ITKarma picture

“Need more gold users...” A familiar problem? We’ll show you how to solve it through ASO optimization in other languages.

Many games and applications to expand the audience go to foreign markets. And this is a excellent growth hack , but you need to translate not only the game itself, but also its page - that is, do localization of ASO. Otherwise, imagine: your game is localized in 10 languages, but, having stumbled upon it in the store, the German will see a description and screenshots in English. Of course, he will think that there is no German version.

Localization of metadata is needed so that the user can easily find the application in their language. For example, here’s how the positions of RetouchMe (applications for professional retouching) have sharply grown after the localization of metadata in 10 languages. Following this success, RetouchMe was localized in 35 languages ​​ .

ITKarma picture

What is included in ASO optimization?

Speaking about ASO, the first thing they remember about keywords. But keywords are not the only thing that increases the output of your application and affects the installation.

Let's see which page elements are included in the ASO optimization:

  • Application Name
  • Subheading
  • Application Description
  • Keywords
  • Icon
  • Screenshots
  • Video

Let's go over each and see if everything needs to be localized.

Localization of text on a page

Title and subtitle. Usually there is one English name that is saved in all languages. Sometimes the name can be transliterated: for example, Bon Voyage - Bon Voyage, Tinder - 틴더 (sounds like "Tindeo" in Korean). Ideally, when the name appears universal words that are known throughout the world - for example, War Robots. Pixonic told that the game was originally called Walking War Robots, but in the end it was reduced to a more capacious and understandable War Robots.

See how the name of the game Blocky Cars changes depending on the locale. For China and Turkey, the name was translated, but in parentheses they still left the original - Blocky Cars.

ITKarma picture

You can see in this picture that different keywords are used for each locale. For Italy, the name used the keyword "online games", for the UK - "online shooting", for Turkey - the game about tanks, and for China and France, the title contains English keywords at all. All these words are the result of analytical work: it was necessary to find out what keywords would be in the top for each locale and use them in the name.

The subtitle is only in the App Store, and it can be said to compensate for the short name (in the App Store it is only 30 characters, while in Google Play - 50). You can add keywords to the subheading that didn’t fit in the title.

Description . Google Play has a short description - the first 80 characters of the description, the very 1-2 lines that you can click on and read the full description. We recommend that you conduct A/B testing of the short description regularly.

Some developers only translate these few lines to attract new users. But if your description contains important information about game modes, conditions of use, etc., you must translate the entire description.

Remember that the App Store and Google Play index different metadata: the App Store indexes the name, subtitle, keywords, and Google Play indexes all the text on the application page, including the name of the developer.Here is a handy tablet from ASOdesk, where you can clearly see which side is indexing:
ITKarma picture
From the article " 6 Metadata Guidelines

Thus, for Google Play, you will need to carefully push the keywords into the description so that they fit seamlessly into the text. It is believed that the first 160 characters have the greatest weight for indexing, so you should use the most relevant keywords at the beginning of the description.

Keywords. There is a great article from ASOdesk on how to select keywords for a title and description.

We add that although ASO is often called “SEO for mobile applications”, you cannot judge the popularity of a keyword by its frequency in web searches (Google, Wordstat) - there are your own keyword tops in application stores!

Keep in mind that sometimes it’s better to take two keywords with medium popularity instead of one with high score, since there is almost no chance to break through with keywords like “game”, “taxi”, etc. There are different tools for checking the popularity of keywords and Chances to rise in SERPs with specific keywords like Mobile Action, Apple Search Ads, etc.

How do I find keywords in languages ​​you don’t speak? There are a number of tools for this task in ASOdesk. Keyword Manager provides keyword hints relevant to your application. They are accompanied by an automatic translation into English, which simplifies the selection of keys in other languages.

Keyword Manager also has the Missing Ranked Keywords tool, which shows queries that are not yet tracked, but by which the application is ranked in a specific country. An automatic translation into English is also available for this tool. You can test these tools for ASO in other languages ​​in free access to ASOdesk .

Important: if ASO works great in the USA, and you decide to try the same set of keywords in the UK, Canada and Australia, it won’t work. The fact is that, although the language in these countries is common, there are differences depending on the country. For example, the word "vacation" in American English is vacation, and in British is holiday.

Accordingly, search queries will be different. Same story with Portuguese in Brazil vs. Portuguese in Portugal, French in France and Canada, as well as with Spanish-speaking countries: what works in Spain may not work in Mexico, Argentina, etc.

Some countries speak several languages, so you can add 2-3 languages ​​for this country and increase your reach. For example, in the USA it is English (US) and Spanish (Mexican version), in Switzerland - German, Italian, French and English (UK). The full table of additional languages ​​on the App Store can be viewed here .

Localization of graphics on the page

In addition to texts, graphic images, namely the icon and screenshots, also belong to ASO optimization.

The icon most often does not change for different locales, but sometimes you can add bright elements to the icon to tell users that new content has appeared in the application. If such content in the game is dedicated to holidays in a particular locale, then, of course, you will change the appearance of the icon only for that locale.

