As a marketer or brand doing business in China, you know that succeeding in this market requires an understanding of the cultural context and using the right marketing tactics. One important element of any successful marketing strategy in China is SEO. In this blog post, we’ll share 8 tips to help boost your SEO in China. By following these tips, you’ll be well on your way to ranking higher in Chinese search engines and gaining a competitive advantage over your competitors. Let’s get started!
Why SEO is so important for your business in China?
SEO marketing is now a cost-effective tool for branding and brand awareness. It can help your brand to have a good place on results pages on the search engines. The higher you rank, the more clicks and traffic your site will have. This works especially well in China because the Chinese consumer is very suspicious about brands that they don’t know. Distrust between customers and brands has been created due to lots of scandals that happened in the market.
If you want to enter the market and sell your products, you have to gain your targets’ confidence and boost your brand awareness. Businesses that implement a complete SEO strategy in China gain an advantage over competitors.
Chinese search engine market overview
Chinese people are very connected to the Internet. Before purchasing certain products, they tend to search for as much information on the Internet in order to be persuaded to make the decision. Baidu, as the leading search engine in China, can imagine how important the role it plays in marketing strategies.
Much like the alternatives to mainstream social media platforms, China has pioneered the production of search engines that provide an alternative to Google and Bing, as China’s Great Firewall has blocked most of the Western social networks and search engines.
The top 3 search engines in China are Baidu, Sogou, and Shenma.
Experts Tips for SEO in China
1. Baidu SEO: China Number 1 Search Engine & SEM Channel
There are many search engines in China, but Baidu is the most famous among them all. Therefore, companies must be able to take their share on this website. Their referencing on China’s biggest search engine must be very good to ensure more customers.
However, keep in mind that if you use Google’s optimization method to optimize Baidu, your website should not be able to appear on Baidu’s search results homepage.
Baidu SEO has its uniqueness. Differences such as complex language issues, cultural differences, user behavior, legal factors, censorship, and technical considerations should be well taken into consideration.
2. Creation of your Chinese website for Baidu SEO: a useful tool for your business in China.
Baidu also has the world’s largest index of Chinese web pages, which is entirely Chinese. The user interface is only available in Simplified Chinese. Baidu gives priority to Chinese websites. Non-Chinese websites will not even be indexed or displayed in search results.
Therefore, creating your Chinese website is your first step in the Chinese SEO strategy. Not only because it can serve as a portal for your Baidu SEO, but your Chinese website can also promote your brand credibility.
Baidu’s crawling and indexing of non-Chinese websites are also not very stable — it may crawl slower, less frequently, and not crawl so deeply, or even not crawl at all. It is thus very difficult for a non-Chinese website to get a ranking in Chinese queries.
As for why it does this, Baidu certainly has its reasons, and the biggest reason is user experience. Most of Baidu’s users are residents of mainland China. Of course, they are most interested in local content in simplified Chinese.
3. Technical details about your Chinese website optimize your brand on Baidu SEO
Your website should not only be in simplified Chinese if you aim at the Chinese mainland but also it needs to be hosted in China or nearby such as Hong Kong, Malaise, Singapore, etc. for a better user experience. If you host your website too far from China, it will take much more time to access it.
Website domain name matters very much for Baidu’s algorithm, the Chinese search engine will probably rank websites with .cn higher on the SERP (search engine results page). It is advised in this case to favor a .cn domain name.
4. Legal factors about your Chinese website for Baidu SEO
The website is obligated to have a “physical address” in China, which means it is required to have Chinese contact details.
You must make sure that your website is in compliance with Chinese internet restrictions if you do not wish your website to be indexed from Baidu or refused to list.
An ICP license is required by the Chinese government. If you want to have a website hosted in China, you should ask for your license. Without this basic requirement, ranking high on Baidu SERP will be nearly impossible.
5. To Succeed With SEO in China, You Need a Content Strategy
To have a good referencing on China’s search engines, you must have an important amount of content. New publications and updated information have a key role in referencing.
According to our experience, Baidu’s tolerance for duplicate content is much lower. If a website is penalized by Baidu for duplicate content, it may take longer to rebuild the lost ranking. However, duplicate content is still a big problem for Baidu, because content crawling is still a very common strategy for Chinese SEO.
You also need to use many keywords in order to get a better Ranking.
6. China SEO/Online Media & Censorship
The golden rule is to pay attention to sensitive subjects and avoid them. If ever it happens, you may receive bad referencing or you can even be blacklisted.
We know very well the situation and sensitive topics, if you need any help, feel free to contact us.
7. Quality Backlinks: 70% of your China SEO Effort
Backlinks are very popular with Chinese search engines. Adding links to some websites allows a random website to be nicely placed on search engines.
The webmaster can also share these links on different social networks. A nicely written and furnished article can be quoted by other websites or famous people, which will improve the natural referencing of the website.
Baidu believes that the value of backlinks from Chinese websites far exceeds that of foreign websites. When establishing a link for a website, you should take backlinks from a Chinese-based website (host in China, using simplified Chinese and simplified Chinese anchor text).
Baidu is still far behind Google in testing the quality of links. Google is already very good at spotting spam links, but Baidu is still vulnerable to the old-style spam link strategy. Because these black hat strategies are still effective, they are often used in Chinese SEO strategies.
8. Referencing Tags
A long time ago, Google no longer used the keyword tag (Meta keywords tag) as a ranking factor, but only as a description of each result on the search results page.
However, Baidu may still use keyword tags as a ranking factor, and there are some examples that support Meta descriptions that will also affect rankings.
These tags can be easily manipulated and designed to target some keywords, so it is puzzling that Baidu is still using them. Even if the impact of these tags on rankings is not huge, it is still a decisive factor in whether the page can be ranked in the target keywords.
These referencing tags allow websites to integrate the first choices of search engines.
- The Title Tag
A great article must have a catchy title. You also need a good first sentence to detail the article’s content.
- The Description Tag
Every page of the website must have a description of its content.
- The Keyword Tag
You must include keywords linked to the page’s activity and content. Then, the referencing will be much more efficient. Indeed, robots compare the keywords to the title of the page and to its description to establish some links between them.
SEO Service of GMA:
We are an SEO Agency specializing in Chinese digital marketing with more than 7 years of experience. We have already helped 700+ clients to develop their Website Ranking on Baidu.
We are the Reference for SEO agencies in China.
If you need any information, quote please contact us.
Our consultant will be glad to answer you.
Watch this video to learn more about SEO: