8 Tips to Boost your App Localization
Table of Contents
- What is App Listing Localization
- Why it is important to localize your listings
- 8 Tips for Localizing your App
App Store localization plays a vital role in maximizing an app’s success in non-US markets and reaching overlooked users. With the availability of localized descriptions in numerous languages on iOS and Android, relying on Google Translate for localization efforts is inadequate due to unique expressions, phrasing, and meanings across countries.
While unlimited financial resources allow for broader targeting, working within a budget necessitates a smart and efficient approach. This involves conducting geographic segmentation research to identify common needs, trends, downloads, and revenue. Alternatively, analyzing the geographic distribution of similar apps can help prioritize top countries by downloads or revenue.
Although store intelligence programs offer downloads and revenue data, they are often expensive, making it essential to consider population size and GDP as general indicators of potential installs and revenues. The weight given to these factors depends on an app’s monetization plans, favoring “top by downloads” countries for in-app ads and “top by revenue” countries for in-app purchases.
App localization entails modifying a mobile application to align with the language, culture, and preferences of a particular target market. Given the widespread usage of smartphones and the diverse user preferences and languages worldwide, localization has become a vital strategy for app developers and businesses aiming to broaden their user base and unlock the full potential of their apps.
This article will delve into the advantages of app localization, highlight its significance, explain why every developer should invest in localizing their app listings, and provide valuable tips for optimizing your app effectively.
What is App Listing Localization
Localizing app listings goes beyond translation, as it involves adjusting screenshots and visuals to resonate with local users, optimizing keywords for search visibility, and providing accurate and localized information that effectively communicates the app’s features, benefits, and value proposition.
Remember that even if your app is not localized for the local market and the user experience is only possible in English, you should still optimize your app. However, in this case, you should stick to some of the best practices mentioned later in this article.
What is a locale
A locale refers to a distinct region or country for which an app or digital content is customized or made accessible. Each locale represents a unique market characterized by its language, cultural preferences, and legal regulations. Typically, localization involves translating the textual content of an app, such as app descriptions, menus, and user interface elements, into the language(s) used in the target locale.
In both app stores, if there is no specific listing for a particular locale, the local audience will view the default listing of the app. It’s important to note that on iOS, the default language is usually the local language or English (UK) for most countries. On Google Play, app developers have the flexibility to choose the default language of the app.
App developers have the option to make their apps available in specific locales based on their target audience and localization efforts. When an app is localized for a specific locale, it means that the app’s content, language, and sometimes even the user interface are adapted to cater to the preferences and requirements of users in that particular region.
Why is it so important to localize your app listings
There are numerous compelling reasons to localize your app and make it suitable for the local audience:
- Reach a wider audience: Localization breaks down language barriers, making your app more accessible and appealing to users from various regions. By localizing your app listings, you can tap into new markets and expand your user base. Users are more inclined to discover and download apps presented in their native language and tailored to their cultural preferences.
- Enhanced user experience: App listing localization provides users with relevant information that aligns with their local context. This enables them to better understand your app’s features, functions, and benefits. When users can easily comprehend the content and connect with the visuals in your app listing, they are more likely to engage with your app and become loyal users.
- Improved app discoverability: Using the right keywords increases the likelihood of your app appearing in relevant searches and ranking higher in app store rankings. This boosts the chances of potential users discovering your app organically, resulting in higher download rates and greater exposure.
- Build trust and credibility: Localizing your app listings demonstrates your commitment to understanding and catering to the needs of your target market. It shows that you value their language, culture, and preferences, which builds trust and credibility among users. Users are more likely to choose and recommend apps that are tailored to their specific needs and provide a personalized experience.
- Increased conversion and revenue: When users have a positive experience with your localized app listing, they are more likely to download and engage with your app. This, in turn, increases conversion rates and generates higher revenue.
App listing localization is crucial for expanding your app’s reach, enhancing user experience, improving discoverability, building trust, and driving revenue. Understanding the importance of app listing localization, let’s now explore some best practices and methods to effectively implement it.
