The good news within this article is that you won't need to learn anything new about SEO. The techniques we use to perform basic search engine optimization
do not change across languages. However, translating an entire website into another language does require a lot more than just an English to Spanish dictionary.
With more than 37 million people speaking Spanish in the United States alone, it's hard to ignore the potential within such a rapidly growing market. If your business has not considered opening its reach across cultural demographics, perhaps it's time.
Reasons Why You Should Consider It
Adding content in Spanish is no trivial task, but the returns may be entirely worth the extra investment. As Latin America rapidly expands, experts estimate there will be 329.1 million internet users in Central and South America by the end of 2014. A user base that exceeds the entire population of the United States by 12 million people (U.S. Population 317 Million, 2014 consensus).
What's more, Latin America has also been shown to have the most loyal and engaged users on Social Networks with 94.1% of all internet users being on one or more networks. The major problem most marketers are missing in their SEO campaigns is that they're not providing engaging content for viewers residing in the Latin demographic.
The two primary reasons for having your content available in Spanish, are:
- You're opening property/location in a Spanish speaking country/region
- You're service/product could benefit from potentially reaching over 350 million Spanish speaking Internet users worldwide.
For most competitive entrepreneurs, reason number two speaks volumes. The problem is that many have attempted to optimize in Spanish without understanding the regions and key wording necessary to rank for terms searched in the Native language.
How To Avoid Common Mistakes
The basis for running any SEO campaign is determining how your business will appear in the search engines. What many companies have failed to realize is that using a conversion software to duplicate content will not suffice.
Translations and Dialects
Many English speakers have taken Spanish classes in school, where we learned the proper context and rarely spoke in the way natives communicate on a daily basis. Just like English, slang and informal variances in the Spanish language will not be easy to make parallel translations for the keywords you want to rank in.
As an example, think of the common differences in simple English nouns; many people who want to drink a Pepsi on the West Coast would refer to it as 'soda', while citizens of Nebraska would probably call it 'pop'. It's these little variations that will make all the difference when selecting keywords you want to rank for.
What's especially challenging is trying to throw a net over a continent (Latin America) with so many individual countries and cultures.
While extensive research as an individual is always a possibility, many SEO companies have begun to include Spanish specialists into their branches in order to effectively reach the most viewers with one keyword search.
For instance, if you're running a custom wedding cake shop and you had two different users (Argentinian, Peruvian) search for wedding cake in Spanish: one would read 'torta de bodas', while the other might say 'pastel de bodas'. Which one would you choose and why?
Often times we don't know, while a specialist on the other hand could construct a marketing plan based on your location, demographic statistics, and what keywords
are being seen most often that aren't overly competitive. If you're cake shop is right in the middle of a well known Argentinian immigrant community, 'pastel de boda' may be right for you. Catch the drift?
Spanglish is a beautiful term, and something very accurate when it comes to the depiction of searches performed in two languages. Let's say your primary consideration for consolidating your marketing strategy is to only target the Hispanic population of the West coast. Would it surprise you to know that Google receives high volumes of searches performed with keywords in two languages? 80% of all Spanish language searches performed on Google in the US are done in the English interface, suggesting a strong bilingual presence.
Things like: 'Scholarships locales en San Diego' (Local scholarships in San Diego), 'restaurants circa de la playa' (restaurants close to the beach); even simple things like 'Hispanic Radio online'
A great resource for testing your content is to use www.2lingual.com, which can simultaneously pair keywords in two different languages and find relevant web pages, powered by Google of course.
How To Get Started
While we strive to provide the best information on how to be a self-sufficient marketing guru, sometimes it can be even more beneficial knowing when to consult a Professional. Step one, determine how your business could infiltrate the Spanish market of consumers. Step two, get in touch with an agency specializing in Spanish SEO. Get quotes and ask to see case studies of proven success, you want results not promises.
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