How to Write an App Description - App marketing Guide for 2020!

How to Write an App Description That Will Get Users to Download

Lior Eldan | 20.11.19

So, why do you need to write an app description like a pro? Pretty simple, your copywriting can make or break your app marketing efforts.

If you think writing articles for SEO is complicated because you need to keep a keyword in mind, write a minimum number of words and use specific HTML tags, just wait for when you’ll be writing an app description.

Not trying to scare you here in any way. Yet, showcasing the same idea in 700 words instead of 3.000 words is way, way harder.

So, why is writing an app store description so hard?

write an app description

The answer is pretty simple, you’re forced to:

  • Respect the app store description character limit
  • Send your message in the first lines of your description
  • Follow the app store description guidelines
  • Write content without the help of formating (headers, bolds and so on)

We’ll talk about everything in this article and help you out on your task of writing a killer app description.

App Store Description Guidelines

As mentioned before, you need to fully respect the App Store Description Guidelines in order to rank your app on the app store and increase app downloads.

Just to push the importance of a relevant app store description, less than 2% of users read the entire description. Meaning that, if you don’t write the relevant information in 5 lines or less, you won’t convince anyone to download your app.

App description guidelines

App store descriptions are limited to a maximum of 4.000 characters and can be disapproved by Moderators if they find out you stuffed it with app store keywords.

Make sure that you eliminate all errors in your copy, keep it as natural as possible and don’t falsify any information or testimonials.

Start with the main app keyword in mind

The best app store description works with the keyword in mind. You should write the copy in a way that:

  • Converts users
  • Increases your rank

We’ve done App store optimization guides in the past, talking about the benefits of doing proper keyword research and optimizing your app.

If you still don’t know what ASO is, it is the process of optimizing an app for the app store. Pretty self-explanatory, isn’t it?

You start by doing keyword research and continue with analyzing your competitors.

This allows you to better understand what keywords users are using to find apps similar to yours and what keywords you need to integrate inside your copy.

It’s also a good exercise and task to read what your competitors wrote and better understand what worked for them.

If you’ve already done your research for your main keywords, don’t forget about ASO!

ASO can help you increase your app store ranking. The more people see your app page, the more people will download.

Because of this, also take care of the following:

App title.

Your app should have the main keyword integrated into the title. This will help it rank better and get more organic views on the homepage.

App Store Keyword Field

The Apple App Store has a keyword field where you can integrate the main keywords you want to rank your app for. Make sure you fill everything in order to increase your app ranking.

What are the app store description best practices?

Besides the standard guidelines, we’ve also created a list of the app store description best practices. After looking over the market, reading studies and based on our experience, we created the following lists.

Use an Emoji in your app store description

Before anyone starts ramping up in the comment section. Yes, we do know there have been cases in the past where the use of Emojis had detrimental effects on app developers.

Yet, the problem wasn’t related to the use of emojis in the app store description. It was related to the use of emojis in the artwork or design of the app.

Apple has the right to block apps that use its copyrighted emoji design. And they should. More info in this article submitted by Techcrunch.

Conclusion: You can use Emojis in the app store description, do not use it in screenshots, logos, videos or inside of your app as part of the UI!

Test, test and re-test your app store description preview!

As mentioned before, all apps have a small preview that each user sees when opening the app page. (see example below)

Shazam app store preview description
Source: Google Play Store, Shazam App

For Shazam, we can only see 6 lines of text, then it starts fading and you can only read more if you press the “Read more” button. (sorry, couldn’t find a better wordplay for this)

Also, only 2% of users actually try to read more. Because of this, most of the time, the app store description is more relevant to the app store, than the user.

As a result, we advise that you start creating a sales-oriented copy with a limit of around 250 characters. Do your best to convince the user to download.

You can always A/B test this. Keep it for a couple of weeks, change it, compare the results. (mostly the conversion rate)

Use Social Proof in your app description.

If you’ve won rewards or done some amazing projects in the past for which the users may know you for, it’s best to state that in the app store description.

