ASO Guide - Localization

Posted on Apr 25th 2021 by Miira Vehviläinen

In today's global mobile app market, localizing is a necessity to reach a successful ASO strategy that reaches users in different markets. The perfect way to localize is to get out of the bubble of only translating the language but to keep in mind the cultural aspects of different countries as well. Even though approximately 1.35 billion speak English and approximately 360 speak English as their first language, that still rules our over 6 billion people. Thus localization becomes a very essential and valuable key in your ASO game. Localization makes your app more appealing in that local market. The same where many movies and series and books are translated into different languages - the same goes with apps. It doesn't necessarily need or shouldn't even be translated precisely word-to-word into the other language, but also remember what might be appealing in that country, for example, different lingos. Something word-to-word translated might sound weird and unappealing to locals.

Culture, ethics and lingo

The cultural aspect of localization is one of the most essential factors since people tend to localize only based on translations, but regardless of for example the U.S., Australia and Great Britain sharing the same language, they might not share the same interests or lingo, which is essential regarding localization. Another aspect, that not all non-English people search in their mother language, but rather use English. Also, the cultural aspects and their importance differ among countries. For example in China, the Online Game Ethics Committee makes sure that apps that don't disrespect the cultural aspects and can get banned from stores if this occurs. 

Visual localization

Screenshots play a vital role in your ASO strategy. Thus, localizing them is also essential. This doesn't only mean translation, as we have earlier discussed, but rather changing the whole visual vibe of the screenshots. A good example is Facetune, which is an app for editing - especially effects that make you "more beautiful".  People in different countries and from different cultures value different things when it comes to beauty. Obviously, beauty isn't all about looks, but it plays a big role in a superficial world like ours. An app such as Facetune is very popular and so localizing your screenshots for such an app, makes a big difference. We have such a beautiful spectrum of different races, colours and looks of people and thus for example in Japan, the screenshots for Facetune are localized to contain pictures of Japanese people. 

Testing patiently

With everything related to your ASO strategy, testing is the key. Try it out, make notes and try again. As mentioned earlier, localizing requires a delicate eye and respect, which you need to take seriously. So don't just blindly do what you think is good, make sure it's tested. It can be such a vital asset to have someone local to help you out with your choices. Thus your decisions will be based on experience and actual knowledge of the culture and language - this will help you avoid unnecessary mistakes. 

Miira Vehviläinen
Miira Vehviläinen

ASO Specialist

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