37 billion apps were installed only in the first quarter of 2022, which is 11% more than 2021. As a result, companies now rely on mobile apps not just to provide a service, but also to deliver a message.
In today’s world, companies realize how important mobile apps are, which is why it is essential to provide them with a language suitable for the needs of the intended audience, in addition to their knowledge and culture. This is where app localization plays a big role.
App localization refers to the process of translating the app’s text into different languages. However, it is important to note that the process doesn’t only include the written text, but also any non – text elements in the app to make it more appealing to the audience from different backgrounds and cultures. In other words, it includes the text, images, app, website, internal links and more.
Mobile app localization has become a critical of global business strategy. With the rise of the digital age, businesses must now engage with customers across the world. It allows businesses to reach out to diverse audiences, and create content that resonates with their cultural values and language. By adapting to local languages and customs, businesses can significantly increase user engagement and retention rates.
The Importance of Mobile App Localization
Mobile app localization has become a critical component for businesses aiming to increase their global reach. By localizing their apps, businesses can create content that resonates with their target audience, and increase user engagement and retention rates. Also it enhances the user experience by creating a personalized experience.
The main purpose is to make the application journey more natural and friendly to the users of all cultures to the point they feel like using an app originally created with their mother tongue.
An important benefit of app localization is that it helps businesses to build brand loyalty by offering a journey that is customized to every audience from all cultures. It can also generate a positive word-of-mouth marketing, which can lead to increased sales and revenue, as well as opening new revenue streams for businesses.
Types of App Localization
There are 2 main different types of mobile app localization that businesses can use to reach out to diverse audiences. Or maybe in other words, there are 2 main steps in the process, and they are:
Minimum viable localization (MVL):
The name says it all. MVL is the first step of the process. In simple words it is localizing the basic elements, or the bare minimum in the app, like the keywords, descriptions, pricing payment options, the text, etc.
For example, Duolingo is a tailored language teaching application that provides a long list of languages. If you install the app in Arabic, you will experience a different journey from the English version. Each journey fits the targeted audience and meets their needs, and this is how you know that Duolingo has succeeded in applying MLV to their app.
Full app localization:
Full app localization is beyond translating the main elements, however, It is more related to the marketing journey of the application.
Once you have translated and tested the text of the app, you have to offer it to the audience in a way that is appealing to them. It is recommended to use the experience of marketing specialists to each region you aim to expand in to deliver your vision using the local language and behavior.
How to Create an App Localization Strategy
Creating a successful app localization strategy involves taking several factors into account. The following are the steps involved in creating an effective app localization strategy.
1- Research your target audience:
The first step in creating an app localization strategy is to research your target audience. This involves understanding their language preferences, cultural values, and customs. It is essential to create a detailed profile of your target audience to help you tailor your content effectively.
2- Choose the right languages and regions:
Once you have identified your target audience, you need to choose the right languages and regions to localize your app. It is essential to prioritize languages and regions that have the highest potential for growth.
3- Adapt your content for cultural differences:
Cultural differences can be a significant barrier to the success of your app localization strategy. It is essential to take into consideration cultural differences, including translating app content to reflect local customs, icons, and color preferences.
4- Select the best localization approach:
There are different approaches to app localization. The most common approaches include in-house localization, outsourcing localization, and machine translation. The choice of localization approach will depend on factors such as budget, resources, and the complexity of the localization process.
5- Work with professional translators and localization experts:
App localization requires the expertise of professional translators and localization experts. Working with experts can help to ensure that your app content is accurately translated and adapted to local customs.
6- Measure KPIs
After finalizing the process and releasing the app to the market, the only way to determine the effectiveness of your localization is by measuring the KPIs that are represented in your return on investment (ROI). At the end of the day you are looking for revenue coming from your app, so if it doesn’t meet your plan then you need to recheck the localization process.
Common Challenges of Mobile App Localization
While app localization can be beneficial to businesses, it also presents several challenges. The following are some of the common challenges of mobile app localization.
- Technical challenges:
The localization process can be technically challenging, especially for apps with complex features. It can be challenging to translate and adapt the content of an app that has multiple functionalities.
- Cultural challenges:
Adapting app content to local customs and preferences can be challenging. Cultural differences can impact the success of your app localization strategy. You may need to work with cultural experts to ensure that your app content is appropriately adapted for local customs.
- Time and budget constraints:
App localization can be time-consuming and expensive. Businesses may face time and budget constraints when localizing their apps. It is essential to create a detailed project plan and budget to ensure that the localization process is completed on time and within budget.
- Disregarding right – to – left changes in languages:
Localizing from English to Arabic includes some challenges, the main one is paying attention to right – to – left writing and vice versa. It is important to adapt each language’s nature to avoid any kind of mistakes.
To conclude, mobile app localization is essential to a successful global business strategy. Adapting to diverse audiences requires businesses to speak their language and adhere to their customs. As a result, businesses can significantly increase user engagement and retention rates by creating app content that resonates with local audiences. It is essential to follow best practices when localizing your app content. You should work with professional translators and localization experts to ensure that your app content is accurately translated and adapted to regional customs.