Talk about your millions of downloads in a couple of weeks, about your amazing awards or even something smaller like being featured in the top 5 of your app’s category on the app store.

This will increase the user’s trust in you and the chance of converting. (especially in more serious niches)

Social Proof App Description for Angry Birds
Angry Birds talks about its millions of players in the description.

Create a description for your images

Being limited with your app store description formating, you need to start being creative with your creative.

Bad pun, we know. But follow through here.

You can use your app store screenshots to describe your app features and functionalities, in order to increase the conversion rate.

A picture is worth a thousand words.

Unknown author
App description with app store screenshots Revolut
Revolut showcases the information about Analytics and fast account opening
App description with app store screenshots Netflix
Netflix talks about the option of downloading movies to watch later

Really important, as we mentioned before, you are allowed to include emojis in your text description, you are not allowed to use them in your creative. Most of them are copyrighted!

This is what happened with Apple emojis when they pulled out hundreds of apps from their app store.

Add some text inside your mobile app preview videos!

In the same way, you can add information in your app store screenshots, you can also add texts inside your app preview video.

Don’t forget about app localization and app internationalization

Localizing your app can increase the number of app downloads by up to 767%. That’s over 75% of the content users read on the internet is in their own language.

If you aren’t pushing your app in Spanish, for a Spanish market, you will be missing out!

App store localization is also one of the main ASO activities. It can help you rank on words that do not exist in your main language, rank you higher in specific countries and boost your downloads and conversions.

Uber Localize Screenshots
Uber Localize Screenshots

Uber did an amazing job with their localization in Japan. They managed to localize their descriptions in both text and screenshots.

Not only that, but they also used maps with locations from Japan to better reflect the experience of the users!

Use Call to Actions in your app description!

You only have a couple of lines in your app description preview. Because of this, you need to make it count and convince the user to download your app.

Lines like:

  • Download the app and start saving money!
  • Install the game and join the millions of players worldwide.
  • Install our app and start watching all of your favorite movies.

… will surely help you boost your conversion.

CTA in App Description Twitter

Integrate promotional text in your app description

If you’re integration a new promotion, reducing your prices for a particular event or just integrating some new features, it’s worth showcasing that in your app description.

If your app is blocked by a paid subscription, this approach can help you increase the number of customers. App promotions are a great incentive for users that want to purchase at a discount.

Update your app often.

Updating your app often will help you rank higher, as the algorithm tries to always push relevant and new content inside the app store.

Related to your app store description, make sure that you update it and state what you’ve improved in your app.

This will make users trust your app more, knowing that you are continuously working on improving it.

It will also help you bring back users that churned in the past. If they left because your app missed a feature and you managed to integrate it, you have a high chance of converting them back into paying customers.

Don’t forget about app rating and reviews

If you’ve managed to obtain good app ratings and reviews from reputable sources, make sure to integrate that inside your app description.

If Forbes, TechCrunch or a National News Network rated your app, state that information inside your App description. It will surely boost your credibility.


How do I write a good app description?

Keyword research is the key to a strong app description, pardon the (bad) pun. There are tools out there to help you, such as AppTweak or AppFollow, and competitor analysis is also a good resource. Identify which keywords your competitors are targeting, and which keywords have high potential but low competition according to the tools, and include them throughout. Remember to put your best foot forward in the first few sentences as this is what appears above the fold, and is your very first impression.

How does an app description help increase downloads?

Keywords and metadata are two of the most important ranking factors for ASO/ the app store algorithms. If you include high potential keywords in your metadata then you’re increasing the visibility of your app in the app stores, and in turn you will see more downloads.

How long should an app description be?

Firstly, this is totally dependent on a case by case basis. Both Google Play Store and Apple App Store have a maximum character count of 4,000 characters for their app descriptions, so bear that in mind. It’s more about making sure you highlight all of your features and include keywords than the length.

Final Thoughts

We hope we managed to provide some value regarding app store descriptions. Why they are important and how to improve them.

For questions or help, feel free to either contact us or leave a comment in the section below.


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