The Short Description is a metadata element that is unique to Google Play. It is an important piece of the product page for two reasons:
First, the Short Description is indexed. That means it can contain keywords and has the ability to contribute to the app’s visibility.
Second, it can contribute to conversion rate optimization. Unlike the long description, it is visible on the product page without another user action. Thus, it is a gateway to the long description that is only readable if users click “About this app”. With an exciting short description, you can keep users on your product page and increase the chance, they will download the app.
As an app owner, you should create a short description that attracts users’ attention with a great design and catches their interest with useful information.
HOW TO OPTIMIZE THE SHORT DESCRIPTION ON GOOGLE PLAY?
To optimize your short description, follow these 6 tips:
- Add Relevant Keywords.
- State Your USP.
- Keep it simple.
- Raise Users’ Interest to read more.
- Use Emojis.
- Use all 80 Characters.
Depending on the app category, some of these tips are more or less useful. Thus, let me specify them to make sure you apply them in the right context.
TIP 1: ADD RELEVANT KEYWORDS
The short description is indexed and has significant weight for the Google Play algorithm. Thus, you need to add relevant keywords to it, so it can contribute to your app’s visibility in search results. With 80 characters total, the short description offers plenty of space for this purpose.
Focus on relevant keywords that create decent search volumes and are not too competitive. Each keyword in your short description should rank at least in the top 10 on SERPs. You can also choose words that form relevant long-tail keywords in combination with terms from the app title.
Keep in mind, that duplicating keywords across multiple metadata elements does benefit your app’s visibility. So if you want to rank for a competitive term that you already added to your app title, put it into the short description as well. By doing so, you will increase the chance that your app outranks your competitors.
However, be aware that each term should appear in the short description only once. Implementing the same word twice will not create additional visibility.
Adobe Photoshop Express is an app for manipulating photos and creating photo collages. Its short description contains a lot of relevant keywords for this kind of app, including photo, editor, crop, image, effect, filter, border, and collage.
Short Description of Photoshop Express
TIP 2: STATE YOUR USP
People will not use your app to grant you a favor. They have a problem or a wish, and they will only download your app if they think that it can solve their problem or fulfill their wish.
The short description is a great tool to provide them with this information. Let them know how your app will help them and how it will make their lives better.
State the unique selling points (USPs). Usually, your keywords reflect these USPs. But there might be more facts that are worth mentioning. Ask yourself the following questions and use the answers (or parts of them) as keywords in your short description:
- Which are the most important features of your app?
- Which features does your app has that competitor apps do not have?
- Does your app offer a greater variety of content or products than competitor apps?
- Is your app cheaper (or are your products cheaper)?
- Do you offer better services like free delivery, 24/7 support, multi-language content, or a money-back guarantee?
- Is your app extraordinary fast or stable?
- Can people use it in flight mode?
The short description of the videogames shopping app Instant Gaming states its benefits in terms of price (“70% off”), delivery time (“instant delivery”), and availability (”24/7”).
Short Description of Instant Gaming
TIP 3: KEEP IT SIMPLE
Make sure to make the short description easy to read and understand. There is no need to write a masterpiece of literature. So avoid complicated vocabulary and long sentences.
Follow the KISS principle: “Keep it Stupid Simple”. By doing so, you make sure that all visitors of your app’s product page can read and understand your short description, no matter what their educational background is.
Short CTAs are great for the short description, but comma-separated lists of the features and benefits of your app might work as well.
Here is an example: The app Houzz – Home Design and Remodel contains three very short and clear CTAs of two words each. They tell users clearly what the app will give them.
Short Description of Houzz – Home Design and Remodel
TIP 4: RAISE USERS’ INTEREST TO READ MORE
As said before, the short description is a gateway to more information. If it is an exciting read, it can raise users’ interest in learning more and make them click “About this app” to access the long description. And users who read the long description are one step closer to hit the download button.
So your goal should be to optimize the short description in order to engage users to click “About this app”. You can, for instance, make users curious by providing incomplete information that works like a cliffhanger in a movie: it makes users want to learn more.
The example below shows the short description of the education app Mondly. It specifies five languages that users can learn with the app, but also gives the outlook of “28 more languages”. If users want to know which additional languages the app supports, they need to read the long description.
Short Description of Mondly
TIP 5: USE EMOJIS
Google Play also supports emojis. If it makes sense for your app, consider adding some to pull users’ attention towards your short description.
Be aware that apps are not appropriate for every app. If you own a business app (respectively an app that is used primarily in a professional context) or a finance app, emojis are rather not appropriate. But for most leisure apps and especially for games that address children, emojis are a great way to beautify your short description.
To implement emojis into your short description, visit getmoji.com or a similar website. Select the emoji you want to add, copy it, and paste it into your short description.
The travel app eSky provides users -among other services- the possibility to book flights. To emphasize this feature, they added a plane emoji to their short description.
Short Description of eSky
TIP 6: USE ALL 80 CHARACTERS
Finally, make sure to use as many of the 80 characters of the short description as possible. Remember, the short description is indexed and thus can contribute to your app’s visibility. That makes every single character precious.
Nevertheless, the product pages of many apps on Google Play contain short description with much less than 80 characters. That is a waste of valuable space. Do not make this mistake. Make use of all of this space.
The Swiss food delivery app EAT.ch uses relevant keywords in their short description, and they also point out the benefits of the app (“quick & easy”). But they only use 43 characters. That is only half of the available space and a waste of the short description’s potential.
Short Description of EAT.ch
With the tips from this post, you have all the knowledge you need to create an awesome short description for your Google Play app. Be aware though, that you should optimize your short description in harmony with the other metadata elements of your product page. Especially the app title and the long description should complement your short description regarding their content and their design.
DO YOU WANT TO LEARN MORE ABOUT ASO?
Then you should check out the App Store Optimization Book.
On more than 300 pages, you will learn everything you know about ASO, including keyword research and implementation, writing app descriptions, designing screenshots and app icons, composing app preview videos, and localizing your product page.
The ASO book offers easy to understand step-by-step guides and more than 140 helpful figures and example graphics.