As the world’s most populous country with a fast-growing economy, China is a key market for many businesses. Advertising in China can be difficult, however, due to the cultural differences between China and the West.
In this blog post, we’ll provide a simple guide to Baidu PPC advertising and discuss some of the key things you need to know to get started with advertising on Baidu – the main search engine in China.
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What is Baidu PPC Advertising?
PPC (pay-per-click) and native ad advertising are one of the most effective ways to reach new customers on the internet via paid search. Baidu, the most popular search engine in China, offers a comprehensive and powerful PPC platform that can help you get your business in front of millions of potential customers. Baidu is the dominant player in China, accounting for 70% of the market share.
Why does Baidu advertising matter in China?
Baidu offers businesses a unique opportunity to reach out to potential customers in China. It’s an effective way to promote your products or services, and with over 1 billion active users, it’s a platform that you can’t afford to ignore.
PPC ads on Baidu are also very affordable. The cost-per-click (CPC) for keywords on Baidu is generally much lower than on other comparable platforms. This makes it a great option for businesses with limited marketing budgets.
What are the pros and cons of setting up a Baidu PPC account
To get started with advertising in China, you will need to set up a Baidu PPC account, but before we tell you how to do it, let’s take a look if it’s even worth it;
Advantages of using Baidu paid ads
Baidu PPC is a cost-effective way to reach your audience in China. Baidu is a very popular tool, so your ads will be seen by a large number of people.
Additionally, Baidu’s ad platform is very user-friendly, making it easy to create and manage your campaigns.
These ads can help you grow your business in China by targeting potential customers who are searching for products or services like yours. With Baidu ads, you can control your budget, target specific demographics, and measure the results of your campaigns.
And, most importantly, you will be able to reach the biggest audience, as more than 70% of Internet users in China look for information on Baidu and use Baidu sub-platforms daily.
Disadvantages of Baidu advertising
There are a few potential disadvantages to keep in mind as well. Perhaps the most significant is that Baidu is still quite new to the PPC game, and as such their platform isn’t as refined or user-friendly as that of more established players like Google or Facebook. This can make it challenging to set up and manage your campaigns effectively.
Baidu holds around 70% of the search engine market share in China, which means that if your target audience is not searching on this platform, you will be missing out on a large portion of potential customers.
Another potential downside is that because Baidu is the dominant search engine in China, there’s a good chance that many of your competitors will also be using it as well. This means you’ll need to be particularly savvy in your approach in order to stand out from the crowd.
Additionally, Baidu requires a deposit for campaigns – typically around $1,000 – which may be prohibitive for some businesses. Because the Chinese market is so competitive, PPC campaigns on Baidu can be very expensive; bidding wars between companies for keywords can quickly drive up costs.
Finally, because Baidu operates mainly in China, businesses will need to ensure that their website and ad copy are appropriate for a Chinese audience.
How to get started with Baidu PPC advertising
- Step 1: Register a Baidu Ads Account
- Step 2: Pay Deposit
- Step 3: Download Baidu’s Editor Tool and Baidu Analytics (Baidu advertising platform for tracking and reporting traffic data)
- Step 4: Keyword Research
- Step 5: Design and launch Baidu advertising for a specific ad group
- Step 6: Monitor & Tackle Click Fraud
Baidu PPC could be the equivalent of Google Ads. In fact, on many things, the American equivalent has been taken as an example for the Chinese market in terms of advertising. Anyway, it is necessary to remember that in China, the internet is regulated by the Chinese government and it is very controlled.
So if you sign up with Google Adwords through Gmail and a credit card, with a Baidu Ad Account a somewhat more complicated procedure is required, especially if it is from a foreign company where more documentation will be requested. So if you’re not used to Chinese search engines, contact us for advice to start advertising.
Only legally registered companies, domestic or foreign, can advertise with Baidu. Despite Baidu operating more or less like Google in the Chinese language, it is better to rely on someone who is professionally practical on this platform and knows the language to prepare a well-tailored ad copy for your ads with the use of the best keywords, in order to make the most of this Baidu’s PPC advertising investment, as the Baidu interface is available only in Chinese.
On the Baidu Advertising platform interface landing page, there are two sections, the search ads, and the display ads.
The advertising budget to be used for both Baidu advertising methods is unique and can be split between the two. Therefore it will be necessary first to understand which type of method is more fruitful for your business and then decide the proportions in which to invest the company’s budget in online marketing.
Baidu Analytics vs. Google Analytics
There are a few key differences between Baidu Analytics and Google Analytics. First, Baidu is designed specifically for the Chinese market, whereas Google can be used anywhere in the world.
That said, both tools offer similar features and provide comprehensive insights into website traffic and user behavior. However, there are some key areas where they differ:
- Baidu offers more detailed reports on mobile devices than Google does. This is important given the sheer volume of mobile users in China and every Baidu ad is prepared so that it will look good on mobile devices.
- Baidu Analytics offers more detailed data tracking and reporting than Google.
- The two platforms use different tracking codes, so you can’t simply switch from one to the other without making changes to your website code.
- Google provides more historical data than Baidu
- Baidu offers a wider range of customizable options and features than Google.
Advertising on Baidu: useful tools and features
Baidu Tuigang (百度推广) Tool
Similar to Google Adwords and Adsense, Baidu Tuiguang allows you to display any Baidu ad on its search engine and related website. Similar to Google AdWords, different formats are available to marketers, so it’s best to come up with the best-tailored advertising strategy to leverage Baidu Tuigang.
