Mobile apps are here to stay as the industry continues to grow each day. With over half of the global population using smartphones, mobile app developers are feeling the competition crunch, leading them to adopt an app store optimization (ASO) strategy so their apps can be easily discovered in new markets.
One of the most vital steps that developers should include in their ASO strategy is localization. The process will help to increase conversion on a global scale. Localization is essential to improve the app’s appeal to global users, enticing them to download the app. The appeal rises when users find out that the app is available in their language.
Translation is only a part of app localization. The localization process involves adapting the app to the cultural needs of each target market. It is essential for app developers to explicitly define the countries where they want to promote their product to localize their app’s metadata accurately. Some of the top languages for app localization include English, Chinese, Japanese, German, Korean, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese and Russian.
App developers already cover a huge market when they localize their app in these languages. However, developers should have a robust app localization strategy to hit the target markets at the right time. An error in judgment can be fatal. An example of this is the launch of Pokémon GO, where Niantic launched the app first in English-speaking countries like New Zealand, Australia and the United States. Indeed, the strategy built hype and suspense in the other markets, but they alienated some of their target markets, especially the Japanese audience, who were anticipating that the app would be launched in their country first because the Japanese store has been indexing the app in English and Japanese.
How to improve your ASO localization strategy
App developers should understand that user trends differ across global markets, even among territories that speak the same language. Only by working with professional app localization experts would you be able to organically rank higher in app store searches, appeal to new target audiences and increase your visibility to improve traffic to your app store page.
Properly selecting keywords
Just like when implementing search engine optimization (SEO), choose the keywords carefully by closely studying user behavior and trends. The keywords should be in the title of the app, description (for visibility) and screenshots (for conversion). Choose the keyword that is the most relevant and with the highest search traffic.
It is not enough to translate the metadata into the target languages. It is more important that is connects to the current trends of users to make it appealing. Creating effective metadata stems from fully understanding your target audience and selecting the keywords that fit each particular market.
Adapting all the secondary elements
Localize all the creative elements of your mobile app, including screenshots, trending features, color schemes and other aspects. Your app’s screenshots should reflect the cultural elements of the target country. For example, if you are targeting Asian countries, you should use more Asian visuals. For apps that include social media, make sure that you use screenshots of local social media that are popular with the target users, such as Weibo in China, KakaoTalk in South Korea and LINE in Japan.
In summary, if you want to improve your ASO, you need localization because it will help in your app’s discoverability as you will be able to use many keywords. It will also help you to be featured in the different app stores. Localization improves your conversion rate in non-English speaking markets because having apps in their language shows the target audiences that you care for them.