Everything SEO Managers must handle for Baidu Marketing
First of all, let’s remind the basics figures about Baidu. In China, over 700 million people use Internet. They generally use Chinese search engines, such as Haoso.com, Sogou.com, .. But among them all, it’s Baidu which is the most popular one.
Baidu has over 70% of China’s search market, it also has 657 million monthly active users. Finally, this search engine makes nearly all of it’s revenue from operations in China. So Baidu is really a Must in China. Therefore, as a SEO Manager in China, you cannot avoid Baidu.
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SEO on Baidu
Get your Baidu Account
Basically, you can’t do SEO on Baidu if you don’t have an account there. Having a Baidu account will allow you to do every single step we will talk about in the following paragraphs. It will help you to improve your SEO on Baidu.
In order to do so, you must click on this link and fill out the blanks correctly. You can either sign up with a phone number or via e-mail. The following screenshot indicates you what you should land on when clicking on the link right above.
Once you’ve received Baidu’s confirmation email, you’re done. You will be able to activate your account.
Baidu’s Open-Heart Surgery
Baidu has a similar page-approach to Google. One big column on the left, and a tighter one on the right. Here, we typed in 美国旅游 (meiguo lvyou) standing for america travel. The SERP displays paid and related results on the right, and paid and organic results on the left.
On Baidu, like Google does, there are many websites related to Baidu.
With these different screenshots, we’ve done a “Baidu’s Open-Heart Surgery” for you to understand the search engine’s organization. On this particular keyword we typed in, you can easily see that there are many paid options (PPC).
27% of Baidu’s search traffic refers to its own related websites. Among these related websites the most famous ones are Baidu Zhidao, Baidu Lvyou, Baidu Baike, Baidu Tieba..
You can easily see here that Baidu first pages are quite often flooded with PPC ads.
Key SEO and Algorithm differences
Site Architecture and Functionality
On-Page Titles + Meta Data
Your title tags and meta data must be carefully done. Your title tag mustn’t exceed 80 characters. Further more, Baidu still takes in consideration meta descriptions and meta keywords for ranking issues. The Meta description character limit is 200, whereas meta keyword’s is 100.
Backlinks Campaign : so important for Baidu SEO
If you want to rank good on Baidu, you must absolutely incorporate some links to your website.
Backlinks are a very important factor when it comes to ranking on Baidu.
On your website, when you publish articles as if you were an online media, you must feature some quality backlinks from famous and serious websites. For instance, you can relay some quality backlinks coming from The Guardian, Reuters, The Economist…
An other solution to improve your ranking on Baidu is to build some long-term partnerships with similar websites than yours. You can offer them to publish some backlinks referring to their website, and they can do the same thing relating to your website. For example, you can ask them to agree on a twice-a-week publication which would include your backlinks. This is a very interesting opportunity to increase your SEO in a good way.
Of course, you mustn’t, in any way, translate your on-page content thanks to Google Translator. You must be sure that your content is original and unique. You must also be careful that it has as few spelling mistakes as possible. Otherwise, people visiting your website will not trust what your write.
You must also be sure of updating your information. Baidu will always favor a website updating its content to another which would not. Thus, when a new information has emerged about something you wrote in your articles, do not hesitate to update your information by posting a new article about this information. Baidu’s robots will focus on your quality content and then you will benefit from a higher ranking.
Hosting your website in China
Baidu will always advantage a website which is hosted in Mainland China, on a CN domain. Website hosted in Europe or America for example, usually take a much longer time to upload. So if you want your viewers to stay on your website, you must be sure of having a quick loading website. However, if you struggle with hosting your website in China, you can choose to host it in Hong-Kong. It is a good way to keep on the track of Baidu ranking race.
Baidu’s related websites
Baidu Zhidao 百度知道
Baidu Zhidao is a Q&A parent website to Baidu. Every single netizen can browse through this V3 verified website in order to get some information about whatever subject they want. If they want to provide some further information they can ask a question which hasn’t been posted yet, and answer it themselves, or create another account to do so.
Baidu Lvyou 百度旅游
Baidu lvyou is a tourism parent website to Baidu. It is similar in many ways to the western website Trip Advisor. There, Chinese people can rate the different touristic places they’ve been to. These ratings will allow other Chinese tourists who are potentially interested in these places to make up their mind much more easily.
Baidu Baike 百度百科
Baidu Baike is a knowledge parent website to Baidu. It is similar in many ways to the western website worldwide known: Wikipedia. Thus, on Baidu Baike Chinese netizens can search for further information about some people they like or are interested in. Here you can check the Baidu baike concerning the famous basket ball player : Yao Ming.
Master Baidu’s keywords thanks to Baidu Zhanzhang
Baidu has its own webmaster tools. Though, its interface is only available in Chinese. This Baidu Zhanzhang tool will ensure your website to be indexed in Baidu’s SERP. This crucial characteristic is often put aside by Western websites trying to catch the Chinese’s attention, some of them can be very famous Western brands.
You need to sign up with your Baidu account, as shown above, to access this Baidu zhanzhang tool. You will then face the main interface.
This tool will allow you to optimize your website on Baidu. So that Baidu is much more favorable to your website. Baidu Zhanzhang will also help you to have precise information about particular keywords searches and content marketing strategies. It will allow you to know more about keyword trends in many different scales such as: city, province, time period…
Thus, you can really focus on the target you aim, in order to be very proficient in this area.
This will allow you to have a very good SEO for your website, and your viewers will be much more focused when they visit your website. This tool will also allow you see if the keywords you’re looking for are now trendy or not. This will then help you to manage your keywords settings, so that you have the best keywords possible. The better are your keywords, the more visits you will get on your website!
For instance, if you search for “latest TV shows”, you will be able to see the popular TV shows which are the most typed on Baidu.
Therefore, using Baidu Zhanzhang is a great opportunity for you to master the keywords on Baidu.
Don’t forget to go Mobile!
In China, most people use their cellphone. They use it to purchase stuff from Taobao, to buy some food, some tickets for the cinema… WeChat recently reported it had close to 700 million monthly active users! Therefore, you cannot go past adapting to mobile use if you want to have a good share of these numerous mobile users. Also, as you can see in the infographic featured at the beginning of this article, Baidu has over 657 million monthly active mobile search users. Thus, there is a huge market where you can be really proficient.
The first step for your website is to be mobile-friendly. You must have a good user experience on your website. People should easily go through your different pages without waiting too long. Otherwise they would instantly go away. Baidu has a full mobile optimization guide in Chinese. Check it out!
If you already have a mobile website, you must get Baidu to recognize it as such, and to crawl it accordingly. In order to do so, you must type in the correct meta tags. Baidu’s mobile user agent is similar to Baiduspider, so you must add the following meta tag into your desktop pages. In this way, your desktop pages will be crawled for mobile utilization.
Here is the meta tag:
<meta name=”mobile-agent”content=”format=; url=url”>
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