How to Localize Your App and Reach New Users

App Localization
By Kristina Temelkova
I'm from Stara Zagora, Bulgaria and I'm currently pursuing an English degree at the University of Vienna. My lifelong passions are languages and writing. I speak English, Bulgarian, German and Russian.
May 8, 2020

Are you an app developer or marketer? Do you want to increase your app’s MAU (monthly active users) as well as its visibility? You can achieve reach new markets and users through app localization.

Offering your product in the user’s native languages would significantly increase your downloads and subsequently your revenue. According to Distomo’s study, “The Impact of App Translations” localized apps increase their downloads by 128% while their profit rises up to nearly 30% for each country in just a week!

In this article, we will present you with six simple steps for mobile app localization, which are applicable to both iOS and Android.

  1. Internationalization (i18n) and Localization (L10N)

These two terms are oftentimes considered the same thing. In fact, these are two completely separate operations, still, they are fairly dependent on each other. According to W3C, “internationalization includes several processes which ensure that the design and development of a product would simplify the translation or localization process.”

In other words, through Internalization the code is customized while through localization the content that undergoes modifications in different languages.

The reason why internationalization should be done prior to localization is simply to ensure that the code could handle the new localized content when it is created. In most cases modifying the code for internationalization after it has already been written is a long and complicated process.

  1. Find A Good Localization Partner

It is best to leave localization to the specialists who know how to transform your app so that it feels native to customers. You shouldn’t choose a service provider based on lower prices but rather chose an agency that fits your expectations and goals. Here are some questions you can ask to find the most suitable localization service provider:

  • What localization tools and platforms does it uses?
  • Are your translators proficient in translating app content?
  • How quickly do they provide the translation?
  • What is the company’s quality control process?
  • Have they done similar projects in the past?

A bonus tip: After you have found your partners on your localization journey, make sure to give the localization team sufficient context to create a clear idea of your concepts. 

Also Read: Top 5 Languages to Localize Your App In

  1. Create an App Store Optimization (ASO) Plan

A good ASO plan will help increase your app’s visibility and downloads on App Store and Google Play. To devise a good ASO plan you should research your target market: analyze the correct search terms (in the local language) in this region as well as the search behavior of the population. Then based on this research create a list of keywords which in turn would help you optimize your product’s name, subtitle, description, and keywords. This step is essential since when done properly, it would increase your app’s ranking in the search results, number of downloads, and revenue.

This is a crucial step to success in a new market. There is no point in localizing your app if potential users can’t find it!

  1. Choose Your Audience

The Google Play and App store are available in over 150 countries. App localization can be a long and costly process, so you should choose your audience wisely to ensure maximum return on your investment. Just because a language is popular, it does not guarantee success. Therefore, you should do thorough research to decide in which region market your app would fit best before you invest in localization.

For this, you should do research on the audience in different countries: spending ability, internet penetration, number of smartphone users, average internet speed, english tolerance, Android vs iOS users and potential competitors.
This will help you decide how much you should initially invest in adapting the app to test the market.


  • growth in global app downloads- 60%
  • Global App Revenue from Asia – 41%
  • Potential Increase in revenue per country – 26%
  • English Speaking Internet Users – 25%

Also Read: 6 Reasons Why Mobile App Localization Matters For Global Success

  1. Localize Every Aspect of Your App

The main goal of app localization is to grant users a unique experience as if the app is created especially for them. To achieve this, you should think of other aspects of your app beside just the text.

For instance, you should consider whether your target audience would require multimedia localization for your app or in other words – do you need to change the visuals like videos, images and colours to fit your potential customers’ preferences?

Basic features such as date format, currency and numbers make a huge difference to the customer experience.

To create the perfect experience for new users, pay close attention to certain cultural differences. For instance, if you are launching a discount campaign make sure you understand how discounts work in a specific country. Discounts in China work the other way round compared to Europe – they show what you are paying not what you are saving.

Black Friday banners running in France, Germany, and China:
Image source

App localization discount


  1. Do Linguistic Testing

Linguistic testing should be the last step before your app goes live. This is a process whereby a linguist reviews your product in the context of a local user and takes into account not only the language aspects such grammar, dialects, language standards and rules but also examines closely colour schemes, font sizes, symbols, images and icons, estimating whether they are used appropriately for the target market.
By doing linguistic testing you would guarantee your localization journey has gone according to plan!
Are you ready to take your app to new markets? Contact us or read more about our website and app localization services!

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