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5 International SEO Tips You Can Steal – ISEO

SEO can get a little confusing.  After all, there’s SEO, local SEO, International SEO and on and off-page SEO – do you know the difference? Well don’t worry, this article will give you a snapshot of the basics of International SEO (ISEO) and help you leverage it to better generate traffic, leads and drive sales.

If you are ready to tackle more than one country on your sales efforts then it’s time to consider developing a strong International SEO strategy and execution.

5 international SEO tips you can steal by Target Latino

5 international SEO tips you can steal by Target Latino – Original Photography Courtesy Ryan McGuire

Assessing your international SEO current status

Begin by assessing the level of effort needed as you may already be driving organic traffic from the countries you are intending to sell to. Many companies decide to start their sales efforts to Latin American countries when they notice an increase in traffic and sales requests from them. Others begin with globalization as a goal as they want to capture their share of international traffic and sales.

Check your traffic analytics   

First, take a look at your international traffic and find out where it’s coming from and their language.

Google analytics can provide you with a wealth of information. You can identify the language and the geographic location of your website visitors by accessing the Language and Geo reports under Audience.

While you are in Google Analytics, you might as well check for traffic volume by country and under Acquisition by type of traffic:  referral, organic search, direct and social. We can safely assume that you are not running any search engine marketing (SEM) or Pay-Per-Click (PPC) campaigns yet, but if you are, then add this to your international SEO assessment as well.

Here you can see the estimated traffic from a website which receives the majority of its traffic from Mexico, Argentina, Spain and the United States:

How to assess International SEO traffic guide. Don't miss out! - Alexa rankings for Spanish Website

International SEO traffic assessment – Alexa rankings for Spanish Website

(Source: Alexa Report and rankings)

This website that is very well positioned in the countries listed, but we still need to figure out if these the countries we want to do business with, what the current traffic volume is to the website and, above all, what is their online market size.

Discover the Market’s Search Size

The next step in this assessment is the analysis of the potential search market. That is, how many people are searching for these products or services in average every month.

Keyword research

You can use Google AdWords and segment by country and language to see how many  searches your products and services are getting each month:

Average number of monthly searches for Zapatos Nike in Mexico - 5 International SEO Tips

Average number of monthly searches for Zapatos Nike in Mexico

Most people would translate “Nike Shoes” as “zapatos Nike” and  assume the size of this market is too small in Mexico as there’s only 1,600 average monthly searches for the branded term “zapatos Nike.”

Google Translate for Nike Shoes to Spanish brings us only the most common translation

Google Translate for Nike Shoes to Spanish brings us only the most common translation

This would be a huge mistake for those attempting to gauge the size of the Mexican market for these shoes, as the appropriate main keyword to search for in Mexico is “tenis Nike,” a term that has an average of 74,000 searches per month. And this is just the tip of the 900K monthly searches for sports apparel in Mexico.

Needless to say, International SEO planning and execution demands an understanding of language and culture coupled with literary flair for increased engagement and technical knowledge for SEO implementation.

International SEO planning and execution demands an understanding of language and culture

International SEO planning and execution demands an understanding of language and culture

Knowing the size of the total market will help you estimate your current market share of the online search market for your particular product or service.

Don't miss: What is inbound marketing and why should you care?

International SEO: 5 Tips to Get you Started

Ok. You liked what you saw and you are ready to begin planning for International SEO. There’s several factors to consider before you dive right into the everyday SEO activities.

1Country or Language Targeting?

This is a defining factor for your international SEO or ISEO implementation. It’s best to think through it now and now wait until you have to re-engineer your whole site.

When you deal with a multilingual (or even with one additional language with country nuances) there’s the question of developing a strategy around a language or a country.

Both strategies have advantages and disadvantages.

Targeting by Language

On the pro side, the overall cost of implementation is lower because you can have local hosting, no country specific top level domains (ccTLD’s,) and a significantly lower expense in language SEO and content developers.

The disadvantages to targeting by language are somehow related. First, for search engine optimization, ranking becomes more difficult  – not impossible – as Local SEO has taught us that search algorithms are generally built around geographical proximities to the searcher, and at a global scale this is no different. Second, as we saw on the Nike Shoes example above, dialects and local language usage and preferences need to be taken into consideration to be able to rank even on countries that share the same language.

Targeting by Country

The advantages to targeting by country for International SEO begin with the biggest disadvantage for targeting by language. Search engine optimization can be implemented to its fullest simply by following Google’s recommendations, and with in-country hosting coupled with ccTLDs it becomes easier to rank better than a lower number of in-country competitor’s. This also allow us to perform better keyword targeting and keyword alignment, provide local signals to search engines and increase the trust factor amongst our visitors (although this last factor needs to be further evaluated in Latin America as people may trust a non-localized TLD best.)

Of course, if properly implemented, you can leverage off your ranking success from country-specific International SEO solid execution to grow other countries much faster.

This sounds too good to be true, right? Well, here’s the cons. If you are not careful enough on its implementation, you may end up duplicating content. And if you work on SEO, you know of the impact of duplicate content when it comes down to Google or any other search engine. For those of you who would like to learn more, I recommend this Moz article on Duplicate Content.

We will expand on the use of language targeting and country targeting on a future article on hreflang implementation.

The other disadvantage of country targeting for International SEO is the cost. Not only will you eventually need hosting local to the countries and several ccTLD’s, but the maintenance of several websites and development of SEO optimized content for each country/language.

There are many more factors to take into account when deciding on one versus the other, but the ones mentioned above, are of paramount importance.

