Many have speculated as to how Hispanic online search behavior differs or is similar to that of non-Hispanic Whites. Numerous studies have been conducted on the subject. Results often fall victim to the same issue, that respondents tend to tell researchers what they think we want to hear. But what we’re looking for is a better understanding of what these cohorts really do while searching online.
To find out, we teamed up with the Google Multicultural team to conduct an ambitious study. We recruited a representative sample of 500 U.S. Hispanics and 650 Non-Hispanic Whites and asked them to download our proprietary mobile behavioral tracking app. Over a two-week period, the app collected all mobile search, websites visited, and apps used by our representative sample.
We collected over 2.5 million page views and logged over 170,000 search results. And the insights were very telling, peeling back the layers of search to demystify the question we’ve all been asking: how does Hispanic search differ from Non-Hispanic White search behaviors … or do they?
We weeded through all the data and uncovered surprising insights, like these three:
1. Bilingual Hispanic Millennials Are Search Superstars
Bilingual Hispanic millennials had the highest levels of search in comparison to all other Hispanic and Non-Hispanic White cohorts. They also had the highest average number of page views as a result of search, and scrolled through the most pages after their search results were served.
Why you should care: Since bilingual Hispanic millennials over-index on search, clearly outpacing other cohorts, advertisers can use Spanish search marketing campaigns to penetrate this market. This tool is budget-friendly and effective, making it a valuable addition to most marketing plans.
2. Bilingual Hispanics have the shortest number of words and characters per search
KISS. Whether that means keep it short and simpleor keep it simple, stupid, the benefit is the same. Being concise is essential to reaching bilingual Hispanics via search. Conversely, Spanish-dominant Hispanics have the highest number of words and characters per search.
Why you should care: Marketers should be aware of the search behavior differences between the different language cohorts that comprise U.S. Hispanics and not lump everyone in together. That leads to incorrect assumptions. Broader search terms are ideal for Spanish-dominant Hispanics, concise search terms for bilingual Hispanics. This may be driven by the fact that Spanish and relevant Hispanic content continues to grow online and therefore consumers might be searching broadly in order to improve their chances to find that relevant content.
3. Family First, Phone Second For Hispanics
This is my favorite data point as it paints a clear mobile behavioral difference between not only Hispanics and non-Hispanic Whites but also the differences between the three Hispanic language cohorts.
Looking first at Hispanics vs. non-Hispanic Whites we see that Hispanic search starts to dip on Saturday and Sunday in comparison to non-Hispanic Whites:
Conversely, we see a surge of Hispanic search on Mondays. We see even more differences in search behaviors when we look at Spanish-dominant, bilingual, and English-dominant Hispanic search behaviors:
Spanish-dominant search percentages dip into the single digits on Saturdays and spikes significantly more than the other two language cohorts on Mondays.
Why you should care: This daily search behavior is important to understand when engaging U.S. Hispanics via Google search ads. And taking into account the differences in that search behavior among the three Hispanic language cohorts could mean the difference between reaching 100 Hispanics or reaching 10,000. Actively monitor search marketing results to ensure you’re on track. Google allows for daily adjustments so be prepared to pivot if you see that you’re off base.
What We Know
This study is the tip of the iceberg in terms of understanding how search behaviors differ among ethnic cohorts. As we begin to delve deeper into the mobile behavioral data the app is providing us, the more marketers will be able to understand how to optimize their digital dollars based on actual online behaviors vs. stated behaviors.