What if I told you there was a way to tap into over half a million people in the state of Florida, and over 45 million nationwide, simply by making some changes to your Web site? It is true! If you are like most businesses, you are largely overlooking the Hispanic market. Once you know more about the market and how easy the changes are, you will see why you should consider adding some Espańol to your site.
While you may think your main audience does not include the Hispanic market, you will have to consider the demographics. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, there are over 45.5 million Hispanics living in the United States. The largest part of this group, 64 percent, have descended from Mexico, followed by 9 percent descending from Puerto Rico and another 3.1 percent from Cuba. Furthermore, the State of Florida joins 15 other states in the Union that have at least half a million Hispanic residents.
With plenty of people to tap into, throughout the state, the next thing to consider is the how many are speaking Spanish. This is an impressive factor when it comes to whether or not you should consider targeting this segment of the market. There are 34 million residents in the country that speaks Spanish at home, which accounts for 78 percent of Hispanics. If you are not offering some bilingual information on your site, you are essentially turning away 12 percent of the population.
Benefits for Businesses
Your business can stand to benefit in a big way from tapping into the Hispanic market. Even in a sagging economy, this segment of the population has strong buying power. In fact, the U.S. Department of State reports that this is the one area that more businesses are starting to take notice into consideration.
Hispanics have more disposable personal income than any other minority group in the country, and in 2007 that amounted to $863 billion, which was a 300 percent increase over what it was in 1990. While Hispanics were experiencing such vast growth, non-Hispanics saw only a 125 percent increase during the same period.
If you are not welcoming this market to your business when they are shopping or researching online, they are most likely going to the site of some competitor who is.
There are several ways to offer bilingual information on your site. A few sites offer both English and Spanish versions on the same page, especially on the home page. This can be a little more confusing to the reader who sees two different languages, side by side on the page. The most popular option is to have a link in a prominent area on your site that says something like “en Espańol.” This link will take the visitor to a mirror site, which usually offers the same information, but in Spanish.
Here are a few things to keep in mind, if you do decide to add a Spanish section to your site:
- Have a professional do the translation for the Spanish pages. Straight translating of information will not usually work. If you do this, you will lose some of the meanings or may not realize that certain words or phrases are offensive.
- A professional may also need to make changes to the language code for the site, in order to ensure that it is set up correctly.
- On your site, prominently display the fact that you do offer the information in Spanish. The link should be easily seen when someone lands on the page, and it should appear on every page, just in case someone reaches your site through something other than your home page.
- If you do online advertising to attract traffic to your site, consider adding some Spanish ads in targeted locations to pull in that demographic to your site.
- Send a press release announcing the Spanish-language addition to your site to any local Hispanic news outlets to inform the public that this has been made available.
The Hispanic market is powerful now, and it is expected to grow even more. The government reports that there will be 132.8 million Hispanics by the year 2050. There is no better time than now to extend a hand to this important segment of the market.
Check out these sites to locate and navigate their Spanish section. The link can be found at the top of each home page:
Florida Public Utilities