Home » ICanLocalize Blog

ICanLocalize Blog

Optimize your app-store profile with localization

Mobile applications serve numerous purposes in areas ranging from gaming to health care. Their popularity is constantly growing, and the industry produces more and more apps every year. No one knows how many apps actually exist. In July 2016, Android users had 2.2 million apps to choose from, while the Apple Store launched with only 800 apps in July 2008 and reached 2 million in June 2016. 1

With such intense competition, how can developers successfully promote their products?

App-store optimization (ASO) is essential. The localization of your app profile is the first step to gaining popularity and generating downloads in regional stores.

Discover and target the countries most interested in your app

optimize-your-app-store-profile-1Depending on its type, the complete localization of an app can be a hugely expensive task. On the contrary, the translation of the store profile and metadata can be significantly cheaper and can boost downloads with a moderate financial investment. More downloads also brings more popularity and thus improved rankings. Accordingly, one of the best ways to promote your app is to translate its profile for regional stores.

The popularity of your app in country-specific stores can help determine in which languages it should be localized. Although localization is usually worth the cost and effort, it is also true that some apps perform sufficiently well without localization. In order to limit the risks and have a clear picture of the countries in which your product is genuinely in demand, you can start with app-store profile translation.

The main elements of an app profile are its title, keywords, and description. If possible, consider also the adaptation of text in screenshots or videos.

  • Title: Insert the keywords that generate the heaviest search traffic. Strive to keep the title short (no more than 30 characters) and engaging. For the app to spread, you want to make its name easy to remember. For the same reason, do not change the name: users might get confused and you might lose the popularity gained.
  • Keywords: Research the keywords that will most improve the search rankings. Monitor your competitors, and find keywords that might distinguish your app from theirs in order to appear in searches that are more specific. Try to find a balance: you need the most requested keywords to achieve the maximum target audience. However, avoid overlapping too much with the competition. You can modify keywords as often as needed to keep them optimized.
  • Description: In the Apple App Store, the description is not searchable. Thus, do not overfill the description with keywords. However, Google Play will pick up keywords even in your app description. Repeat the main keywords a few times without spamming or sacrificing the effectiveness of the text. Be sure to follow the Google Play metadata policy.

Language information in App Store (A) and Google Play (B).

The only downside of translating the store profile is that it may create the false expectation that the app itself is localized. In the description, you should state very clearly the languages supported in the app so that users will not be disappointed if they discover the app in their local store and then find out that it is not localized itself. To minimize the impact of negative reviews, you can also run your test for a short period only. Once you have gathered enough download data to determine the most important countries and languages, you can remove the app from the local stores and work on its complete localization.

Not all users frequent the same stores

Apps for iOS are sold only in the Apple App Store, but there are over 30 stores for Android ones. You have to consider stores other than Google Play if you want to target a much larger audience. Russia and China, for example, have their own preferred local Android app stores; Google Play is not widely used there.2

China has one of the most lucrative mobile markets, but Google Play is not entirely supported and does not come pre-installed on many Chinese Android devices. Google is still planning to launch a Chinese version of its store (not connected to the overseas one) during 2016 to comply with Chinese laws on content filtering.3 At present, China’s tech giants dominate the distribution of apps. Even if Google Play were to enter the Chinese market officially, users are already accustomed to alternatives.

Each store has its own submission process, text size limits, and metadata criteria. You should research the most profitable stores and devise an optimization strategy according to their specifications.

Optimize to stand out

The number of apps is growing and users do not have time to browse entire categories. Your app needs to stand out from the crowd, be easy to find in searches, and target the largest possible audience. A presence in regional stores is a sure and safe way of expanding your user base and improving the app popularity. Store optimization has the additional benefit of providing country-specific download data to gauge if localizing the entire app is worth it. Prepare your app profile carefully, and then entrust its localization to professional translators who will be able to contribute efficient linguistic and stylistic solutions in their native languages.

1. www.statista.com/statistics/276623/number-of-apps-available-in-leading-app-stores/
2. www.appgo2market.com/app-marketing-strategy-localization/
3. www.reuters.com/article/us-alphabet-china-idUSKCN0T91K420151120#z1fKihoJeKHvQhD7.97

How to exclude WordPress shortcodes from translation

Many WordPress websites use shortcodes. Until now, clients were required to explain these shortcodes to translators in order to prevent accidental translation of these codes. New developments in ICanLocalize allow clients to enter a list of shortcodes, which are automatically blocked by the system during translation. In this way, clients will not be required to pay for the translation of these words and translators will not need to worry about what not to translate.

