Should Your Business Website Have a Spanish Version?

You already know that part of the equation in being successful in marketing your business is to know your target market. But have you targeted the Latino market yet? Although Hispanics currently only represent 16% of the U.S. population, The Nielsen Company just put out a report on The State of the Hispanic Consumer which highlights their surprising growth spurt and buying power.

“Hispanics are the cornerstone of future growth, – Nielsen”

The U.S. Hispanic population and its purchasing power are growing so rapidly that having a Spanish version of your site will better position your business to tap into this emerging market. Below I’ll cover why you should be targeting the Latino market and which industries would benefit from it.

Benefits of having a multi-lingual website in Spanish and English:

  • Enables Spanish-reliant and Spanish-preferred customers to find you on the Web
  • Delivers localized content that speaks specifically to this emerging market
  • Improves your SEO rankings on national and international search engines

They are growing.

From 2000-2011, Hispanics accounted for more than half of the U.S. population increase. Further, by 2050, they are expected to grow 167% compared to the rest of the population at 42 percent. In fact, over 60% of the Hispanic population is under the age of 35, and 75% are under the age of 45, a very fertile market that will continue to grow over the next 10 years.

Most seek out the Spanish language online.

In addition, over 50% of Hispanics typically speak Spanish to their family and friends, 90% want their children to be bi-lingual, and 37% of Hispanic adults who were raised to speak English as a child have learned to speak Spanish as an adult.

This indicates that unlike many immigrants who came to the U.S. and left their culture behind to blend in, Hispanics strive to maintain their culture.

Which industries will benefit?

According t0 IBISWorld, producer of Industry Research Reports, they identified seven (7) economic sectors who will benefit from the Latino demographic growth:

  • residential buying, food (grocery and restaurants)
    For example, given that the average age to purchase a home is between the age of 26 and 46 in the U.S., Latinos will play a large role in residential purchasing over the next ten years.
  • retail (especially clothing and electronics)
  • education (higher education and technical schools)
  • financial services
  • transportation (automotive and airline)
  • entertainment
  • media

In summary, depending on your industry will depend on whether or not you make this move to have a Spanish version of your website. But if your target market is even remotely hispanic or latino, then you definitely want to consider making this a priority in 2012.

To download the full report from Nielsen, click here.

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About Tracy Sestili

Tracy Sestili is CEO and Chief blogger at Social Strand Media. She is also the author of Taking Your Brand from the Bench to the Playing Field -- Social Media Fundamentals for Business.