How will the world of search engine optimization and social media platforms change in 2024? It’s time to take our annual look at what’s ahead for SEO, SEM, and Social Media in 2024. What SEO strategies and tactics will work and help you earn more revenue in the upcoming years in China?
The ultimate goal of Baidu SEO is to have your website appear in search engine results for designated keywords that are related to your business so that Chinese Internet users can easily find Chinese websites of brands they are interested in. Let’s check what are the best tactics in Baidu SEO, SEM, and social media marketing in the Chinese market in 2024.
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How is Baidu’s SEO Different from Google’s?
It’s not a secret that Google search console has lost its presence in China due to strict internet regulations. Marketers in the East need to learn the rules set by Baidu if they want to develop a winning Chinese SEO strategy. Baidu is the biggest Chinese search engine, with more than 62% of the Internet population using it as their first search engine of choice.
One of the fundamental factors in the China SEO landscape is that Chinese search engines pay attention to content quality. According to Baidu’s search algorithm Hurricane 2.0, websites identified with low originality, bad content coherence, and poor relevance within the site will be penalized or even banned forever if caught twice.
What is more, in comparison to Google SEO, Baidu still operates on meta keywords and meta descriptions, so these should be optimized as normal keywords. Of course, content needs to be in simplified Chinese if you are aiming to reach Chinese consumers.
Baidu’s features and sub-platforms
Just like Google has its own Gmail, flights, translating service, cloud, and many more, Baidu also operates up to 50 different products that are all integrated with each other, creating an amazing ecosystem of influence. On Baidu, apart from the search result pages, you can also go to other Baidu platforms, such as; maps, images, Baidu Zhidao, Baidu Tieba, Youku (one of the most popular video platforms in the world), libraries, cloud, new and many more.
If you’re aiming for a well-done Baidu SEO strategy, it’s good to leverage the possibilities of the whole ecosystem. You can start your Baidu account and create content with content creation tools, you can use Baidu webmaster tools for better results on your Chinese website, but you can also engage with Chinese customers through forums (Like Baidu Zhidao or Baidu Tieba) to build your e-reputation in China.
Forums and Internet communities are back on track
In fact, when it comes to trends, those forums and platforms that allow users to create communities are back. Although they never disappeared or became old-school in China as we experienced in the West, in 2023 people are scrolling search results pages and search queries with the aim of finding some advice, reviews, or recommendations from other users of the Baidu search engine.
Chinese society relies heavily on word-of-mouth marketing and because of many scandals and the growing lack of trust in Chinese KOLs, which are well-known influencers on Chinese social media platforms, people are looking for reviews of products and services from normal people who are using them. This is why all those forums and groups formed on WeChat or other social media platforms are becoming popular among Chinese netizens.
Chinese users spend more time doing online research
It’s also fundamental to create high-quality content because beautiful images and gifs as well as engaging storytelling have more possibility to attract the attention of consumers of local search engines. And considering that nowadays Millennials spend more time than ever doing online research before purchasing, companies must pay more attention to content to sell products in China.
However, when Millenials (and not only) do online research they don’t usually visit the company’s websites because they don’t trust very much information provided by the companies that (obviously) want to sell their own products. They will check the website to see the reliability of the company, but they will go elsewhere for actual product reviews.
They usually check information about the products on other websites and social media platforms and look for them in articles, blogs, and conversations on Q&A forums. You need to work on these online spaces through Baidu SEO to be found by your target audience. In addition, if you do it right, your own content will appear in Baidu SERP whenever a Chinese person puts relevant keywords in the search bar, as all of these platforms are linked together.
This means, that if you get a positive article about your brand or some positive comments or other relevant content on Baidu Zhidao, Baidu Tieba, and so on, you will appear on the Baidu search page, which is good for your Baidu SEO strategy.
Baidu Paid Advertising
There are a lot of options when it comes to advertising with Baidu – it really just depends on what your goals are and what you’re trying to achieve. Baidu has a variety of ad formats and targeting options, so it’s important to understand how each one works before deciding which is best for your brand or business.
One popular option is the paid search engine marketing (SEM) program. With this program, businesses can bid on specific keywords and then show up in the sponsored results section when someone searches for those keywords. This can be a great way to reach more people who are already interested in what you do or sell.
Another option is Baidu’s Display Network. It is a great way to increase brand awareness and reach new customers. With over 1 billion active users, Baidu offers unparalleled scale and reach in China. Ads are displayed across Baidu’s network of partner sites, including top news, entertainment, and lifestyle portals.
