It finally happened! After long, hard hours your AdWords account has been perfected; you’re opted into every new beta, you’ve got Bing generating more revenue than Google, you have 100% market share, quality scores are 10 across the board (even a couple of 11’s – and you didn’t think that was possible!), conversion rates are approaching 100%, your ad copy has been nominated for a Pulitzer – your account is, in a word – perfect.
That’d be nice. But alas, no matter how we might chase after it, there is no such thing as the perfect account. That being said, there are always opportunities to grow and/or optimize. If your campaigns are functioning well and you want to expand your reach, it may be time to consider opening up new markets.
Consider this: the United States has roughly 280 million people who are on-line – about 90% of the overall population. That makes up only about 9.5% of the worlds on-line community, and that percentage is shrinking every day as more people around the world come on-line. India alone has 243 million people on-line, but that’s only about 19% of their total population. China has 641+ Million people on-line, about 46% saturation for them. Think about that -the number of Chinese who are on-line is more than twice the total population of the United States.
Suffice to say, if your organization can support an international audience, you should at the very least be considering moving beyond the borders of the United States.
The next obvious question can quickly become: which countries should we expand into? There used to be some handy “bundles” of English speaking countries that Google provided, but now it’s up to you to choose where to expand. There is enormous opportunity out there, but there are some significant barriers to entry like language, currency exchange rate volatility, and other barriers to entry.
1. Ireland | English
3.8 Million on-line, 82% saturated
Search Engines: Google 92.53%, Bing 3.75%, Yahoo 2.47%
2. New Zealand | English
4 Million on-line, 92% saturated.
Search Engines: Google 93.47%, Bing 3.86%, Yahoo 1.38%
Currency: New Zealand Dollar
3. Australia | English
21 Million on-line, 90% saturated.
Search Engines: Google 93.01%, Bing 4.59%, Yahoo 1.15%
Currency: Australian Dollar
4. Canada | English
33 Million on-line, 93% saturated.
Search Engines: Google 96.78%, Bing 1.3%, Ask Jeeves 0.86%
Currency: Canadian Dollar
5. United Kingdom | English
57 Million on-line, 90% saturated.
Search Engines: Google 88.92%, Bing 6.08%, 3.62%
Currency: British Pound
I’m a big believer in testing, and it’s much easier to test when you reduce the number of variables you have to deal with. As such, consider these 5 countries as starting points when stepping outside the US. They are all relatively stable, mature markets, Google has significant market share, and English is the official language. These are good first step markets as you prepare to transition to other countries as well.