How to enter your list of shortcodes to be excluded?

ICanLocalize now allows you to create a list of shortcodes that are required to be excluded for each website.

When your website project is fully set up in WPML (after activating ICanLocalize as your translation service), go to WPML >Translation Management, scroll down to the ICanLocalize account status box, and click on the “Project Page” link.


The project page will pop up. Scroll down to the bottom of the page to reach the Project Administration section and click on the Blocked shortcodes list button.


In this list, you will see two sections: your website’s shortcodes and Global shortcodes.


Your website’s shortcodes: Specific shortcodes that belong to your project. These can be added, enabled, disabled, edited, and deleted by you.

Global shortcodes: Default shortcodes implemented for all projects in ICanLocalize. These can be disabled anytime for your project but cannot be edited or deleted.

Adding a new shortcode to your project

To add a new shortcode to your project, go to your website’s shortcodes section and click on New Shortcode.


The following dialog box will appear prompting you to enter the shortcode and choose its type.
Fill in the blanks with the shortcode information and click on the Save button.


  • Shortcode: Only enter the text inside the square brackets without the actual brackets.
  • Type of shortcode:
  • Atomic– A shortcode that does not require a closing shortcode, e.g., .
  • Open and close– A shortcode that requires a closing shortcode but the text between the two shortcodes is required to be translated, e.g., [message]This is important[/message].
  • Open, exclude, and close– A shortcode that requires a closing shortcode and the text between the two shortcodes is required to be excluded from the translation. For example, [code]SOME CODE EXAMPLE[/code].
  • Comment: Any comment that you wish to add to differentiate the shortcode from others or as a reminder.

Once your list of blocked shortcodes is fully set up, you are ready to send your content for translation from WPML. The shortcodes that are included and enabled in your list will not be counted in the word count; hence, you will not be charged for those shortcodes.

The system will also guarantee that any shortcodes that appear in the original text will be unchanged in the translation.

NOTE: Shortcodes must be set up in ICanLocalize before sending the content for translation from WPML. The system detects shortcodes in the text when the content is sent for translation. If the content is sent for translation and the list of “blocked shortcodes” is updated later, the content that was already sent will not be affected.

To learn more about how to exclude shortcodes, check this video tutorial:

Why small businesses should localize their websites

Businesses need a global presence to connect with customers all around the world. Nowadays, with the smart use of modern technologies, even small businesses can approach international customers with relative ease, if they employ the right expansion strategy.

The Internet made the world a much smaller place. At the same time, it revealed how different languages and cultures can constitute a barrier against a borderless digital world. However, globalization activities that promote multilingual communication and global-readiness of products and services aim to remove this barrier. As such, a significant part of business globalization takes place on the Web, and website localization is key.

Localization is the process of adapting a product or content to a specific locale or market, as defined by the Globalization and Localization Association, to present products and content that feel created specifically for a target audience, according to their language, culture, or location. Therefore, website localization is the process of modifying a website for a specific locale.1

Translation is only part of the localization process, but it is a fundamental one, because language barriers can exclude vast communities of potential customers.

English is not always enough

Sometimes companies choose to standardize brands and products for the global market, focusing on a general English language strategy. This choice can appear reasonable and cost effective, but research and business studies suggest that it might not be best suited for making an impression on the international market.

As such, building an international website in English is often not enough. Customers in non-Anglophone markets do not feel comfortable making decisions in a language that they do not master. This holds true for every other language: if visitors cannot read it, they will quickly leave the website and are unlikely to be interested in something they do not understand immediately.2

Welcome your customers

Content customization and translation stimulate client engagement and interaction, since customers would always prefer a website they feel at ease with.

Localization not only translates texts, but also adapts the contents to make them more familiar. As such, a translated website creates an instant connection with clients and inspires trust. The following are just a few of the elements that can be adapted when localizing a website to make foreign customers feel welcome:

  • product and service descriptions
  • measurement units
  • currencies
  • date formats
  • time zones
  • symbolic color codes

What if a company does not sell online

Small businesses might think that there is no need to localize if they do not have an e-commerce component. However, this is not true. A study by GE Capital Retail Bank reports that 81% of shoppers do online research before making purchase decisions. Moreover, joint research from Google, Ipsos Media CT, and Sterling Brands shows that 3 out of 4 people are more likely to visit local stores after finding them in search results.

