How to Prove the Value of Localized Digital Content

welocalize October 30, 2019

You’re part of a successful organization. Your strategy includes an objective to expand into other markets and, with that in mind, you’re localizing digital content because you know it’s best practice for efficiency, consistency and scalability. 

But how do you take that knowledge one-step further and report on the performance of that content to demonstrate that it’s not only worth it, but worth doing more of. 

The traditional metrics of localized content typically focus on quality of output; linguistic, accuracy, words per hour, and turnaround time. 

In recent years that has changed. As localization teams work more closely with marketing teams, they’ve started to report more regularly on metrics related to immediate impact; reach, traffic and quality score. 

Do these metrics truly reflect the real value of the content being produced? If the CFO of your organization started asking questions about the return the organization gets from investment in transcreation, could you tell them? 

How to Prove the Value of Localized Digital Content 

In order to satisfy your CFO, you need to be able to report on metrics that reflect tangible ROI; revenue, leads and conversion rate. Ideally, you also need to be able to demonstrate that by localizing the content, you’ve achieved an uplift in those metrics. 

With that in mind, we’ve put together 5 essential ways that will help you better measure and report on the real value of localizing content within your organization. 

1) KPI Workshop 

Gather all your key stakeholders in a room and run a workshop to agree and prioritize the metrics to track and report on your website content. Make sure your analytics or marketing team are involved.  

Listing all the metrics is the easy bit. Agreeing priority metrics is hard. Be stubborn and insist on having a single primary KPI, with just a few secondary KPIs. For instance, a primary KPI is sales revenue, a secondary KPI is phone calls. Any other metrics are for context. 

2) Tracking Set-Up 

Invest time in ensuring your web analytics tool is set up to track your chosen KPIs. Work with your internal analytics team or use an external resource to do this properly and make sure you create appropriate goals. Unless you’re accurately tracking your KPIs, there is no point in reporting on them. 

3) Dashboards 

Once you’re reporting on the numbers, you need to ensure you can easily access actionable insight from them. An easy way to do this is to push the data into reporting dashboards that highlight key trends and allow stakeholders to quickly uncover insights (rather than spend time digging). Try using Google Data Studio, for instance. 

4) A/B Testing 

Most analytics data allow you to uncover trends that correlate. For instance, you invest time transcreating a piece of content and see that it appears to perform better compared to the previous version. This may be robust enough, but to truly know the cause of the impact of any changes to content you need to a/b test the variations alongside one another. 

5) Benchmarking 

If you can’t a/b test, then you need to compare past and current performance carefully. Make sure your previous performance benchmark is set at a level where you are confident no other significant variables (seasonality, changes to pages, new traffic campaigns) have had an impact. Try to set the new content live at a stable time when no other variables can be responsible for a shift in performance up or down (e.g. launching a new website!). 

Final Thoughts 

These steps are the most effective way that we uncover actionable insight about localized content. By combining quantitative research with qualitative research we can deliver significantly improved results to global brands. 

Author Ryan Webb, Conversion & Analytics Director at Adapt, a Welocalize company has worked in digital advertising for over 20 years. During that time he’s improved the advertising and website performance of more than 400 companies including Mars, Allianz, Panasonic, Bose, Legoland and Grant Thornton. Ryan’s team improve the measurement and effectiveness of clients’ websites through analytics and conversion optimization. They are currently immersing themselves in the world of localization and working with a variety of groups across Welocalize to improve international digital content performance.