There are many good reasons why it’s a good time to start a Spanish SEO campaign for your business.  It’s no surprise that Hispanics are the fastest growing population in the United States. Internet use among Latinos is increasing each year and the Spanish Language is one of the fastest growing languages on the internet.   Hispanics in The United States are using the internet at a rate three times faster than the national average spending more time online searching for products and services. Long gone are the days when Hispanics used the print yellow pages to seek local information.  They are now going online to find local businesses through local search sites such as Google places, yahoo local and online yellow pages and making a lot of their purchases online. The Internet has indeed become an effective way to reach Hispanics.  Companies are paying close attention to this trend and we are seeing a greater increase in businesses implementing internet marketing campaigns to target Hispanic consumers.  Having an online presence in English only is fine, but you’re leaving out a very large group and missing out on this important consumer segment.

Having said all this, businesses should optimize their website in Spanish and have tactics to reach Hispanics in the U.S and the Spanish speaking population in Latin America.

Here are some SEO strategies to think about when reaching the online Hispanic market:

1. Get your website translated into Spanish.  Be sure to use a human translator.   Google translate is great for translating simple short messages or informal email but should not be used when translating your website.  I have found websites that were translated by machines and it doesn’t read naturally or covey the correct meaning.  Or like in the case below using the word ‘avaliación’ which doesn’t exist in the Spanish language.  It’s easy to tell by a Spanish speaker the two sentences were translated by a machine plus the syntax is incorrect.

Your Spanish website doesn’t need to look different, have a different design or content nor have less features or information.   The most important aspect is to get the     translation right!

Why will your business be at a competitive advantage by having a website in Spanish?  Hispanics will be more inclined to make a purchase and more loyal to companies    that have websites in Spanish.

Having a Spanish version of your website can generate excellent results but it will be wise to first study your market and analyze whether your product or service has a potential to reach Hispanic consumers.  If your business is already well established, having your website version in Spanish will expand your client base.  Make sure you have the capability to offer customer support  in that language.  Once your Spanish website is up and running, it’s a good idea to submit your site to local directories that cater to the Hispanic community.

2.   Social media:  Facebook and twitter have become very popular among Hispanics.  Latinos love to engage in Facebook and Twitter. Businesses should promote their brand and include messages that reach a larger audience including Hispanics.  I am not in favor of simply translating advertisements to Spanish and promoting it on social media, but simply creating content which appeals to a vast audience and that is relevant to Hispanics.  Keeping content in English that you can promote while appealing to a broader audience is the way to go.

Latinos are more receptive to online advertising especially those that speak Spanish as their first language. Google and Facebook advertising campaigns work very well when targeting Hispanic consumers.  Not only are they more likely to click an online ad but are also more predisposed to make a purchase. This can increase your website traffic, bring sales and increase brand awareness.  Businesses that cater to Hispanics have more success with online advertisement than any other demographic.  This is definitely something to think about if your company is targeting Hispanic consumers.

3. Spanish Keyword Research:  Identify Spanish keywords that best fit your business.  Once the Spanish keywords have been determined focus on those keywords when link building. There are many tools that can help you when doing keyword research, however it’s a little more tricky when researching for Spanish Keywords.  Each country can have different ways of referring to the same thing.   The Adwords Keyword Tool is useful for Spanish keyword analysis.

4.  Link Building:  Once your site has been translated into Spanish it’s time to build links to that site to improve search rankings and increase the visibility of the Spanish web pages. Writing press releases in Spanish and promoting them to press release site are useful ways  to build backlinks.  Promote your site by submitting your business to Spanish directories, Spanish bookmark sites and guest blogging  sites that reach the Hispanic demographic.    Building quality links to your Spanish site is one of the best ways to improve search rankings.  If your Spanish website isn’t showing up in the first  page of Google, your customers won’t be able to find you.

5.  Local search:  Hispanics search for services and products locally. Creating local pages for your service or product and submitting to local sites that cater to the Hispanic community is a great way to improve rankings and for customers to find you.  One of the most used local search sites for Hispanics to search for local businesses is Ya Sabe.   Ya has more than 14 million business already listed.  Signing up for Google places is another way for customers to find you.  You can add pictures and extras about your business such as address, phone number and brands you sell. Like in the example below, Versailles Restaurant was found when searching for a Cuban Restaurant in Miami. The Restaurant has images, a map, phone number, and website info.  This has great implications for this restaurant in terms of generating phone calls, foot traffic and overall brand visibility.

6. Join Hispanic Associations and Chamber of Commerce that caters to the Hispanic population. This is an excellent way to bring in leads and improve your search rankings. Online Chamber of Commerce has good page authority so it will be well worth it to pay the membership fee.  The Orange County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and the San Antonio Hispanic Chamber of Commerce are examples of sites to join.  When joining an online Chamber of Commerce you can submit your website link and add keyword rich anchor texts which will benefit your search rankings.