If you are not extremely serious about going global, you may cut corners by targeting by language.

“Targeting by country is true localization, competition is reduced, and crucial trust is gained. Yeah, it will cost you a lot more in the short term, but in the long term you may just win a market that thinks your brand is homegrown.” – by Michael Bonfils at Search Engine Watch

The truth is, the more targeted you become, the better you can address the needs and cultural singularities of your audience.

2Developing your URL structure

Now, that you have made a decision between country targeting or language targeting, it’s time to define your website’s url structure.
Country targeting

Businesses who choose to go with a country specific URL structure should ideally have their top-level domain (TLD) specific to their country (Country Code Top Level Domains or ccTLD).

For example:

www.casarcasar.com.mx for the Mexico online property, and;

www.casarcasar.com.br for their Brazilian online property.

These can be implemented on 100% separate sites and hosting servers or, less ideally, in sub-folders or sub-domains where the ccTLDs then point to.

Language targeting

There are also three choices here and their order of preference is the exact same, although you can definitely get away with organizing in sub-folders for language targeting. As a matter of fact, even a WordPress multi-site is a group of sub-folders or sub-domains – usually depending on your hosting WordPress installation settings – that you can use for language targeting.

Here’s another one of our clients that was implemented with language targeting on WordPress and different TLDs: redshoemovement.com hosts the English version of the site, and;

redshoemovement.es hosts the content in Spanish for the U.S. and Latin America.

And here is the Apple website, that uses the apple.com domain with sub directories for various countries and regions in a mix of country and language targeting:

http://www.apple.com/mx/

http://www.apple.com/br/

http://www.apple.com/la/ (LA for Latin America, includes Argentina, Paraguay, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic and others)

This allows them to roll out certain products by country, language and region. Notice how the iWatch is available in Mexico but not the rest of Latin America.

Apple Latin America website language region targeting and Mexico country targeting example

Apple Latin America website language region targeting and Mexico country targeting example

3Use of the rel=”alternate” hreflang=”x” annotations

It’s very important to let Google know that there are pages that correspond to each other – meaning, they have the same content – but they are localized for a different language and/or country. You don’t want Google to see you as duplicating content willy nilly. We will expand on the use of hreflang on a future post.

4Localization Signals to Consider

Both local SEO marketers and global SEO marketers should care about localization. Understanding local culture, colloquialisms, and use of language are key when developing optimized content for these locally or internationally targeted websites.

Of paramount consideration then, are the different signals you can provide with in-country addresses, currency, international phone numbers, etc. You may also setup Google Webmasters to geolocate in your target countries (beware, you can only set one country at a time) and dedicate efforts to in-country link earning – emphasis on earning. 😉

Here are the results of a strong International SEO strategy and execution with language targeting – with a twist – for Latin America.

SEM Rush organic traffic from top 20 organic search results for bodasnovias.com

SEM Rush organic traffic from top 20 organic search results for bodasnovias.com

SemRush report for http://bodasnovias.com showing organic traffic from top 20 organic search results from 2014 to April 2015

5Other Things to Consider for international SEO

As a brand or a business owner the focus is on running the business, not spending months mastering SEO. As a result, many businesses tend to outsource their SEO efforts to digital agencies who may not always be the best option.

When focusing on optimizing for ISEO, some brands will select Language Service Provides (LSPs) that will sometimes offer ISEO services.

The ideal combination for International SEO is a digital agency with an understanding of culture that specializes in linguistics.

This is because:

It will have a number of linguists based on your ‘target locations’. They will understand your business and know how to deliver your message to generate the best impact locally.

Most digital agencies wouldn’t be able to spot these translation subtleties, because they don’t have the staff to do it. LSPs have linguists and be able to turn out highly engaging pieces of content but lack the technical expertise SEO demands nowadays.

An agency that specializes in both, has linguists who specialize in SEO and know which words are more commonly used in their respective country. They can help you find keyword niches that you’d otherwise never have known about. This type of SEO agency will also be better equipped to help you “earn” natural backlinks to your websites and assist you with International SEO strategy development and implementation.

I hope this has given you a deeper insight into International SEO and when your business should use it. If you have any questions, feel free to contact us today for more information.

Read more about our International SEO services.
6 essential Pinterest SEO tips to develop natural backlinks to your site
Quote of the Day -Never dim anyone else s light so that you can shine

Quote of the Day -Never dim anyone else s light so that you can shine

Next Quote? funny inspirational quotes on every post!

First Latino Pope Francis I: History in the making

Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Argentina was elected pope today, becoming the first pontiff from Latin America and taking the name Pope Francis.

The white smoke, accompanied by the pealing of bells to eliminate any confusion, billowed from a flue on the roof of the Sistine Chapel, prompting the huge gathered in the square to erupt in applause and cheers.

Pope Francis I - Papa Francisco PrimeroPope Francis becomes the first pope to hail from outside of Europe. He is also the first Hispanic Pope and the first Latin American Pope as well as the first Argentinean Pope. Latin America is one of the biggest bastions of Catholicism in the world but more bets were being placed on the Cardinal from Brazil.

Pope Francis I (Papa Francisco Primero) appeared on the balcony of St. Peter’s Basilica after the pronouncement ‘Habemus Papam’ – “We have a pope.”  He spoke in Latin, Italian and in Spanish.

This pope is the 266th successor Pope to the Catholic churches original apostle St. Peter.  White smoke appeared at 7.:05 p.m. local Vatican time indicating 115 cardinals had been made after five rounds of cloistered voting.

