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Dezember 12, 2019 |

How You Can Measure Translation ROI 

As more companies go global, good translation can help brands to increase their revenues. However, it’s not always easy to calculate the exact contribution of each translation and localization project to your revenue growth. Calculating translation ROI allows you to better evaluate the benefits of investing in translation services. 

At the same time, it can also highlight the differences between working with professional translators and opting for free translation software. Let’s take a closer look at how–and why–you should measure translation ROI. 

The Power of Professional Translation

The quality of translation services is vital for a brand’s overall success. 92% of people believe that global brands should respect the local culture, and language is one of the major elements that define it. 

Poor translations show that you don’t care enough about the deep meaning of words and sentences. You risk losing the opportunity of overcoming cultural barriers and establishing your brand as an authority in local markets.

Google Translate has become the go-to source for over 500 million people every day, and many companies might feel tempted to cut corners and use it for business and marketing translation. However, brands should be more aware of the fact that software alone can’t create a flawless translation. 

While apps can help you when traveling, they still lack the common sense of human translators. No matter how innovative software can be, it’s still impossible for it to understand the nuances of languages and translate accordingly. 

As a brand, you still need professional translators to build a local presence in markets that don’t speak your native language. Your language skills significantly influence the quality of your message, which, in turn, becomes the foundation of your growth. 

So, when trying to measure translation ROI, you should also be looking at how effectively you communicate with international collaborators and clients. It’s a different way of measuring success beyond traditional business goals and metrics. Translation also pays off with long-term business relationships in global markets.  

The Numbers that Matter for Measuring Translation ROI

Translation and localization projects impact your overall globalization strategy on multiple levels. Some of the KPIs that can help you to evaluate the actual impact are:

Market share. This metric is essential for measuring translation ROI, as it shows how many new potential customers you could reach with your campaigns. Generally, companies that use translation services are more likely to increase their market share than competitors that don’t value the power of speaking multiple languages.  

Traffic (by language and region). You can analyze how translated versions of your website perform compared to your original site in local markets. 

The conversion rate for each local market. Localized landing pages tend to generate more conversions, thanks to their ability to “speak” to locals in a language that they’re comfortable with. 

Local revenue vs the cost of translation and localization. It’s another crucial metric that can help you evaluate the return on your investment, as it illustrates explicitly how much money you make for every translation project. 

The number of new customers in each region. Not only does this metric help you analyze your results in a new market, but it can also determine whether continuing to expand to new markets can benefit your company in the long run. 

Depending on your industry and specific business goals, you can use more KPIs to measure translation ROI for every country, region, or language. What matters is that you evaluate all the elements and the implications of having your brand localized for multiple audiences. 

Going Beyond Numbers

When calculating translation ROI, you should not only consider the actual costs and direct revenues but also how the accuracy of your translations influences growth and business opportunities. 

Your market share, the number of new clients you have in local markets, and revenue are the pillars for calculating ROI accurately. But you shouldn’t ignore elements like customer satisfaction and brand awareness when measuring translation ROI. 

According to Common Sense Advisory research, the value of localization consists of more than revenues and website traffic. Elements like building awareness in target markets, increasing consideration of your brand, and enhancing customer care can have a significant role in determining a more accurate ROI for translation and localization projects. 

Translation services create more business opportunities, as they bring in new customers. In the long run, that means higher revenues and more satisfied clients. Unfortunately, these elements can be hard to measure, so you can only include them in qualitative analysis. 

The Costs of Poor Translations

When measuring translation ROI, you should also try to estimate the cost of inadequate translation as part of your analysis. That’s because few things can cost you more than a bad translation. 

Errors in translations cost a lot more than the money you spend on language services. Whether you need legal, business, or marketing translation, inaccurate content sends the wrong message to employees, clients, and sometimes local authorities. Before you know it, you will lose the trust of potential clients and can even end up in legal battles. 

Moreover, when you work with professional language service providers, you speed up your project, which means you improve your time to market. That’s a highly-effective strategy when you don’t have months to wait until your website or documentation is ready before you can sell in a new market. 

Any translation error can have consequences on your overall growth, and that could cost you significantly more than contracting professional translation services. While there’s no direct way to include the cost of poor translations in the formula for calculating translation ROI, it is something to keep in mind for all your global projects. 

Final Thoughts

Calculating translation ROI includes a series of numbers that allow you to track the right metrics and analyze brand performances in local markets. However, you can’t stop at KPIs. You should introduce a qualitative analysis of your outcome to have a more accurate image of the impact that localization has on your global growth. 

Elements like brand awareness, loyalty, customer support, and time to market are equally essential as market share and the number of new clients when measuring ROI.