Emyoli Blog

The world is more connected than it has ever been. Though it might seem silly to say, mobile apps have actually played a big role in that process.

We live in a world where one Vietnamese developer can make the most popular video game in the world in Flappy Bird—at least for a while—and developers across the globe are enjoying success on continents they’ve never even been to. What a time to be alive!

Of course, the flip side of this, is that there are countless developers, making innumerable apps, who aren’t enjoying nearly as much success as they probably should. And while there are a lot of factors involved, the one that jumps to mind is localization.

Why? Let’s take a look.


What is Localization?
Simply put, it’s the process of translating your app and App Store / Google Play listing so that it’s understandable in different parts of the world. It’s not as simple as just making sure your app is in the right language—although that plays a huge role—it’s all the little things. Time zones, units of measurements, spelling, even colloquialisms – these can differ greatly in countries that all speak the same language. American English differs from its counterparts in several key ways – and if your audience sees something that they consider a typo, or a misspelled word, that’s one download you’re less likely to get.


Why should I localize?
While it’s not necessary for every app, many apps can see a massive benefit from a good localization. According to Transifex’s original research, 70% of respondents indicated a positive impact from localization on customer satisfaction and market share, regardless of industry or size. Distimo—a big-time player in app data and statistics—published a study back in 2012, called “the Implication of App Translations,” which basically found that just one week after adding native language translations for iPhone apps, downloads in that country increased by an average of 128%, with revenue increasing by 26%!

It’s no secret; people prefer content in their native language. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg



Localization should be an Integral Part of Your ASO Strategy!
I have talked about the benefits of using ASO before, and a large part of that is making sure that you’ve got excellent keywords – it’s not just about finding a good long-tail keyword, it needs to be relevant to your app, and to your audience. Choosing the right words is critically important.

So why wouldn’t you take the time to localize your keywords?

We know that ASO is an incredibly powerful way to market your app, but all your hard work is for nothing if you don’t translate your keywords into your new localization.


How do I localize?
Professional translation services or native speakers are really the way to go here – so long as you’re not just dumping your app’s text into Google Translate, you’re probably all right. Translation services aren’t that expensive, and when compared to the benefits, often wind up with an incredible ROI.

You’ll want to make sure you translate your play store/app store listings, in addition to the app itself .


Why don’t more Entrepreneurs use Localization?
There can be some legitimate reasons! Unlike ASO—which, let’s be clear, shouldn’t be considered optional when marketing apps—some apps just aren’t going to be appealing to an international audience.

But be careful you’re not making assumptions.

Let’s say you have an app that tracks the most popular restaurants in a specific U.S. city. You might think you don’t need to localize that app – it’s not going to be that popular with international audiences, right? Maybe.

Maybe not.

Does the city in question have a significant ethnic minority in residence? Russian in NYC, Arabic in Detroit, Spanish in San Diego – to say nothing of smaller groups that might appreciate getting to use a local app in their native language. Additionally, it would be unwise to discount the importance of your app to tourists, business travelers, or anyone else passing through. So it pays to be absolutely certain that you won’t benefit from localization before jumping to conclusions.

So why don’t more entrepreneurs take advantage of the benefits of localization?

Well, it can be intimidating! If you’ve never gone through the actual process, it can feel like banging your head against a brick wall, figuring out who’ll do the translation – but it doesn’t have to be that way. If you don’t have a trusted source, professional services exist – and are far more affordable than you might think.


In conclusion
Localization has a lot to recommend it. Investment is small, ROI can be huge, and the effect on users is phenomenal. Getting an app localized is a statement to your users that you care about them – you see them.

And if you take care of them, they’ll return the favor