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App Localization Tips for a UK Audience


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You work at a fast-growing startup. You feel your application has the potential to do well in other countries, but you haven’t given it a try.

With relatively high smartphone penetration and household incomes, the UK is a crucial market for many game and app developers. It’s consistently one of the top countries by consumer spending on gaming – and almost half of all men and women play games on their mobiles. A bonus from translating your app or game into English is that you’re ready to roll it out across all the world’s other English-speaking markets.

In the meantime, Apple keeps reminding you in the App Store what you’re missing out on if your app doesn’t speak more than one language. Tons of emails are bumping into your Inbox with offerings from various vendors to provide you with the best services in affordable localization. And thousands of customers worldwide are sending their requests for app localization into their language.

You can’t avoid the question: Does it make sense to localize?

App Store localization is vital in maximizing an app’s success in non-US markets and reaching overlooked users. With the availability of localized descriptions in numerous languages on iOS and Android, relying on Google Translate for localization efforts is inadequate due to unique expressions, phrasing, and meanings across countries.

While unlimited financial resources allow for broader targeting, working within a budget necessitates an intelligent and efficient approach. This involves researching geographic segmentation to identify everyday needs, trends, downloads, and revenue. Alternatively, analyzing the geographic distribution of similar apps can help prioritize top countries by downloads or revenue.

Although store intelligence programs offer downloads and revenue data, they are often expensive, making it essential to consider population size and GDP as general indicators of potential installs and revenues. The weight of these factors depends on an app’s monetization plans, favoring “top by downloads” countries for in-app ads and “top by revenue” countries for in-app purchases.

App localization means changing a mobile app to fit the language, culture, and likes of a specific place where people use it. Because many people around the world use smartphones and like different things, changing apps to fit these preferences is crucial. It helps app makers and businesses get more users and make their apps even better.

This article will delve into the advantages of app localization, highlight its significance, explain why every developer should invest in localizing their app listings, and provide valuable tips for optimizing your app effectively.

Let’s start.

What is App Localization?

App localization is translating or adapting every aspect of an app according to the local language, culture, and requirements of the regions in which the app operates. This requires solving all of the text within the app, ensuring cultural references are locally relevant, adapting all imagery, and performing internationalization on the app’s UX.

Localizing app listings goes beyond translation, as it involves adjusting screenshots and visuals to resonate with local users, optimizing keywords for search visibility, and providing accurate and localized information that effectively communicates the app’s features, benefits, and value proposition.

Remember that even if your app is not localized for the local market and the user experience is only possible in English, you should still optimize your app. However, in this case, you should stick to some of the best practices mentioned in this article.

Why is Localization Important?

Should you localize your app? The short answer is yes. The above changes are worth the effort. Mobile app localization is important because it:

  • Shows that your brand is respectful of cultures around the world
  • It helps create a consistent experience for users
  • Gives you a competitive advantage over apps that do not localize
  • Identifies additional profitable demographics
  • Allows your app to scale more quickly
  • Increases user satisfaction
  • Expands opportunities for in-app purchases (IAPs)

What is a locale?

A locale refers to a distinct region or country for which an app or digital content is customized or made accessible. Each locale represents a unique market characterized by language, cultural preferences, and legal regulations. Typically, localization involves translating the textual content of an app, such as app descriptions, menus, and user interface elements, into the language(s) used in the target locale.

In both app stores, if there is no specific listing for a particular locale, the local audience will view the default listing of the app. It’s important to note that on iOS, the default language is usually the local language or English (UK) for most countries. On Google Play, app developers have the flexibility to choose the app’s default language.

App developers can make their apps available in specific locales based on their target audience and localization efforts. When an app is localized for a particular locale, the app’s content, language, and sometimes even the user interface are adapted to cater to the preferences and requirements of users for that specific region.

Why is it so essential to localize your app listings?

Making your app available in different languages and tailored to other cultures is essential. Here’s why:

1. More People Can Use It

When your app is in different languages, more people worldwide can use it. People who speak other languages and have different backgrounds can all enjoy and understand your app.

2. People Engage More

Users who read about your app in their language are more likely to be interested. They’ll understand what your app offers and find it easier to use.

3. Respecting Different Cultures

Every culture has its way of doing things. By adapting your app to different cultures, you show that you respect their ways. This makes your app more attractive to users in other parts of the world.

4. More Downloads

When your app is in the language people prefer, they’re more likely to download it. This can lead to more people discovering and getting your app, boosting its popularity.

5. Better User Experience

Adapting your app to local preferences and formats ensures users a smooth and enjoyable experience. This makes them happy, and happy users stick around.

6. Staying Competitive

In a big world of apps, having yours in different languages gives you an edge. Users often choose apps that speak their language and understand their culture.

7. Getting Found in App Stores

By using local languages in your app descriptions and keywords, your app can be found more easily in app stores. This helps it appear higher in searches, making it more visible to potential users.

