A few days ago I read this excellent article about Hispanic assimilation by Jose Villa. Basically, his hypothesis is that as more Hispanics are born in the US, they are more likely to simply identify as American, rather than with their home country. Furthermore (he argues) that means that while you should still consider Hispanics when you are creating marketing campaigns, that in many situations it simply translating your marketing concept and calling it a day will not work. In this he is absolutely correct. However, this does not mean that you shouldn’t have a Spanish language website.
There is still a large Hispanic community that prefers to search/read/purchase in Spanish
Even if the assimilated Hispanics don’t read the Spanish language site, they appreciate the effort (and if you do it wrong, they will make fun of you). Seriously, I do this all the time. Usually I just make snarky comments to the people I work with, but friends and family members have been known to get emails from me with lists of terrible translations.
Best Buy translated their website with the plan to target Spanish speaking customer in the US. However, once they saw how much traffic they were getting from Latin America, they changed their strategy and started expanding to the region. Today they have 8 stores in Mexico , with plans for future expansion.
As long as you don’t sell beds or lawn furniture, shipping your products to Latin America has never been easier. There are several services that will ship products bought in the US to anywhere in Latin America (www.puntimio.com is a good example), or talk to your current shipping provider. International rates are getting cheaper all the time.
People who lived in the US are moving to Latin America in ever growing numbers. Some of them are people who emigrated to the US to work and then have gone home. Others are US expats who want to retire abroad. In fact, did you that the US News & World Report listed 11 Spanish dominant countries among their top 18 places to retire?
Hispanic Internet Users & Their Spanish Browsing Preference.So what is stopping you from translating your website? In case you hadn’t noticed, we have a standing offer to translate and optimize one page on your website for free. Any other roadblocks? What are you waiting for?
Zeph Snapp is the CEO and founder of Altura Interactive, a digital marketing agency focused on helping international companies reach Spanish speakers in the US and Latin America. His data driven, customer-centric approach has been trusted by brands like Expedia and Shopify. His work has been featured in top industry blogs like Moz, RavenTools and Outspoken Media.