Between the Android and Apple app stores, consumers have nearly 6 million apps to choose from, with more added every day. While there’s no way to guarantee your app will rise to the top, writing a solid app description will help you get noticed.
Here are 7 simple steps to writing effective copy – and giving your app a fighting chance of being picked.
1. Choose a distinctive title
Your app’s name should be easy to say and spell. Ideally, it should describe what your app does, or at least hint at it.
Research your competitors and avoid using anything too similar to an existing app – your name should stand out and help you be remembered.
If you’re hoping to reach an international audience, make sure your name translates well and doesn’t have any unwanted meanings or connotations in other languages.
2. Select a snappy subtitle
The Apple App Store provides room for a subtitle, which appears immediately below the title – giving you an opportunity to explain what your app does if it’s not immediately clear.
The word count is only 30 characters, so keep it descriptive and concise. Think ‘Medieval strategy game’ rather than ‘A strategy game set in the medieval era’.
‘It’s crucial to front-load your app copy with a strong, persuasive opening sentence.’
3. Sum up in your first sentence
Your app description might be a triumph of skilful copywriting, but the majority of users won’t read the whole thing. Most app stores only preview a few lines of the description and users won’t see the rest unless they expand the text box.
That’s why it’s crucial to front-load your app copy with a strong, persuasive copy. Your opening sentence should make sense on its own and should cover:
- exactly what’s in it for the user, and
- what makes the product unique.
Keep your main paragraph to three or four lines at most. Break up your paragraphs and use subheadings where possible to make your text easy to read and visually appealing.
4. Flesh out the features
Write out all the features you can think of, then go back over them and ask yourself ‘why is this important to the user?’ If you can’t think of a good reason, cut it.
It’s important to realise that your features list isn’t a tech spec. Most users won’t understand or care about every little detail of what the app can do – they want to know how it’s going to help them.
Try to take on the perspective of your user and imagine what they want to hear. An ‘autosave feature’ might sound nice, but it sounds far more appealing when you spell out the benefit too – e.g. ‘the autosave feature ensures you never lose any of your work’.
‘A good quote draws attention to a major benefit of using your app.’
5. Highlight your best reviews
The Apple App Store and Google Play both display reviews with each app listing. But if you have particularly good reviews you want to show off, you may want to highlight them in the app copy itself.
The review should come from a reputable source, ideally from someone your target user would recognise and respect. But make sure the quote itself has substance too – it should expand on your app description, drawing attention to a key feature or a major benefit of using your app.
6. Shout about bug fixes
Including a section on bug fixes signals that your app is still getting better. Users are likely to be more forgiving if they understand your product is a work in progress.
Focus on the positive and drawn attention to new features and improvements as well as bug fixes. And make sure to update this section every time you update the app so it shows that you’re continually improving.
‘After launching, you’re likely to need to make tweaks and fix bugs. The same goes for your copy.’
7. Experiment and learn
Launching your app can be the most nerve-wracking step in the whole process. But launch day isn’t the last day of working on your app. In the weeks after, you’re likely to need to make tweaks and fix bugs. The same goes for your copy.
It’s unlikely you’ll find the perfect words to describe your product right away, so be ready to revisit your app description and experiment a little.
Take what you’ve learned about your app since launch and apply it to your marketing too. If one feature is proving more popular than the others, reorder the copy to promote that feature. See what kind of positive language your users are using in reviews, and make sure it’s reflected in the app description.
Be adaptable and ready to take risks with your copy – if it doesn’t work out, you can always try something new.
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