How to Use Localization to Get More Downloads

User acquisition is a tough thing when you consider the huge amount of app number in app stores and competition. App Store Optimization and Ad Campaigns are great ways to be visible in this extreme competition. Localization is another amazing recipe both to be a global brand and expand your audience. As a beginning, let’s be sure to avoid confusion about the difference between app localization and language translation.

Localization vs Translation

Localization is something more than language translation. By doing localization you both translate all the assets of your app and adapt all the features such requirements as currency and date formats to the specific country. Because of this, language translation is just one of the tasks of app localization.


Do You Really Need to Localize Your App?

It is a tough decision whether to localize your app or not because it is time consuming and detailed job. Here are some convincing data about app localization.

  • In game market, Japan and China took positions #2 and #3 respectively (right after the United States, which still holds #1) by downloads and revenue on the App Store in Q3 of 2014. On Google Play, Japan surpassed the United States by revenue taking the #1 from the US, South Korea reached #3 and Taiwan closed the top 5.
  • According to Tuyen Nguyen from Google, in 2013, 68% of ID AdMob developer revenue was coming from global users. Here is another stat from Tuven: Over 1/3 of all users experience poor app localization.
  • According to data on Localize Direct, only 11% of apps in all genres are multilingual.



Which Language(s) to Choose

When it comes to localization, one of the most compelling questions is “Where will we start?” Choosing the right languages for your app is hard. There are different points you should consider while choosing the language (s) to localize.

  • Watching your competitors is a good starting point to see the main countries and languages. You can use some free tools to see localization settings of your competitors.
  • Tuyen Nguyen suggests the following metrics for language expansion:
    1. Top languages used on the web
    2. Top countries by mobile phone usage
    3. Top countries by paid apps installs
    4. Metrics specific to app category


What to Localize

As I mentions at the beginning, localization is not only about language translation. You should consider localizing elements below:

  • App keywords according to ASO
  • App description
  • App Title
  • Screenshots and Video
  • App content and assets


Is It Worth to Take Risk?

If you feel like it is a risk to localize your app despite everything above, there is a short cut for you to see the localization results for your app. It is called Localization MVP (Minimum Viable Product). In the localization MVP, instead of localizing your all app, you only localize your metadata, which is your app store profile. You can only localize your keywords, app description, app title, and app screenshots. It sounds easier but be careful about the possible problems you may face after MVP. It might be an irritating for the ones downloaded your app when they see that it is not localized.

However, there are ways you can avoid such situations. I will give you in-depth information in my next post.

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