This article is for companies that already do SEO, have some results, and expect to learn more. A website without traffic is a waste… and all websites in China, need to have a least a minimum optimization to be found on their “brand keywords. (Source for more tips)
Focus on Baidu, only on Baidu
Baidu is currently the no.1 search engine in China with nearly 80% market share.
Why you should focus on this Search Engine only?
- Because all the others have copied the Baidu search algorithm
- You are good on Baidu, you are good on other search engines…
Considering that Chinese consumers conduct intensive searches online (either on search engines, social media, or e-commerce platforms) to learn about products or services, being visible on Baidu is very critical to capture targeted traffic to your website and ultimately generating sales.
In this article, we suggest 12 techniques to rank you on top of Baidu SERP and triple the traffic to your website.
1. To Get Baidu Organic Results, Do and Redo SEO audits
Auditing your website means you closely examine your overall site performance to discover why you’re not getting enough search traffic, any bugs that need fixing as well as optimize the content you already have.
#1 Check with Web Hosting (speed matter)
- Domain Name: Baidu prefers domains that use .cn
- Hosting: Baidu wants your site to be hosted in China. However, you can also host your website in Hongkong or Singapore to ensure the loading speed.
- Physical Address: Baidu favors sites that have a physical presence in China. This doesn’t mean you need to set up an office in China. Just make sure that you have local Chinese contact details on your site.
- Censorship: The Chinese government enforces a strict censorship regime for all online activities in China. So anything that violates the censorship regime will see a site either refused listing or de-indexed from Baidu’s database.
- ICP License: all websites should apply for an Internet Content Publishing (ICP) license. Without an ICP license, ranking high on a Baidu SERP is difficult, if not impossible.
#2 Optimise more Pages- Titles and Meta Data
- Make sure title tags and metadata are unique, descriptive, and is keyword-optimized in Simplified Chinese.
- The title tag character limit is 80
- Meta descriptions and meta keywords do factor into ranking for Baidu
- Meta description character limit is 200, and meta keywords are 100
- Alt tags and heading tags also have increased prominence in Baidu’s ranking algorithm – be sure to optimize in Chinese accordingly.
#3 Is each page optimized for SEO keywords that you want to rank for?
1 page 2 keywords maximum
- Is the page good for the visitor?
- Is the page proper for the conversion?
#4 Is each page and blog post structured properly?
- Is organized with headings and subheadings
- Uses 2-3 sentences per paragraph
- Bold or italicize important points
- Has a call to action
43% of people skim blog posts instead of reading the whole thing. Make it easy for people to read!
#5 Keep URL structure short and if possible,
- Rework on url
- using Pinyin (Romanised version of Chinese characters)
#6 Are you using links in your content?
This includes both internal links (to your own content) and external links (to other websites).
#7 Find and delete zombie pages
Basic SEO Audit Report in Baidu Tongji
2. Learn what your users want
Understand your user, and you will win the SEO battle
You need to focus on what your target customers want. When you understand what they want, you can develop content that draws them in.
And how do you get feedback from your ideal customer if you’re just starting out and don’t have any real customers to ask
There are several ways to find out:
Zhihu is a “serious” community where people ask and answer questions based on their own experience and insight.
Review the questions your targeted audience is asking for inspiration. If one person asks it on Zhihu, chances are there are hundreds of thousands of other people wondering the exact same thing.
You can also extract ideas from experts for your post. Zhihu is a great place to learn new things since professionals and experts come here to share their insights and knowledge.
- The Dropdown Keyword Suggestions and Related Search
A drop down menu of predicted search queries is provided as you type your keyword
in the search box.
Also, check the list of keywords provided at the bottom of a search results page, usually right above the page selector:
- Baidu Keyword Planner
Baidu Keyword Planner is a free keyword research tool integrated with the Baidu paid advertising platform. By inputting a core keyword or URL, the tool can generate a list of keywords automatically.
- Baidu Index
Baidu Index is a free tool to identify the search trends behind a term, product, brand, or industry.
By entering search terms in the query box, you can see multiple tabs, including historical & forecasting search trends, users’ interests & needs, public sentiment, regional interests, and audience & industry traits.
- Baidu Analytics for Organic Keywords Data
Baidu Analytics provides real-time and historical data about the performance of a company’s website including PPC metrics, website data, SEO suggestions, audience behaviors, etc.
You can see what posts or articles get the most views, the average time spent per page, or what terms they used to search for your site for keyword ideas.
- Baidu Feng Yun Bang 百度搜索风云榜
Baidu Feng Yun Bang is also a fantastic place to go discover what the Chinese internet is talking about.
- Leveraging Weibo for Content Insights
Below is a little exploration of some ways to make use of Weibo to get an understanding of the key content topics you’re after.
3. Create SEO optimized landing pages
A well-designed landing page can improve your conversion rate and bouncing rate thus increasing your website authority and ensuring you keep ranking on the search engine and get more and more Baidu, organic visitors.
Imagine if your customer makes a query on Baidu like “how to generate leads for B2B in China”, they would more likely to fill in the contact form to receive your white book if they land on an informative and professionally designed page that answers directly their question rather than on your homepage.