8 Tips for Localizing your App
1. Perform comprehensive keyword research:
Identify relevant keywords and phrases that users in your target market are likely to search for. Utilize keyword research tools and analyze competitor listings to discover popular search terms. By examining your competitors’ localized listings, you can easily identify the primary keywords for a particular market. Once you have determined your keywords, use them strategically and incorporate them into the app’s metadata.
2. Localize the app title:
Consider localizing the app title to make it culturally relevant and appealing to users in different regions. Since the title is the first piece of metadata that users encounter, it has a significant impact on their engagement with your listing. This is applicable even in similar markets with the same language, as each region has its own unique characteristics, and the local audience may respond differently to similar metadata or creative assets.
Example #1: Duolingo is doing a great job in localizing its app to each market. Here we can spot the difference between their French and German listings.
3. Perform separate research for each app store:
Users on Google Play and the App Store often prioritize different elements in the app listing. This is due to differences in user behavior on each platform, so it’s essential to understand these distinctions. Optimize each store independently to ensure the listing is relevant and appealing to the specific user base. Keep in mind that Google and iOS users may exhibit different behaviors, so treating them differently can be beneficial.
4. Localize screenshots and visuals:
Customize screenshots, images, and videos to reflect the local culture and preferences of your target market. Consider incorporating localized captions and visuals that highlight the app’s key features and benefits. Instead of using generic characters that appeal to a broad audience, adapt each storefront to reflect the unique characteristics of the local market. Additionally, ensure that creative assets align with the preferences of the local audience. Understanding the local market is crucial, as different regions often have varying feature requirements. Avoid treating the entire world as one homogenous global market.
5. Localize app previews and videos:
If feasible, create localized app previews or videos that showcase the app’s features and functionality in action. This can greatly enhance user engagement and comprehension, providing a more immersive experience. While localizing videos for each market can be challenging, if it’s a viable option, it is recommended after conducting extensive research on local market best practices.
Example #2: Podimo tailors its screens to each location, even when the language is the same. As evident from the examples of the Mexico and Spain listings above, there are variations in creators and subtitles for each market.
6. Include app UX/UI in the screenshots:
If your app is localized for the local language, it is crucial to showcase that users can use it in their own language. However, even if the app is not fully localized, it is still essential to display it in the default language (typically English) to avoid misleading users. Misleading users can result in low retention rates and high uninstall numbers, negatively impacting your category rankings.
7. Test and iterate:
Continuously monitor and analyze the performance of your app listing. Test each market separately as user behavior can vary significantly between locations. It is important to apply relevant variations for each location since different markets often respond differently to tests. Creating separate tests for each market ensures that you serve them with the most relevant listing.
8. Utilize Cross-localization on iOS:
In certain countries, especially the United States, multiple languages are indexed in one location. If you are not specifically targeting a particular audience, you can leverage this feature to expand the number of keywords for which your app is ranked. For example, an app with a strong presence and user base in the United States but limited brand recognition in Mexico could opt not to translate its app listing into Spanish. Instead, English keywords could be included in the Spanish (MX) metadata localization. As a result, the app would rank in the US App Store for the added keywords in both the English (US) and Spanish (MX) localizations.
In our interconnected world, app localization has become a critical factor for app developers aiming to expand their audience and explore new markets. This article delves into the importance of app localization and emphasizes its potential for unlocking global opportunities. Additionally, it provides best practices for effectively localizing an app storefront.
It’s important to remember that app listing optimization is an ongoing process. Staying informed about the latest trends and user preferences in your target market is essential. Being willing to adapt and refine your app listing strategy will maximize its effectiveness and broaden its reach.
Localizing an app listing helps overcome language barriers, allowing developers to effectively communicate with users in their native language. Even if the app itself isn’t available in the local language, localizing the listing is crucial to increasing the conversion rate and attracting new users from different regions.
yellowHEAD offers a unique localization process involving app analysis, keyword research, implementation, professional translation, graphics localization, handling and uploading, and ongoing monitoring to maintain top rankings. Although one can choose to perform this process independently or settle for simple translation, it is crucial to remember that a proper localization process can propel an app’s success, while poor implementation may harm non-English installs.