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Living la Vida Loca! Top Tips for Online Success in the Spanish-speaking World

by Gemma Birch


With 153 million users, Spanish is the 3rd most used language online, trailing only English and Chinese. However, the variations of this language, along with the cultural diversity of those using it are vast, making the job of the search marketer all the more challenging.

Ani Lopez, a native Spaniard working as an SEO Manager at Cardinal Path in Canada, will be speaking on the topic of keyword research for Spanish speaking markets at the International Search Summit @ SMX West on February 27th in San Jose. Here Ani shares important insights and tips for marketers targeting a Spanish speaking audience anywhere in the world.

Does the Spanish language create any particular difficulties for search marketers?
Sure! All languages evolve over time, but some are more diverse than others. Spanish is one of these that, growing richer, make it more difficult to manage when targeting multiple markets.

Its distribution is pretty blurry and jumps across continents, cultures and media. For instance, Spanish is the official language in 21 countries and an unofficial but widely spoken language in many others: There is the same number of Hispanophones in the US as the population of Spain and Spanish  is the 3rd most used language online (153M users) after English and Chinese.

With types of Spanish, like formal or colloquial, plus regional dialects and varieties, the idea of just using ‘standard Spanish’ is something that I don’t to buy into. Even grouping them – trying to make it simpler – leaves us with too many variants: Caribbean, South American Pacific, Central American, Highland American and more.


You can read the rest of the article here.

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Before you launch a Hispanic targeted SEM campaign, consider testing both Spanish and English to see which drives higher conversion rates.  You may discover that a campaign developed for each language delivers the best results.


Google suggests these tips for targeting Hispanics:


Buy keywords in English and Spanish because Latinos search in both languages. Comscore Media Metrix reports that 52% of online Hispanics are English-dominant, 21% are Spanish-dominant, and 27% are bilingual.  


Test different keywords in different DMAs.  Vocabulary can vary in Latin America so tailor your campaigns accordingly.


Send searchers of Spanish keywords to a Spanish-language landing page.  Give them what they're looking for to improve conversions.


Include accented and unaccented versions of your keywords.  Some search engines will deliver similar but different results if the word doesn't have an accent so make sure you appear in all searches.


Many companies have been slow to use SEM to increase their share of the U. S. Hispanic market.  The time and money you invest in developing and testing should give you a competitive advantage in a market that is now bigger than the entire population of Spain.


If you already have results, what has worked for you? 







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