Sure, the homepage is important, but a landing page is where you can initiate a strong relationship.
The key elements of a good landing page are:
- No navigation (you want users to stay on the page!)
- Useful, informative content
- A call to action (to sign up for your product, or service, download a lead magnet, or another type of action)
- Insert links to relevant articles
Start now by creating high-quality landing pages for the most popular topics in your industry.
4. Make sure your website is mobile-friendly
Just as the growth in mobile search has impacted Google SEO, mobile search in China is growing at an even faster rate.
According to CNNIC (Chinese), in 2015 there were a total of 620 million mobile web users in China, which is 90% of all web users in China!
Among these users, 127 million access the web exclusively on mobile devices, which is 18.5% of all web users.
Making your site look good on mobile is no longer a luxury, it’s a standard.
Secondly, Baidu’s mobile search algorithm “Ice Bucket 2.0” was its answer to mobile sites with poor user experience caused by annoyances such as splash pages asking users to download their app, popup ads that stretch over the main content, or requiring users to log in before accessing content.
If your site has these problems, fix them as soon as possible.
The question is How do you know if your site is mobile-friendly?
Baidu Webmaster Tools offer a mobile-friendliness test that you can use on not only verified site, which can be accessed here (Chinese).
5. Think of videos as the new content king
Chinese consumers will spend nearly two hours a day watching videos online in 2020, according to Zenith’s Online Video Forecasts report.
China is leading the world in video consumption with the average person spending 105 minutes a day online, closely followed by Russia (102 minutes) and the UK (101 minutes).
Videos are a wonderful way to boost engagement, increase your website traffic as well as increase backlinks.
- Make short brand videos and product demos.
- Create educational videos on how to use your products or services.
- Run Livestream webinars or interviews.
- Add relevant metadata (shorter titles, rich descriptions) and transcripts for videos for Baidu to fully understand their intent(s).
- Upload videos to different popular platforms: Tencent video, Kuaishou, iQIYI, YouKu…
6. Write long and detailed blogs
Content length isn’t everything. A shorter blog post that’s higher quality will still outperform a longer, low-quality post.
However, a key benefit of longer content is that it will naturally contain more relevant keywords and rank for them.
Besides, if you can cover one topic in detail that every part of the post is useful, then you provide a lot of value to your readers, consequently making it more valuable to Baidu and increasing its ranking result on SERP.
Consistently publishing informative content will yield big returns in organic search traffic.
7. Post valuable content on other popular platforms
If your blog is new, it can be difficult to rank well in Baidu search results for high-volume keywords because your Domain Authority and Page Authority are still very low.
However, you can use other popular platforms to gain credibility and traffic. A few examples are Toutiao, Zhihu, Baidu Zhidao, and so on.
These sites give you the opportunity to improve your search rankings, as well as build a following, within a short period of time.
Don’t forget to include a link to your landing page for the topics/ answers you post on these platforms, but in a natural and sensible way.
The links that come from these sites will boost your search rankings. This is also a great way to get more leads.
8. Use advanced SEO internal deep linking
Deep linking is the practice of using anchor text to link to other pages inside your blog. This shows Baidu the depth of your site’s pages and encourages it to index more of them.
Your older blog posts and landing pages that used to provide immense value on relevant topics can pull in a lot of new traffic. You should link to them often to help build the structure of your website.
When your content is properly linked to each other, it helps the Baidu spider see all your content in an organized way, like this:
When you start interlinking pages other than your homepage, you’ll improve the SEO value for those internal pages and improve their search rankings.
9. Send link juice to lower ranked pages
If you have a page that’s currently on page 2 or 3 of Baidu search results, you can help move it up to page 1 by passing on quality link juice to those lower-ranked pages.
Link juice refers to outbound links from high authority sources to your content. Since those links are coming from high authority websites or pages, this gives Baidu an indication that your content must be high quality too.
- Update the post by adding new links, content, and recent data
- Share it across social media again. This will bring in a lot of new traffic
- Link to it in your newer posts. This directs traffic to the older post and results in people sharing it and linking to it themselves.
10. Find and use your competitors’ SEO keywords
Researching your competitors is a smart move.
You can spy on the exact keywords that they’re ranking for and use those same keywords to create better content.
After you have your content ready, contact the sites and blogs that have linked to your competitor’s article and tell them about your article. Chances are if they linked to your competitors’ articles, they’ll link to yours as well, sending additional referral traffic and SEO juice to your page.
11. Gain more spaces on Baidu SERPs with rich snippets
First thing first, you need to understand what an organic SERP on Baidu looks like.
Like the example above, the SERP displays a variety of related (and sometimes paid) results on the right and a mixture of other types of paid results as well as some organic results on the left.
Noticeable here is the extent to which Baidu incorporates its own products into the SERP. In fact, it is estimated that around 30% of Baidu queries are redirected to one of Baidu’s own products. Here for all Baidu products.
Therefore, SEO for Baidu is not only about on-page and off-page but needs a real strategy to optimize for these snippets.
