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June 13, 2017

Why You Should Localize Your App for the MENA Region & How it’s Done

Image courtesy of (KROMKRATHOG)/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Mobile technology has taken the world by storm. In order to reach global audiences, it is imperative content is available in the audience’s native language. This is key for an app or a game to boost your business.

Businesses have evolved from simply utilizing traditional marketing to employing apps in their marketing strategy. This calls for translation and localization of the content in the region’s language so that global demand can be met. There are examples where businesses did well in different territories precisely because they offered localized apps including social media, banking, games and food delivery among others.

So what are the benefits of having a localized version of your app? Read on to find out below.

1. Access to a Global Market

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It is wrong of us to think that the majority of apps users reside in the U.S. According to a study, half of the world’s mobile users reside in the Asia Pacific region. So if you are planning to launch an application in MENA (the Middle East and North Africa region ) without the option to view it in the local language, your chances for success in the region are diminished from the outset.

2. Unlimited Sales

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Of course, with localized content, you gain unlimited sales because more and more users will be accessing your application and, according to one study, the number of mobile phone users is going to hit 4.77 billion by 2017.

3. A Worldwide Hit

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App activity is up all over the world compared to browsers. But that activity does not necessarily mean that they are being used as much as you’d like them to be used. In the same manner that they are downloaded, they can be deleted just as quickly.

So if you are offering localized version of the app, say for the people residing in MENA region, you certainly upped your chances of users interacting with your app in the longer run.

4. Increased ROI

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The payoff is bound to be superior. A recent study shows businesses that relied on localized versions of their apps fared better in app downloads than the competition. In short, localization of the app is crucial in capturing foreign markets.

We have delved into the reasons as to why localization is a great idea but do you know how the translation of apps works, especially Arabic? It would be unfair if we did not expand upon this topic in our article, so here it goes:

5. Gather Your Resources

This doesn’t have to do with coding. It is merely your content, images, tutorials etc. that will accompany your app’s code. For translation to Arabic, you need to outsource your resources so a localized version of each file can be generated.

6. Think About the Layout

There is a thing called the “issue of space” when it comes to designing your apps. So be mindful of this space because when you will convert the words into another language (in this case, Arabic) it may not take the same space as did English. Your design should be flexible which can accommodate any anomalies as a result of expansion or contraction of the text you are interested in.

7. Translators Need Context

The literal translation of the words does not mean it carries the same message; rather, it distorts it. For it to convey the same message as intended, translators need to translate while keeping the context in mind. And as the business owner or the app owner, it is your responsibility to convey the context with clarity because a wrong word here or there can backfire. All your campaign efforts can be wasted should that word carry a different meaning in the MENA region.

8. App Localization Testing

Testing is an integral phase. Whatever text has been translated should be tested, whether it will display correctly when the application goes live or not. Check for the layout; is it appropriate? The ideal way to test is by experimenting with the text on different devices and on screen sizes to be truly aware of the display.

In the end, ensure you use app store optimization (ASO) which will enable you to optimize the visibility of the app in the store.


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David Harris is a highly-professional digital marketer, who has been working in the online marketing industry for about five years. David possesses a sound knowledge about the pros and cons of the field of digital marketing, and aims to provide his audience with the most precise, concise and concrete information from the world of digital marketing, SEO, PPC, SMO and content strategy.

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