Argentina’s President Cristina Fernandez called his thinking harkened back to “medieval times and the Inquisition.”

Personally, what resonated with me the most was when he said: “Let’s pray for the whole world because it is a great brotherhood.”

Pope Francis

Pope Francis

quotes motivation hope

quotes motivation hope

Next Quote? funny inspirational quotes on every post! | Support of Comprehensive Immigration Reform: ASPIRA Applauds Verizon for Courageous Stand

5 International SEO Tips You Can Steal – ISEO

SEO can get a little confusing.  After all, there’s SEO, local SEO, International SEO and on and off-page SEO – do you know the difference? Well don’t worry, this article will give you a snapshot of the basics of International SEO (ISEO) and help you leverage it to better generate traffic, leads and drive sales.

If you are ready to tackle more than one country on your sales efforts then it’s time to consider developing a strong International SEO strategy and execution.

5 international SEO tips you can steal by Target Latino

5 international SEO tips you can steal by Target Latino – Original Photography Courtesy Ryan McGuire

Assessing your international SEO current status

Begin by assessing the level of effort needed as you may already be driving organic traffic from the countries you are intending to sell to. Many companies decide to start their sales efforts to Latin American countries when they notice an increase in traffic and sales requests from them. Others begin with globalization as a goal as they want to capture their share of international traffic and sales.

Check your traffic analytics   

First, take a look at your international traffic and find out where it’s coming from and their language.

Google analytics can provide you with a wealth of information. You can identify the language and the geographic location of your website visitors by accessing the Language and Geo reports under Audience.

While you are in Google Analytics, you might as well check for traffic volume by country and under Acquisition by type of traffic:  referral, organic search, direct and social. We can safely assume that you are not running any search engine marketing (SEM) or Pay-Per-Click (PPC) campaigns yet, but if you are, then add this to your international SEO assessment as well.

Here you can see the estimated traffic from a website which receives the majority of its traffic from Mexico, Argentina, Spain and the United States:

How to assess International SEO traffic guide. Don't miss out! - Alexa rankings for Spanish Website

International SEO traffic assessment – Alexa rankings for Spanish Website

(Source: Alexa Report and rankings)

This website that is very well positioned in the countries listed, but we still need to figure out if these the countries we want to do business with, what the current traffic volume is to the website and, above all, what is their online market size.

Discover the Market’s Search Size

The next step in this assessment is the analysis of the potential search market. That is, how many people are searching for these products or services in average every month.

Keyword research

You can use Google AdWords and segment by country and language to see how many  searches your products and services are getting each month:

Average number of monthly searches for Zapatos Nike in Mexico - 5 International SEO Tips

Average number of monthly searches for Zapatos Nike in Mexico

Most people would translate “Nike Shoes” as “zapatos Nike” and  assume the size of this market is too small in Mexico as there’s only 1,600 average monthly searches for the branded term “zapatos Nike.”

Google Translate for Nike Shoes to Spanish brings us only the most common translation

Google Translate for Nike Shoes to Spanish brings us only the most common translation

This would be a huge mistake for those attempting to gauge the size of the Mexican market for these shoes, as the appropriate main keyword to search for in Mexico is “tenis Nike,” a term that has an average of 74,000 searches per month. And this is just the tip of the 900K monthly searches for sports apparel in Mexico.

Needless to say, International SEO planning and execution demands an understanding of language and culture coupled with literary flair for increased engagement and technical knowledge for SEO implementation.

International SEO planning and execution demands an understanding of language and culture

International SEO planning and execution demands an understanding of language and culture

Knowing the size of the total market will help you estimate your current market share of the online search market for your particular product or service.

Don't miss: What is inbound marketing and why should you care?

International SEO: 5 Tips to Get you Started

Ok. You liked what you saw and you are ready to begin planning for International SEO. There’s several factors to consider before you dive right into the everyday SEO activities.

1Country or Language Targeting?

This is a defining factor for your international SEO or ISEO implementation. It’s best to think through it now and now wait until you have to re-engineer your whole site.

When you deal with a multilingual (or even with one additional language with country nuances) there’s the question of developing a strategy around a language or a country.

Both strategies have advantages and disadvantages.

Targeting by Language

On the pro side, the overall cost of implementation is lower because you can have local hosting, no country specific top level domains (ccTLD’s,) and a significantly lower expense in language SEO and content developers.

The disadvantages to targeting by language are somehow related. First, for search engine optimization, ranking becomes more difficult  – not impossible – as Local SEO has taught us that search algorithms are generally built around geographical proximities to the searcher, and at a global scale this is no different. Second, as we saw on the Nike Shoes example above, dialects and local language usage and preferences need to be taken into consideration to be able to rank even on countries that share the same language.

Targeting by Country

The advantages to targeting by country for International SEO begin with the biggest disadvantage for targeting by language. Search engine optimization can be implemented to its fullest simply by following Google’s recommendations, and with in-country hosting coupled with ccTLDs it becomes easier to rank better than a lower number of in-country competitor’s. This also allow us to perform better keyword targeting and keyword alignment, provide local signals to search engines and increase the trust factor amongst our visitors (although this last factor needs to be further evaluated in Latin America as people may trust a non-localized TLD best.)

Of course, if properly implemented, you can leverage off your ranking success from country-specific International SEO solid execution to grow other countries much faster.

This sounds too good to be true, right? Well, here’s the cons. If you are not careful enough on its implementation, you may end up duplicating content. And if you work on SEO, you know of the impact of duplicate content when it comes down to Google or any other search engine. For those of you who would like to learn more, I recommend this Moz article on Duplicate Content.

