Búsqueda en español, which means search in Spanish, is becoming an increasingly important topic in Search Engine Optimization. 35-45 million Americans speak Spanish as a primary language. Half of them self-report to speak English “very well.”
Spanish speaking Americans search in English and in Spanish, likely switching between the two depending upon what they search for. Although we have yet to read a reports on the subject, it wouldn’t be a surprise if they search for culture-specific things- like their ethnic grocery stores, holiday or church information, and concerts- in Spanish.
English is likely the language they would choose to use when looking to buy a new car, get local news, and access their local government’s resources.
Hoteles en Chicago
One a recent keyword search for our client, Carlton Inn Midway hotel in Chicago, we found these interesting results:
These are results within the United States. What this Google-provided information tells us is that just as many people are searching for Hoteles en Chicago, Hoteles Chicago, and Hotel en Chicago, as in their English versions, like Chicago hotels. Each of these keywords receives approximately 550,000 searches per month.
Interestingly while we were researching this topic a new client of ours, a Dialysis Center in Chicago for which we are now creating a new Internet presence, contacted us about a different topic. We shared the above keyword results with him, and he requested that we look into Spanish search in his industry. We will share with you this short and simple process.
Spanish Relevancy for your Business
Start at the online application Google Translate. Type in your main keyword, and set the tool to convert from English to Spanish. We chose to type in: Dialysis Center.
The translation is Centro de Diálisis. Then open up Google Adword’s Keyword Tool. And, type this keyword into the keyword box. Make sure the advanced settings are set to the U.S. and Spanish language, before you push the Search button.
Google kindly offers us similar keywords, so we know which ones to target with an SEO campaign. This is always helpful, but is especially so when we are dealing with a language that we don’t have fluency in. Here we can see the search traffic per equivalent keyword is 3600-9900 searches per month, or about 50,000 searches total per month of Spanish speakers in the U.S. looking for Dialysis Centers.
Dialysis Centers get less Spanish searches, than Chicago hotels, as a percent of total searches. Reasons for this discrepancy could include the number of Spanish speaking travelers in America that are more likely to search for hotels than dialysis centers, the lower average age of Spanish speakers vs English speakers, and thus their greater likelihood of being healthy, and, the propensity of Spanish speaking communities to follow the advice of their primary care physicians versus doing independent research on medical issues.
Given the infrequency of Dialysis patients looking for new Dialysis Centers- most patients tend to find the best one closest to their home and stick with it for years- that is a huge amount of search traffic. For this client, we would refine the search by focusing on Chicago Dialysis Center, and the Spanish equivalent Centro de Diálisis en Chicago. This would help us see the size of the Spanish search market, and would help us determine the potential ROI for developing a Spanish website or Spanish translation of the existing site. Another option would be simply adding the keywords to a small “Spanish-friendly” text box.
Final thought: if you want to begin to track your keywords, you can use the “download” button on the Google Adwords page. This will allow you to save an Excel file to your computer, and better plan your optimization efforts.
(We will include Spanish search in our State of Search for West Georgia report. Therefore, we will most likely blog about our research while in process. Check back, or subscribe to our RSS feed or email, to stay informed of the latest research findings).