Doing SEO in Spain can have a positive impact on improving sales of your products or services. In today’s entry, we’ll discuss some useful tips that will help you tailor your SEO strategy to this Iberian Peninsula country.
Spain is one of the biggest European countries. To see how rapidly the number of Spanish Internet users has increased, it’s enough to compare data from 2000, when only 5.5 million Spaniards used the Internet, and 2010, when the number exceeded 30 million. Today, as many as 38 million Spanish people are active Internet users. SEO in Spain can make your company website more visible to local consumers who determine the demand for goods and services. So what to focus on when devising your business strategy?
Before you start doing SEO in Spain
1. Do Spaniards buy online?
This is what online activity of Spanish Internet users looked like during a typical week in 2016.
[caption id="attachment_10400" align="aligncenter" width="770"] Source: Statista[/caption]
When online, Spaniards most frequently check their emails, use search engines, and browse social media platforms. If you want to do SEO in Spain and increase sales of products and services on your offer, you’re probably wondering whether Spanish Internet users are willing to buy online. Obviously finding the answer to this question requires examining the market’s demand for specific goods. Studying the general attitude of local residents to online shopping also provides valuable, yet more general, information.
During the week, approximately 5% of Spanish Internet users decide to shop online (just to compare, in France it’s 6%, in Poland it’s 9% and in the UK it’s even 19% - source: Statista). To obtain more accurate data, it’s necessary to analyze how much a typical consumer spends on online purchases.
[caption id="attachment_31876" align="aligncenter" width="885"] E-commerce in 2015 - the average costs of online expenses per customer. Source: Statista Digital Market Outlook[/caption]
Buying online is becoming more and more popular each year. This type of shopping is particularly renowned in the USA or UK. Moreover, residents of countries like Japan, Germany, or Spain are also getting more eager to shop online. As you can see, even though Spaniards spend only 5% of their weekly time shopping online, they still purchase products that are worth more than those bought by German or Chinese Internet users.
2. Social media in Spain
If you aim at expanding your business and effectively entering the Spanish market, you shouldn’t disregard the importance of social media when performing SEO activities. Statistics analyzing the number of Internet users who visited social media platforms in January 2020 show that Spain is ranked higher than Germany, China, or Italy.
Spanish social media penetration in January 2020.
[caption id="attachment_31878" align="aligncenter" width="692"] source: Stats Monkey[/caption]
It shouldn’t be surprising anymore that social media users browse Facebook the most frequently. In Spain, as many as 90% of users prefer this platform. SEO in Spain should also revolve around Twitter, Pinterest, and Tumblr. However, the statistics above don’t take into account one very important platform.
[caption id="attachment_31880" align="aligncenter" width="657"] source: commons.wikipedia.org[/caption]
When entering the Spanish market, you shouldn’t forget about Tuenti which is a social media platform. It’s available in English, Castilian, Catalan, and Basque. Tuenti, called Spanish Facebook, allows you to create an account on condition that you’re at least 14 years old and you’ve received an invitation. Profile photos and other graphics from Tuenti aren’t displayed in the SERPs. Although this Spanish platform isn’t as popular as Russian VK, forgetting about it when devising your SEO strategy may be very harmful to your business (to learn more about social media in Russia, go to our previous entry: SEO in Russia - what to keep in mind?).
3. Search engines popular in Spain
From the SEO specialist’s perspective, any market analysis requires checking which search engines are the most popular in a given country. Similar to many other places in the world, Google enjoys the greatest popularity also in Spain. Bing and Yahoo are ranked on the subsequent positions.
Top 5 search engines in Spain (July 2015 - July 2016)
[caption id="attachment_31882" align="aligncenter" width="1756"] Source: https://gs.statcounter.com/search-engine-market-share/all/spain[/caption]
At this point, it’s also worth mentioning the Terra search engine which is based on Google's SERPs. It’s a notable facilitator that allows SEO specialists to focus on Google SEO and at the same time reach people who use the local search engine.
Doing SEO in Spain - useful tips
1. Language issues
To make sure that a website is displayed to people speaking a given language, it’s necessary to provide certain content elements that will help search engine robots identify your target group. When doing SEO in Spain, you need to take into account various varieties of language spoken in the country (we’ve discussed similar issues in our entry describing SEO in France).
Spaniards speak Castilian (this is the language that most people refer to when talking about "Spanish"), Catalan, Basque and Galician. Moreover, each region differs when it comes to its local identity and culture.
Exemplary differences between Castilian and Catalan:
It also needs to be borne in mind that there are various language differences not only in Spain itself but also in all Spanish-speaking countries. Having some experience on the Mexican market or cooperating with a native speaker from Mexico doesn’t guarantee being successful in Spain as these two language varieties differ so much that treating them equally could do a lot of harm. Apart from that, it’s also advisable to take into account all possible associations that may arise around your products or services. This will allow you to avoid unpleasant situations as those faced by Mazda Laputa. The name of the car refers to Gulliver's Travels by Jonathan Swift triggered negative connotations in the inhabitants of Spain and Chile.
2. Link building
If you're just starting to create your link database, consider taking advantage of features offered by the open DMOZ website directory. It’ll help you find websites thematically related to your product range.
One of the steps of browsing DMOZ (category: software).
[caption id="attachment_31886" align="aligncenter" width="750"] source: dmoz.org[/caption]
As far as local link databases are concerned, you can use linkadoo.es (free company directory).
Sample websites found with the use of linkadoo (category: diet and nutrition)
[caption id="attachment_9907" align="aligncenter" width="550"] source: linkadoo.es[/caption]
If you want to make your company even more visible to foreign customers, provide certain signals that will clearly determine your target group. Different varieties of Spanish are spoken by residents of numerous countries and SEO activities performed in Spain should revolve around strategies and steps that will increase your website visibility in this particular country.
Before creating any content, determine your target group and select the appropriate language spoken by Spaniards. Provide the .es domain name of your page and build a powerful link database comprising either .es websites or pages with texts written in Spanish.
SEO for Spanish websites - the takeaway
SEO is like any other field of life. A local business won’t let a foreign company become a serious competitor in the industry unless this company starts specializing in local trends, culture or language nuances. Getting to know these elements and taking them into consideration when planning international SEO services activities will certainly increase your chances of becoming successful in the Spanish market.
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