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Competition now takes place in an increasingly globalized marketplace. In this context, translation and localization enable businesses to expand into new markets, improve customer satisfaction, and drive revenue growth. But how do you know if your translation and localization project was worth it? That’s where key performance indicators (KPIs) help.
Far from being corporate jargon, KPIs are essential tools that help businesses assess the effectiveness of their translation and localization strategies and align them with overarching business goals.
This is your practical guide to setting and tracking localization and translation KPIs. Let’s get started.
The significance of KPIs
Think of localization as a bridge that connects your content to audiences worldwide. But to ensure that this bridge leads to meaningful interactions and positive business outcomes, you need to align your localization strategy with your overall business goals.
Whether you aim to grow your customer base globally, increase website traffic, or boost visitor conversions, keeping a close eye on localization KPIs can help you stay on the right path. For example, it can highlight the areas that are performing well and pinpoint the ones that need a bit more attention.
Additionally, keeping tabs on translation KPIs can help you make data-backed decisions about resource allocation. Suppose you notice that a specific market is responding enthusiastically to your localized content. Directing more resources toward that market might be worth it. On the other hand, if another market is not showing the expected response, it might be wise to redirect those resources to an audience with more potential.
Seven key KPIs to monitor
Let’s explore seven of the most crucial translation KPIs you should monitor.
1. Translation and localization speed
Time is of the essence. The speed at which you translate and localize your content can significantly impact your results, especially when trying to enter new markets or respond to global events.
This KPI measures the time taken from the moment a piece of content is handed over for translation until it is fully localized and ready for use. It’s important to balance speed and quality, as rushing through translations can lead to mistakes.
2. Cost of translation and localization
Every business has a budget, and ensuring the expenses incurred in the translation and localization process do not exceed it is essential to achieving a positive return on investment (ROI).
This KPI involves monitoring the total costs, including the charges for translation services, and any additional expenses such as proofreading, formatting or testing. By tracking this KPI, you can flag areas where you can potentially reduce costs without compromising on quality.
3. Accuracy of translation and localization
Accuracy is paramount when it comes to translation and localization. A slight mistake can lead to misunderstandings or damage your brand’s reputation.
This KPI measures the quality and correctness of the translated content. It involves checking the translation for grammatical errors and mistranslations and ensuring the content is culturally appropriate and contextually accurate.
4. Post-project ROI
After completing the translation and localization project, assess your ROI.
This KPI measures the benefits gained in comparison to the costs incurred during the translation and localization process. It evaluates website traffic, visitor conversions, and customer satisfaction to determine your project’s success.
5. Customer satisfaction and experience
At the end of the day, the main goal is to satisfy your clients or end-users.
This KPI involves collecting feedback from the clients or end-users about the quality and effectiveness of the translated content. It can include surveys, feedback forms, or online reviews.
6. Website traffic
One of the main goals of translating and localizing content is to reach a global audience. This KPI measures the number of visitors to your localized website.
Increased website traffic indicates your localized content is attracting more visitors, while a decrease might suggest room for improvement in your localization strategy.
7. Visitor conversions
It’s great to have lots of visitors to your localized website, but are they taking the desired actions?
This KPI measures the conversion rate of visitors to customers or leads on the localized website. It involves tracking actions such as sign-ups, purchases, or downloads.
Setting and keeping track of translation KPIs
So, you’re now well-versed with the key localization KPIs you need to keep an eye on. The next step? Setting those KPIs and watching them closely.
First, develop measurable and achievable KPIs.
Here’s a handy guide on how to do just that:
- Clarity on objectives. First things first, be crystal clear about your business goals. Is your aim to ramp up website traffic, skyrocket visitor conversions, or perhaps elevate customer satisfaction? Your KPIs need to be in sync with your business goals.
- Specificity is essential. Avoid vagueness. Swap an ambiguous KPI like “enhance translation quality” for something more concrete like “reduce translation errors by 10%.”
- Quantifiability. It’s vital to ensure your KPIs are quantifiable. For instance, instead of a KPI like “boost customer contentment,” try a quantifiable one like “attain a customer satisfaction score of 4.5 out of 5.”
- Timeliness. Assign a clear timeline to your KPIs. For instance, “amplify website traffic by 20% in the upcoming quarter.”
- Attainability. While it’s great to challenge yourself, your KPIs should be attainable. Setting KPIs that are a stretch too far can lead to demoralization and a sense of defeat among your team.
Once your KPIs are set, keep tabs on them. Here are some tools and tactics for monitoring translation KPIs:
- Website analytics tools. Tools like Google Analytics are excellent for monitoring KPIs related to website traffic and visitor conversions. You can track metrics like the number of visitors, bounce rate, and conversion rate on your localized website.
- Gathering customer feedback. Gather feedback from your clients or end-users to monitor customer satisfaction. Experiment with surveys, feedback forms, remote interviews, focus groups, or review sites to gather valuable insights.
- Calculating ROI. To figure out the post-project ROI, compare the benefits achieved (e.g., increased website traffic, visitor conversions, etc.) with the costs incurred during the translation and localization process.
Optimize your translation and localization efforts
Measuring your KPIs is crucial for your big-picture, long-term business growth. By setting realistic and measurable KPIs and monitoring them proactively, you can identify areas for improvement and ensure alignment with your objectives.
Ready to optimize your translation and localization efforts? Contact us today, and let’s work together to reach, attract, and engage new audiences.