Many think it’s easy to distribute apps globally, given that the Internet conveniently connects everyone worldwide. This idea couldn’t be more inaccurate, though. If you want to make your mobile app global, there are several factors you have to take into account. It wouldn’t be as easy as putting it online or making it available in the official Android or iOS app collections.
Achieve global success with your mobile application
The following are fundamental aspects you have to consider if you want to achieve global success with your mobile application.
1. Starting small – Going global does not require a giant first leap.
There’s always that little first step you have to go through. Don’t allocate all of your resources to one mobile app in the hopes of getting higher chances of success for it. Start with the basics and work your way up based on the outcomes you get.
There’s no guarantee that an app will become successful in the international scene even if it has useful distinctive features and functions. Even if it is nearly perfect and backed by aggressive marketing, there is no assurance that global users will want to get it. Mobile apps becoming a success internationally are a rarity, and are usually products of luck or a confluence of uncontrollable factors. Competitors abound, and it’s close to impossible to anticipate all of them. It’s better to take a pace you can handle to attain success that may be slow but sure.
2. App desirability – Make sure your app is worth downloading.
It should offer features and functions that attract users. It does not make sense trying to globalize something that does not serve a worthwhile purpose. There has to be something distinctive in it that would pique the interest of users. Come up with an app that is unique and potentially successful.
You can use the following pointers as a guide:
- Think of app ideas you are most interested in. It’s unlikely to be successful in apps you are not that enthused to develop.
- Examine what users want. You can do this by reviewing the popular keywords used when searching for mobile applications in Google Play and iTunes (Apple App Store). Once you get acquainted with what users want, reconcile these demands with your ideas. Pursue the idea that is most viable, the one that matches with what users tend to look for when they are on app stores.
- Look for apps in Google Play and the Apple App Store that are similar to what you have in mind. Most of the time, somebody has already developed the idea you are thinking of.
- If there are no apps similar to what you have conceptualized, proceed to developing it.
- If you find apps similar to what you want to build, try using them. You can’t just give up the idea you spent time squeezing your brain onto. Try these similar apps to find out their drawbacks or defects. Your goal will then be to offer a better alternative.
- Test your idea by completing a sample app and offering it to friends. Once you get good feedback, go to the alpha testing then the beta testing phases.
If you already have an existing app you want to make global, most likely it has already passed the steps mentioned above. The point is that you need to carefully examine your app if it’s really worth making it global. Evaluate its chances of success and the feasibility of spending money to localize it for different markets.
3. App dependability – Ensure that your app is free from bugs and other problems.
Never offer a half-baked product to potential users. Performance issues are among the main reasons why users uninstall and avoid apps. If your app keeps crashing, it will only irritate users and lead to uninstallation. As a consequence, your app gets poor reviews and ratings. This can then create a negative reputation that affects the other software you are offering.
It’s useless having excellent localization and marketing for your mobile app when it does not perform as expected. Take note of the following:
- Make sure that the app does not take up excessive CPU and power.
- Plug memory leaks.
- Address security and privacy concerns.
- Don’t overdo the advertising.
- Minimize notifications and provide the option to mute them.
- Ascertain that app loading time does not take too long.
- The app should not be consuming data unnecessarily or without the knowledge of the user.
4. Localization – Emphasize accuracy in the translation of your app’s interface, texts, and audios.
Localization is one of the vital aspects that necessitate your full attention if you seek success as you try to make your mobile app global. The following needs to be accurately translated in the most concise ways possible:
- Text string. This refers to all of the texts that are displayed in your app that come from the res/values/strings.xml part of the app’s code. Essentially, translating the text string means having all of the texts appearing in the interface of an app
- Metadata. Metadata includes the app’s name, brief description, app category (primary and secondary), compatibility, and support information.
- Launch tips and Help tips. Created to provide assistance in using an app, launch and help tips are small messages displayed on the app or sometimes alongside specific buttons or navigation elements.
- Audios. If your app features sounds that provide instructions or add context to a setting, it is advisable to have them translated.
- Notifications. These are small messages that indicate updates, developments, or activities happening with the app.
