For companies already doing business in Thailand or planning to expand into the Thailand market, now could be the right time to commence your SEO Thailand program for this rapidly growing market.
Thailand is one of the fastest growing internet markets in Asia and for that matter the world. The statistics below show that the number of Internet users in Thailand has been rapidly increasing every year from about 1998 onwards. The internet usage penetration in Thailand has also increased dramatically each year as can be seen from the graph below which indicates an increase in user rates from only 3.7% of the population in the year 2000 to an impressive 26.3% as at 2010.
These statistics clearly demonstrate a rapidly growing internet market in Thailand which represents a good opportunity for companies to start thinking about and implementing Thailand SEO strategies.Source: Asian Internet Statistics (Asiatic Internet Usage and Population Statistics were updated for June 30, 2010)
*Population in Thailand from Ministry of Interior (Thailand)
Why is Thailand’s internet growth so fast?
Changing technology and rising income levels are playing a big part in the rapid growth of the internet in Thailand. As can be seen from the graph below, Thailand’s average monthly income has been on a steady rise over the past 10 years which also corresponds to the increasing internet usage rates demonstrated above:-Source: The Household Socio-Economic Survey, National Statistical Office, Ministry of Information and Communication Technology
Also playing a part in increased internet usage is improving internet accessibility, connection speeds, and reliability. The growth of internet users is also being influenced by changes in internet user behavior.
In Thailand with affordable new technologies users can connect to the internet in multiple ways: including from broadband or mobile internet. There are various other factors in addition to those just mentioned that are attracting more users of the internet in Thailand:
1. With the advent of smart phone technology that can support mobile internet connectivity; it’s easier to connect to the internet from many areas in Thailand, more cheaply than using PC’s.
2. Smart Mobile devices offer lots of widgets/gadgets and applications that further promote pervasive use of the internet
3. Application of social networks such as games, news, research & online shopping that attract a wider demograph of users.
The changing behaviors of internet users in Thailand
In addition to the above Thai users are increasingly using search engines for research and other search related activities as can be seen from the below statistics showing the increasing usage of search engines in Thailand from 2007-2009Source: Thailand internet statistic 2009 from truehit.net
Is it difficult to do SEO in Thailand?
The strategy to optimize your website in Thailand is not as difficult to do when compared with other countries in Asia because Thailand has no local search engines like Baidu in China or Naver in Korea. Google is only major search engine in Thailand with over 90% market share as the below statistics show. Therefore Thailand SEO strategies need to be implemented for Google only. Moreover, overall optimization efforts in Thailand are currently lower when compared with western markets which is another reason that implementing successful SEO strategies in Thailand is not as difficult as other more developed markets.Source: Thailand internet statistic 2009 from truehit.net
The internet in Thailand is becoming more reliable and convenient to connect to using both broadband and mobile internet products. The Thai economy continues to grow and disposable incomes for Thai people are on the rise. Users are turning to search engines and social media sites to keep updated with trends and news and also for shopping. These factors combined with the overall low level of competition in SEO in Thailand means any early investment in SEO by a company can pay off significantly.