Starting With iOS App Localization

You do realize that USA and UK are not the only countries where people download apps and play mobile games. However, unless your app is localized, for example, into Spanish, people of Mexico, Chili, Spain or Argentina will have a hard time finding it.

The idea to localize your app into another language has probably entered your mind. But the high fees for professional localization and the fact that hardly any indie developers localize their apps sort of hold you back.

But you can go the easy way. Even if you only localize metadata (keyword, description, and title) and leave interface and screenshots in English, it will still boost your app’s visibility. It will only take you a few hours to implement, there are no risks, and our tips will help you reach some amazing results.

Choosing language and tools

You need to start with choosing a language. I’m pretty sure most of this blog’s readers are bilingual. If you have several languages to choose from, check out these charts revealing which countries boast the biggest downloads and revenue share in iOS apps market.

share_of_downloads_country

share_of_revenue_country

Source: Sensortower

Now it’s time to decide what you are going to localize. You may start with keywords, title, description, and screenshots. However, one developer achieved good results by only localizing title, keywords and a first sentence of the description.

In order to increase your app’s visibility in local stores, you need to get really strategic with your keywords. I suggest using Mobile Action. Free features of this product are enough to come up with the most efficient title and keywords. When adding your app, make sure to choose the right country. You can then add as many keywords and keyword combinations as you wish and choose the keywords with the highest Search Score and iPhone/iPad Chance. The words with good Search Score and low iPhone/iPad Chance should be added into the title. This way you’re more likely to rank high for these keywords.

Adding the localized data to itunesconnect is probably the easiest part. Click on “English” in the upper right corner of the app’s Details page to open the drop-down menu and click Add near the target language. And then enter all the metadata and either leave the screenshots for the English version or change them for the localized ones. It’s also important to translate What’s new section.

localization_itunesconnect

Great app localisation tip

Even if you are not very fluent in the language you want to localize your app into, that’s not a reason to give up. Here is one trick. Find an app similar to yours which is super successful in your target country (use Store Stats in AppAnnie). Check whether it is localized for the store you’ve laid your eye on (just change the country abbreviation in the link https://itunes.apple.com/en/app/id588013838). If yes, go to your Mobile Action dashboard and click on the plus icon to add a new app. After that, insert the required country/market and the app name. You now see the keywords for which this app ranks high in the chosen market! Eliminate the ones that are completely irrelevant. You may repeat this with several apps and discover new great keywords.

competitor_keywords

If metadata localization doesn’t sound exciting to you, there is an alternative way to overcome the language barrier and enter foreign markets. Send pitches to app review websites in the target countries. The journalists will write about your app’s benefits in a local language for you. That’s how you can reach the Chinese audience, for example. If we come across great app review websites outside USA and UK, we’ll let you know.

Want to get more actionable tips? Keep coming back to our blog. Or! Sign up for our soon coming, absolutely free and very promising user engagement service for app publishers – AppDK.

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