- 2 Lines of Ad Copywriting
- Appear on the Top 5 search results on Baidu organic search results
- Paid search and natural search results are harder to distinguish than on google although ads results have an “ad” tag
- Ad keyword bidding prices can fluctuate so the campaign needs to be closely monitored for a specific keyword
Baidu Tuiguang Ad Formats:
- Pay for Placement: keyword-based ads displayed in Baidu’s SERP.
- Baidu displays ads: we can talk about re-marketing or re-targeting for quality traffic, ie the ads are displayed as banners on the various sites that are part of the Baidu network, and appear on the user’s page based on their latest searches or the most searched sites in search engines.
- Search Ads: This type of advertising, which includes images and various links, is also the best way to increase the CTR (Click-through rate) due to the fact that the Baidu account allows you to test various keywords to find the most suitable for the text of advertising and tells you which ones are negative keywords. Baidu PPC advertising has also optimized its own page for the mobile ecosystem, as it is where, through it and its own app, Baidu receives more feedback and has more influx from mobile users. The advertising that is found on mobile devices and in its own app contains more images and shorter text, moreover the potential Chinese users, through a simple click on the URL, can directly call the advertised company.
- Baidu TV: Baidu Ads that are displayed in Videos on Baidu Union members’ websites.
- Information Feed: Run feed Ads that are mixed with organic content on the Baidu content side-site such as Zhidao.
- Alternatively, for heavily content-based ad placement, you can create information feed ads that will appear on Baidu News and Baidu Forum. The diverse ecosystem of Baidu is one of the main factors to Baidu’s success, similar to Google, and makes advertising in China easier and more interesting.
It is advisable to analyze and update your ad copy from time to time, customize ads based on user experience, and install test ad extensions to receive data on your ads.
Baidu Brand Zone Ads
Baidu Brand Zone is a space where you can find everything related to one specific brand and create brand zones. This includes links, news, and information about domestic and international companies or brands including promotional offers for the target audience!
Brand Zones are displayed when users are typing in branded keywords as in-feed ads.
Channel Baidu Brand Zone Ads:
This type of Baidu ad normally ranks at the top position on SERP and pushes down all competing ads and organic results. It is especially visible on Baidu’s mobile version where the brand ad takes up the whole screen.
These types of ads are particularly efficient to drive paid traffic to a landing page of your choice. Brand Zone also provides ad customizers for brands, so they can customize ad groups in terms of design but also links to landing pages they want to highlight: Tmall store, Baike page, social media, website, contact form, and so on.
Although this type of Baidu ad account is on the priciest side (Min $1500/Month), we recommend it to international companies that have the resources and do business in a competitive industry.
NIKE Baidu Brand Zone Ads:
Baidu Keyword Planner
Baidu PPC ads account also has a tool called Baidu Keyword Planner where you can search for metrics such as average daily search volume, average daily mobile search volume, and competition level for specific keywords.
You can also enter a keyword and receive alternative suggestions and find data for a combination of different keywords on designated landing pages. If you want to successfully advertise on Baidu, advertising with a keyword planner is a must.
Main differences between Google ads and Baidu ads
- The difference between Ads and the organic result in Google Ads is not as clear on Baidu Ads
- You can use more characters in your ad copywriting on Baidu Account
- Special Offers work very well with Baidu Campaigns and it’s harder to do a successful campaign of this type on Google
- Baidu Ads typically appear above organic listings
- Baidu has “visit card” ads for branded campaigns
- You’ll have to use Chinese – Baidu is not good with English and the CTR will be low with English
- A negative word list on Baidu allows 100 words.
Is Baidu advertising right for your company?
Advertising in China is a great way to get your company’s name in front of Chinese consumers, but it’s important to make sure you target your paid ads correctly so you reach the right audience. Baidu has a different search engine algorithm than Google and other platforms, so make sure you research how best to use Baidu paid advertising and different keywords for your specific company and products.
Moreover, Baidu Ads, although a great tool for initial traffic is not cost-efficient and won’t last in time. If you use Baidu advertising as the only source of traffic and online presence, Chinese consumers won’t trust you, and you quickly start to understand that it’s not enough to win the Chinese market.
Although advertising on Baidu is a good way for lead generation, it’s best to check other platforms, such as WeChat or Weibo, to gain a bigger market share of advertising in China.
Do we encourage you to use advertising on Baidu to get initial traffic and boost your organic traffic? Surely.
Do we encourage you to have Baidu PPC branded campaign? We certainly do.
However, what we do not recommend is to focus your whole marketing budget on Baidu ads only. Without a proper presence on the Chinese internet, you won’t be taken seriously but also you’ll be bled dry by Baidu.
As to answer the question if Baidu PPC is good for you, well there is no simple answer as it depends on many factors, such as your industry, goals, and budget. Clearly, if you have a limited budget, focus on Baidu SEO and PR instead. The results are long-lasting and will have a positive impact on your online reputation.
If your competitors invest in Baidu ads, try to outrun them in SEO, and don’t let competitors decide about your actions.
Getting ready to start with Baidu PPC, but you are lost?
Advertising on Baidu is a great way to get your company’s name in front of Chinese consumers and gain recognition in the Chinese market, but it’s important to make sure you target your paid ads correctly so you reach the right audience.
Baidu has a different search engine algorithm than Google, so make sure you research how best to use Baidu paid advertising for your specific company and products.
We are a Baidu Agency. Do you want to be ranked in the top Baidu position? You don’t know how to advertise and attract Chinese customers? contact us.