In our previous post we outlined the most important benefits of app store localisation and highlighted the markets which are worth considering localising your app in. In this post, we’ll explain what needs to be taken into account in every app localisation project by answering the following question:
What to look out for when setting up an app localisation project?
- Market-specific factors:
- OS share. Emerging markets tend to have much higher penetration rates of Android devices than iOS ones. According to the AppAnnie report, in Mexico, Indonesia and Turkey more than 85% of app downloads come from Google Play!
- Monetisation. Monetising your app in emerging markets is much harder than in mature ones. Look for alternative business models to earn that little bit of extra revenue.
- Knowledge of English. If English is widely used in a specific market, you might want to consider using English keywords in your ASO to cover more organic opportunities.
- Languages available in developer consoles:
iTunes currently allows you to enter your app information and meta data in 28 languages and variants:
Chinese (Simplified), Chinese (Traditional), Danish, Dutch, English (Australia), English (Canada), English (UK), English (US), Finnish, French, French (Canada), German, Greek, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Malay, Norwegian, Portuguese (Brazilian), Portuguese (Portugal), Russian, Spanish (Mexico), Spanish (Spain), Swedish, Thai, Turkish, Vietnamese.
Google Play offers a much wider choice, with 73 localisations possible:
Afrikaans, Amharic, Arabic, Armenian, Azerbaijani, Basque, Belarusian, Bengali, Bulgarian, Burmese, Catalan, Chinese (Simplified), Chinese (Traditional), Croatian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, English, English (United Kingdom), English (United States), Estonian, Filipino, Finnish, French, French (Canada), Galician, Georgian, German, Greek, Hebrew, Hindi, Hungarian, Icelandic, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Kannada, Khmer, Korean (South Korea), Kyrgyz, Lao, Latvian, Lithuanian, Macedonian, Malay, Malayalam, Marathi, Mongolian, Nepali, Norwegian, Persian, Polish, Portuguese (Brazil), Portuguese (Portugal), Romanian, Romansh, Russian, Serbian, Sinhala, Slovak, Slovenian, Spanish (Latin America), Spanish (Spain), Spanish (United States), Swahili, Swedish, Tamil, Telugu, Thai, Turkish, Ukrainian, Vietnamese, Zulu.
These lists will help you establish which markets you can actually localise your app’s assets in. Some languages like Arabic, Hindi or Polish are not available in iTunes Connect but can be covered if you publish an Android app.
- What should be localised?
You can localise both your app content and app store assets: title, meta keywords, descriptions, screenshots and video (the latter only on Google Play). The best way to assess which markets offer enough opportunity to invest in the translation of in-app content, is to start by localising the meta data of your app (keywords, description and potentially the title). If this results in an increased interest in your app in a particular market, you should then consider translating the whole app to make your product more attractive to local users.
Note: When applying this strategy, remember to make sure that local users are aware that the app itself is not available in their native tongue. You can add a note informing them about it in the localised description.
- Automatic translations of short descriptions on Google Play. If you have an Android app, keep in mind that if you don’t localise your short description in the markets it is available in, these will be automatically translated by Google and may turn out to be incoherent or incorrect. This blog post explains this in more depth. Conversion rate optimisation is an important part of app store optimisation, so make sure you don’t make a bad first impression on visitors to your app page.
Managing app localisation projects can seem overwhelming at times, but is definitely worth the effort. We recommend working with an established app translation service which collaborates with professional translators with ASO experience and covers a wide range of languages, particularly those of emerging app markets.
Author: Agata Jajszczyk
Adapt Worldwide is a multilingual digital agency focused on helping clients attain growth at home and abroad. Our ASO offer includes multilingual market localisation, keyword research & analysis, description optimisation, screenshot creation, online PR and much more.