A No-BS Localization Strategy For Your App
Whether you are wondering if localizing your app is worth it or you are trying to pick a reliable step-by-step localization strategy, this article will help you.
But first, if you are still unsure about implementing a localization strategy for your app, here is the answer to your question.
According to a study by Distomo, localizing an app can yield up to 26% more revenue, as well as up to 128% more downloads. Pretty sweet, yes?
We at Alconost recommend that you should definitely localize your app whenever you get the chance and budget to do it, once you pick a market.
Okay, so let’s dive right in and see the steps you need to follow to assemble a proper localization strategy for your app.
#1 Market Research
First and foremost, before you consider any plans, you need to make a thorough market research to understand your customers on a deeper level and see if they would be interested in your app. Many companies make the mistake of first creating a product and then going out and testing it.
Truth be told, it’s the other way around.
So what makes good market research? Well, you can start with the following:
Check out whether your market consists of primarily iOS users or Android users. Just to give you a heads-up… 88% of all mobile devices use Android; hence iOS becomes the second most popular OS in the world.
Then you can jump to the competitors’ apps.
With any market, there are one or a few localized apps that really make a difference. You want to focus on these apps. Research thoroughly. Every word and every image. See how you can beat them. Then check out customer reviews. See what the customers desire, what is something they don’t want and what features they want to get fixed as soon as possible.
After doing this profound research, you’ll already have a couple of ideas lurking in your mind, showing you where to start.
You need to be sharp in your market research. Why? Well, 90% of the apps downloaded in their first 30 days get uninstalled. So if you haven’t done your market research properly, and if your app doesn’t appeal to the market needs and desires, chances are that your app can get obliterated in those first 30 days.
#2 Evaluating Your Localization Strategy By Competitors
One of the most important parts of the equation is to evaluate your app localization strategy based on your competitors. By doing that you’ll see what actually makes your competitors either perform better or worse than you.
Take a look at their app pages in the store. Analyze their app (as we already told you in the “market research” section). Check their stats and see who is their ideal user. Examine their previous app releases. Explore what’s present in their app… what makes people buy it.
For example, take a look at RJMetrics. A lot of their users thought that the RJMetrics logo was pretty similar to underpants (that was before they did an evaluation of the market and the competitors). Apparently, no one of their competitors had a similar logo, so they didn’t have their issues. So RJMetrics decided to run a survey and see why people first thought of underpants when their logo was displayed. What came out is that only the UK users of the app had a resemblance with underpants. That’s because in the UK, “Y-Fronts” were an infamous pair of underpants. So make sure you make constant iterations regarding your logo and app description until you find the perfect fit that suits your audience in a particular locale.
Once the research is completed, you’ll be able to understand your competitors’ strategies thoroughly. And what changes in your app will allow you to surpass them in terms of market positioning as well as revenue.
Next on the line is internationalization. Many people confuse internationalization with localization, but there is a difference. Internationalization is a preparation phase of the whole localization process and refers to the technical side. For example, re-designing an app from its English version to the Japanese one is internationalization. Internationalization is also concerned when you want your app to support any alphabets such as the Japanese symbols.
Besides, when you are doing internationalization, you need to consider the font style, the content display, the language orientation, and the text encoding.
Here are the steps you need to follow to come up with a good internationalization process:
- Transform your content into strings. The content mustn’t be hardcoded. What you should do here is put the content intro strings and save it as a “localizable string”.
- Then translate the entire content.
- Create a flexible design. An adopted design should allow text and images to fit in the UI.
- Localize both images and videos.
- Once you’ve done with these you can move onto the next step.
#4 Team And Processes
To be honest, localizing your app is not an easy task (speaking from the standpoint of a localization expert). If your team hasn’t handled such tasks before then it would be better if you rely on someone who has been in the industry for a while and knows how to put in place a localization strategy. Thus your app can stand out in the market and attract more users.
Here are a couple of things you need to consider before hiring a localization team:
- For how long have these people been in the industry?
- What tools do they use?
- Are their translators reliable?
- Do they stick to deadlines?
- What reviews do they have?
All in all, common sense applies here. Make sure you research a localization partner you are planning to hire thoroughly so you know that your project will be handled professionally.
#5 Assembling an ASO Strategy
You’ll have to figure out what are the keywords that your market tends to search for a lot when browsing for your app. You need to include the main keyword in your app’s headline, sub-headline, and also in the description. After all, it might be a good idea, to start with localizing your keywords to try the market.
In our experience, some clients translate the keywords first, before going into localization with Nitro — our online professional translation platform. It’s quick and helpful because 50% of orders are completed within 2 hours, the other 50% — within 24 hours.
Also, make sure your logo and the name of the app is relevant to your app users in the new market. Some case-studies of our clients show that experiments with logos can increase app page performance by 26%. The first thing a user sees is the logo and the name of your app. So, these two factors can make a great impact.
Localization testing is needed to make sure that no errors will appear when you first launch your app.
The localization app tester should take care of everything from the design, layout, UI to untranslated strings, and the unnatural translation. Basically, the localization app tester has to ensure that everything runs smoothly and your users won’t experience any major problems when they download your app.
Within our localization testing workflow, we normally address the following aspects:
- The completeness of the translation — we look for untranslated strings that are still in the source language.
- Grammar, spelling, punctuation, and typos — we check them following the “no issue” rule.
- The encoding and readability of the font — we find flaws in the way characters such as diacritic marks or ideograms are displayed.
- String length and agreement in inflected languages — we look for text that doesn’t suit buttons as well as other UI errors that can occur when the text is displayed.
- Unity of style and the communication of wordplay, jokes, and other factors that “add color”.
- Consistency throughout the translation — we check if glossaries and translation memories are applied to, as well as correct the cases where the same item, character, or function is referred to in various ways in the translation.
All in all, you need to understand that without a proper localization strategy your app won’t go a long way. Each step is equally important. And remember… the secret to making it to the top-10 list is to continue to test and iterate in order to make your app perfectly suitable for your target audience.