The Who & Where of Localizing Digital Content

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There is a long list of reasons to localize a digital presence.

For starters, SDL research shows that 46 percent of millennial consumers are more likely to purchase from a company if information is presented in their preferred language. There are, of course, SEO benefits as well. "Near me" searches, for example, nearly doubled last year according to Google. Additionally, Moz's most recent Google Ranking Factors list indicates that (1) Google often places Google+ Local results above the "normal" organic SERPs and (2) "it's possible that Google fishes for location-data to determine whether or not a site is a big brand" because "real businesses have offices." 

While it should be clear that both customers and search engines prioritize local content, even localizing content for Google+ can be troublesome. Are multiple accounts needed for multi-location companies? Who manages those accounts? When it comes to a company's website, these questions become more complex. The answer to "What content is served to whom and when?" depends on how and where the content is managed. 

One of the main day-to-day issues that enterprises are facing when it comes to localizing their digital presences is poor control over what is managed centrally and what is in the hands of local marketers, according to Arjen van den Akker, product marketing director of Web content management at SDL

The new version of SDL Web was updated in large part to further enable businesses to quickly and easily build and deploy multi-brand, multilingual websites at a low total cost of ownership

"SDL Web enables organizations to strike the exact required balance for them between what is managed centrally and what is managed locally," said van den Akker. "This way organizations can ensure, for instance, central brand consistency, a proper mobile experience across all sites, and adherence to quality and compliance standards, while allowing local marketers to translate and tailor the message to their local audiences, support local campaigns on their Web properties and deal with nuances that are relevant for their markets. The new release provides even more features to support this now, such as the ability for local marketers to spin up new sites for local campaigns (without any technical assistance required), within constraints set by corporate marketing and IT."

How is this done? SDL Web's Context Brokering technology plays a large role. It, according to van den Akker, provides the ability to understand the many facets that make up an individual’s context, such as their location, language, browsing device, the characteristics of that device, recent browsing behavior, referrer sites, search terms used, and many more data points that describe what a person is doing and what task he/she is trying to accomplish at a particular moment in time.

Van den Akker continues, "When combined with 'static' data from a customer profile through SDL Web’s Audience Manager, this provides an even more detailed digital footprint of the visitor. SDL Web Context brokering then enables organizations to use all these data points (static and volatile) and have SDL Web match it to the right content in real-time, to deliver the best possible relevant experience online. In addition, these capabilities are also available as a microservice (webservice), which enables also for instance a mobile app to connect to SDL Web and consume these services and deliver the same hyper-relevant experience inside the mobile app."

With consumers expecting a consistent brand experience and one that is catered to their dialect, device and desires, enterprises must figure out how to release some content control to local marketers without sacrificing enterprise messaging and security. 

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