We will expand on the use of language targeting and country targeting on a future article on hreflang implementation.

The other disadvantage of country targeting for International SEO is the cost. Not only will you eventually need hosting local to the countries and several ccTLD’s, but the maintenance of several websites and development of SEO optimized content for each country/language.

There are many more factors to take into account when deciding on one versus the other, but the ones mentioned above, are of paramount importance.

If you are not extremely serious about going global, you may cut corners by targeting by language.

“Targeting by country is true localization, competition is reduced, and crucial trust is gained. Yeah, it will cost you a lot more in the short term, but in the long term you may just win a market that thinks your brand is homegrown.” – by Michael Bonfils at Search Engine Watch

The truth is, the more targeted you become, the better you can address the needs and cultural singularities of your audience.

2Developing your URL structure

Now, that you have made a decision between country targeting or language targeting, it’s time to define your website’s url structure.
Country targeting

Businesses who choose to go with a country specific URL structure should ideally have their top-level domain (TLD) specific to their country (Country Code Top Level Domains or ccTLD).

For example:

www.casarcasar.com.mx for the Mexico online property, and;

www.casarcasar.com.br for their Brazilian online property.

These can be implemented on 100% separate sites and hosting servers or, less ideally, in sub-folders or sub-domains where the ccTLDs then point to.

Language targeting

There are also three choices here and their order of preference is the exact same, although you can definitely get away with organizing in sub-folders for language targeting. As a matter of fact, even a WordPress multi-site is a group of sub-folders or sub-domains – usually depending on your hosting WordPress installation settings – that you can use for language targeting.

Here’s another one of our clients that was implemented with language targeting on WordPress and different TLDs: redshoemovement.com hosts the English version of the site, and;

redshoemovement.es hosts the content in Spanish for the U.S. and Latin America.

And here is the Apple website, that uses the apple.com domain with sub directories for various countries and regions in a mix of country and language targeting:

http://www.apple.com/mx/

http://www.apple.com/br/

http://www.apple.com/la/ (LA for Latin America, includes Argentina, Paraguay, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic and others)

This allows them to roll out certain products by country, language and region. Notice how the iWatch is available in Mexico but not the rest of Latin America.

Apple Latin America website language region targeting and Mexico country targeting example

Apple Latin America website language region targeting and Mexico country targeting example

3Use of the rel=”alternate” hreflang=”x” annotations

It’s very important to let Google know that there are pages that correspond to each other – meaning, they have the same content – but they are localized for a different language and/or country. You don’t want Google to see you as duplicating content willy nilly. We will expand on the use of hreflang on a future post.

4Localization Signals to Consider

Both local SEO marketers and global SEO marketers should care about localization. Understanding local culture, colloquialisms, and use of language are key when developing optimized content for these locally or internationally targeted websites.

Of paramount consideration then, are the different signals you can provide with in-country addresses, currency, international phone numbers, etc. You may also setup Google Webmasters to geolocate in your target countries (beware, you can only set one country at a time) and dedicate efforts to in-country link earning – emphasis on earning. 😉

Here are the results of a strong International SEO strategy and execution with language targeting – with a twist – for Latin America.

SEM Rush organic traffic from top 20 organic search results for bodasnovias.com

SEM Rush organic traffic from top 20 organic search results for bodasnovias.com

SemRush report for http://bodasnovias.com showing organic traffic from top 20 organic search results from 2014 to April 2015

5Other Things to Consider for international SEO

As a brand or a business owner the focus is on running the business, not spending months mastering SEO. As a result, many businesses tend to outsource their SEO efforts to digital agencies who may not always be the best option.

When focusing on optimizing for ISEO, some brands will select Language Service Provides (LSPs) that will sometimes offer ISEO services.

The ideal combination for International SEO is a digital agency with an understanding of culture that specializes in linguistics.

This is because:

It will have a number of linguists based on your ‘target locations’. They will understand your business and know how to deliver your message to generate the best impact locally.

Most digital agencies wouldn’t be able to spot these translation subtleties, because they don’t have the staff to do it. LSPs have linguists and be able to turn out highly engaging pieces of content but lack the technical expertise SEO demands nowadays.

An agency that specializes in both, has linguists who specialize in SEO and know which words are more commonly used in their respective country. They can help you find keyword niches that you’d otherwise never have known about. This type of SEO agency will also be better equipped to help you “earn” natural backlinks to your websites and assist you with International SEO strategy development and implementation.

I hope this has given you a deeper insight into International SEO and when your business should use it. If you have any questions, feel free to contact us today for more information.

Read more about our International SEO services.
6 essential Pinterest SEO tips to develop natural backlinks to your site
Quote of the Day -Never dim anyone else s light so that you can shine

Quote of the Day -Never dim anyone else s light so that you can shine

Next Quote? funny inspirational quotes on every post!

First Latino Pope Francis I: History in the making

Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Argentina was elected pope today, becoming the first pontiff from Latin America and taking the name Pope Francis.

The white smoke, accompanied by the pealing of bells to eliminate any confusion, billowed from a flue on the roof of the Sistine Chapel, prompting the huge gathered in the square to erupt in applause and cheers.

Pope Francis I - Papa Francisco PrimeroPope Francis becomes the first pope to hail from outside of Europe. He is also the first Hispanic Pope and the first Latin American Pope as well as the first Argentinean Pope. Latin America is one of the biggest bastions of Catholicism in the world but more bets were being placed on the Cardinal from Brazil.

