The good news? Your app has gained a steady foothold in your market. The even better news? You’re ready to take the next step and expand your user base: in other words, it’s time for you to localize.
But there are a lot of choices to make. Amongst the hundreds of countries, dozens of languages, and thousands of potential users, how do you decide which market is going to be the most profitable for you to enter and capture?
We can break it down for you. Today we’re going to focus on how pulling specific metrics combined with quality translation can lead to the optimal app localization results for your app.
The Powerful Potential of Localization
We live in an exciting world, where the barriers for your product to be seen, experienced, and enjoyed by a global audience have been lowered dramatically. In iOS alone, you have the ability to distribute your app to over 150 countries and in more than 40 languages.
Below, a report paints a clear picture of the increased download and interaction results app localization can achieve in just a week.
- Users are 4x more likely to interact with or buy an app if it’s in their native language
- Localizing iPhone app text results in 128% more downloads per country
- Companies saw a 26% increase in revenue per each additional country
With statistics like that, who wouldn’t be ready to localize? Let’s get started with your app.
1. Check Your International Conversion Rate
Now, you want to gain the biggest international audience possible, so it seems like it would make sense to choose one of the world’s most popular languages. However, since you always want to tailor your actions to your app’s demographic, we’re going to approach this more strategically.
Ok! Once you’re inside, you can use the Sales and Trends section to view the number of downloads by country to help you decide which languages are going to be your best bet. But because we want you to be as effective as humanly possible, let’s zoom in further and cater to your audience even more. If you use a tool like Mobile Action, it’ll pull not only the download data for you, but also the number of app store views and conversion rates by country.
2. Testing Out Your Market Choice
What matters in the app store – app description, keywords, screenshots, and video previews, matters just as much when it comes to localization. But thorough localization also translates what’s inside your app: onboarding, push notifications, your graphics text, to make your app look like a native app to your new audience. Now, this sounds like a big undertaking and we won’t lie, it is. However, there are steps you can take to make sure your focus is on point before you go the whole localization hog.
One of the most effective ways to test your market choice is by first translating your app’s description. Since descriptions have a limited word count, translating it is the fast-and-dirty way of telling you if you’re on the right track. If you get a good response from the market you were after, you’re ready to put the big localization pants on! Your app’s keywords, screenshots, app previews, and the rest of your metadata are next.
Quick Note on App Names:
Now, I can hear you asking, should I translate my app name too? The answer can vary depending on your app. The two questions you want to consider are: do you want your app name to vary across countries, and would your app’s name make sense to speakers of another language? If you answered no to both of these questions, then leave your app name as it is.
3. Quality Translation = Better ROI
The success of your localization, like nearly everything else in the app world, depends on clearly defining your target audience, zeroing in on their needs, and tailoring their experience to fit those needs as closely as possible. Now, I don’t know your audience, but I bet a confusing, time-consuming app doesn’t make that list of needs, and that’s how a poorly translated app will appear to your users. A 1-star rating is universally understood.
To prevent that, the finesse of the human touch (not a machine translation) is needed. To determine the type of service you want to use, take into account how deep your changes are and the number of markets you want to localize for.
If you’re an indie developer, a smaller company, or a startup, you may want to localize for just one language to start off with, and start talking to individual translators through a service like Fiverr. If you’re a larger company with more time and resources to spare, you may want to go as high as ten languages with a full-service company like OneSky.
A quality translator will also save you time and headaches, since they’re already familiar with and know how to handle common app localization challenges, such as:
Innate Cultural Differences
Deeply held cultural differences can make clear communication with your new users a struggle. For example, any sarcasm in your app will be missed by a Japanese audience, since sarcasm is not widely practiced in Japan.
Design Space and Logistics
For example, if one of your top conversion markets speaks Arabic and you’re considering localizing for that language, it’s important to know that Arabic reads right to left. This could throw off the design of your app. Additionally, Russian and German use much longer words than the English language, so the same translation could also potentially alter your in-app design.
Multiple Top Languages in One Region
The fact that there might be multiple top languages in a single market, or even in your own market of origin, can be confusing. As Chris Miller of Code Magazine puts it, “If your app targets Canadian government employees, you need both English and French. If your app displays public transit information for cities in California, you want English and Spanish at minimum, Chinese and other languages if you can get translation resources.” A translator can help you decide if a second or third tier language best fits your app and target market.
Localize with Your Users in Mind, See the Results
Narrowing in on the most telling, specific data coupled with quality translation can yield incredibly rewarding results: increased users, an influx of downloads, and a flood of new information about how your users experience your app. The good news is that by following the steps above you can duplicate this success for all of your most promising markets.
This is a guest blog post by Mobile Action, the leading solution for driving organic app growth and analyzing app marketplace intelligence. With over 95k apps connected, Mobile Action will improve your app’s discovery, help you learn more about the app store, and find the right users. Mobile Action is a free tool, but OneSky users can get a free month of PRO level service with the promo code “oneskyapps”.
Written by Christine Beuhler
Christine Beuhler is the Content Marketing Manager at Mobile Action. She writes about simple steps you can take to understand and improve your app store intelligence. She enjoys a good cup of tea and roller skating, but not at the same time.