So, localizing your app is not just about language; it’s about making your app work well for different people and showing that you care about their experience. It’s a smart move to make your app stand out in a global market.

Case Studies for Successful App Localization

#1: Google Maps

Google Maps is an excellent example of successful localization and internationalization. Available in over 40 languages and more than 200 countries and territories, Google Maps goes beyond mere language translation.

To cater to local users, Google Maps incorporates landmarks, road names, public transportation details, and traffic rules. The app adjusts driving directions based on the country’s moving side and provides public transit information specific to each city.

For example, In Japan, it includes details about multi-level roads, which are common in the country. Furthermore, Google Maps integrates with local services for added convenience. For instance, users can make restaurant reservations in some regions or hail a cab through the app.

ASO Localization is also another strong point for Google Maps. Depending on the locale, the app’s metadata and screenshots emphasize different customs, cultures, and landmarks.

Through these efforts, Google Maps has localized its service and established itself as an indispensable navigation tool worldwide.

#2: Airbnb

Airbnb, a worldwide vacation rental marketplace, is accessible in over 62 languages, covering around 4.3 billion native speakers globally. When listing properties, the company’s localization strategy considers local customs, regulations, payment methods, and even architectural styles. The app seamlessly adapts to users in different regions, providing personalized content that perfectly suits their locale.

#3: Spotify

The popular streaming app is available in over 61 languages and 79 countries. Spotify’s localization efforts include curating playlists based on local music tastes and trends. This personalization makes users feel the app understands and caters to their cultural preferences.

Making your app work well for people everywhere is really important for the app to become popular worldwide. This means changing your app to fit the language, culture, and rules of the places where people use it. Doing this creates a good experience for users all around the world.

Moreover, this process significantly benefits App Store Optimization (ASO) efforts, enhancing visibility, conversion rates, and downloads.

App Localization Tips: Creating a Global-Ready App

1. Getting Your App Ready for the World

Use Files for Words

Keep the words your app uses in special files so they’re easy to change for different languages.

Time and Money That Fits Everywhere

Don’t lock in how your app shows time, dates, or money. Make it change based on what people expect in their area.

Make Room for Many

Plan for words that might change a lot between languages, like when there’s one item versus many.

Same Words, Any Device

Save time by using the same words for both iPhone and Android versions of your app.

Use a Special Code for Words

Pick a code that works for all languages so your app can support many different ones.

2. Designing Your App for the Whole World

Design That Grows

Make your app’s design work well even when the words are longer in another language.

Work for Both Reading Styles

Think about languages that read from the right side to the left. Make sure your app works well for them too.

Tools That Talk to Each Other

Connect your design tools with the tools for changing languages. This helps find problems early.

3. Writing and Translating Words in Your App

Show What You Mean

Help translators by adding pictures of your app. This makes sure they understand what each word should say.

Remember Words Well

Keep a list of words and how they should be said in different languages. This makes sure your app sounds the same everywhere.

Keep Words Out of Pictures

Don’t put important words in pictures. It’s easier to change words without pictures.

Pictures Fit the Place

Make sure the pictures you use make sense in each area. What’s good in one place might not be good in another.

4. Testing Your App in Many Ways

Check the Words

Look closely at the words after they’ve been changed. Make sure they’re right.

Try Your App in Other Languages

Use your app like someone who speaks another language. Check for things that don’t work.

5. Getting More People to See Your App

Make Each Store Like Your App

Change the way your app looks in each store. Use popular words so more people can find it.

Think About Each Store

Each app store is a bit different. Change your words to fit what each store likes.

When you do these things, your app can work well for people everywhere. It will be easier for them to understand and use, making more people want to get it.

Wrapping Up

In this blog post, we talked about making your app work well for more people, especially in the UK. If your app is good, it can do well in other countries too.

We said it’s crucial to make your app fit different places and people. This is called ‘localization.’ It’s important because it helps people have a good and similar experience when they use your app. It also shows that you care about different cultures and gives your app an advantage over others.

So, making your app ready for different languages and cultures is a smart move. It makes your app better for more people and can make it more successful. The post highlighted the essential aspects of app localization, such as adapting language, culture, and imagery, as well as the significance of app store optimization (ASO) for global reach.

Practical tips for successful app localization were presented, covering internationalization in app development, UI design considerations, copy translation best practices, image localization strategies, and thorough testing and quality assurance. Case studies of well-localized apps like Google Maps, Airbnb, and Spotify showcased the positive impact of localization on user engagement and market penetration.

The article underscored that app localization goes beyond language translation, encompassing a holistic approach to meet the unique preferences and expectations of users in different regions. It concluded by summarizing the benefits of localization, including increased user satisfaction, expanded opportunities for monetization, and a more significant presence in app stores.