App Store Optimization requires distinct strategies in each region an app is available in. With Apple bringing 20 new territories to the App Store, developers and marketers are presented with an opportunity to break into new markets with fresh users. If they want to succeed, they’ll need to adapt their app marketing and App Store Optimization to the new territories. This includes identifying the best keywords for their apps, localizing for the region and researching conversion trends.
Keyword Trends & Search Volume
Understanding keywords and their associated search volume are essential for optimizing an app. Developers should target keywords with high relevance to their apps as well as with high search volume in order to reach a large number of interested users.
It’s important to note that keyword trends will vary by territory, even if the territories use the same language. Users in different regions may describe a product, service or feature differently, which will be reflected in keyword volume. For instance, users in the US searching for a casino app may want to find “Slot Machines,” while users in the UK would search for “Fruit Machines” and users in Australia would look for “Pokies.” The intended app is the same, but the terminology is different. This means that the keyword search volume for “Fruit Machines” is significantly higher in the UK than in the US or Australia, so each localized version would use different keywords.
Even if the same keyword is used across different territories, they may not be searched as often. As the new territories launch, developers will want to pay close attention to the search volume for their core keywords in each region.
Knowing keyword trends and search volumes for each territory an app is available in will help developers build a more catered and optimized keyword strategy. This can also help developers identify which territories make the most sense to expand into. Using the right keywords for those territories will directly influence your rankings in the App Store and Play Store in these areas.
Localization, Not Translation
Localization is a requirement when expanding an app into a new territory. This is different from translation. While translation is the exact meaning of a word in different languages, localization goes a step further and takes into account any cultural influences or variations, then applying it towards its target audience.
Direct translations often don’t carry the same context, nor do they reflect the same search intentions of users from different regions in the App Store or Google Play Store. Understanding the local terminology will help developers determine which terms to incorporate into their marketing strategy. Localization means taking the keywords and other app page content and adjusting it for regional styles, terminology, tastes and more. Simply running keywords through a translation service will not provide the same contextual nuance.
By properly localizing an app, developers can make it appear more welcoming to potential users. This can help increase the overall conversion rate as more users find the app relevant to their needs.
Creative elements such as the icon and screenshots also play a critical role in how well an app listing converts users. While these should showcase the most important elements and value propositions for the app, which ones convert users best will vary by territory and audience.
For example, screenshots for apps in the US may convert well with moderately basic layouts that focus on one core image. For Asian territories, the same apps typically use complex, colorful screenshots that feature more crowded imagery. For instance, Idle Heroes in the US uses screenshots that highlight single characters at a time. The Japanese version, on the other hand, uses multiple characters per screenshot. Each creative set performs better in its territory than its counterpart would.
These different user preferences can result in the same creatives performing significantly differently based on where they’re deployed, even if the text on each screenshot is fully localized.
Value propositions will also differ across territories. Users in certain regions may find more value in one feature than another, or terms used to describe them may have different connotations. This is part of localization, so developers should research their markets carefully. A/B testing can also be used to test variants of the screenshots and value propositions. This will help developers determine what users respond to best in each region, so they can focus on what works.
While apps may be used worldwide, the best marketing techniques are less universal. It’s important to adjust app marketing strategies to each region, which includes researching keywords, localizing metadata and designing creatives based on what users in the specific territory respond best to. Developers looking to launch in new territories should do their research and preparation for App Store Optimization in order to gain installs and succeed wherever they may go.