Why it is Important to Localize your App

Posted in January 2017 by Elisa Mourão

App Store Optimization

When launching an app, in order to have a large number of users, the biggest challenge is to make it the most findable possible. Initially, many times, an app is created in English. Yet, if we take into account that the English language is spoken by roughly 5% of the world’s population, would you still believe that your app would be able to cross borders and would have a big rate of downloads if it were only in English? Making your app available also in Spanish, for instance, would double the number of your potential clients. The world is getting more and more cosmopolitan. Within small countries, it is already possible to find people from several nationalities. Language should not be an obstacle anymore, it is extremely important to localize an app.

1 How to localize an app

It sounds complicated, but in fact localizing an app is easier than we think. When you create an app in English at Apple App Store or Google Play, it means that everyone who finds it, will see all the information in English, and it does not matter where he or she is located. However, if you are able to add other languages to your App information, you will increase enormously its rate of downloads. For instance, if you add German, you will be able to create a version of your App in German, and you can edit metadata, keywords and screenshots in the new language. After doing this, people who are in a German-speaking country or those who have their settings in German, will not see the App in English anymore. The rest of the users will still check it in English, though. By doing so, you are stimulating, even more, users to download your app.


2 Important tips about localizing an app

It is important to watch out when localizing an app. It is not only about translating, but communicating with people from another culture. When changing the language, you are also talking to another audience that reacts to that app, or to that discourse, in a different way. So more important than translating, it is crucial to adapt the text for people who speak the target language. Be careful with automatic translators. Another important point is to put the screenshots in the correct language. It may seem that you are being sloppy and you may confuse the user who might be searching specifically for an app in German and not in English, for instance.

Going deeper into this subject, we can check the example of Brazil. Each Brazilian consumer use per month an average of 29.23 apps and engage in 53.62, which makes this country the highest engagement user rate of the world*. However, it is important to know that only less than 3% of the population is fluent in English, meaning that to go inside this market, it is crucial to localize your app and, by doing so, you will have a huge potential of consumers waiting for it.

After localizing the app, it is important to keep track of it, and keep monitoring it. A good option to do this is the App Radar, which is specialized in ASO (App Store Optimization). By choosing this option, you can track the performance of your app in different countries. Check It on: https://appradar.com/

*On Google Play Store. Data by CMT.

Elisa Mourão
Elisa graduated in Communication at PUC-Rio (Brazil) and has a Master Degree in Screen Culture by University of Roehampton (UK). Even though she is the Brazilian cliché born and raised in Rio de Janeiro, she loves visiting cold places.

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