Baidu SEO Essentials For Online Popularity in The Chinese Market
Authored by: Sanni Rajaniemi
When operating in China, businesses must have an online presence. This is because Internet access, especially through mobile phones, is in all aspects of Chinese consumers’ life. So, search engine optimization is essential for brands, as it increases visibility online and builds brand legitimacy.
Baidu is the leading search engine in China, and it is important to rank well there because the Chinese tend to search for a lot of information about products online before purchasing them. This blog will cover Baidu’s significance, the fundamentals of SEO, content localization for Baidu, and off-page SEO, including backlinks.
1. Baidu’s Significance in the Chinese Market
Baidu is used by more than 70% of Chinese Internet users, making it the dominant search engine in China’s massive market. That is why Baidu is the best choice when you want to do SEO to get more organic traffic on your website. Your business needs a unique approach to Baidu SEO, but with the right understanding and strategy, your company can succeed in reaching Chinese audiences effectively.
Chinese Internet users only make a purchase when they are fully convinced by the information they find from other trusted users from the internet, which is most commonly done on Baidu (search engine wise). Companies operating their websites in China shall adapt to the high expectations of the Chinese consumers.
To help your website rank high on Baidu, you can start by obtaining an Internet Content Provider (ICP) license, which is required for all websites hosted on a server located in China or Baidu. The Chinese Ministry of Industry and IT issues these licenses.
2. Fundamental Principles of SEO
Baidu’s algorithms prioritize Chinese culture and language, so it is recommended to localize your content that is relevant as well as culturally appropriate. Also, make sure your website aligns with the laws and regulations in China. For Baidu, it is important to also have an active social media presence to get more visibility, for example on Weibo, Wechat, Xiaohongshu, Douyin, etc. Lastly, hosting your company’s website in China prevents it from suffering slower load times.
To practice SEO on Baidu, learning how Chinese users search for information and how Chinese characters are used is important. Keyword research in the Chinese language is necessary and optimizing for voice search because Chinese people often use it.
Like in most other countries, Chinese use mobile phones a lot to search for information. This leads to mobile indexing playing a significant role in search engines like Baidu. Therefore, because Baidu does mobile indexing, it ranks your website higher in search results if it is mobile-friendly. In a nutshell, remember to optimize for mobile-friendliness. It could mean responsive design, mobile-friendly layout focusing on essential elements, touch-friendly interactions, etc.
3. Content Localization
Content localization is critical to rank on Baidu. Here are some reasons.
Chinese audiences often don’t understand English, and Baidu only analyzes websites written in Mandarin, so it prioritizes websites written in Chinese. Therefore, it is crucial to have your website in simplified Chinese characters when operating in China.
When your website is in Chinese, it has a much better chance of ranking high on Baidu’s search results. Baidu has a precise Chinese keyword algorithm, so consider identifying Chinese keywords to use in your content by conducting keyword research. As you incorporate popular keywords relevant to your business, your website is more likely to appear in the organic search results on Baidu.
Relatability and cultural sensitivity:
You can enhance the user experience by including culturally relevant, relatable, and understandable information on your company page. Your content will resonate more with Chinese customers when you adapt to the local culture and show respect for the local norms and values. By doing this, you can establish a positive brand image.
4. Off-Page SEO and Backlinks
Off-page SEO is critical to generating traffic on your website. When you work properly on off-page SEO, Baidu ranks you higher. Make sure to promote your website on other Chinese websites and add relevant articles and things like that.
Off-page SEO includes backlinks, as link-building is a crucial part of any SEO strategy. You are more likely to get more backlinks to your website from other pages by doing content localization. A backlink, also called "an eternal link" or "an inbound link", can be a link on a blog or other Chinese websites or social media that leads to your website. Backlinks provide more traffic and improve your page’s performance on Baidu.
An effective link-building strategy can be a challenge. Baidu’s crawler picks up the backlink, and it gets assigned a value, which can be called "link juice". Again, Baidu places more value on links on websites in mainland China than on foreign ones. One strategy for link-building is outreach, which means paid PR articles, press releases, sponsorship links, etc.
It is important to have a social media presence for your company in China. Backlinks can be built by creating self-created content, for example, microblogs on Weibo, links in comments and forum profiles, or signatures. People can also reference your page if you do reliable industry research, as an example. Additionally, if your team is very tuned into what’s happening in your industry, you can do newsjacking and be the first to post about it. So, you will have to pay attention to Weibo and Toutiao, for instance.
There are many aspects to take care of when managing your website in China, from cultural sensitivity to backlinks. This blog covered some of the most important parts of search engine optimization on Baidu that can get you started on doing SEO for your website. It might be different and challenging to do well in SEO on Baidu compared to Google, but it is possible to succeed with the right strategies.
At Hohot Consulting, we specialize in helping businesses through the challenges of entering the Chinese market. We look forward to facilitating your business success with our broad expertise in Chinese and international markets. Learn more about us here.