A Guide to Search Engine Marketing in Baidu

When in China, you need to do as the Chinese do. Any brand or business that wants to tap into the customer market in the country needs to integrate Baidu search engine marketing into its strategy. Here is everything you need to know about the same, including search engine optimization and Baidu advertising (adstochina.westwin.com/baidu-advertising).

Begin with a Chinese domain

For your webpage to be shown in the search results, Baidu prefers that the site be hosted from China. Some .com or .net results may be shown, but those having a ‘.cn’ or even a ‘. com.cn’ receive better preference from the search engine giant.

Obtain certificates

The internet laws of the land are pretty strict, and as a result, any website hosted on China servers must possess an Internet Content Publishing License. Without the same, it is almost impossible for your website to show up anywhere on Baidu search engine result pages. The license can be obtained from the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology in China. However, the permit needs a physical presence within the country, and if you don’t have one, you can choose to partner with a local internet company to get the license on your behalf.

Optimize content for the Chinese audience

Baidu displays its results in the Chinese language. So, for your website to show up, it is absolutely necessary that all copy, SEO resources, and meta tags be in Mandarin or simplified Chinese characters. For businesses who have little or no knowledge about the language, translation is an option, but remember to not rely heavily on machine translations as poorly translated copies may be penalized by Baidu. The best way out is to have professional translators or local digital marketing agencies do the job on your behalf. This also helps ensure that the text, images, and video are aligned to the preferences of the Chinese audience in a manner that it reads well and connects with them.

Utilize keywords properly

Unlike other search engines, Baidu prefers websites with a higher keyword density, typically of about 8% to 12%. However, the company is also against spamming and keyword stuffing, which places keywords randomly to make it seems like the website has a higher density. It requires that the keywords be relevant to the content and be used qualitatively. The Baidu keyword planner tool can be used to do a basic volume search for the keywords that apply to your brand or business. It can also be used for a slightly deeper drill down on metrics like average daily search volumes including those for mobile searches, competition level for a keyword, estimated bid costs for top page, and so on.

Use Baidu advertising

Organic search results through good SEO practices are one part of the game on Baidu search engine marketing. The other is paid to advertise through the Baidu Pay Per Click program. This allows you to bid for keywords related to your brand or business, and displays your ads on the top or bottom of the page anytime a user searches for the keyword. Baidu advertising is customizable with budget limits and choice of time, duration, and customer demographics, and is especially helpful for brands that are just beginning out or want to have a quicker wider reach.

Put Chinese social media to good use

China does not allow social media platforms of the Western world, so when you create a website for Chinese audience and to be ranked in Baidu, ensure that all your social media and video streaming links point to those used in the country. These include WeChat, Sina Weibo, Youku, and so on. If you accept payments, ensure that they are Chinese user-friendly. If you don’t have them set up, consider availing the service of a local digital marketing agency to set them up for you.

Optimize for mobile

Over 95% of netizens connect to the web from their smartphones, and so, it is extremely important that your website be mobile-friendly. When not optimized for mobile-viewing, your site may go down in ranking, not display well with Baidu advertising, and receive a higher bounce rate. If necessary, create an exclusive mobile version of your website that presents users with information with minimal scrolling or link clicks.