Why Spanish SEO is important in digital world

Hollywood, famous artists, the United States and English are some of the things that probably come to mind when you think of the West, right? Well, this is only one side of Western culture, specifically the English-speaking side, but what about the other languages? Did you know that several languages are spoken in the American continent, the main one being Spanish?

Spanish is one of the most influential languages on Earth

Spanish is the official language in 18 countries in the American continent: Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, Uruguay and Venezuela. Most Spanish speakers are in America, but it is also spoken in Spain, a country in Europe, and Equatorial Guinea, a country in Africa.

570 million people speak Spanish and an estimated 470 million of these are native speakers. It’s the 2nd most widely-spoken native language in the world, second only to Mandarin Chinese.

Spanish is spoken all around the world with 15% of the world population[1] speaking Spanish as a first or second language. It is also an important language in countries such as Andorra, Belize, Gibraltar, the Philippines, the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic, the United States, and is compulsory learning in Trinidad and Tobago[2].

Although not an official language in the United States, an estimated 57.5 million Americans—over 13% of the total population—speak Spanish. That makes the US one of the top five Spanish-speaking territories in the world, alongside Mexico (121.6 million), Colombia (48.6 million), Spain (46 million) and Argentina (43.7 million).

By 2050, the Spanish-speaking population in the US is expected to grow to 132.8 million[3]. 30% of these will speak Spanish as a mother tongue. More than 290 million Internet users (8% of total users) speak Spanish. Despite this, only 5% of all web content is in Spanish[6].

Much of the online content that Spanish-speaking countries receive is in English, especially Latin countries due to the influence of North American countries like the United States and Canada. This is the case even with content coming from countries where English is not the official language, like China. And people always appreciate content created for their own market and in their own language.

Unlike Mandarin Chinese, which is the most spoken language in the world but spoken mainly in China and other Asian countries, Spanish is officially present in three different continents and 20 countries, each with different linguistic and cultural influences. Just like not all Asian countries are the same, not all Spanish-speaking countries share the same customs and influences, so entering this market should be done carefully.

How to do Spanish SEO and reach the Spanish-speaking market

The first thing you should do is analyze the market. If you have noticed more sales from Spanish-speaking countries or you think you can attract clients in this market, analyze and decide whether focusing on this market is the right choice.

Create a plan

Think about what will happen once the Spanish site is completed. What if someone actually contacts you through your foreign-country sites? Do you have distributors set up? Who is going to answer emails? Are you going to need a call center? You shouldn’t make a huge investment before you get started, but be ready, and especially consider the time zone differences between countries in Latin America and China.

Check your backlinks

Check what websites have links to your page and which ones come from Spanish-speaking countries. This will give you an idea of the market to focus on so you can act first.

Find out what your competitors are doing

You know your competitors, right? So all you have to do is check what they are doing in the Hispanic market. It’s not a question of copying their strategies but instead adapting them to the needs of your market.

Use tools

As well as backlinks to your site, check your analytics and analyze your conversions from the Hispanic market.

You can also use powerful tools like Similar Web or Alexa to identify where your traffic is coming from, the global position, the estimated time of visits, the time spent on the website, the bounce rate, where they come from and much more.

Use a human translation

Machine translation is a considered web spam by Google[4]. Not to mention that it is terrible for user experience and trust (trust is undervalued, especially when targeting potential customers in Latin America). Doing a human translation of the website is one of the easiest ways to improve organic traffic, as well as the conversion rate.

Use the right social media

When it comes to social media, Hispanics mostly use the same ones as other western countries except for WhatsApp (equivalent to WeChat). It is not widely used in the United States and a few other countries but it is incredibly popular across Latin America and much of the world.

What is most important when doing Spanish SEO and reaching the Hispanic market is to take the needs of the market into account and create a plan to satisfy both your needs and your capabilities. Also, you can always consult experts in Spanish SEO to help your business succeed and grow internationally.


[1], http://ec.europa.eu/public_opinion/archives/ebs/ebs_386_en.pdf
[2], http://cvc.cervantes.es/lengua/anuario/anuario_06-07/pdf/paises_41.pdf
[3], http://eldiae.es/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/espanol_lengua-viva_20151.pdf
[4], http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GyWx31GeQWY