Hispanic URL Strategy
A URL is the most important and direct form of access to a given Website. When looking at the URLs of sites that target the Hispanic online market we find many approaches that can be grouped into four top-level Hispanic URL strategies:
Dedicated, branded Hispanic URL’s. A dedicated branded URL is a standalone URL that is used for a Hispanic Website that contains the brand of a given company or organization. Examples include, http://www.GobiernoUSA.gov, http://www.fordenespanol.com and http://www.miallstate.com.
Dedicated, unbranded Hispanic URL’s. A dedicated unbranded URL is a standalone URL that is used for a Hispanic Website that does not contain the brand of a given company or organization, so the user does not necessarily know who sponsors the site. A good example is http://www.colesterol.com
Hispanic Sub domains. With a sub domain URL strategy, a Hispanic online marketing program is hosted within a sub domain of a main Website. Examples include http://salud.nih.gov, http://espanol.officedepot.com and http://espanol.vzwshop.com.
Hispanic Subfolders. A Hispanic online marketing program hosted within a folder of a main Website is referred to a as a subfolder URL strategy. Examples include http://www.wellsfargo.com/spanish, http://www.southwest.com/vamonos and http://www.cdc.gov/spanish.
When considering a URL for your Hispanic online marketing program, we recommend a dedicated branded URL. This strategy will lend credibility, familiarity and provide a simple point of access to your website. There are, however, some cases where branded URLs are not appropriate—for example, when the main objective of a Website is not to build a brand but rather to support a particular program.
The benefits of a dedicated URL for a Hispanic website:
Hispanic Offline marketing. A dedicated URL is best suited for offline marketing purposes. Promoting a Website through print, television, radio, or grassroots methods is most effective with a dedicated URL, as it is much to remember and type. Many times a dedicated URL is used for offline marketing and redirects to a sub-domain or subfolder.
Signal of commitment to Hispanic online market. With a dedicated Hispanic URL, your company is sending a message to online Hispanics that they are as important as the general market and worthy of their own URL.
Improved Hispanic search engine optimization. Search engines tend to rank sites with dedicated URLs higher than sites that exist within subfolders or sub domains.
Ease of Tracking.By using a dedicated URL you can better track your Hispanic online initiatives. Services such as comScore Media Metrix and Nielsen/NetRatings tend to report on Websites that have dedicated URLs.
When developing a dedicated URL for your Hispanic site, it is important to take a couple of technical, language, and cultural implications into account. From a technical perspective, URLs do not support special characters or accents. This is the reason that we see “espanol” in their URLs of many Hispanic Websites instead of “español.” If your Hispanic online marketing program is in Spanish, it is advisable to use Spanish in your URL and not English. From a cultural perspective, make sure that your URL is ethnically and racially sensitive, and remember that “Hispanic” is a census term and not really appropriate in the URL of a Hispanic online marketing program.