Don’t expect that it would be a simple and straightforward process if you want to expand your app. It may be easier than the challenge of first launching the app, but it wouldn’t be easy. You also have to define what “expansion” for your app means.
Before going into the tips and pointers, go over this brief discussion on what expansion means for an app. In what ways can you expand your app? What constitutes an expansion? There are at least three main forms:
- Upgrading the app’s features and functions significantly
- Offering the app to more users (increasing downloads)
- Adding monetization methods
In either way, you need to carefully plan how you proceed with the expansion. If you are adding new features and functions, it has to be purposefully done. If the goal is to bring in more users of the app, there are many factors to take into account to succeed to expand your app. If you want to raise earnings from monetization, you need to do your research and plan everything carefully. It’s also possible that the expansion is aimed at upgrading the app, increasing monetization, and raising its number of users, which requires coordinated efforts to boost the chances of success and minimize the possibility of a flop.
This article is part of our localization series. One of the essential points we are emphasizing here is the importance of localizing an app to facilitate its growth. To know more about localization, visit our ultimate localization guide.
Useful tips and insights if you want to successfully expand your app
- Establish your goals and plan your actions accordingly
What are you trying to accomplish? Are you upgrading your app with more features to keep up with the competitors? Are you trying to reach out to new users? Or are you upgrading your app to gain more downloads and boost your revenues from monetization?
You need clear answers to these questions as your plans will be based on what you are seeking to achieve. If you are boosting the capabilities of your mobile application, take note of the following:
- Make sure it keeps the familiar look and feel. Changing your app drastically, especially with regards to the user interface, can be a turnoff to longtime users. It can create confusion that may make users switch to a different app. Do not alienate loyal users with a notably different appearance and usability, even if you think it’s supposed to be an improvement. If there is a necessity to shift to a new style of operation, introduce the changes gradually or provide users the option to set the interface they prefer.
- See to it that the additional features and functions make the app competitive and distinctive. It makes sense updating your app to keep up with what others are offering but this shouldn’t mean that you will no longer exert the effort to make your app distinctive. Offer something different from what others provide or at least come up with an implementation of features that distinguishes your app from the rest. For example, if you are updating your travel app, don’t let the update be simply about adding a phrasebook or maps. Why not turn it into a travel planner with a bucket list and geography trivia game?
- Optimize the app for the best performance and error-free operation. An upgrade should result in something better, not a change for the worse. Comprehensively evaluate your app before releasing it. Fix memory leaks. Remove clutter. Ascertain that it works as efficiently as possible.
- Promote the new features and functions. Don’t let the upgrades go unnoticed. See to it that they are indicated and highlighted in the app page (on Google Play or iTunes) or official website. Send newsletters to current users and promote the updates on social media. You are certainly not upgrading the functions of your app just for the sake of doing an update. You want the upgrade to attract new users and keep your current users, so you have to inform the intended users.
If you want to increase the number of downloads or installations for your app, consider these pointers.
- Optimize your app store. Find the best possible keywords that will bring users to your app. Employ long-tail keywords or long phrases that are likely to be used by those who are looking for something similar to what your app is offering. Additionally, write quality content on your app store with the keywords spread all throughout: in the app name, subtitle, description, promotional text (in the iOS app store), app store keyword field (iOS app store), and in-app purchase interface.
- Encourage users to post reviews about your app. You can’t expect the reviews to be always good. However, more is generally better than a few when it comes to reviews. Obviously, positive reviews and high ratings help establish your app’s reputation. Bad reviews or low ratings, on the other hand, are useful to let you know if there are problems that need fixing. These bad reviews can also serve as opportunities to address misunderstandings or confusion among users. They may be giving negative reviews simply because they don’t understand how to use certain features, so you have to respond to them and clarify what needs clarification.
- Actively promote your app. The distribution of an app does not start and end with the listing in Google Store and iTunes (iOS app store). You also have to marketing efforts outside of the app stores. There are many ways to do it: social media marketing, email marketing, guest blog posting, reviews, and press releases.
- Provide other ways for distributing your app. While an overwhelming majority of app downloads come from the app stores, you can also open other avenues through which prospective users can get your app. This can be through an official website for the app or social media pages. The typical practice is to provide a link (in the official app website or social media page) to the Google Play Store or iTunes pages, but you can also provide the option to let users get the .apk or .ipa files (installers) of your app.
When it comes to monetization, the following tips should be useful.
- Avoid excessive ads. Ad clutter is one of the top reasons why users abandon apps. Don’t put distractive ads and those that ruin the user experience. Do A/B testing to evaluate the best placement and schemes for your app ads. Also, as much as possible, avoid putting out ads that don’t have a “skip” button.
- Use the freemium and in-app purchases model. Distribute your app free to download and use, but offer a premium (paid) version to access extra functions or in-app purchases. If you are already using this model, see to it that you give users a reason to try your in-app purchases or upgrade to the premium version of the app. Highlight the availability of the paid feature or functions without being too aggressive, though.
- Try white labeling. White labeling is a practice in business wherein a product is produced by one company but sold by another under a new brand or label. If you think your app has excellent unique features but it is not getting enough attention, consider allowing other publishers to resell your app under their brand. Just make sure the deal will not be onerous. Do not completely surrender your ownership of your app’s concept unless you are getting paid dearly.
- Localize your app
If your app expansion’s focus is on bringing your app to potential international users, then localization is in order. Maximize your app’s potential to gain more downloads by creating versions that are more compatible with local users in different geographical markets or regions.
It’s not a straightforward process of translating texts. App localization involves the introduction of changes in the app’s code to reflect changes in the texts, images, as well as audios (and sometimes videos) included in an app. You can’t entrust these changes with just any language service provider. Unless you have an adequately capable team to handle the localization project, you need to find a company that does not only perform translations but also help you plan how to go about with the project.
In particular, you need the expertise and experience of a company to get insights on how the translation should proceed and what related changes need to be implemented in relation to the translations of texts or audios in the app. For example, if you localize certain expressions or terms, corresponding changes in the graphics and audios may be needed.
Additionally, an experienced app localization service provider can provide guidance on changes necessary to avoid culturally and politically sensitive topics. The last thing you want is for your app to be ignored or worse, banned in a new market because of an element or a few texts in it regarded as offensive in a country or region. App localization is important and beneficial, but it can’t serve its intended purpose if not done properly.
An experienced localization service provider performs linguistic testing to ensure compatibility and also conducts code evaluation to see to it that the app works the way it should after the translations are integrated.
- Listen to feedback from users and address problems promptly
Expanding your app’s capabilities, offering it to new markets, and increasing the monetization methods is the end of the app expansion project. You need to follow through by monitoring users’ reception of the changes you made.
There’s no guarantee that the upgraded app you offer to users works perfectly even after meticulous testing and quality control. Some issues will inevitably emerge, so you have to be there to address them as soon as possible. Interact with your app’s users to know if there are problems and to obtain ideas on how to improve it further.
App users nowadays tend to be proactive. They take the opportunity to complain or ask questions whenever they encounter issues. If you want to expand your app’s user base, it’s not enough that you offer new features and boost your marketing campaigns. You also need to make users feel that you are listening to what they are saying.
Need help? We can help enhance your app expansion
With our industry-leading language solutions, we at Day Translations Inc. are confident that we can aid you to successfully expand your app especially when it comes to extending its user reach. Our network of highly proficient international localization experts can transform your app into a version will appeal the most to the target users in a region. Don’t hesitate to send us an email at Contact us or dial the number 1-800-969-6853 for your inquiries. We are open 24/7 to provide the proficient language solutions you need.
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