Pope Francis I (Papa Francisco Primero) appeared on the balcony of St. Peter’s Basilica after the pronouncement ‘Habemus Papam’ – “We have a pope.”  He spoke in Latin, Italian and in Spanish.

This pope is the 266th successor Pope to the Catholic churches original apostle St. Peter.  White smoke appeared at 7.:05 p.m. local Vatican time indicating 115 cardinals had been made after five rounds of cloistered voting.

Argentina’s President Cristina Fernandez called his thinking harkened back to “medieval times and the Inquisition.”

Personally, what resonated with me the most was when he said: “Let’s pray for the whole world because it is a great brotherhood.”

Pope Francis

Pope Francis

quotes motivation hope

quotes motivation hope

Next Quote? funny inspirational quotes on every post! | Support of Comprehensive Immigration Reform: ASPIRA Applauds Verizon for Courageous Stand

Selling online from North America to Latin America

A grow­ing number of U.S. online retailers and consumer brand manufacturers are taking that challenge on by setting up shop and selling online in Latin America.

It wasn’t quite the same as graduating from the e-commerce school of hard knocks, but after six years of trial and error Tradercom USA Inc. has learned some valuable lessons about what works—and what doesn’t—in selling online in Latin America.

In 2006, Tradercom CEO Federico Torres set out to build an online retailing business in Latin America from a base in the U.S. To carve out a niche in Latin America’s growing business-to-consumer e-commerce market, which eMarketer estimates will grow about 110% from $29.70 billion in 2011 to $62.42 billion in 2016, Tradercom had ambitious plans to build a web store in multiple countries and offer steep discounts on well-known American products such as Fossil watches and Weber grills that are not always available through merchants in Latin America.

Latin America E-Commerce - Selling Online to Latin America

Latin America E-Commerce – Selling Online to Latin America

But selling online in a foreign country is never easy, especially in Latin America, a fast-growing and still-developing e-commerce arena where U.S. merchants face several substantial barriers to entry, including big tariffs and government red tape, sketchy local delivery options, and plenty of cultural differences. “There is a huge opportunity for U.S. web merchants such as us to develop a significant e-commerce business in Latin America, but there are significant challenges that we had to work our way through.” Torres says. “It took us a long time, lots of patience and a willingness to always try a new approach to build up a steady base of shoppers.”

Tradercom is one of a grow­ing number of U.S. online retailers and consumer brand manufacturers setting up shop and selling online in Latin America. The market already includes 25 U.S. companies ranked in the Top 300 Latin America, which in 2011 had combined web sales of $1.43 billion, up 32.4% from $1.08 billion in the prior year.

And more North American online retailers are seriously eyeing Latin America for a new interna­tional opportunity or expanding their existing base of operations. For example Apple Inc. (No. 11), which has been selling computer hardware online in Latin America for several years, in December 2011 launched an iTunes store with a catalog of 20 million song titles for Brazil and 15 other countries in Latin America.

Consumers in Latin America also are big fans of mobile commerce and social media, and looking to conve­niently shop online for the products they can’t find in local stores, says Kent Allen, principal and founder of The Research Trust, a San Francisco-based e-commerce and retailing industry research firm with clients in the U.S. and Latin America. “There’s only a handful of global e-commerce markets left where there are still lots of ground-floor opportunities to be the next category-killer web store, hot niche player or even the next Amazon, and that’s Latin America,” Allen says. “E-commerce in Brazil, Mexico and other parts of the region are still in an early growth stage and that’s attracting the attention of lots of U.S. merchants.”

Source: Internet Retailer

#wordsofwisdom

#wordsofwisdom

The meaning of gestures: body language in Brazil

Body language in Brazil

Body language in Brazil

Let’s cover Brazil now as our next country and explore their gestures and body language in Brazil a bit.

Body language in Brazil

  • When conversing, good eye contact is important. To not do so is considered impolite.
  • In a marketplace, if a vendor holds his hand out, fingers extended and flips the thumb back and forth it merely means, ‘There isn’t any left; I don’t have any more.’
  • A good, warm handshake is the traditional greeting in Brazil. However, the Brazilians show affection easily.
  • People in Brazil will also shake hands when arriving and departing. There may also be a touching of the forearm or elbow, and often a pat on the back.
  • If you are conducting business, be certain to bring a plentiful supply of business cards because these are always exchanged. Also, during business meetings expect to be served (often) small cups of very strong coffee.
  • Since this is more of a touching society, people stand close together when conversing or when standing in lines.
  • To add emphasis to a statement, a Brazilian may snap the fingers while whipping the hand down own and out.
  • To express appreciation, a Brazilian may appear to pinch his earlobe between thumb and forefinger. For example, if you’ve enjoyed a meal this gesture may be used. Among Brazilians, to dramatize it even further, they will reach behind the head and grasp the opposite earlobe.
  • You may think they are blowing you a kiss, but when Brazilians bring their hand towards their mouths and kiss the tips of their fingers, then expand the fingers in an outward motion, it merely means that – probably the meal – was delicious.
  • Body language in Brazil figa

    Body language in Brazil “figa”

    When carrying any article along the streets-a pair of shoes, a bottle, a box of candy-it is customary to have it wrapped in a bag or some paper.

