App Store Localizations

App store localizations are a great technique to grow your user base but in order to get a big user base, you need a good app. If you have your own apps on the stores, this article will help you learn about practices with which you can grow and improve your apps.

Once your app is published and people start using it, you can see your top markets. Those are the groups you need to focus on. Translating your app in the languages your top users are speaking is a good way to enhance your app. 

How Does This Work?

By translating your app in these languages, you will make your app more user friendly for already existing clients. Moreover, you will reach new, international audiences, who will be able to use your app thanks to the translations.

Once you have a clear way of communicating with your existing users, you can engage and make more conversions. If you provide value to your users, they will choose your app over others. Convenience and better experiences matter. 

As for new audiences, after you create your localized assets for the app store you will rank for those languages as well. Now, this is the part where localizations will help you more. 

Read below how to make sure you localize your app correctly and find out how to take advantage of the assets you will publish. Let’s get started!

Prepare to Implement the App Store Localizations

First of all, you need to know that this process will take time for two main reasons:

  1. If you choose to translate your app in several languages from the start, you will have lots of assets to create, especially for your iOS apps.
  2. And to create quality assets, you will need time to develop, test and optimize them. 

To get started with the app store localizations you need to prepare all the texts for translation. For this phase, you can use Google Drive, for example. This way, you can easily share resources and communicate with people outside of your organization. 

This is an important step, first of all, because you want to keep track of all the translations and you want to have a copy of them. Moreover, it’s good to have all the texts prepared if you are going to opt for a professional translator. 

Opting for a professional translator or a native speaker is something we highly recommend because localization is also about culturalization. Just think of the differences in the English languages used in the United States and in the United Kingdom. 

Also, if you can’t speak all the languages you want to translate your app in, you only have online tools left. We don’t really recommend using online tools for this step because context is very important. 

When we translated our app, Ready Set Holiday, we did two different things. We wanted to translate our app in a few languages we considered important for our users, so for those, we opted for paid services. But, we also wanted to connect with our users, so we opted to give a shoutout in case someone wanted to help. 

Thanks to our lovely community around Ready Set Holiday app, we managed to have the app translated in more languages than we planned! You can see everyone who helped in the app, featured on the “Thank you” page. And as for paid services, we will talk about them later on so keep on reading. 😊

app store icon & app store screenshots

Create Quality Assets for Your App

Create your assets based on statistics. Don’t guess or think instead of your users, better check. You can see in any analytics tool where your users are from. Based on that, you get a pretty good idea of which languages you should choose first. 

If you have unclarities, you can always ask your users what they prefer. If you have a communication channel, reach out to your users and ask them. 

To make better decisions, you might need more data. In this case, market research can help you determine if there is a need for your product in the markets you had in mind for further development.

See the assets you need to translate:

  1. App content: text, visuals and audio.
  2. App name*: this is very important so make sure you explain its meaning to your translators and give them the flexibility to adapt the text.
  3. Metadata: subtitle/short description*, keywords, descriptions*, screenshots*, other image assets (app icon*, promo graphic*, TV banner and daydream 360-degree stereoscopic image, promo video) promo texts.
  4. Release notes: provide translations every time you complete the “what’s new” section on the app stores.

The assets marked with “*” are required by the app stores, however, we recommend translating all assets (or as many as you can) for better user experience and stickier users in the long run. 

App Store Localizations in the Long Run

If you’re assiduous, you might not want to leave this to the long run. You should know, however, that even though these tips help a lot, they’re not your top priorities when you start this process.

This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t focus on them at all, it only means that you should take them one at a time:

  1. Translate your release notes: you want your users to know and understand everything new you add to the app. Naturally, you should translate your release notes for the “What’s new” section of the app stores. Take advantage of this space and ask your users to take actions (to leave a review if they like the new update, for example).
  2. Localize your notifications: and more than that, make them timely. Don’t forget that your users aren’t living in the same place as you are, so send the notifications at a decent time and make sure you translate them. 
  3. Different assets might work better depending on your user groups. If you have ideas, don’t be afraid to test, optimize and analyze every theory to see if you can improve your assets and drive better results.
  4. Make your materials friendly for all your users. If you create translated materials, make sure you add localized versions of the “Download” buttons provided by the Apple App Store and Google Play Store.
  5. As your app grows and it becomes more stable in new markets, don’t forget to update your translations and reach new audiences by adding more languages. 

Our Advice on App Store Localizations

We translated our app, Ready Set Holiday, into 10 languages. Here’s the app in French, German and Italian. 🧡

Ready Set Holiday - Italian translation
Ready Set Holiday - French translation
Ready Set Holiday - German translation

First of all, when working on your localizations, it’s important that you focus on culturalization too. Make your app culture-first not language-first, it will benefit you in the long run. 

Another important matter is your app’s name. Pay great attention to the name and give flexibility to the translators to adapt the text in the new language. Explain what’s the story behind the name of your product to help your translators understand and keep its meaning. 

Test everything you can. The only way to get things right is if you test several ideas and see what your users like best. Different users react to different materials. Try creating similar assets and test them to see how to adapt/update your materials for your user groups.

As for more technical advice, here’s an article about handling translation strings on iOS, Android and React Native platforms.

Services and tools to help you:

  • Screenshots: we used App Launchpad and AppMockUp. If you want to find out more about creating app store screenshots, we’ll leave a link at the end.
  • Keyword research: we used App Annie & Ubersuggest for keyword research and competitor research.
  • Translation services: 
    • Google Play offers specialised translation services directly from the Developer Console
    • Alconost is another specialized translation service with experience in translating assets for app store localizations.

Localized Apps We Like

Below you will find a few cool apps which are available in several languages. These are some examples we like, just to inspire you before you start creating your own assets for your app store localization.

ING Romania

ING Romanian Example

Calm

Calm Deutsch Example

Captured from Calm on the App Store

Resources to Help With the Localizations

App store localizations aren’t a quick tweak or an easy implementation but it is a highly recommended action if you’re trying to grow your apps. And who isn’t? 😉

Think about localizing your apps if you want to reach out to new markets to increase the number of downloads and your apps’ user base. Now that you read this article, you have a good idea of what you need to prepare & how to get started.

Finally, create your action plan to localize your apps for wider outreach. Keep in mind that you are doing this for your users so make sure you have them in mind when you make changes. The app store localization can be a complete success if it’s done right. It can bring you organic downloads and can put a spotlight on your app so make sure to take advantage.

And one last piece of advice. After you publish the changes, make sure to pay attention to your new user feedback. You’ll be able to improve your app based on more diverse feedback as your new users will share their impressions. Don’t ignore this because it’s a super-powerful resource!

Something Extra for You

Here are some materials that will help you further develop your app. See below how to get your apps ready for publishing:

  1. Prepare all your publishing info for the app store listing;
  2. Learn how to create your app store icons;
  3. Find out everything you need to know about the app store screenshots.

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