Baby Steps to a Hispanic-friendly Site
Joint research from Yahoo! Telemundo and Experian Simmons Research indicates that the Spanish-speaking Hispanic population in the United States is highly underserved when it comes to online information and shopping opportunities. Because most sites are presented only in English, this group consumes about two-thirds of online content in its non-native language—and notes that it would visit more and buy more products from online marketers who offered Spanish-language sites.
Obviously, a big opportunity exists for marketers who develop Spanish-language Web sites. But if you’re not ready to commit to a Spanish-language site just yet, you’re not entirely out of the running. One easy step marketers can take to appeal to the bilingual or English-dominant Hispanic community, says Laura Sonderup, director of Hispanidad, a Denver-based Hispanic marketing agency, is to make sure the photos on your site and in your e-mails are not all Anglo-centric; perhaps show a Latino family or an African-American businessperson. “Introduce some diversity into the look and feel of your efforts, so that they feel more inclusive of all consumers,” she advises.
Lee Vann, founder of Captura Group, an online marketing agency in San Diego that specialize in reaching Hispanic audiences, adds that marketers should reserve Spanish-language versions of their URLs that connect to their general market sites, even if their sites do not offer Spanish copy. Most online Hispanics are used to dealing with English-language sites, he reminds, and mainly are interested in finding the best products and services available online. If they search on a Spanish term, see your URL on a space ad or TV commercial, or simply know your company name in Spanish, then this market still can find you online.