Source: thinkwithgoogle.com

Even if the company does not sell products or services online, a translated website is still the best presentation, and it can boost sales in local retail stores by improving customers’ shopping experience.

Localization is an investment

Website localization is an important business decision, with many variables to consider and significant time and financial investments. Unfortunately, sometimes small businesses do not plan for it from the start, with hasty translations done as cheaply as possible. Consequently, the results are lacking; linguistic errors can turn potential customers away and harm the image of the business.

As websites are an integral part of any business strategy, it is important to calculate the investment in multilingualism because localization is the fastest way to approach international markets. For the localization of your website, rely on experienced translators for direct beneficial effects. This shows customers that the company values and wishes to get in touch with them. If you want customers to trust you and your products, you have to speak their language.

1. Yunker, John. (2002) Beyond Borders. Web Globalization Strategies. Indianapolis: New Riders Publishing.
2. Common Sense Advisory. (2014) “Can’t Read, Won’t Buy.”

Multilingual SEO websites with ICanLocalize and WPML

In this tutorial we show how to set up and translate your site’s SEO using ICanLocalize and WPML.

This post is referring to a tutorial published recently on wpml.org, we will focus here on how to send SEO related texts to ICanLocalize.

Translating your site and achieving good SEO, in all languages, can be simple. We’ll learn how to use ICanLocalize – our professional translation service, WPML – the WordPress Multilingual plugin together with Yoast SEO – a popular WordPress SEO plugin.

Enable ICanLocalize Translation Service

Connect and activate ICanLocalize translation service, this will allow us to send our SEO keywords and meta information to one of ICanLocalize professional translators.

This can be done following these 3 steps:

  1. Go to WPML->Translation Management and click the Translators tab
  2. Scroll down to Available Translation Services and activate the ICanLocalize service8736-icanlocalize
  3. Refresh and see ICanLocalize activated for your site8736-icanlocalize-2

You can read more about that in the Translating WPML sites with ICanLocalize tutorial.

Sending the WordPress Global SEO texts (SEO Titles and Metas) to ICanLocalize

Find the SEO strings in the Translation Basket and send them to be translated with ICanLocalize translation service, in the example below I am sending both strings coming from the ‘Homepage’ tab of ‘Titles & Metas – Yoast SEO’ setting, this is done in 3 quick steps:

Give the strings’ batch a name so they are nicely recognised (not mandatory but helps)
Chose a translator from the ones you have chosen in Translation Management → Translators (MercedesD in this example)
Click on the ‘Send all items for translation’


It’s more convenient to search and send all strings that you need to translate and that belong to the same batch (or topic) in one go – it’ll make it more organised for you when handling different translation jobs.

You’ll see a nice progress message telling you what should be done next too:


You can monitor and manage the status of your translation jobs sent to ICanLocalize in Translation Management → ‘Translation jobs’ tab


When the translation is finished you’ll see in the ‘Translation Jobs’ a message indicating that, and now these SEO Strings are translated and we can move on to translating other SEO strings


Sending the ‘Per Page’ Yoast SEO texts

For all the rest of the SEO strings and other content we have in a page we just need to send that page to ICanLocalize translation service to be translated.

Let’s translate that page to Spanish for example:

  1. Go to Translation Management
  2. In the ‘Translation Dashboard’ tab (default tab) you’ll see the list of pages that you can send for translation → choose the page you want to send for translation
  3. Choose the language you’d like to translate to – in our case Spanish
  4. Click the ‘Add to translation basket’ button8736-add-to-basket

Now go to the ‘Translation basket’ tab, and repeat the steps we used for sending those strings before:

  1. Give the page batch a name so they are nicely recognised (not mandatory but helps)
  2. Choose a translator from the ones you have chosen in Translation Management → Translators (sarah.Translator in this case)
  3. Click on the ‘Send all items for translation’8736-send-all-for-translation

Note that the translator gets attached to the page’s content also all the related SEO information, and as you can see the result all that content is translated as well


To conclude – if you already have a website, the process of adding SEO in more than one language is both very effective and easy using WPML and Yoast SEO
plugins together with ICanLocalize professional translation service.

Versions used:

  • WPML 3.3.3
  • Yoast SEO 3.0.6
  • WordPress 4.4