We’re living a “mobile-first” society — some would argue that it’s soon to be “mobile only.” The concept of either has basically reinvented product design and manufacturing, and has paved the way for services that we didn’t have even 10 years ago. We’re designing for tiny, handheld screens and we’re making our content accessible in major mobile markets like China, India, Brazil and Russia. We’re adapting our business strategies so that we can reach more people, on more devices, in more countries — and the way we do this is app localization.
App localization delivers content and an experience to users in a way that takes into consideration where they live, interests and the way they communicate. But app localization goes beyond translation services and customized content, it’s meant to make the user experience so flawless that your customer doesn’t even know your app or content was produced somewhere else. Take Facebook, for example, which is headquartered in the US, yet has nearly the same amount of users in India.
It’s estimated that the number of global mobile users — across the biggest mobile markets — will reach as high as 4.77 billion by the end of 2017. Nearly two thirds of the world’s population owns a smartphone, and half the world’s mobile subscribers are found within five major markets for mobile. If app localization wasn’t a key initiative of your international business before, it sure needs to be now.
Thanks to app localization, there’s a greater market than ever before. If your app is in English, and you enlist translation services to get it into Chinese and Korean, then you’re already making your content accessible to more than 60 percent of the world’s mobile users. Realistically, you don’t have to stop at translating your app into just a few languages. The App Store and Google Play are constantly adding new languages. When Apple launched iOS 8, it improved its API to manage localization with new functionality. For example, the API manages time, energy, length and mass for multiple languages.
By implementing app localization as a business strategy, you’re maximizing global visibility and multiplying downloads. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a best practice in any country. But have you ever thought about how ranking keywords in the US might not be the same as those in international markets? The same goes for titles and descriptions. Translation services can help you determine which keywords are important to your target audience, which in turn will help determine what titles and descriptions your content should include. Word to the wise: don’t trust auto translation. Take the time to work with translation professionals that specialize in knowing the market you’re trying to enter.
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