App location: important inside and out

imac-606765_960_720As an article earlier on this blog so aptly points out, subtly tailoring your app’s listing screenshots for different geographical markets is hugely important.

Tweaks as small as re-centring any maps in screenshots or changing text and images to reflect local moods and customs work to create a subconscious feeling of trust of your app from people browsing the store – something that will hopefully convert to more downloads.

Taking location into account is vital from an app design perspective too, and the means through which it can be achieved grow increasingly sophisticated. We’ll explore a couple of them in this article.

Language – knowing your left from your right

The need to translate apps into different languages when they are launched in foreign countries is a no-brainer, but some of the considerations that accompany this may not be immediately obvious. Apple often refer to this process as Internationalisation to emphasise the need to do more than just translated the text in an app.

For example, does the language of the new country read from left to right (as with English) or right to left (as with Arabic)? In the past it was tricky to work with right to left languages, but modern phone operating systems are more forgiving. Android 4.2 has inbuilt layout mirroring capabilities, for example:

settings Image source

Language – learn to tell the time

Another consideration for foreign app translations is the format of the date and time. In the UK we’re used to the format 19/07/2016; the Danish would be more familiar with 2016-07-19. In France they’d write the time 15h38 instead of 15:38 that we’re familiar with.

In short, getting this right is another step toward making foreign users comfortable with your app. Again these functionalities are inbuilt, so resist the urge to hard-code the time in your preferred format.

Jargon – best saved for another time!

Google’s app localisation checklist includes a number of suggestions that are quite jargon heavy. This is the sort of stuff that a professional app design agency (like the one I run!) take into account when designing apps but, to casual readers, they can be off-putting!

Some examples of such tasks:

  • Move all UI strings into strings.xml
  • Follow Android guidelines for UI strings
  • Provide sufficient context for UI strings
  • Mark message parts that should not be translated

We’ll spare you the details of what each of these points mean, but it suffices to say that they refine the localised version of your apps through actions like ensuring pieces of text can remain untranslated where necessary (think of discount codes, peoples’ names, app-specific terms, and so on).

Testing – local eyes see things yours might miss

Once you’ve made the required changes to your app, the most important step is to run these past local eyes to make sure that translations are correct, everything makes sense, the formatting remains properly aligned during use, and various other factors.

This can be done to varying levels of proficiency, but we recommend investing money and effort into this step to make sure nothing slips through the net. An app with location specific issues can quickly alienate users in that locale!

Google’s checklist then goes onto explain the importance of localisation of app listings – which takes us neatly back to the start!

This primer on app localisation was written by The Distance – an app development agency in Yorkshire.

Website https://thedistance.co.uk/

Why Your App Needs To Focus On Reviews And Referrals For Better ASO

focus_socialThe app market competition is increasing by the day. Be it any industry – lifestyle, gaming, eCommerce or any other, apps are having a tough time establishing their name in the mobile sphere. Acquiring users as well as retaining them is today one of the biggest challenges for app developers and marketers. But the first and foremost thing that apps need to do for sustainable growth, is to nail their app store optimization.

In this post, we’ll be talking about how referrals and reviews play an important role in ASO today.

The importance of App Store Optimization (ASO)

ASO is similar to how you want your website to be ranked on the search engines with effective SEO measures. Amongst the many apps in the market, ASO helps your app become searchable for the keywords and the category you want it to be known for.

As Ryan Kelley explains in his answer on Quora, apps can’t just launch and expect themselves to become discoverable. Certain efforts, apart from marketing campaigns, need to be made to become visible in the eyes of the target market.

Untitled  source

The role of app reviews in ASO

We all know how important the customer’s perspective is in the development, optimization and growth of an app. This is where a first hand feedback from them comes handy. In app stores, this feedback comes in the form of app rating and reviews.

These ratings and reviews provide the developer with valuable information about the target market, and what they expect from the app. This helps create an effective roadmap or strategy for the app post launch. Be it fixing existing bugs, enhance popular features or introducing a new one on popular demand.

But apart from that, as Gummicube points out, Apple and Google both use app store reviews as well as ratings in their search ranking algorithms. The greater number of reviews and the better the ratings, the higher your app ranks in its search category.

For instance, apps that continue to remain trending or at the top of search results, make getting reviews or ratings from users a part of their app flow. Some even go beyond this to incorporate reviews from popular names in their app store description.

Kim Kardashian West’s Forbes featured app is a perfect example of the same. It includes reviews from popular names like E! Online, Marie Claire and more in its app description itself.Screen Shot 2016-08-03 at 10.56.51 AM

Rating and reviews are important aspects of app store optimization as:

  1. They act as metadata for search and help categorise your app better in the store. According to a post on TechCrunch, app stores are now focusing on search relevancy. In simpler words, user feedback now influences the discovery of an app.
  2. They serve as a social proof to potential users. When a user sees an app that has better reviews and ratings from another app that offers the same features, he is more likely to choose that one.

The one thing to remember here, though, is that the ratings and reviews should not look forced. Make it like a task that is required to be completed to use a feature of the app, or make it a point to suggest dropping a review only after the user has moved along his lifecycle.

The role of referrals in app growth and ASO

Continuing on the point above, offering a great user experience should be the primary goal of app developers and marketers. The happier a user is with the app and what it offers, the more likely he is to recommend the same in his circles.

According to Nielsen, almost 84% of people completely trust recommendations from family, colleagues and friends about products. Word-of-mouth boosts the app marketing effectiveness by almost 54%!

Knowing that millennials are more likely to respond on recommendations than outreach, app marketers need to make referral campaigns a part of their marketing and growth strategies.

The more your app is able to leverage from word-of-mouth marketing, the stronger is your user acquisition. The greater the number of users, the better the app store optimization. Think about it, which app are you more likely to download – one with millions of users or the other that barely has a few hundreds?

Apart from that, you’re more likely to get more ratings and reviews as well, that will boost your search optimization. The only things you need to ensure is that it is easy for users to invite their friends to the app and you continue to optimize as well as deliver a great user experience.

Having an in-app referral campaign helps you:

  • Boost the app’s brand awareness in the target market.
  • Greater the app’s awareness, the more is the user acquisition at lower costs and the more optimized are the marketing budgets.
  • Helps create personalized campaigns and experiences for users, increasing the retention rate of your app.
  • All in all, it improves your app store rankings while growing you in the mobile market!

But it doesn’t have to be difficult for the app developers to tap into the potential of referral marketing. Companies like GetSocial offer tools like Smart Invites, that enable a user to invite his friends to the app using popular chat apps and social media – all without having to switch multiple apps for the same.

For instance, games like Ruzzle Adventure have integrated the tool into the app to make it easy for players to invite their circle without having to leave the game. A few clicks and they are ready to have their own social circle on the app!

invitefriends

Over to you

A great in-app experience isn’t just important to keep the users engaged and hooked to your app. With the app stores making relevancy of prime importance for discoverability, it is also important to make what your users are saying about your app an integral part of its app store optimization.

VanhishikhaDisclaimer: This is a guest blog post by Vanhishikha Bhargava, Content Marketer at GetSocial.im. Vanhishikha has 4+ years experience as a digital and content marketer, and her focus is to create educational content that informs about the importance of user acquisition, retention and monetization.

Website https://www.getsocial.im