Measuring the Value of Digital Content – Three Expert Approaches

welocalize November 18, 2019

At LocWorld41 in Silicon Valley, we had the pleasure of hearing from three leading analytics experts about different approaches to developing key performance indicators for digital content:

  • Camila dos Ferraz, Analytics & Measurement Lead, Google
  • Andy Jacobson, UX Production & Research Senior Manager, Amazon Business
  • Ryan Webb, Analytics & Conversion Director, SearchStar, a Welocalize company

Each explained their methodology for demonstrating content value by discussing how to collect the right data to track and report on the effectiveness of digital content. Interestingly, each expert’s perspective was shaped based on their functional role. Camilla tracks audience behavior by using and comparing different sets of qualitative data available in Google Analytics. For Andy, the ultimate goal of collecting qualitative and quantitative data is to improve the user experience (UX). As a marketer specializing in digital media buying, Ryan uses data to optimize conversion.

Using Data to Track Audience Behavior

Data tell stories about people

For Camila, data can be seen in many dimensions. The power of data is to tell stories. That’s why it’s important to collect the correct data that reflect the relevance of the content for well-defined target audiences, visitors, and buyers throughout different touchpoints in their entire journey.

Analyzing data from the customer journey perspective allows for insights that help optimize each of those touchpoints. As an example, it’s well known that the majority of internet users would prefer to visit a website in their own language.

However, a correct translation is not enough if the content for each region is not localized with adjusted prices and currencies, product availability, or culturally relevant phrases. From a customer journey story, 67% of online shoppers abandon carts because a site doesn’t support local payment methods, or installments.

When leveraging insights from Google Analytics and Google Optimize, you can analyze customers’ behavior by checking conversion or bounce rates. In order to have a full picture, you should also examine the in-site experience, test colors, placement, or run A/B testing to get more insights regarding cultural responses. Segmenting audiences into different groups would also help to identify their preferences, and ultimately improve user experience (UX).

People on the move

Business models will dictate the best analytics set up to reflect the customer journey. For some businesses, it’s important to know from which location their users consume the digital data. In this case, for UX analysis, you can collect insights about users who are travelling by segmenting their geography using site tags of the available analytics metrics.

Because geo data is session-scoped, each session is associated with a respective IP location, and users will be represented by the most recent sync of their IP address. In order to find out if the same users access the website from different locations, run tests based on the sum of users by city, reflecting their most recent IP location within a few given date ranges.

Measuring the impact of localized content

When measuring how you should focus on the following three aspects:

  • Ensure stakeholders trust the reliability of data across sources by measuring what matters with clear customer value KPIs.
  • Understand the methodology by deriving insights from data and examining marketing spend in the context of the customer journey.
  • Use data to inform your localization decisions like identifying key prospects and customers to maximize content value and optimize resources.

Using data to improve UX

“The end goal of Web analytics should be understanding what customers really want”

For Andy, the main goal of analytics is understanding user preferences through usability testing and qualitative research. What is most important isn’t tactical, operational metrics but the impact of UX on delighting customers.

In order to better understand your customers, examine the following three dimensions:

1)     Web analytics: look at engagement, conversions, and bounce rates to understand what customers are doing.

2)     Customer satisfaction and voice of the customer: look at satisfaction scores and success metrics to understand what customers are feeling.

3)     Localization impact: take responsibility for KPIs in each locale to broaden and refine the view of customers.

Quantitative and qualitative data are both valuable. Quantitative will tell you what’s happening. Qualitative may help you understand why it’s happening. A balance of both can inform what action to take.

Pre-requisites include well-defined buyer personas, customer journeys, and maturity models. Gaining insights into the sub-conscious and conscious blockers your customer’s experience will help shape solutions to improve UX.

Tell stories with data

Using data to Optimize Conversion 

“If you don’t know where you’re going, you’ll end up somewhere else”

For Ryan, effective measurement is essential for business growth. However, before you begin measuring the impact of your content, you need to know what you’re trying to achieve and clarify your objectives.

In this sense, performance analytics of localized assets need to be preceded by examination of the purpose of the source text. In addition, in order to judge the real value of content and see a full picture of the localized content ROI, look at quality metrics from purely linguistic perspective, as well as value and impact metrics from marketing perspective.

A well-formed approach to analytics includes three key aspects:

  • Data analysis (qualitative research) of what’s happening on the website and what content is being digested.
  • Behavior analysis (quantitative research) to understand why content is performing or not.
  • Expert review to identify actions to take to optimize content ROI.

This approach was applied to Grant Thornton, the world’s 7th largest professional services firm with  content available across 90 countries. The challenge was to increase the engagement of website visitors across these different markets.

Read about how Grant Thornton applied analytics to guide how to improve the effectiveness of global content.

Why Performance Analytics

The ultimate goal of performance analytics is to improve lifetime value and impact of the content. Measurement tools are available and abundant. Key steps, however, need to be completed in order to enable us to turn the data into actionable insights.

If you have done the background work of defining content objectives, mapping the customer journey, balance qualitative and quantitative data, you’ve created a strong foundation for a data-driven content strategy.

Want to learn more about conversion optimization and content performance analytics? Speak with our expert.