Guide to App Store Localization

Great Photo by Greg Rakozy

(photo: Greg Rakozy)

Did you know localized apps has more downloads and revenues than non-local ones? Moreover did you know apps in the top 20 of each regions app-stores are localized? You always want to find an affordable way to increase downloads? Then localization is the perfect solution for you!

Let’s start with simple questions:

Why localization is important?

iOS app store and Google Play operates locally in every country or region all around the world. You should consider that global Users utilize App-Stores in their native/regional languages. They research in their language, they read in their language and they primarily choose Apps which supports their languages. If an App doesn’t promote their native language, you will probably confront with a lot reviews in your app store page like below.

1-language-support-reviews

The majority of smartphone users are not native English speakers. And do you think English only app publishing is a good idea? One of the biggest app markets are China, Korea, Japan. Yes English is a universal language but it is not necessarily only one you should use in your apps and on your app store pages.

And also you really should consider hiring a translation service to translate review responses. It’s one of the important things that makes Amazon great. Even if they don’t operate in some countries they provide native customer services. You don’t have to be Amazon to communicate with your users.

Which languages you should choose?

There are a lot of languages and yes, if you are looking for an affordable growth strategy, you might not localize your Apps and App-Store pages in every language in the beginning. That’s why we are encouraging our customers to detect the best markets for their Apps to launch their businesses. By implication, our customers can localize their Apps in any regions and languages worldwide.

An efficient and effective launch should be done small and smart for an affordable strategy. A localization strategy which can achieve affordable profits by beeing compatible with any Apps, is the best base for a successful business. By using App analytic tools, such as AppAnnie, MobileAction and Sensor Tower, which support business oprations with success and even free features on analytics tools are supportive enough to understand any App audiences.

For example, The Mobile Action Market Intelligence Graphs
Developers are able to verify their audience geographies and prioritize any localization language according to following charts.

2-appstore-audience-geography

Your app probably has users from around the world. And you should definitely consider their regions to prioritize as in localization. (As Lingulise, we prefer you do the all :p)

Tuyen Nguyen is Mobile Growth Lead at Facebook. And before Facebook she was the Head of Mobile Publisher Partnerships at Google. She emphasizes two metrics for figuring out which language groups should be your priority:

1- The languages used most on the Web
2- The countries with the most paid app installs

Besides this, it is very important and commendable to keep your business up-to-date and be aware of growing/ upcoming market variancies.

What about competitors?

If you know where your competitors have localized, you can be able to figure competitive markets out. Use AppAnnie, MobileAction, Google Analytics or similar analytic tools to gather informations about markets, countries and competitors itself.

There are lot of successful stories on the Web which include and follow localizations. How it is possible that these successful competitors didn’t spend a dime on marketing either ads, but still grew their businesses more than hundred percent. I might sound like a terrible 3rd tier salesman, but these success stories about localization are true. Because localization provides one of the easiest yet successful marketing tool: Language.

Is localization worth the time?

Despite being one of the easiest marketing tool, localization processes are not that easy to do. But at the end of the day, it is definitely worth. You can easily double or triple your App downloads and revenue.

And before we begin you should also check Kissmetrics post about ASO myths!

So let’s begin:

How you should start app store localization?

Keywords: First step is localizing your keywords or finding better local keywords.

When you publish your app, you should detect your keywords too. And if you want to localize your app, you can simply use Google Translate to get a direct translation of your keywords for start. But if you prefer more local solutions to your keywords you should consider hiring a human translator for that. So translator give you the exact keywords and long tail terms for your apps.

App Names:

App names are one of the most important things on app stores. You should carefully choose your app name and stick with it. Even though the AppStore and Google Play alghoritms are not prioritizing specific keyword used app titles, there is a big effect on users.

3-keywords-in-title

So if you want to use an important keyword on your app title that describes your app, you should carefully localize it with a professional human translator. Otherwise consequences to mistranslated names are going to be shown by users on your app reviews.

Screenshots and videos:

Screenshots and videos are tricky things to do. And localizing them means more effort. But you have to edit your screenshots and have to add localized subtitles to your videos. But localized screenshots and videos has a big impact on the audience.

4-screenshots-localization

But nowadays, app developers and marketers starting to realize the screenshot section is more important than simple screenshots. Even though your in-app language is only English you should add localized screenshots to give your potential users a preview experience. You should definitely be honest about your app is only supporting English in your app store descriptions. Which leads us to the next important thing.

Descriptions:

First of all make sure that your description mentions that the app is in English. Otherwise, people might get angry after downloading your app. And immediately find a localization service such as Lingulise 🙂

There is limited space to describe your app and your app description should be around 300-500 words. First two lines or first paragraph is the most important one.

Simply prioritize content, decide which messages are more important to your users. Work with a professional native human translator (we have more than 90 of them :)) Highlight the main benefits of the app and put your social media accounts to connect with your customers.

And if you have little bit more budget, proofreading is one the most important thing to do. Because simply two heads are better than one!

If you wanna learn more about Mobile App Optimization for User Acquisition, Activation, and Retention you should check this awesome webinar!

On next blog post I will be explaining how to put localized text in app stores.

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