

“Musixmatch is the world’s largest lyrics catalog… Selected for the Editor’s Choice on the App Store.”

  • Reviews from respected sources

If your app gets a review from some magazine, website, organization, famous blog, tv channel or other trustful sources, just put a quote from it, as Todoist has done so:

“If your goal is to spend as little time as possible organizing and more time doing, Todoist offers the simplicity you're looking for.” - iMore

It works well in both ways: for users who know that source and for the actual source as an act of their work appreciation. Try to highlight those quotes.

  • App store selections

If your app has got into some Apple selections, make sure to mention it. People trust app stores’ choices.

  • Ratings

Your aim is to show that your app is already well-liked or downloaded. You can simply put the info about the number of the app’s downloads. Possibly over some limited period of time. Any other statistics will also make a positive effect: “Downloaded 500 000 times in 88 countries throughout the world”.

  • Reviews from users

If your app is new and there are no mentionings on the famous resources, just put some review from your regular users, even if that’s some of your closest friends. They definitely have something to say.


Sometimes English is not enough. There are still many people out there who don’t speak this widespread language. So think how big new audience you can attract to your app with a simple localization. Lots of services can solve the task.

However, localization doesn’t only means translation. It also implies a certain level of adaptation to the reality of specific nations. To be more recognizable for certain audience some namings, locations, etc. should be super specific. Eventually, app downloads are at stake.

Core features

Describing just a few but only key functionalities your app offers will help your user to see the main focus of your product. Highlight the list with reading-friendly formattings, like bullet points, etc.

Let your users discover more functionalities inside the application.

Users might get tired of excessively high loads of information, one use case is pretty enough.


People get easily connected with stories. Especially if they find themselves as a part of those narratives.  Describing the user journey will help visitors imagine themselves using the app and discovering its value by simply reading about the core features. To make this a realistic picture yourself as a passionate app user and let the words fall out.

If appropriate, drop a line of humor to keep your audience engaged. Or use sentences increasing their interest, let’s say: “Have you ever felt like...”.

Benefits and tech aspects

Once users get to know the core features much closer and love the narrative form of your description you can dive deeper into more features details. Listing main benefits along with the way the app works including the technical part with its easy-to-understand explanations.

Call to action

People like to get clear instructions. Are you among those who wait till the alarm clock beeps to get off your bed even if you are not asleep anymore? You’re not alone!

So don’t expect people to read your mind. Simply invite them to make an action. Turn potential users into passionate ones with a powerful call to action: “Download to enjoy...”.

Make them excited at this incredible opportunity to finally click the "$1.99 Buy" button.

Promote your expertise

Who stops you from promoting your other already existing products or services? Especially if it adds up to your expertise and makes your app more trustful in the eyes of the audience. Additionally, certain information about your company definitely won’t hurt along with other apps they can potentially like. Contact info will give your users a chance to reach you.

App changes

One more incentive, your app will change over time as well as its app store descriptions. The first things that will definitely evolve are the social proof, awards, and reviews sections.

More to that, there is a special section in app stores called “What’s new” where you want to specify the latest tech updates. What for? To show your users your app is alive and gets constantly improved.

Also, you wouldn’t mind changing some other parts of your app presentation to get more audience, would you?

How to find keywords?

The important component of the whole app description including the app title is keywords. Search engine optimization remains crucial more than ever before. That defines whether your potential user will be able to find you in terms of keywords and core phrases used. And increases your app visibility throughout the App store or Google Play Market.

To make your app stand out prepare beforehand by doing keyword research or simply checking your competitors' strategies.

Here is what can lend you a hand in this task:

  • Google Trends
  • Google AdWords Keyword Planner
  • App Store Statistics
  • Suggestions in the app store’s search box
  • Your imagination

Create a prioritized list of keywords for your app. After a while define the most convertible keywords based on analytics software data. And make the changes accordingly.


Building a mobile app business is not just about the development stage. Promoting your product is a constant process as well as subsequent tech updates.

The writing tips mentioned in this article will help you craft an in-depth and well-optimized app description for both Apple’s App Store and Google Play Market.

Use the tips and witness a majorly brilliant effect on your app’s success!

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