Localization success is not just about linguistic accuracy, it’s about customer engagement and using localization to drive brand value and market wins.
This Crowdin Quick Take brings you 3 key metrics for localization success and answers the question, “How do you know if your languages are doing well?”
1. Linguistic Quality Metrics
Localization quality metrics measure the quality of translation output. Linguistic Quality Assurance (LQA) is essential in collecting objective feedback and monitoring translation quality, at a given point and over time.
Traditional LQA metrics mainly focused on technical accuracies such as terminology, mistranslations, omissions, and additions. TAUS’ DQF-MQM Error Typology took the best out of existing models, and expanded categories into fluency, style, and verity.
Top Tip: To make the most out of linguistic quality metrics in Crowdin, check out our blog on the data-driven approach to translation quality evaluation.
In addition to automated quality checks, it can be a good idea to involve your community and colleagues. As Ilenia Bellucci, Localization Manager at Trackunit, stresses out: “Always leverage internal multilingual resources! A lot of us are lucky enough to work in companies that employ people from all around the world, who most likely speak some of the languages you localize content in. Take advantage of that! It is crucial to involve as many colleagues as possible in reviewing translated content before it goes live.”
It’s also a great way to ensure that translations convey the intended meaning and sound as if they were initially created in the target language. “Your customer-facing colleagues will know exactly what kind of wording and messaging works with your end users, as they are in close contact with them. They can be the first ones to point out whether something will be misunderstood and are quick to suggest how to improve translations; they can be your very first multilingual UX test, if you will.”
2. User Experience Metrics
Linguistic accuracy, style, and fluency are important, but only if the language works for your customers.
Localization User Experience Metrics measure how localized content resonates with customers in different geographies and markets.
Build your own metrics on the localization user experience areas that matter most to you and the brand. Ask your customers how natural they feel the brand sounds like in their language and if they find the localization appropriate. What would they like to improve on?
Top Tip: A simple survey carried out a few times a year may make a world of difference to your understanding of how the markets experience localized content and help you make the right adjustments where needed.
This is exactly what Anna Iokhimovich, Associate Director of Localization at Paxful, has implemented, “I have two metrics: every six months or so we run a user survey on the website in every language, asking users, ‘How natural do you feel Paxful sounds in your language?’ That’s how we get an NPS score. The second question is about what the user would like to improve in the content. NPS scores give me a very clear indication of how different languages are really doing.”
3. Business Development Metrics
Localization doesn’t exist in a vacuum, it’s an essential component in a brand’s drive to enter and conquer new markets.
Business Development Metrics can be used by localization to support and add value to the company’s internationalization strategy.
How much does the company earn in each market? What languages or geographies are going up, or down? Should that be taken into account in your localization budget or strategy, or is it perhaps a trigger to investigate possible issues in localized content?
What is the value of a new client or geographical market, and does that opportunity justify the localization costs of adding a new language or variant?
Top Tip: A dynamic localization strategy closely linked to business development metrics allows you to scale localization up or down depending on real market needs and the company’s business priorities.
As Localization Manager at B2B companies like Ultimate Software and AssessFirst, Camila Pedraza did just that, “We built sales and customer retention metrics into localization. We fed back into the marketing loop because it’s the customers who drive localization, what languages get implemented, what needs to be reviewed and improved.”
“I talked to marketing and support, so they can tell us whenever we get a request from a new client. Then, it was important for us to capture what business client would represent, and how much we would lose out on if we didn’t localize into their language. Business metrics allow us to connect localization to the business as an enabler of ROI, but also to justify our own budget!”
So, How Do You Know If Your Languages Are Doing Well?
You know they are when you’re producing linguistically accurate content, when users in different languages and geographies identify with it, and when your localization choices and strategies support the company’s drive and direction.
By adopting these three key metrics into your own localization success model, you add to your understanding of the current value of your languages and localization processes, and unlock future opportunities to integrate localization deeper into the brand’s core activities.