Government and large corporations routinely offer Spanish version of their online content. You may be wondering whether it is worth for small or medium businesses to have their websites translated, too. Consider the facts.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, there are over 40 million Hispanics in the United States (14% of the population), and this segment is projected to grow to one quarter of the US population within the next 40 years. In addition, the average age of the Hispanic community is lower than that of the general US population. Ignoring this group literally means placing your business on the wrong side of demographics.
While recent immigrant populations often have a limited purchasing power, the American experience has been that already with the second generation such disadvantages simply vanish. In fact, Hispanic spending is now fast approaching $1 trillion, and US Hispanics have more disposable income than any other minority.
These figures alone would persuade any business. And, in fact, online advertising spending for US Hispanics has been growing faster than for the general market, and is projected to continue to do so. Ignoring this trend means losing ground to competitors. But there are two more reasons that make website translation and Spanish SEO important especially for small and medium businesses:
- Small and medium businesses often receive their core revenues from a local or regional market. In these markets the fraction of Hispanics may be vastly larger than in the general population, or even completely dominant.
- The label 'Hispanic' belies the reality of different geographical origins, cultural traditions and linguistic differences. Small and medium businesses may want to target specific groups of US Hispanics. Only a professional website translation service specialized on this market is capable of addressing such nuances.
Although many bilingual customers reach websites only through English, the availability of a Spanish version of the same page adds visual interest. And it can influence customer decisions in several ways:
- Visiting the alternative language version, even just out of curiosity, will hold the customer on your site a little longer. Competition is only a click of the 'Back' button away, so anything delaying that action helps.
- The Spanish version might make an emotional connection that the English version might not be capable of, even for bilingual visitors. This deep connection is at the core of good advertising, and is pursued by every sound marketing strategy.
- The presence of a Spanish version signals solidarity with the US Hispanic community. Customers will pick the business that is more supportive of a group they closely identify with, when choosing between similar alternatives.
Finally, even if you choose to ignore all the above facts, there is one bottom-line consideration you cannot ignore: translating your website into another language doubles your presence on the web for a small fraction of its first-language development cost. All else being equal, the larger your presence the greater the odds of capturing the business of customers. It is hard to imagine a better return on investment than website translation.
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