Translation & Localization Blog

Tag: Global Marketing

2017 Localization Trends & Predictions for 2018

localization trends 2018

In the past 12 months, OneSky worked with over 1,000 businesses and organizations around the world to localize their apps, games and products for more than 65 markets. As a localization specialist, OneSky is delighted to help our customers expand their global footprints and be an integral part of their successes. With the beginning of the new year, we thought it’d be a good opportunity to highlight some of the localization trends that we saw in 2017, and make a few predictions for 2018.

Localization Trends in 2017 & Predictions for 2018

1. European Languages will Remain in High Demand

In 2018, European languages is expected to remain in high demand. However, the growth rate of these markets is forecasted to be significantly slower.


^The data is comprised of OneSky‘s total number of orders in 2016 and 2017 and the 2018 forecast is based on an internal algorithm.

With high smartphone and internet penetration, Europe continues to be a mature market with high app revenue potential. Bound by its relative proximity and cultural similarities, many European-based app developers and publishers that we work with often begin their expansion by targeting neighboring countries and North America. It is no doubt a good way to start and test the effectiveness of their initial localization workflow.

However, according to a recent report conducted by Hootsuite, the growth rate of European app market is expected to decrease by up to 50% within the next few years. For European-based organizations who are looking beyond their home country for growth opportunities, you may want to consider some of the more mature markets with steady high growth rate in APAC, most notably Japan, South Korea and China.

2. Increase in Localization Demand for Emerging Markets

In the past two years, we have seen a significant increase in the localization demands for languages in emerging markets. 

^The demand year-over-year growth rate is determined by comparing the number of orders submitted to OneSky in 2016 and 2017.

In 2018, we expect the demand for emerging markets to continue to increase — especially for China and India. The table above shows that 7 out of the top 10 languages with largest increase in localization demand are spoken in China and India. Considering the actual number of orders of these languages, the demand for Chinese Simplified and Chinese Traditional far exceeds the others. We will further elaborate on this below.

It is worth noting that apart from the two giant markets, many companies has also started targeting regions in Africa and Eastern Europe.

3. China to be the largest market for generating app revenue

^Graph showing the growth in app revenue in China market, by App Annie.

According to a Market Forecast by App Annie, China will continue to be the largest app market across the globe and is expected to exceed $56 billion in 2021. China is a highly attractive market for several reasons. Not only does China hold the world’s largest population, but it has also seen explosive growth in terms of smartphone penetration. From a cultural standpoint, China bears resemblance to many other mature East Asian market (e.g. Japan). This is particularly relevant as it relates to the amount spent on discretionary items, such as entertainment and games.

Although the Chinese market has many advantages, the barrier to entry is also very high. App publishers who wish to successfully enter China should make localization a priority. This can be achieved by partnering with local agencies who can help bridge some of the deep-rooted cultural differences. If you’re considering launching your product in China- particularly games and entertainment apps- make sure to check out our previous blog post – 6 Tips to Succeed in Chinese Mobile Game Market.

4. India to be the market with spectacular growth in app downloads

^Graph showing the growth in app downloads in India market, by App Annie.

In this year Google I/O Developer Conference, Google Product Manager Tal Oppenheimer shared some global insights in the overall state of the app market. India alone saw 100 million new internet users in both 2015 and 2016. And this rate won’t be winding down soon – around 60% of the India’s population is still offline today.

While there was an initial lag in India’s smartphone adoption rate, the number of app downloads in India is now forecasted to grow 28% annually to nearly $23 billion by 2021 – higher than the United States and only second to China.

Although localization is essential for any company who wish to successfully break into emerging markets, there are a few principles that you should abide by. Make sure to check out our previous blogpost on this – Google Developers’ 5 Tips on Building for Emerging App Markets.

5. Localization is Essential to Tackle Non-English Speaking Markets

Now that we have established the roles that emerging app markets like China and India are expected to play in the coming years, it is also important to understand the specific localization needs for the non-English speaking markets.

An app user in Germany, for instance, may have very different expectations from one in Japan. Indeed, according to App Annie, between 30% and 60% of the top 25 iPhone apps in East Asian countries – Japan, Korea and China – have a localized app name. In addition, nearly half of the top 25 iPad apps in China are localized in Chinese.

^Graph showing the % of iPhone and iPad apps with local language names in National Top 25, by App Annie.

The graph above shows that users in the East Asian countries tend to prefer to download and spend money on apps that are localized in their languages. To crack these markets, it’s generally a good idea to have a good understanding of what users expect.

It’s Your Turn


As the new year begins, OneSky is offering a $50 coupon* to all who are kickstarting their next localization project until 31 Jan, 2018. Simply redeem the discount by entering the coupon code ‘NEWYEAR18’ on the checkout page. If you are planning for new localization projects, claim your gift from us now!

*Terms and conditions apply. Learn more.

