Posted by: Manuel Delgado | March 12, 2009

Choosing a Hispanic URL

A question I often get is about what is the right URL for the Hispanic area of a website.

Some of the usual approaches are “BrandNameenEspanol.com,” BrandName-espanol.com” or even “espanol.brandname.com.” For our clients, however, we tend to use “brandname.com/espanol”

That last format seems to be emerging as the standard for Hispanic online content. We like it for two reasons: it’s easy to guess, and when users are looking for “brand name espanol” search engines generally pick those URLs.

There are a few additional considerations to keep in mind when choosing the URL for Hispanic web initiatives:


  1. Tactical URLs: Sometimes we use “tactical” URLs for specific campaigns, for example: PlanificaAhora.com for a pre-planning campaign created for Dignity Memorial. We generally link those tactical URLs to a landing page or a specific product or program page in the main website.
  2. Spanish names: If the brand is known by a different name among Spanish speakers, we also register that URL. For instance, the brand of one of our clients is “Imperial Sugar,” but when Spanish-speaking consumers refer to the brand, they talk about “Azúcar Imperial” – so while we use “ImperialSugar.com/espanol” for our marketing communications, we also registered “AzucarImperial.com” and pointed it to the Spanish-language home page.
  3. “Compromise” URLs: Sometimes corporations have very strict rules and regulations about vanity URLs. So, you may have to get creative and work around those. For our client Hewlett-Packard, for instance, the closest we could get was “hp.com/go/hispano

However, while URLs are important, a more critical aspect is to make it easy for consumers to find the Spanish-language content.

If a Hispanic consumer Googles the brand or arrives to the home page, it should take them literally seconds to find the link to the Spanish content. 

Web users are very impatient, and get frustrated easily. A frustrated customer quickly becomes somebody else’s customer.

The location that we recommend for the “ESPAÑOL” button or link is the top right corner of the home page. We also try to make it as prominent as possible, without compromising the home page design.

That may be difficult to achieve. Many times there are fierce battles for securing real estate in the Home page. But companies that are aware of the value of the market will reap the riches of that little “Español” link.

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