BANGKOK – Google Thailand is boosting its influence in the burgeoning mobile advertising market by giving small and medium-sized companies their own mobile websites on its mobile ad platform as the internet giant strives to increase ad revenue.
In exchange for receiving a mobile website for free, companies must first sign up with Google’s mobile ad service platform.
“There are 270,000 SMEs in Thailand that have their own company websites, representing only 10% of the 2.7 million SMEs in the country,” said Saranee Boonritthongchai, head for business-to-business (B2B) marketing.
Too often, the websites of those SMEs that do have them were designed for desktop computers only, precluding mobile users from logging on or otherwise having a mobile-friendly experience, she said.
Thailand is a mobile-first country with 50 million smartphone users, representing 70% of the population.
“Having a mobile website will be an essential marketing tool for SMEs to increase their presence in the large online community,” said Ghislain Chatelier, Google’s director for Southeast Asia.
SMEs are the key engine for stimulating Thailand’s economic growth, contributing 40% of the country’s GDP.
Ms Saranee said Google had selected Thailand as one of several countries to offer the subsidised mobile ad programme to help local SMEs capitalise on the fast-growing mobile ad market, as well as boost Google’s mobile ad revenue.
Based on a study from Google Research via webpagestest.org, which relied on a sample of 900,000 websites globally, it found that the average time it takes to fully load a mobile landing page in Thailand is 12 seconds, compared with 10 seconds in developed countries.
In addition, 53% of mobile website visitors leave a page that takes longer than three seconds to load.
Another internal survey found that nearly 50% of the 870 respondents dislike waiting for slow pages to load, 16% are unhappy when an interstitial ad is shown, and 14% get upset when a video is unplayable.
Google is offering a free online tool, testmysite.thinkwithgoogle.com website, which allows people to test how long their websites take to load on mobile devices. The site also provides Google Trends, a data analytic tool that provides deep understanding of consumer behaviour and preferences, to help SMEs.
By Suchit Leesa-nguansuk – Bangkok Post