How to be present on Baidu
Article provided by SEMSEO – an agency developing solution and SEO for Baidu and Google.
Understanding the concept of SEO
Nowadays, businesses and marketing teams are all aware of how important to their companies internet is. With people growing more and more dependent on their smartphones and computers, each customer is only one click away from hearing about your business ; making virtual publicity the next big thing in company marketing. Then, when it comes to China market, it is crucial to understand how to be present on Baidu.
In order to promote your company’s website, the first thing you have to be aware of is how customers can stumble upon it : by clicking on adverts linked by your affiliates, by opening a newsletter mail, or simply by… searching appropriate keywords on the internet ? It’s always best when customers feel they’ve arrived onto your website because they wanted to, not because of advertisement. After having realized that, it’s time for the next step: how to make sure your website is relatively highly ranked in the country’s top search engine? Then, in China, how to be highly ranked on Baidu?
SEO for Google, SEO for Baidu
Now, Google SEO is one thing, but if you’re active in China you’ll have to learn that the Chinese swear by another search engine. The biggest search engine in China is none other than the local, ever so popular Baidu (83% market share). Using a different ranking algorithm than Google, SEO for Baidu can’t be achieved simply by optimizing your website for Google. You have to implement a whole new strategy for your website to be highly ranked on Baidu. On top of that, one thing Baidu is famous for is their ability to cover up the fact that their paid ads were paid : if you aren’t a familiar user of Baidu, it’s so easy to overlook the little gray « paid ad » that’s displayed at the bottom of the links. In order to compete with those, the best you can do is search for a company SEO oriented that will help you optimize your website the best way possible. Meanwhile, here are some tips that will help you build your website in a SEO friendly way to be present on Baidu.
Targeted contents preference
As opposed to Google’s policy that gives priority to professional and technical articles, Baidu favors content with recreational value and practical use for real life. Make sure you have reliable and useful content in both categories to be relevant in each search engine.
Contents preference is highly determined by the target audience. In China, the group of professionals that are highly educated and of students may have a higher rate of google use (VPN access thanks to their profession/school), while the majority of chinese users, less knowledgeable with searching methods, and searching for daily-life useful content are more likely to use Baidu. Just take for example, Tieba, Baidu’s online communication platform. It is focused on getting their 100 million registered users to chat in their theme bars about weather, pop stars, food… In short, recreational chat. With that said, you’ll know that leasure content can’t be overlooked if you’re searching for popularity and recognition in China.
Quality of information
In Google, SEO can’t be achieved if your website doesn’t provide high quality information. In Baidu, it’s slightly different: while your website content still matters (see bulletpoint 8), it’s not all that matters. Google has a much stricter page ranking qualification system than Baidu, making it possible for a site with non-original articles and no updates to rank relatively high in search results. Given this, it’s still important to have great content, and Baidu is improving day by day its algorithm in order to get rid of unwanted spam links. But keep in mind that, accordingly to point 1 and point 2, leisure and recreational content, occasionally with mediocre quality, can sometimes override the more technical and professional content that Google favors.
Technical tip: clear, clean, and short links for each page
Make sure you have unique links for each page. This is relevant to every search engine out there, their algorithm favors sites that are well built and with a site map that’s clean. So remember, for each page: unique links that are descriptive but clear, clean and short.
Meta descriptions aren’t optional if you want your site to be optimized
Now, most people tend to think this is completely useless but it’s important in SEO. Meta descriptions for images, links, and most importantly for your website’s page aren’t an option: it’s needed and taken into account for the ranking algorithm.
Neat, stylish page: reinforce trust in your website by making it professional
The design and look of your website is what makes your brand’s first impression. Try to make it user friendly, professional and neat for users. This will inspire trust and thus, make people want to open your site again. It is a good way to be present on Baidu.
Leave contact links and photos to build trust
How to know the whole website isn’t one big liar joke ? Building consumer trust is important for a company, especially on the internet, where fake information and companies flourish. By posting « real-life content », for example your contact information (skype, physical adress, phone number), and posting photos (team photos, company building photo…), you’ll be able to convince the consumer that your firm is no scam.
Get well-known websites to feature the back links to your site
This is relevant to every search engine as well: one thing that’s sure to make you climb up the ranking in both Google and Baidu is the relevance of the websites that link back to yours. In order to get well known and high quality websites (for example, well-known newspapers sites, official organisms and government blog news) to notice you, there’s but one thing to do: improve the quality of your content. Get a company that’s SEO-oriented to shape up your site and monitor your blog articles so that they’ll be noticed by websites that will up your search rankings by 100, if not by 500!