4 min read

The Relationship Between App Store Long Description and ASO

Michael Nathan

Table of Contents

In the realm of App Store Optimization (ASO), certain elements are considered crucial, such as the title and subtitle. The 'long description' section, limited to 4,000 characters, is also among these key elements. But how exactly does the App Store description relate to ASO? A common belief currently circulating is that while Google Play Store descriptions directly influence app store search results, App Store descriptions do not have a direct impact, implying that there's no need for ASO strategies focusing on these descriptions. But is this really the case?

Our perspective is somewhat different. For example, when you search for "Bumble," you find Hinge and Tinder in the search results. Is this because Hinge and Tinder have specified "Bumble" in their 100-character keyword field? That seems unlikely. If that were the case, every app would cram competitors' names into the limited keyword field.

So, what algorithm might be at play here?

We believe one answer lies in the relationships between keywords in long descriptions. In other words, the App Store may determine that the keywords used in Bumble are similar to those in Hinge and Tinder, leading to these apps appearing in search results for Bumble.

Another question arises: could this be because the same users install these apps, thus influencing their placement? We've investigated this by tracking various app installation trends to see how overlapping downloads of Apps A and B reflect in the App Store. We found that such overlaps appear in the "You might also like" section. This was evident during a time when "incentive advertising" was popular, encouraging users to install other apps in exchange for in-game currency. The results of these overlaps were reflected in the "You might also like" section.

Moreover, if overlapping downloads were the main factor influencing the arrangement of competing apps, it would be contradictory in the case of newly released apps, which also appear under similar established apps like Bumble and Hinge. It seems unnatural to assume a high volume of overlapping downloads occurs so soon after an app's release.

We have also verified that changes in the description text can alter the connection with competing apps.

Next, let's discuss the relationship between App Store description and Apple Search Ads (ASA). Our findings suggest a correlation here too. For instance, when Bumble uses "dating apps" as a keyword in ASA, the cost-per-click is lower compared to apps in different categories. This is because ASA recognizes a close connection between Bumble and the phrase "dating apps," likely influenced by the language used on the Product page. We have validated these findings as well.

Regarding the impact of long description on conversion rates (CR), we've tested the difference between including campaign information in the first sentence of the description and not. Our findings showed a 10% higher CR when campaign information was included in the first sentence. Though results may vary with the campaign content, it's evident that users pay attention to the first line, highlighting its importance.

In conclusion, we feel it's inaccurate to say that App Store long descriptions, because they are not indexed by ASO keywords, require no attention. We hold extensive knowledge in this area and are happy to share deeper insights and results upon request. Considering these and other factors, we developed "ASO Creator," a tool that quantifies and assists in ASO strategy, including optimizing description text for relevant keywords. We also offer workshops to share our knowledge individually, and we hope to be of service.

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