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Why and how a localized app boosts the number of downloads

Localization and why this is one of the most overlooked optimization strategies for app downloads.

Couple using an app on mobile design

Cutting through the internet jungle is not an easy task. If for instance you are an app developer,  how do you stand out in an extremely overcrowded search engine result or an app store that is very competitive?

How do I make the app go up in the rankings of search results? How do I develop organic growth in internet traffic and most of all, how can I increase organic growth for my app download?

If you have at least asked yourself one of these questions, then you must have asked yourself what is it that can be done to increase visibility in search results. 

Ostensibly, there is an intricate process by which search results are the way they are. With the strongest results being prioritised in the search results and with decreasing order, the searches which are less optimized for immediate visibility get “buried” in the search results. 

Can you imagine putting all your effort on a potentially ground-breaking app that is worth thousands of dollars in research and development, only for it to lie “dormant” among thousands of other applications? 

For a bit of context, just consider that currently, we have more than 1 million apps in various app stores. 

This is a huge sea of apps for mobile users to navigate through and that’s why the success of your app is hinged upon accurate targeting so that the right audience may catch a glimpse of your app. 

It’s that that simple and there is no way around it!

This is because the likelihood of your app being downloaded is delineated mainly along these factors.

  1. How relevant is your app?
  2. Does it look trustworthy? Or rather, does the screenshot of the app look convincing? 
  3. Does the app have the right combination of keywords?

There are of course numerous strategies you can employ to increase app downloads, including;

  • Advertising campaigns on social media platforms
  • Keyword Optimization
  • Having your own website
  • Unique and exceptional app design
  • Personal blogs and guest blogging about the app

However, one of the most overlooked optimization strategy is that of localisation and this will be our main focus in our analysis.

What is localisation and how is it an integral part of the digital ecosystem?

Like with any marketing strategy today,  whenever you need to project your product into global markets, you must make adequate preparations that would allow you to adapt to global situations. 

Nowhere is this more true than the digital world where the cyber ecosystem is so designed to not only operate successfully across different target cultures and languages, but also malleable enough to have universal applicability. 

In a nutshell, it calls for a process called localisation which in essence is the combination of tailor-made translations, graphic design, and other technical changes to produce a product that can be consumed across cultural and language barriers. 

In a world that is increasingly reliant on mobile technologies, this logic still stands to the extent that, mobile applications and software must be substantially localised for them to be assimilated across multiple cultures and languages.

But why is localisation even an important factor in mobile app development?

The iOS, Google Play, or even the Microsoft store, are all platforms specifically designed to ensure that when you develop and release an app, you can still increase the amount of traffic it gets and its discoverability beyond various linguistic and cultural barriers.

What this implies is that, in spite of divergent cultures and languages you can through localisation overcome theoretical and practical inconsistencies that would plague the usage of an application. 

Let’s say you are developing a traffic app, as a developer ask yourself, did you take into account that not all countries in the world use the metric system? 

Did you also take into account the regional internet connection speeds?  

This is because you in many countries with slow connection speeds, no one bothers to use apps that use lots of internet data which in the spirit of localisation, would translate to sometimes reducing the technical capacities of the app in some regions.

However, it goes beyond simply making tailor-made translations to your app so as to make it look more ‘local’. Rather, it’s about making the translatable text in the app look authentic and natural to the different communities that you are targeting. 

These include such localisable elements like;

  1. Name formats
  2. Regional copyright and privacy laws
  3. Units of measurements
  4. Number formats e.g how to separate decimals and thousands
  5. Currency formats.
  6. Address formats, such as postal codes, states, districts, provinces
  7. Date and time formats, as well as calendar settings
  8. Telephone number formats 

In summary, localisation has to be part and parcel of the app development process since you do not want to be one of the many developers who after spending thousands of dollars on an app, do not obtain the intended traffic, and end up with zero return on investment.


Written by Briana Anabtawi, Head of Service & Operations, LEXIGO: As Head of Service and Operations, Briana is responsible for quality, client satisfaction and efficiency in service delivery for LEXIGO Strategic Clients and Partners. Briana's professional background in the travel and tourism industry has provided her with a unique insight into culture, language and project management.