5 App Store Optimization Ideas for Localized Apps
Congratulations, you localized your app! Now, you have access to users from different cultures and different languages. Not only that, but they will be extra grateful for your translation effort and are more likely to love your app than those that are available in English only. According to research, users are more likely to download your app, more likely to pay for it (if it’s not free), more likely to make in-app purchases, and will spend more time using it. Sounds wonderful! Where’s the catch?
Well, first you have to make sure that your app actually reaches those users. Just like Google, app stores have their own algorithms they use to recommend the most relevant content to their users. And just like Google, you can use the knowledge of these rules and algorithms to give your app the best chances of getting discovered. This is what’s meant by app store optimization.
1. Think about whether you should localize the title and headline
This is a tricky question, but it’s obviously the most important since the title is the first thing users are going to see about your app (next to the icon). As you know, having the right app name is a make-or-break business decision. Usually, household names like Facebook or Messenger don’t have to localize their headlines, but many apps do. If your app brand is not yet well-known around the world, you should consider localizing it.
A compromise between these two options is to leave your app title intact, but that provide a headline that’s written in the native language. Many app publishers decide to do this when they want to promote their brand globally, but still want to benefit from title optimization in the local language.
2. Turn to experts
Like in all other industries and niches, there are companies and experts who have loads of experience in app store optimization. For example, professional online translation services can also help you with your app store optimization strategy for the target language. The problem with app store optimization of localized apps is that you need the help of experts from both of these fields.
Localization experts are usually not that well-versed in app store optimization, and vice versa. So, your best bet to reduce the hassle and save time and money is to find best translation sites reviewed at PickWriters.best translation sites reviewed at PickWriters. Remember, when you want to improve the performance of your app in a foreign language, the safest bet is to just let experts do it for you.
3. Craft an engaging description
The app description is easily the second-most important thing about an app. When the title and headline of your app catch the interest of the user, they will usually click to get more info from the description. In this way, descriptions help users see what the app is about and what it does, but it’s also important for ASO (app store optimization). In other words, the app store’s algorithms use this description to figure out how relevant your app is to what the user is searching for.
Naturally, the most tempting thing would be to load up the description with keywords and hope they will attract users from all over the place, but it doesn’t really work like that. You need to find a golden mean between a text a real, human user would enjoy and something that’s recognizable to a search engine.
4. Mind the icon
You should consider the possibility that another icon might perform better in a foreign market than your original one. Just like other elements in the translation process, icons have meanings that differ across cultures. Here are just some examples from Japanese:
- thumb down – in Western cultures, it denotes ‘no’ or something bad, while in Japan it’s an offensive symbol
- the ‘ok’ gesture – a circle made with the thumb and index finger means ‘ok’ to Westerners, but means ‘money’ in Japan
- stop traffic sign – even though the official STOP sign in traffic is internationally regulated, it looks entirely different
- colors – pay special attention to color palettes, because different colors have different symbolism around the world
5. Tweak the ‘meta’
You guessed it – all those tiny elements in your app description and caption have to be optimized as well! That applies to screenshots you add to your descriptions, all image titles, alt-tags and descriptions, and more. Make sure that absolutely no part of your app is left untranslated or unlocalized – the entire app has to be user-friendly for app users from another country.
If you’re negotiating a localization project with a language service provider, make sure you take these meta parts of your app into account, too. Some companies give final offers and quotes that relate only to the “surface” text of the app. You want all these bits localized instead, so be sure to include that in your deal with professional agencies.
Optimizing your app, especially when you first localize it for foreign markets, is very important. It allows users to find you using keywords, even if they are not looking for your app in particular. Apps that are ranked 1st or 2nd in the app store’s search results perform drastically better than those ranked lower. Luckily, there is so much you can do to give your app the best chances to succeed.
You can hand it over to professionals or try to do it yourself. In both cases, it’s a lot of hard work, but it pays off in the long run. Follow the tips we have outlined above and enjoy the new influx of users!
Henry Mcdowell is a localization expert working with some of the biggest companies in the world. He specializes in website localization and app store localization and optimization. Henry has helped apps reach new audiences around the world and continues to help business launch globally.