For most websites the targeted demographic is evident, for example;
A US manufacturer of products that are distributed in the USA & Canada equals Canada & United States.
A US manufacturer based in California with the same attributes will need to select the sub-region California as well.
A Canadian advertising agency that services clients in their region equals Canada.
What happens if you change some variables?
A webshop from Germany in the native language & English that sends internationally equals…
In this case, we need a more detailed look:
- Why do they support English as a language?
- And do they send internationally, without restrictions?
- Do they have targeted advertising on a specific demographic?
Did they choose English as a language to support non-German speakers in Germany, e.g., expats, or did they purposefully to broaden the demographic outside of Germany?
Do they send internationally, but in the EU only?
Do they specifically target residents of the UK with advertising?
Let’s say the answers are 1. They are broadening the scope, 2. No, and 3. Yes.
It looks like the webshop added English to service residents from the United Kingdom, outside of the EU and purposefully targets them with display advertising.
In this case, the webshop should not only prepare for the GDPR & DSGVO but also select the United Kingdom as a region with its specific privacy laws.
What if there are no specific variables?
In some cases the variables are less clear or too broad, for example;
A blog in English with a wide variety of topics that don’t relate to any specific demographic or region. This blog advertises on their articles based on the user’s interests, or personalized advertising and remarketing.
Based on organic search and without specific targeting, this website has visitors from around the world.
This would suggest the targeted regions are broad because the visitors’ demographic is unknown. However, this is not necessarily true. If you have a website without any specific variables or targeting, you can keep the country origin of your blog or website as a region.
The main reasoning is; it depends on your active targeting, not on the passive reach of your blog.
NB. All websites are different, and there could be more variables than shown above. Just remember passive reach is less important than active targeting.