How does the optimization of local keywords affect organic traffic?

The localization of an application is mainstream, but in terms of ASO, how could we increase the organic traffic through localization?

For the two main app stores, Apple Store and Google Play, the main localized country is the United States. However, there are many countries, languages and cultures all around the world which are beneficial to consider. As you can see in the image below, the top five store markets in the world, in terms of downloads, are China, United States, Japan, India and Brazil. The localization of keywords is now required for an application to enjoy traffic from this top countries.  This small addition will bring you a huge number of non-paid installs (organic traffic).

Source: Sensor Tower


The importance of optimizing local keywords

80% of countries from the top 10 downloads ranking are non-English speaking countries. Besides, according to Internet World Stats’s research results, only 25% of Internet users speak English. This means that if your app is only displayed in English, you are missing the remaining 75% of potential users.

If a company launches a product and only translates the original version into the local language, there is a lot being missed. Localizing is not just translating and forgetting that a country does not have your own customs. Users do not look for the same terms in Shanghai, Tokyo, Paris or Rio. As an example, when “Respawnables”  entered the Chinese market it was called “无敌士兵” (Invincible Soldier) a name which was thought to produce a large increase in installs.  We were positive that if you localize ‘Respawnables’ as a title in China, users would not have found the game.

But wait, there is more!  Do not forget about the creatives. You need to adapt the Call to Action (CTA) in each screenshot and also the image itself. You can include several cultural winks: typical clothes, classic characters, flags, expressions, etc. You will not only improve search results, in terms of downloads, but the conversion rate will also improve.

Once a developer identifies the target market, for example India, all focus should be on understanding the details and nuances that this country has. Given that India is a multilingual country, developers should support as many languages as possible. The more languages an app supports, the greater the confidence in the app and the more downloads will be achieved.

Recommended by the App Store Team

Taking search optimization as an example, some applications have improved organic traffic by 50% – 300% after the ASO keyword & art optimization. An uplift in organic traffic means that you are going to increase your position in the rankings. Thus, there is potential for receiving a featuring in the Apple Store if an app reviewer finds quality in your game/app.

Every local review team is constantly looking for the best apps for local users, so they are more likely to select apps in their native language. This will give you a great advantage if you have already optimized your keywords in the store. For example, “Dream Hospital” has been locally optimized and released globally which afterwards was recommended by the Apple Store to the “Our favorite game” section in multiple regions. It ranked 7th in Vietnam and Thailand. This action will bring more organic traffic to the game.

Other things we should pay attention to

Culturalization involves being attentive and having a good knowledge of your target audience. This will help to implement a complete localization strategy. For example, in some countries, Friday and the numbers 4, 7, 13 represent bad luck, so it’s mandatory to avoid using some awkward or offensive keywords related to the app. In some countries, rainbow colors represent homosexuality, but at the same time it is a thing of beauty and works well for children’s games.

Some products that are easily approved in some countries may violate the laws of other countries. For example, shooting games in Korea are not easily admitted. Chinese law is also restrictive in terms of gameplay and artwork. Therefore, it is always useful to know the taboos and laws of each location so as not to make mistakes in written or visual metadata.

On the other hand, do not just focus on those high-traffic, low-cost keywords. Try using long tail keywords. Don’t always expect users to find your app through the word “Facebook” or “Google” instead of “Social network free” or “Browser app”.


In summary, to make it clear when you face a keyword localization you should pay attention to all the elements in the store (icons, titles, subtitles, CTAs, screenshots, etc.). In addition, it is a must to consider the culture of the target audience. Every mobile game and app is special and users have their own tastes and preferences.

At Lab Cave we can help you to optimize and get more organic traffic to your application based on our extensive experience. You will be prepared for more featurings, improve your conversion rate, and be supported by a great team which has enjoyed many successes in the marketplace.

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