About OneSky

OneSky provides seamless end-to-end localization solutions for thousands of mobile apps, games, websites, and businesses worldwide. We offer professional translation services in 50+ languages and a translation management system (TMS) with API integrations and plugins to streamline your workflow. We hire and carefully screen our own translators to ensure the highest control over quality. Using OneSky’s powerful QA features, cross-functional teams collaborate efficiently to deliver faster release cycles and higher quality translations. See how you can go global at

How Adobe Achieved Double-Digit CTR Increase via International SEO

adobe_seoAfter learning about all the best tools for international SEO, you may ask yourself, “Is it really worth the extra time and effort to make it work?”

In determining its worth, let’s look at a real-life example of successful international SEO marketing.

With more than half of its revenue earned outside the U.S., Adobe Global SEO team has to manage 30+ domains, subdomains, & microsites, 1.8M pages, 10M keywords, 14K ad copy rotations and 1000+ landing pages everyday. It’s safe to say that Adobe’s online marketing effort is among the most sophisticated across different industries.

In 2013, their SEO team were able to achieve double-digit increases in their sites’ impression and click-through rate in SERPs. And for some of their international sites, average visits and revenue were increased by 485%(!) and +133% respectively. How did they bring such a significant improvement to a giant enterprise like Adobe?

Fortunately, Dave Lloyd, Senior Manager of Global Search Marketing at Adobe Systems, explained how they work behind the scenes in great details at Share13, a premier digital marketing event organized by BrightEdge, an enterprise SEO platform.

We’ve summarised some of the key points in his presentation here.

Localization Matters

In order to be successful in international SEO, Dave believes that people have to understand the importance of localization, especially for those who think that localization is equal to translation.

Oftentimes, a translation that is linguistically correct may not express the right meaning in your target audience’s culture and context.

Therefore, thoughtful marketers should pay attention to relevancy when doing in-country keyword research. They have to make sure the chosen keywords are the ones that users are actually searching for. When the keyword’s meaning is accurate and makes sense, it will greatly improve the click-through rate in local search result.

“The premise is understanding why customers are coming to your site – what unique tasks are global and mobile users trying to accomplish? Once core markets are understood, it’s critical to define your team & company’s unique value to deliver to those markets.” – Dave Lloyd

Below is Adobe’s keyword ranking improvement in three months due to localization in Japan and Korea.


SEO Localization Process

The practice of optimizing your website for search has a lot of moving parts, so good planning and alignment processes are essential for an effective international SEO campaign. To kickstart a SEO project, Dave suggests marketers to follow this general process:

  1. In-country keyword research
  2. Each keyword mapped to preferred landing page
  3. Content localized using keywords (content, video, images, links)
  4. Reviewed by Editorial & SEO & added to Sitemaps
  5. Localized & optimized content goes live

After understanding the core ideas behind this process, companies can innovate it based on their own needs. Below is Adobe’s internal localization process, see if you can learn a thing or two from this world-class company.


Href Alt Lang in XML Sitemaps

Historically, Google’s search algorithm values large multinational sites more than smaller single country sites. As a result, localized sites are often outranked by the US or predominant language version sites. For example, many US sites have higher rankings than Australia sites, even if users did the search in Australia.

To tackle this challenge, webmasters should add HrefLang annotations to their XML Sitemaps, like the image below, indicating to Google which country a specific page is targeting.

Image source: Search Engine Land

By following these practices, Adobe improved its international sites’ rankings in Germany, France and Spain significantly.


Global Title Tags and Meta Desc

Finally, some marketers may forget that there are difference in character limits for title tags and meta descriptions in languages using single-byte characters (e.g. English and Spanish) and double-byte characters (e.g. Japanese and Chinese).

Google typically displays the first 60 characters (with spaces) of a title tag and 160 characters (with spaces) of a meta description. For double-byte characters, the limit is half that.

With that in mind, we have to make sure our main in-country keywords and clear call-to-action showing up within the limits in different languages.

Check out Adobe’s SEO enhancement in Italy and Russia as well.


Want to learn more? Check out Dave’s actual slides below or follow him on Twitter to keep up with the latest trend in international SEO.

8 Tools to Kickstart Your International SEO Mobile


Do you know that Google recently estimated that global mobile searches could exceed desktop search volume by the end of 2014?

If you still consider mobile as a secondary international distribution channel, it is NOW the time to take it more seriously because it can significantly increase leads and revenue for your company.

Well, some of you may argue that most of this growth mainly comes from developing regions, Asian countries (e.g. India, Japan, Korea…etc) and young people who prefer to use mobile devices rather than desktops. These groups of people may not be in your target demographic, age range, or geographic groups at this moment. But that doesn’t mean mobile opportunity should be ignored entirely as traffic from mobile devices only continues to climb.

So how to prepare your business for this inevitable trend?

