website copywriting

App Store Copywriting and Optimization: The Next Big Thing for Freelancers

Anne Mercer
October 17, 2018

Although a freelancer’s life is already filled with enough acronyms (SEM, SEO, CRM, and on and on), there’s a new kid on the block: ASO*,* or app store optimization. Along with the introduction of this strategy comes the next big thing for writers—app store copywriting.

In the first quarter of 2018 alone, there were 3.8 million apps available for download across all app-related stores such as Apple’s App Store and Google Play. All of these apps need convincing descriptions and copy. Otherwise, why would users want to download them?

This is where app store optimization and copywriting comes in. As defined by Moz, app store optimization is “a way of ensuring your app meets app store ranking criteria and rises to the top of a search results page.”

As you might imagine, a lot of the tactics involved in optimizing an app’s store performance deal directly with app store copywriting.

App Store Optimization Basics

The basics of optimizing your app within the store are similar to creating copy for a website. First and foremost, you need to do keyword research.

Identify the keywords your customers and target audience use to find similar apps and services online. Then, incorporate these keywords into the title and content of your app store description.

In addition, Google Play and the App Store have certain character restrictions when inputting keywords. For instance, Google Play examines your app description to identify appropriate keywords while the App Store has a 100-character keyword field for app developers to use.

On top of implementing the right keywords, other ASO basics include:

  1. Using a catchy app icon and name
  2. Including screenshots, videos, and other media in your description
  3. Asking users for honest reviews

When attempting to improve an app’s ranking within the store, be sure to utilize outside promotions, too. The key is to drive users to your app store listing and entice them to download through convincing copy.

3 Easy App Store Copywriting Tips

Want to know a secret?

App store copywriting is just like every other type of copywriting!

There’s no special formula or hack that’ll magically improve an app’s place in the store. Instead, if you rely on these copywriting truths, you’ll experience great app store success.

1. Know Thy Audience

There’s a reason writers do extensive audience research. We can’t speak at people. We need to speak to them.

Before you begin to write out an app store description, understand what your audience is looking for. Ask yourself:

  1. Why does the audience need this app?
  2. What is the audience’s motivation for downloading this app?
  3. How can this app benefit the target market?
  4. Where is my audience located?

As usual, demographic information can also be useful if available.

2. Benefits Over Features

When working on an app store copywriting project, you’ll have to discuss the features of the app. It’s inevitable. But don’t harp on them! Users don’t care what an app does technically. They want to know what it can do for them or how it benefits them.

For instance, within the MyDisneyExperience app, users are able to see and update their entire Disney vacation itinerary from one screen. Rather than focusing on the technical specifics of this feature, talk about the convenience and peace of mind it provides vacationers.

3. Formatting Is Your Friend

How boring would an app store description be if it was only massive chunks of text? Aside from being super dull, it would be difficult to read on various devices.

When engaging in app store copywriting, use the following types of formatting to your advantage:

  1. Bullet point lists (like this one!)
  2. Bold, italic, and underlined copy
  3. Headings and subheadings
  4. Small chunks of text
  5. Quotes

Also, remember that users are likely consuming this copy on a smartphone or tablet. Avoid run-on sentences, big paragraphs, or odd formatting choices to provide a pleasant reading experience.

With these best practices and tips in mind, you’re ready to take on the freelance writing world’s latest challenge: app store copywriting.

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