Today’s post continues where yesterday’s left off regarding the state of internet in Mexico, and further down what its advancement means for businesses and SEO. The difference in web use and access between urban and rural areas in the country is great, and closing this gap is important for internet’s growth. In cities with more than 15,000 people (where 71% of Mexican homes are) only 40% have a computer and 30% are online. In the almost 190,000 Mexican towns under 2,5000 people, only 6% of the homes have a computer and only 3% are online. Penetration isn’t terribly high in urban areas, and the drop-off to rural regions is significant. Reasons are infrastructure, the inability of many to afford computers, and the lack of education in the use of computers within some populations. The government has taken some actions already to make the technology more widely available and has set some goals to be reached by 2015:

  • 55% of both urban and suburban homes with at least 5 Mbps broadband access
  • Fixed and mobile broadband reaching at least 38 out of 100 inhabitants, with universal access by the end of the decade
  • All basic education schools, public health facilities and public offices connected to the Internet, with digital competence curriculum being developed
  • 70% of SMBs with over 20 employees having broadband access

Takeaway for Businesses and SEOs
As the internet in Mexico grows there will be more opportunity for everyone as end-users will have access to more information and drive more traffic pushing the web space forward.

  • Mexican businesses will be more competitive locally, regionally, and internationally as a result of more online activity and exposure at each level.
  • SEO companies that serve businesses with an online presence in Mexico will benefit as essentially there will be more requests for services that increase ranking on search engines and drive more traffic. Thus, they need to stay abreast of developments in the Mexican market and cater their international SEO services to the needs of these businesses. Included in this is the use of social media in the country, as more users come online, trends regarding platform preference and behavior tendencies will become apparent and should influence internet marketing strategy in the region.
  • Local SEO is enormous and I expect that to be one of the first elements of the developing Mexican market to catch fire and take off from its current degree of utilization. More businesses will be online and more will want to optimize for local. This will be aided by the expected increase in mobile smartphone penetration and searching on the devices similar to the mobile trends in other markets. SEO companies can leverage local directory placement and additionally employ geo-targeting practices.

For more information on internet in Mexico, how SEO can improve your Mexican online presence, or how marketers can negotiate the challenges associated with expanding their online presence in a new market like Mexico, reach out to me directly at rbuddenhagen@webimax.com.

SEO in MexicoI haven’t spent that much time discussing the internet and the potential for internet marketing and SEO in Latin American -yet. It has been an area that just hasn’t received great attention. This is largely due to the fact that internet penetration in Latin America has been slow and the market for building an optimized online presence is not fully developed. Thus is the nature of developing markets, they hold great potential, but each country’s situation is different – it depends on whether they are three years, six years, or more from entering a space where they have the infrastructure, support, business presence, and computing public to push for all the benefits the internet brings. A developed internet landscape not only brings a market for internet advertising and SEO, but it also brings marked social and economic benefits in terms of international development and progress. A McKinsey study interestingly addresses this very point.

With this context, we turn our attention to a leader in internet in Latin America – Mexico. The country has seen significant growth in the internet during the last six years and the government is making it a priority to continue to advance in this realm. From a business perspective, the Mexican market, although being the third most connected in Latin America, is largely underdeveloped in terms of marketing. But as the internet advances in the country, the growth will spell great opportunity for many companies who serve the Mexican market to utilize SEO and optimize their web properties and essentially be ahead of the curve.

The Mexican Market
The Mexican government has unveiled its National Digital Agenda affirming the goals of the government as it outlines its ICT strategy for the years to come. In broad terms the plan sets out to “reduce the digital gap and make a positive impact on the telecommunications markets in Mexico,” according to Mexico’s secretary of communications and transport, Dionisio Pérez Jácome. The stats offered are significant, the number of internet users has doubled since 2006, now reaching 40 million, and in terms of broadband connections, there were 13 million fixed and 7.8 million mobile at the conclusion of 2011. A leading issue is access, as it is far from universal.

Check back tomorrow for the rest of my thoughts on internet in Mexico and how specifically businesses and SEOs can benefit from its advance. For more information on internet use in foreign markets or how international SEO services can benefit your business, reach out to me directly at rbuddenhagen@webimax.com.