  • There are many common friendly gestures in Brazil. One is the thumbs up gesture, which is also popular in America. In Brazil it is meant to mean “good” or “positive.”
  • When two people are close to each other, they will show it by rubbing two index fingers together.
  • Making a hand movement that traces an imaginary horizontal line right above the line of their eyes means that person is fed up or does not have any more patience.
  • Sometimes nonverbal communication can be very different than what is expected in other countries. One example is the “O.K.” symbol one can make with their hands. It is regarded as just meaning “O.K.” in the American culture. In Brazil however, this is seen as a very obscene gesture. It is equivalent to giving the middle finger in America. This is seen as one of the rudest gestures you can make in Brazil and should always be avoided.
  • Another obscene hand gesture is called the “corna” which historically means “your wife is cheating on you.” It is popular in Brazil and is often used when disagreeing with a football referee and it looks just like the “rock on” american gesture.
  • One gesture that is also used is one to say “screw you.” It s consists of making a fist with one hand and slapping it on top of the other hand once or twice. It is used commonly around Brazilian friends but can be rude if used any other time.
  • Same as in Argentina, a close friendship or an incipient relationship is indicated by rubbing the two index fingers together.
  • A very unique body language in Brazil is the “figa”, represented by inserting the thumb between the middle and index finger. This gesture is supposed to keep away pain, suffering and envy and it is an amulet that protects against the “evil-eye.”
  • The “dar uma banana” or “give a banana” gesture in Brazil is an extremely offensive and rude gesture and it consists of bending the right arm at the elbow with the hand as a fist while making a chopping movement with the left arm towards the right elbow as in a forearm jerk. This gesture is also used on other countries of Latin America, in France and Italy with different names, of course. It is the equivalent of giving someone the finger.

If you are interested in what makes Brazilians tick especially regarding engagement on Social Media Campaigns, I suggest you read this brilliant example of an Advertising campaign and Social Media success story with flawless  execution and outstanding social media results: The campaign “One Thousand Casmurros,” made for the biggest TV network in Brazil, Rede Globo.

Other Meaning of Body Language Articles:

 

Dig This Poem

Dig This Poem

Next Quote? funny inspirational quotes on every post!

Body language meaning in Colombia

Today we will discover the body language meaning in Colombia

  • Colombian women will often substitute the gesture of holding forearms for a handshake.
  • Men shake hands with direct eye contact.
  • Once a friendship has developed, greetings become warmer and a lot more hands on –  men will embrace and pat each other on the shoulder (known as an “abrazo”) and women kiss once on the right cheek.
  • If you are visiting on business and happen to tour a factory, it is polite to shake hands with those workers nearest you.
  • Etiquette and propriety are important that is why these Colombian girls sit up very straight! - Body language meaning in Colombia

    Etiquette and propriety are important that is why these Colombian girls sit up very straight! – Body language meaning in Colombia

    Etiquette and propriety are important in Colombia, therefore, avoid placing your feet on a table or other piece of furniture, and avoid yawning in public and eating on the streets.

  • Tapping the underside of the elbow with the fingers of the other hand suggests that someone is ‘stingy.’
  • To indicate that you have finished eating, place the knife and fork horizontally across the plate.
  • Hands should be kept visible when eating.
  • Resting elbows on the table is considered bad manners.
  • Women visitors should be especially sensitive about making any glance or gesture that might be considered flirtatious.
  • Colombians are termed as ‘indirect communicators’ – this means there is more information within body language and context rather than the words, i.e. if you ask someone to do something and they reply ‘I will have to see’, it would be up to you to read their body language and realize that they can not do it.
do your thing

do your thing

The meaning of gestures Puerto Rico

The meaning of gestures Puerto Rico

The meaning of gestures Puerto Rico

The next country and second on the series of understanding body language and Hispanic culture.

The meaning of gestures Puerto Rico

  • As in most Latin countries, people tend to stand close to one another in any social or even business setting. This relates to a different perspective on ‘personal space,’ with North Americans and many Europeans believing that people should stand about an arm’s length from one another. If you tend to move away from a Latin first, it could be considered as offensive or insulting.
  • Men tend to smile and stare at women, which is considered acceptable, but the reverse is not.
  • Puerto Ricans tend to interrupt each other frequently and are not upset when this occurs.
  • If someone wiggles their nose, it probably means he or she is saying ‘What’s going on here?’
  • You will hear restaurant patrons signal for waiters by making a ‘psssst’ sound.

We hope you enjoyed from the meaning of gestures Puerto Rico and feel free to send us a comment if you know more of these gestures that belong only to Puerto Rico. :)

confidence

confidence quote

Photo courtesy: Ballet Majestad Negra of Piñones at the city of Loíza, Puerto Rico

Females More Likely Than Males to Buy Online in Latin America

Consumers in Brazil and Argentina Most Likely to Make Purchases Online, Females More Likely Than Males to Buy Online in Latin America

comScore, Inc. released results from a study of the e-commerce landscape in Latin America. The study, which surveyed nearly 800 respondents, looked at e-commerce activity across Brazil, Mexico, Argentina, Chile, Colombia and Peru as well as online banking behaviors, mobile activity and Twitter usage. The study found that although the majority of visitors to e-commerce sites in Latin America make purchases online, retailers still face obstacles in converting many consumers to online shoppers due to concerns over transaction security, availability of payment options and the selection of goods available online. The results of the study were also presented to the Latin America E-Commerce Association event held in Bogota on December 1.

