Webcast Follow-up: Hispanic Market Q & A

With Hispanic Americans being the fastest growing demographic in the U.S. for years, it’s only logical that businesses (law firms included) are interested in this market. While the opportunity is ripe, many businesses fall prey to misconceptions about where Spanish-speaking consumers are located, and what it takes to attract them.

Our recent webcast, “Positioning Your Firm to Capture the Hispanic Market” addressed some of the opportunities and challenges firms face in this market. The webcast sparked a lot of conversations and questions from the audience. The most popular of which, I’ll address below.

Q. During the webcast, you suggested translating your existing website rather than creating a separate, Spanish-language site. Won’t search engines like Google punish you for having duplicate content?
A. While it is true that Google discourages and sometimes penalizes sites for publishing duplicate content, translations generally do not fall into this category of content. When it comes to duplicate content, Google is typically concerned with text that is copied and repeated verbatim on a site.

However, this does not mean that you should just copy your site pages into an online automatic translator. First of all, and most importantly, the quality of automatic translations is highly questionable and will almost surely result in a poor user experience. Additionally, using an automatic translator alone to generate site pages would go against Google’s Webmaster Guidelines – which advise against the use of auto-generated content.

Q. What is the typical traffic volume to a site like abogado.com?
A. Traffic to the Abogado directory is robust and continues to enjoy strong growth over time. However, it is important to note that traffic to the directory does vary over time and by practice area, as well.

Q. Have you heard of the volume of technology use varying between different cities?
A. My impression is that Hispanic Americans, as a whole, are generally a technologically and digitally savvy group. Geography may impact the degree of technology use in a variety of ways, but it is important to keep the big picture and trends in mind when it comes to online marketing directed to Hispanics. Attorneys evaluating online marketing to Hispanics should ask: 1) are Hispanics in my area engaging online?; and 2) if so, how do I make a connection with them?

And with respect to these questions, the big picture and trends are very positive. Research indicates that Hispanic Americans spend more time online than non-Hispanic Americans by a large margin. Out of 53.2 million U.S. Hispanics in the United States, 39.2 million of them are online. Further, 77% of the U.S. Hispanic population have a mobile phone and use that phone significantly more than the average non-Hispanic American. And finally, U.S. Hispanics are a very engaged online audience, with high percentages running searches (in one or both languages) to inform their purchasing decisions. It may be the case that Hispanics in a particular city may well be technologically “connected,” but just not be getting messaged or reached in effective ways, and that’s where Spanish language legal directories like Abogado.com and other lawyer marketing tools can step in.

Q. Our firm is already a Findlaw client. Is there an additional expense to be on the abogado.com directory?
A. Abogado.com directory listings and profiles are separate online advertising products and are priced separately, as well. If you’re interested in adding an Abogado listing to your marketing portfolio, please contact us.

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