¿Hablas español? Even if you don’t, wouldn’t it be fantastic if your corporate website did? Imagine your brand selling itself in flawless Spanish to the 150+ million Spanish speakers on the Internet.
Localization is the process of adapting a product or content to a specific locale or market. In addition to translation, the localization process involves: adapting graphics to target markets, modifying content to suit tastes and consumption habits, adapting design and layout to fit the translated text, converting local requirements such as currency and units of measure and so on. It is vital that websites feel “natural” to their users, so it is important not just translate the content but also perform localization and transcreation.
The Spanish-speaking population includes about 500 million people geographically spread across different continents, therefore, there are different cultures and ways of speaking. If you want to expand your business to the Spanish-speaking markets the first question that comes to mind is which version of Spanish should be used when localizing my site?
Follow these 5 easy tips to get started
Choose the right Spanish for your target
There are several kinds of Spanish. The Spanish from Spain is called Spanish or Castillian. But Spanish from Latin America is called also Spanish, sometimes Latin Spanish.
Latin Spanish is a mix of several Spanish variants such as Argentinian, Colombian, Chilean, Mexican and more. Whereas the Castillian or European Spanish refers to the Spanish spoken in Spain. Mainly grammar and vocabulary variations affect written content, let’s see how!
Be careful with the use of pronouns which can be different according to the language used, formal or informal. In Spanish you have to choose among “Usted/ustedes”, “tú” or “vosotros/vosotras”. It is also important to decide the tone of voice you want to convey on your site when addressing your audience. If you have an upmarket restaurant, you should use a formal approach. On the contrary, if you have a less formal website related to technology or sport and your product is aimed at a younger audience, then you should probably choose a more informal style.
Besides, there are very common expressions and vocabulary in Spain or Bolivia which would be completely new or perhaps weird for a Spanish native from Peru or Chile. Note that sometimes what is offensive in a language variant can be perfectly acceptable in another one.
Neutral Spanish: Some business owners who have recently started the activity or don’t have enough budget to localize their content for each Spanish region usually requests the “neutral” Spanish. This type of Spanish is sometimes also referred to as “universal” or “standard” Spanish.
“Neutral Spanish” isn’t a language from a specific region. It is the Spanish used by most Spanish speakers avoiding local terms that may be confusing. Universal Spanish can effectively enable you to reach a broader audience. But if you have specific markets in mind for your products, the most effective thing you can do is using the “flavor” of each country on your website. Your audience will feel closer to your product and you’ll have higher chances of engaging them.
Launch your SEO strategy as soon as possible
Be greedy if you want when it comes to claiming territory for your brand in international search space and do so from the very outset. Your brand-new Spanish website will fare better if you optimize it for search engines as you’re having them translated. Here are a few strategic moves that will give you an immediate edge:
- Lock in a local domain: such as .ar for Argentina and .es for Spain. Search engines give preference to sites with local, top-level domain extensions, you must consider this as an investment in your future page rankings.
- Pick the right keywords for each locale: Instead of translating your English keywords you should rather find the most common search terms for your specific markets.
- Build local links: intensive link building gets results, to work with an in-country marketing partner who’s familiar with local content sites and can swiftly build a hefty collection of inbound links.
Polish your marketing copy through translation
Perhaps your best copy may lose its punch in Spanish? the antidote to weak marketing translations its transcreation! this is the technique of re-creating copy, whether a slogan, tagline, article, etc in another language using creative license and local flair, while still expressing the core idea of the original.
A professional translation agency specialized in marketing translation will add an extra quality-driven step to the marketing translation process, rewriting your Spanish copy so that it resonates in your local customer’s minds.
Make a mobile version
According to the Ditrendia report: Informe Móvil en España y en el Mundo 2019, Spain is the country in the world with more mobile users (relative to its population). If the Spanish population from Spain is your target then mobile is a must.
The mantra for you here is simplicity, focus, and usability. Keep it simple, focus on what your Spanish-speaking customers want, make the user interface friendly, and you’ll be off to a great start.
Select the right localization and translation Agency
The agency must rely on Spanish native specialists, working with native Spaniards you make sure that the quality of your website content meets your target audience expectations. They should be also marketing professionals trained in the current market situation and the latest marketing trends in order to establish the appropriate marketing strategy for your brand. They will be responsible for implementing the local SEO strategy, monitoring the rankings and adjusting your SEO to your competitors in Spain following popular trends on the Spanish market. This way you will deal just with one team, which makes it easier for you to control the situation than if you were dealing with multiple teams across different countries.
As mentioned, Spanish is the second most spoken language in the world and it is a very geographically diverse language so you need to be prepared.