Consumers in Brazil and Argentina Most Likely to Make Purchases Online, Females More Likely Than Males to Buy Online in Latin America

Consumers in Brazil and Argentina Most Likely to Make Purchases Online, Females More Likely Than Males to Buy Online in Latin America

“Relative to other global regions, the e-commerce industry in Latin America is still in its infancy, but consumers are showing encouraging signs of adopting the channel,” said Alejandro Fosk, senior vice president of Latin America for comScore. “With 3 out of 5 Internet users in Latin America visiting retail sites each month, it is clear that consumers are interested in online shopping. In order to convert these browsers to buyers, retailers need to address consumers’ concerns about purchasing online in order to help the e-commerce industry develop to its full potential in this region.”

E-Commerce Site Visitors in Brazil Most Likely to Make Purchase

Among those who visited e-commerce sites in Latin America, 79 percent of males reported making an online purchase, while 88 percent of females reported doing so. Across the markets included in the survey, Brazil showed the highest percentage conversion of online e-commerce site visitors to purchasers with 94 percent of visitors in Brazil making an online purchase. Argentina followed at 89 percent, with 84 percent of e-commerce site visitors in Colombia doing so.

Question: Do you make purchase online, in addition to your offline purchases? (Of those that visit e-commerce websites)October and November 2010Source: comScore, Inc.
Percent E-commerce SiteVisitors that MadePurchases Online
Latin America by Gender
Males – Latin America 79%
Females – Latin America 88%
Country
Brazil 94%
Argentina 89%
Colombia 84%
Mexico 82%
Chile 71%
Peru 63%

Security Reasons the Main Concern for Prospective Online Shoppers

Of those that did not purchase online, security ranked as the main concern among prospective shoppers. Specifically, 68 percent of females listed security concerns as a reason why they do not make purchases online, with 48 percent of males reporting this as a reason. Preferring to shop in person rather than online was also a main deterrent to online shopping, with 38 percent of males and 32 percent of females reporting this as a reason. Consumers also reported that type of payment options offered hindered their adoption of online purchasing (35 percent of males, 32 percent of females) as well as shipping costs (30 percent of males, 42 percent of females).

Question: Why do you not make purchases online? (Of those respondents that did not make purchases online)October and November 2010Source: comScore, Inc.
Percent of Latin AmericanConsumers
Reason for Not Purchasing Online Males Females
Security reasons 48% 68%
Prefer shopping in person rather than online 38% 32%
The type of payment options offered 35% 32%
Shipping costs 30% 42%
Not as good of a selection online as offline 13% 5%

3 out of 4 Online Shoppers in Argentina Prefer to Make Purchases at Local Websites

An analysis of consumer preferences regarding purchasing at international versus local e-commerce websites revealed that consumers in Argentina have the strongest preference to shop at local websites with 3 out of 4 consumers preferring this option. More than half of consumers in Brazil and Colombia also preferred shopping at local websites, while slightly more than half of consumers in Mexico, Chile and Peru preferred international websites for online shopping.

Question: If given one option, would you prefer to shop on International or Local Websites? (Of those respondents that make purchases online)October and November 2010Source: comScore, Inc.
% of Consumers
LocalWebsites InternationalWebsites
Brazil 58% 42%
Mexico 49% 52%
Argentina 76% 24%
Chile 49% 51%
Colombia 55% 45%
Peru 48% 52%

Mr. Fosk added, “Across most markets, consumers show little preference for shopping at international versus local e-commerce Websites, revealing that this differentiation is of minor consideration in consumers’ online buying decisions. Both local and international retailers have the opportunity to penetrate the Latin America region.”

i have a feeling that my guardian angel

i have a feeling that my guardian angel

SOURCE comScore, Inc.

Papatel Launches Free Phone Service Nationwide to Hispanics

Patented Technology Represents First Non-Internet Based Free Phone Service

Papatel Launches Free Phone Service Nationwide for US Hispanics

Papatel Launches Free Phone Service Nationwide for US Hispanics

Papatel, a new long-distance service that allows customers to call anywhere across the globe for free, today announced that it has launched nationwide after experiencing exponential growth during its test phase. In less than one year, Papatel has garnered more than 80,000 customers who use the service to call loved ones back home at no cost. The service is easy-to-use and takes less than five minutes to join, by logging on to www.papatel.com or calling 1-(866) PAPATEL.

Enrique Baiz, Founder and President of Papatel, commented; “many of us have families abroad, and keeping in touch with them internationally can be very costly. Particularly in this difficult economic climate, Papatel makes it free and easy to keep in touch with loved ones.”

It is so easy. Users establish an account by simply providing basic information including the numbers they will be calling from to make their long-distance calls (whether it be from the cell phone or landline) and they can start using Papatel immediately, with no strings attached. The registration, which takes less than five-minutes, is strictly confidential and the information is never shared with any other entity.

The free service is made possible through an innovative model in which advertisers place ads at the beginning of the calls and after long segments of conversation. Every week, users can acquire 1,000 free points, which allows users to call loved ones in Argentina or Mexico and talk up to 1.5 hours for free. Each time customers listen to an advertisement, they earn points, which provides them with more free long-distance minutes. Consumers can also hear weather reports or their horoscopes if they choose to.

In addition, Papatel offers users Papatel+, which is the company’s prepaid service that provides long distance rates with absolutely no advertisements. Rates to call anywhere around the world start as low as $.01. And, unlike other prepaid phone services, the balance never expires, and there are no hidden fees.

“It is the best deal a user can get for free international calls every week with no strings attached, and our prepaid and pinless international program is truly the top long-distance service in the market today,” added Baiz. “We want potential customers to know Papatel is committed to our promise, that is to offer completely free long distance service always.”