There are many different ways to extend your SEO success to the mobile and global markets. Below are three steps to help you get started:

  1. Understand your current mobile international demand
  2. Identify your future mobile international market potential
  3. Optimize your site for mobile international opportunities

It could be difficult to achieve these tasks effectively without a SEO specialist on your team. But luckily there are some tools that can make the process way easier.

We’ve rounded up some of the most awesome tools available on the web below.

(Note: OneSky has no affiliation with these companies.)

Understand Your Current Mobile International Opportunities


1) Google Analytics

First of all, you want to check if your mobile site is already popular globally. So you can prioritize which languages you should tackle first.

By using Google Analytics‘ pre-loaded “Mobile and Tablet Traffic” segment, you can find out your current mobile traffic data by country and language. If you want to dig deeper into the data, you can further breakdown it by devices level (Section: Audience > Mobile > Devices).

Do you know if you have any landing pages that are already performing well in terms of mobile international SEO? By studying this data, you can learn a lot about your audience’s needs and discover the source of the mobile traffic. It is located in the Behaviour > Site Content > Landing Pages section.


2) Google Webmaster Tools

Next you should check your current mobile search visibility. In Google Webmaster Tools, by using the new mobile filter, you can see mobile search query data right down to the individual click or impression. You can also select the location filter to find out the user behavior in different countries.

If you want to analyze your SEO effort over time, toggle the “With Change” option to see which keywords provide best opportunities for low-hanging fruit, e.g. ranking on the top of 2nd page in SERP now.


3) SEMRush

Have you ever wondered which organic keywords were driving the most traffic to your competitors? If you wanted to do that, SEMRush is the perfect tool for the job.

It’s a keyword spy and competitor research tool that has databases for more than 20 countries, including United States, Germany, France, Spain…etc. Although it doesn’t have mobile specific data yet, you could still benefit by identifying what international markets you are falling behind your competitors.


Identify Your Future Mobile International Opportunities


4) Keyword Planner

After you’ve figured out your current situation in mobile international SEO, you need to discover new ideas and opportunities to increase your visibility in search results.

Keyword Planner allows you to check potential mobile search traffic for keywords that are relevant to your business. You can even drill down your search volume to a specific geographic location for country-wide statistics.

If you want to see if people are searching certain keywords on mobile devices, simply run the new “Mobile trends” chart to get a deeper insight into mobile trends data.


5) Google Trends

In order to be successful in SEO, regardless of location, language or devices, delivering the right content to your audiences everywhere is your gateway to success.

Therefore, mobile international SEO success ultimately requires localization excellence.

You want to makes sure the keywords you are targeting are appropriate in the language, geography and culture of your target audience because mistranslations sometimes can lead to disasters.

Besides getting advice from localization experts, you can first find out which terms are most used in certain countries. This can be verified by studying the search volume and usage trend in Google Trends.


Optimize for Mobile International SEO


6) Screaming Frog SEO Spider

After conducting all the previous research, you can start optimizing your global sites for the mobile opportunity.

You want to check how Mobile search bots crawl your site and see if they’re being served correctly, e.g. some of your pages may be redirected to the desktop version or another pages by mistakes.

Screaming Frog SEO Spider can crawl your international sites using your desired mobile bot, such as Googlebot-Mobile User-Agents, by using the “Spider User Agent Configuration” option.


Image source: State of Digital

7) PageSpeed Insights

Google uses a multitude of factors to determine how to rank search engine results and one of the elements is website speed. To avoid a negative impact on search ranking, make sure your international sites are optimized for mobile effectively.

PageSpeed Insights gives you a mobile scorecard based on your current progress and suggests areas for improvement. Following Google’s suggestions here should give you a good start.


8) SEO Global For Google Search + Chrome DevTools + Moz SEO Toolbar

At the end of the day, how your site appears on mobile SERP is the most important. So you want to make a final check on how your target audience see your site in mobile search results in different countries.

In order to do that, you will need a few tools here.

SEO Global For Google Search is a Chrome extension that allows you to see how Google search results appear in different countries, regions and cities. This is excellent for our purposes.


Then you want to install MozBar which provides easy access to the most important SEO metrics while you surf the web. It’s a good way to do competitor research as well.


At last, you can use Chrome’s built-in DevTools to realistically emulate the mobile environment so you can inspect the mobile search result from your desktop screen.

In Chrome browser, navigate to Menu > Tools > Developer tools to enable the DevTools window. And enabling the emulation view is as easy as selecting the target mobile device in the developer tools settings menu.


A Final Note

Remember that we are living in a multi-device world now. The usage of mobile search is only going to increase. It’s better to be prepared for this challenge sooner rather than later.

Follow our blog, and you’ll soon be an expert in international SEO as well!



Mobilizing your International SEO by @aleyda

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Thumbnail image source: Flickr