The company Pixonic interestingly approached the icons. For most countries, background elements change slightly, but for Turkish users, the flag of Turkey is placed on the icon.

ITKarma picture

Screenshots. Many optimize screenshots for certain locales.This is less relevant for games, but for applications it is often justified, especially if people are shown in the screenshots. Most often, there is one version of screenshots for Europe and America, and the second for Asia (namely, Japan, Korea and China; other European countries are shown “European” screenshots). Depending on the type of application, they can take screenshots specifically for the audience of Brazil and the audience from the Arab countries.

In PicsArt, individual screenshot options are presented for almost every country for which there is an application localization! Here are some of them:

ITKarma picture

Now many games on the page have a video , it also increases the conversion to installation. If it has callouts, they must also be translated

Important! ASO optimization for Google Play and the App Store will be different. Sometimes it is very different. Not only do the store have different requirements for screenshots and text volume, but also keywords should be selected separately. That is why applications in the App Store and Google Play often do not match the names.

That is, we remember: you can’t take the same text, keywords and screenshots and use this set on Google Play and the App Store. If you do so, then the effectiveness of ASO in one of the parties - and maybe in both - will be low.

The effect of ASO localization on real-life examples

Let's look at the impact of ASO on the Full HP studio case study . They translate two popular games with us, free-to-play action games Blocky Cars and Mad GunZ . These games are available in 12 languages, and their total downloads reach 50 million. They appeared in Google Play featured, and ASO optimization played a significant role in this.

In the screenshots below you can see the conversion rates for Blocky Cars in Germany:

ITKarma picture

On the left are conversion rates when the game page was not localized to German (i.e. the description and keywords were in English). The red rectangle indicates that the conversion is much lower than average, that is, the game received far fewer users than it could.

On the right is how the conversion changed when the page was translated and keywords were selected in German. The rectangle in the screenshot has turned green because there are more visitors on the page and the conversion has increased by 25%.

Localizing a page is a quick and inexpensive event : the phrases in the screenshots are short, and the description, if it's long, can be partially translated. This is especially true for children's games, where the audience does not pay attention to the text, but to the screenshots.

Translation of descriptions, texts on screenshots and callouts of videos is conveniently given to translators-carriers in Nitro Professional Translation Service . The trick is that you don’t have to run to 10-20 translators with these mini-texts: just insert the text, mark the necessary languages ​​and get all the translations within a day.

When can you expect results from ASO optimization? You need to understand that ASO accelerates for a long time. To see how the conversion grows, you need to observe and constantly work on keywords and screenshots, and then you will notice the first significant results in 2-3 months.

At the same time, you cannot do ASO once and forget about it : you need to keep abreast and check what new trends appear in games in specific locales and in the world, and if new successful keywords have appeared.Full HP said that most often ASO had to be rewritten in Japan, Korea, but in the USA they rarely change anything, since there ASO shows stable results.

How to understand that something is worth changing? Perform A/B testing with Google: this helps to understand in which direction you need to move in the description, which icon brought more users to the page, etc. Use marketing tools that allow you to see where the game is for one or another key request. Also, with their help, you can check what chance the game will have on the desired key.

Promising markets for localizing the application and working with ASO

Perhaps now your application is available in only a few popular languages, and you want to know where to go next. Here is a classic set of languages ​​that we at Alconost recommend our customers :

ITKarma picture

These are the languages ​​in which we recommend localizing games. You may want to test these markets before ordering game localization . Translation of the game page - that is, ASO localization - just helps to check the potential of specific markets for your game. This is the so-called Minimum Viable Localization.

Select several languages ​​to which the page of your application has not yet been localized - for example, Korean, Turkish and Brazilian Portuguese. Try to translate the description, the text in the screenshots, the keywords in the title - and watch how the number of downloads and page visitors from Korea, Turkey and Brazil will increase.

There are countries that do not expect full localization: these are, for example, India, Vietnam, Malaysia. It is enough to translate only the page - and the conversion is increased, and users do not complain about the lack of a localized version of the game. These and 60 other languages ​​are available at Nitro , a professional translation service created specifically for short texts.

Note that the entry into the market of Japan, Korea and especially China is very different from what we are used to in Western countries. We wrote a article on promoting applications in Asia , so that you are ready for the intricacies of the East in advance.

There are many fast-growing markets in the world, which are better to occupy in advance. If you are inspired by growth opportunities due to localization and ASO in other languages, we at Alconost will be happy to help you with any of our 70+ languages.

Want to see more examples with ASO influence and localization? Read our cases:
Full HP Case : How to get Google Play features and adapt ASO for different countries
Wachanga Case : Localization of the application in 50+ languages ​​as growth hack

About the Author

Article written in Alconost.

Nitro - professional service online translation into 35 languages. Created by Alconost. Native translators, order from 1 word, online chat with customer support.
50% of orders are ready in 2 hours, 96% in less than 24 hours.

P.S: Nitro is well suited for translating small texts.Если вам нужна локализация или перевод проекта посерьезней, добро пожаловать в Alconost .