Today, Papatel has nearly 10 patents for this innovative technology, making it the world’s only free long distance service that does not require internet use. For more information or to register for the service, visit www.papatel.com, or call (866) PAPATEL.

About Papatel

Papatel is the world’s first non-internet based free phone service. Based in Miami, FL, the company currently has over 80,000 users in its first year of operation, and is rapidly expanding nationwide. For more information, visit www.papatel.com.

SOURCE Papatel

Hispanic Immigrants’ Children Fall Behind Peers Early, Study Finds

A great example of a study (or its interpretation) that misleads readers. This is a problem that stems from poverty and parents with a low educational level. This is definitely not related to the parent’s immigration status. Children from Hispanic immigrants whose parents have a very high level of education do even better than their American counterpart. Feel free to comment.

Claudia Goffan

Here is the article:

The children of Hispanic immigrants tend to be born healthy and start life on an intellectual par with other American children, but by the age of 2 they begin to lag in linguistic and cognitive skills, a new study by researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, shows.

Hispanic Immigrants’ Children Fall Behind Peers Early, Study Finds

Hispanic Immigrants’ Children Fall Behind Peers Early, Study Finds

The study highlights a paradox that has bedeviled educators and Hispanic families for some time. By and large, mothers from Latin American countries take care of their health during their pregnancies and give birth to robust children, but those children fall behind their peers in mental development by the time they reach grade school, and the gap tends to widen as they get older.

The new Berkeley study suggests the shortfall may start even before the children enter preschool, supporting calls in Washington to spend more on programs that coach parents to stimulate their children with books, drills and games earlier in their lives.

“Our results show a very significant gap even at age 3,” said Bruce Fuller, one of the study’s authors and a professor of education at Berkeley. “If we don’t attack this disparity early on, these kids are headed quickly for a pretty dismal future in elementary school.”

Professor Fuller said blacks and poor whites also lagged behind the curve, suggesting that poverty remained a factor in predicting how well a young mind develops. But the drop-off in the cognitive scores of Hispanic toddlers, especially those from Mexican backgrounds, was steeper than for other groups and could not be explained by economic status alone, he said.

One possible explanation is that a high percentage of Mexican and Latin American immigrant mothers have less formal schooling than the average American mother, white or black, the study’s authors said. These mothers also tend to have more children than middle-class American families, which means the toddlers get less one-on-one attention from their parents.

“The reading activities, educational games and performing the ABCs for Grandma — so often witnessed in middle-class homes — are less consistently seen in poor Latino households,” Professor Fuller said.

The study is based on data collected on 8,114 infants born in 2001 and tracked through the first two years of life by the National Center for Education Statistics. The findings will be published this week in Maternal and Child Health Journal, and a companion report will appear this fall in the medical journal Pediatrics.

The analysis showed that at 9 to 15 months, Hispanic and white children performed equally on tests of basic cognitive skills, like understanding their mother’s speech and using words and gestures. But from 24 to 36 months, the Hispanic children fell about six months behind their white peers on measures like word comprehension, more complex speech and working with their mothers on simple tasks.

The study comes as the Obama administration has been pushing for more money to help prepare infants and toddlers for school. In September, the House passed an initiative that would channel $8 billion over eight years to states with plans to improve programs serving young children.

In addition, the economic stimulus package included $3 billion for Head Start preschools and for the Early Head Start program, which helps young parents stimulate their children’s mental development.

Eugene Garcia, an education professor at Arizona State University, said the Berkeley-led study confirmed findings by others that the children of Hispanic immigrants, for reasons that remain unclear, tend to fall behind white students by as much as a grade level by the third grade.

“It seems like what might be the most helpful with Latino kids is early intervention,” Dr. Garcia said.

Carmen Rodriguez, the director of the Columbia University Head Start in New York City, said there was a waiting list of parents, most of them Hispanic, who want to take Early Head Start classes with their children.

Dr. Rodriguez said the study’s findings might reflect a surge in interest in early childhood education on the part of middle-class Americans, rather than any deficiency in the immigrant homes.

“Any low-income toddler is disadvantaged if they don’t get this kind of stimulation,” she said.

Source: The New York Times – By James McKinley Jr.

Día de la Raza or Columbus Day?

Día de la Raza - Columbus Day

Día de la Raza – Columbus Day

What do you really know about Día de la Raza? Where was it first celebrated? Why Raza and Columbus Day? How do they celebrate in Spain? Read it and find out

The date of Columbus’ arrival in the Americas is celebrated in many countries in Latin America, although not in Brazil, (and in some Latino communities in the United States) as the Día de la Raza (“day of the race”), commemorating the first encounters of Europeans and Native Americans. The day was first celebrated in Argentina in 1917, Venezuela in 1921, Chile in 1922, and Mexico in 1928. The day was also celebrated under this title in Spain until 1957, when it was changed to the Día de la Hispanidad (“Hispanicity Day”), and in Venezuela until 2002, when it was changed to the Día de la Resistencia Indígena (Day of Indigenous Resistance) by President Hugo Chavez. Día de la Raza in many countries is seen as a counter to Columbus Day. It is used to resist the arrival of Europeans to the Americas and is used to celebrate the native races.

Día de la Raza in the U.S.

In the U.S. Día de la Raza has served as a time of mobilization for pan-ethnic Latino activists, particularly in the 1960s. Since then, La Raza has served as a periodic rallying cry for Hispanic activists. The first Hispanic March on Washington occurred on Columbus Day in 1996. The name has remained in the largest Hispanic social justice organization, the National Council of La Raza.

Thought of the Day

small minds

small minds