- App store and website. The description and other texts in the app store, website, and even the social media page for your app should also be translated.
Never rely on machine translation services for your app’s localization. Strive for localization, not just internationalization. Internationalization entails that you are only making changes to make your app usable to those who are accustomed to an international or widely used language and interface (English and the QWERTY keyboard for example). Localization means making an app suitable to local users based on their language and the user interfaces they are more familiar with.
5. Focus – Choose one or a few foreign markets first.
Don’t try to match what established major app developers are doing as they distribute their new apps globally unless you have an extreme abundance of funds to gamble on the success of your app. It is a wise move to choose a few foreign markets for your app first and proceed to others once you achieve the success you want.
Study the best possible markets for your app. Going global does not mean you have to make your app available to all countries worldwide with numerous language versions. You can choose a few where you think success is most probable, then expand to other regions.
6. Support – You need teams to provide competent assistance in the different countries where you want to establish a presence.
Almost all popular apps come with customer or technical support. If you want to achieve and sustain global success for your app, you need to provide support to address problems such as errors, account issues, and downtimes. If you need to translate your app for users in different regions, there’s also a need to have support staff who can speak the local language. Marketing your app to Japanese or Chinese users means that you also have to deal with these users using their respective local languages.
7. Servers – Ensure the best performance by getting the right servers.
Apps that need to connect online to work require servers. These apps can be games or productivity tools that make use of online storage for account registration, leaderboards, or data exchange. Connectivity and performance problems can emerge if the servers are not suitable for the number of users and amount of traffic involved. As such, you have to choose servers that can help your apps in delivering the best performance. You can get multiple servers or use cloud servers after doing a cost analysis.
8. Payment methods – If you offer a premium or freemium app, you have to work on how to receive payments or process transactions.
For apps that are only meant to generate revenues through advertising, payment methods are not an issue. However, for apps that are offered for a fee or those that can be upgraded to a premium service, it’s important to take care of the modes of payment. You need to find out the best options in different countries.
PayPal and credit/debit cards may work for most locations, but there are countries where these are not available or not the preferred payment methods. You may also want to consider accepting bitcoins and other cryptocurrencies. Ascertain that no difficulties will be encountered by your app’s users when they need to make payments. Of course, you also need to make sure that the instructions for sending payments are correctly and clearly translated.
9. Marketing – Promote your app.
What’s the use of making your app the best it can be and having it translated if you don’t promote it to the intended users? A well-optimized unique app cannot automatically attract downloads after being put up in Google Play, iTunes, or on its own website. You have to undertake mobile app marketing efforts. These include social media marketing, search engine optimization, online advertising, affiliate marketing, and sponsored reviews. Choose the strategies most suitable for the type of app you are offering.
10. Performance measurement and expansion – Know if your globalizing efforts are yielding the desired benefits and strive for growth.
To make your mobile app global, you can’t stop with translation and wider distribution. You are not introducing your app to new markets just for the sake of popularity and good feedback from users. You want to reach out to more users to increase the revenues you get from your app, be it through ad monetization or freemium/premium services.
Track important mobile app statistics such as the number of installations and uninstallations, user demographics, and session length. These are important in improving your app and in expanding user base. They can also provide guidance as you offer your mobile app to new foreign markets.
In summary, to make your mobile app global, remember that it’s not going to be a walk in the park. You have to make your app desirable, optimized, appropriately localized, free from defects, and ready for the surge in the number of users and traffic. Moreover, you have to provide proper support and measure how the app fares so you can implement tweaks and obtain insights on growing the number of users in different parts of the world.
Boost your success in introducing apps to global users with the most accurate and contextually precise translations
If you don’t have your own team to work on the precise translation or localization of your app, you can count on Day Translations, Inc. to get the job done. We have a global network of language service experts who are native speakers of the languages they specialize in, so you can get the most accurate translation, interpreting, transcription, and other language services. With our help, you can be assured that the user interface, texts, as well as the audios you use in your apps get the best translations possible. Call us at 1-800-969- 6853 or send us an email at Contact us for your inquiries or to arrange the service you need.