Businesses that understand this will have a huge advantage because they’ll control a very large percentage of the first-page space on Baidu’s SERPs. This not only improves visibility but also gives Chinese people a strong sense of confidence in your brand.
In addition, another great benefit of using Baidu’s own content platforms for SEO purposes is that there’s no wait for your content to get indexed. Post it to Baidu’s content networks and it can be found by web users almost immediately. Indexing content on your own website, on the other hand, is a considerably longer process.
Baidu owns a wide range of products that we couldn’t cover all. Instead, we would like to discuss the 3 most powerful ones that can influence dramatically your chance to appear on top positions on top result pages.
- Baike 百科
Baidu Baike, otherwise known as “Baidu Encyclopaedia” is China’s answer to Wikipedia.
A typical Baidu search query will often display around two Baike results with sub-links to related articles on the very first SERP.
Therefore, you should create and upload brand or product-related articles on Baidu Baike so that when users search for relevant keywords, Baidu Baike can bring them up.
This is helpful considering the great priority Baidu gives to its own sub-products.
- Zhidao 知道
Baidu Zhidao, or “Baidu Knows”, is a massive Q&A platform that essentially serves as an enhanced Yahoo Answers, allowing users to create and participate in any topic.
Given a high tendency for Chinese users to search using long-tail, query-based phrases, as well as a general overall prominence in the SERP, your appearance on Zhidao, can give you a lot more chances to appear in front of users’ eyes.
How to utilize Zhidao for Baidu SEO:
- Optimize your brand’s Baidu account so it’s as branded and official-looking as can be, and offer up well-informed, credible answers to users who are asking questions related to your brand or its products. An organically placed link within the text of the answer, as long it’s relevant and informative, will be indexed.
- Ask for potential customer opinions on certain products or debates within the topics of your industry. It’s a great opportunity to get to know your target demographic and having brand-to-customer discussion and dialogue is key to building your brand in the Chinese market.
- Tieba 贴吧
Baidu Tieba (or “Post Bar”) is a keyword-based discussion forum where users can follow specific “Bars” (吧).
Here you can insert your brand into targeted discussions and participate in relevant threads with your audience.
You also have the opportunity to create your own Bar based on your brand, with the chance to create a hub and redirect users to your forum if they happen to search for your brand in Tieba or Baidu as a whole.
12. Regularly update your old content – Refresh it and reoptimize it… always
If you’ve been blogging for more than 3 months, you’ve got a goldmine of content in your archives to repost.
You’ve undoubtedly written some posts that are still generating organic traffic.
You can improve those posts and leverage their authority for higher search rankings.
Start by making a list of your top-performing content; then update those best-performing posts to keep them fresh and popular.
13. More Backlinks and more powerful backlinks
To get really high rank on super-competitive keywords, you have to get powerful backlinks and backlinks in quantity…
That is the secret of all SEO campaigns…
ONE OF OUR BAIDU SEO CASE STUDIES
Chemistry-World is a large internationally renowned chemical French group. Perfectly mastering its home market and the countries abroad where it operates, Chemistry-World was interested in a country that has very specific chemical needs: China.
For this country, Chemistry-World had specifically launched a new product line and needed to penetrate the market in the best way possible.
Within the first few months of working with us:
• 68% of visitors to the website are involved in the field.
• 42% of visitors want to know more about ChemistryWorld.
• The sales department recorded calls and was contacted by many potential customers.
• 25% of visitors improved the product description sheets on the site with comments.
• The SEM campaign attracted more than 4,560 visitors in just 3 months.
• In 3 months, 1,569,660 people saw Chemistry-World on the Internet thanks to the SEO and SEM campaign.
WE ARE A REALLY ADVANCED CHINESE SEO AGENCY
WHAT ARE OUR LITTLE SECRETS?
2. Marcus, aka SEO gourou will manage and follow all SEO projects
3. Our Chinese team (backlinks/Pr/copywriter) will be in charge of the execution
4. Massive backlinks campaign in different stages
FAQ to GMA
What time do you need to rank on the first page?
The Minimum duration for Baidu SEO is 6 months of services (to get results).
What is your SEO pricing?
Our price varies according to the competition of the keyword, and the quantity/quality of backlinks on the website
Price start for a good campaign from 1000$ to 3000$
we can start at 500$ per month for a small campaign
Can you work on new websites?
We are not afraid to start on a new website, totally new and fresh for Baidu.
Can you work on super competitive keywords?
Nothing afraid Marcus…
We can also work on super competitive keywords… everything has a price, but we can do almost everything.
Can you guarantee the First pages of Baidu Organic serps?
We can almost guarantee a list of keywords, 70% after 6-12 months.
Are you a White SEO agency? Do you do black hat SEO?
We are not totally white and not totally black… let’s say we are a grey agency.
ARE YOU LOOKING FOR A PROFESSIONAL SEO AGENCY ON BAIDU?
If you have a serious project, do not hesitate to contact me if you want to talk about it.
- You can reach us by email, then by phone/WeChat/skype
- Check our SEO case studies here
- Our agency website: marketingtochina.com
- our consultant can help you to give you a quote, and advising you on the first step of your strategy in China