When it comes time to take your app to international markets, it is essential that you consider all areas that can promote your app. Google Play Store localizations are a great opportunity to bring a multi-lingual approach to your app’s online presence by making an SEO friendly listing optimized for new user discovery. Unlike the App Store which offers 39 languages, the Play Store offers a whopping 84 potential language localizations. Plenty of languages to get started!
Do I have to localize my Play Store listings? No, definitely not. The decision to localize your app’s listing comes down to a question of both necessity and opportunity. If you are already an internationally used app then localizing might be a necessity to maintain your diverse users. On the other hand, if your app is developing you may want to consider how much opportunity you actually have outside of your current market. There are a few reasons why you may NOT want to localize as well.
When it comes to SEO, what’s important for the Play Store? When you think of optimizing your Play Store for discoverability, the approach is much more traditional in the website sense of search engines. The App Store has limited areas for keywords, but the Play Store is more diverse or inclusive. The app name, description, and short description can all be factors.
SensorTower illustrates the most to least impactful touch points of your listing with this simple infographic:
Available Play Store Localizations
There are 84 total languages available currently for the Play Store. Below is a list of these as well as their respective ISO locales. It is important to note how Google allows for niche dialects focusing in areas like English, Spanish, and multiple long-tail languages as well.
|Chinese (Hong Kong)||zh-HK|
|English (South Africa)||en-ZA|
|Spanish (United States)||es-US|
Example of a localized Play Store listing
Here Skype is seen in Traditional Chinese (zh-TW). Skype has been incredibly successful in its international efforts and is localized into more than 40 languages.
Character Limitations: Why they matter
As you translate your app to and from the source language, keep in mind that the target language can be more or less characters depending on your source language. Let’s say your source language is English (AU) but you are localizing into Korean. You are likely to have additional space for more characters since Korean is typically more descriptive with less space than English. Each language will be different in this circumstance so be considerate to spacing and your priorities.
This table below helps as a quick reference for each section of the Play Store and your character limitations.
It wouldn’t be right to mention Play Store localizations without at least mentioning the capability to AB test. One of the greatest benefits to the Play Store is that you can actually try multiple variants and see how they perform. This is ideal for visual testing but also for other aspects of localization as well. AB testing deserve a detailed post itself and maybe I will do one in the future.
It is reassuring that Google lists Play Store localization as part of its Localization checklist and Going Global Playbook, which to me are both indicators of how important this can be for your app. If you’d like to hear more about this topic, feel free to let us know so we know what topics to focus on for future posts.
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Stay tuned for more posts in the future on the Localization Blog.