In addition to its massive reach, Baidu also offers sophisticated targeting options so you can reach your target audience with precision. You can target users based on their demographics, interests, and even past website behavior.
For Succesful Marketing on the Chinese Market: Understand Your Audience & User Intent
Does your audience prefer text? Images? Video? Audio? Knowing this will all be more important than ever in 2024.
You need to understand what Chinese people expect to find when they query a word or phrase because you have to give them the right answer in the simplest way.
The interests, tastes, and preferences of your audience can change more quickly than you think. Even if your Chinese website content is perfectly written and optimized, if it’s done for the wrong audience, it won’t grow your business in China.
On the contrary, if your site enhances your audience’s journey, you’ll be rewarded by Baidu SEO and your visitors will invest in you. The time is now to stop matching keyword phrases and start making sure that your content comprehensively answers questions your audience is asking via search.
Chinese third tiers cities are becoming more lucrative
For many years, companies have invested their resources in first-tier cities like Beijing and Shanghai, where there is the highest concentration of rich people. Recently, many brands have understood that the market in lower-tier cities has developed because people in these cities are becoming richer.
So, many luxury brands (and not only) began to invest in lower-tier cities to leverage the new purchasing power, especially that of the youngest layer of the population, that are more curious about new trends and products.
But even more interesting is to know that according to Baidu’s big data, especially the market of third-tier cities has particularly increased. This factor is very important because it highlights the high potentiality of these areas where competition is smaller.
Localize your Content on Chinese social media platforms
While re-thinking landing pages for the Chinese market, add links to Chinese social media platforms including WeChat, Little Red Book, Youku, Sina Weibo, Douyin, and so on. Brands with an existing Chinese social media presence should incorporate links or QR codes to those sites on web pages.
Those without accounts should still add “share” and “like” buttons to shareable content platforms to increase social traffic and crawl speed.
WeChat still dominates the social media landscape and using the official account to attract people’s attention has become more difficult. WeChat is the most frequently used tool, preferable over the phone and QQ (another social media/instant messaging platform).
To make WeChat an integral part of your China social media marketing strategy, think about more than quality content, consider using WeChat to communicate with prospects, such as creating a QR code for people to easily follow your account or generating a conversation window so visitors can quickly contact you.
Live streaming and KOCs are the protagonists of 2024
Live streaming is the most powerful tool in this phase of the funnel. Companies that want to attract the attention of their target during the pandemic era should organize live-streaming sessions with Chinese influencers as a part of their social media marketing campaigns. These “public calls” become more attractive when including the participation of KOLs or KOCs, or for companies that have available even bigger budgets, when are related to important Chinese events and an expensive digital platform like Tmall.
Chinese users during this occasion want to know particular aspects of products and want to listen to well-prepared sellers, not just KOL who want to share their faces. So, to organize more attractive events companies must involve the more adaptable representatives. For example, the Palace of Versailles gave an exclusive two hours “VIP tour”, allowing users to virtually visit areas of the palace they cannot normally see in person.
Companies must collaborate with KOCs to create trust among users
KOCs are Key Opinion Consumers. In Western countries, they are commonly referred to as micro-influencers, but in China, they actually can have a big audience of engaged followers who trust their judgment.
These Opinion leaders with a limited amount of followers have become particularly influential in recent years. Companies that invest in them often obtain higher ROI than when investing in KOLs.
The reason behind such interesting results seems to be that KOCs are usually seen as more natural by their target. They talk to a niche that really trusts their interest in the products they sell.
Mobile Usage Continues to Increase: in China Be Mobile Friendly
In March 2019, China had over 897 million mobile Internet users, which accounted for 99,1 percent of the total netizen population, a substantial jump from 90.1 percent in 2015. Meanwhile, the market for Internet advertising was 290.27 billion RMB and mobile ads accounted for 60.29 percent of that number.
More than 95% of internet users in China use mobile phones to connect online. Websites that are not mobile-friendly are given a lower ranking on Baidu SEO and have a higher bounce rate from mobile users. Consider a separate design for a mobile version of the site that packs essential information “above the fold” and minimizes scrolling and text link clicking.
Baidu is trying to attract more advertising dollars by providing mobile-friendly features, such as call extension and enhanced CPC bidding on mobile, which has drawn marketers’ attention. As paid search and other marketing strategies are leading traffic to your mobile site, you need to be serious about evaluating your mobile site performance and prioritizing mobile optimization in 2024.
Need Help With Your Digital Marketing Strategy in China? Contact Us!
The digital marketing landscape in China is changing fast. The trends aren’t going anywhere and will continue to greatly impact China’s digital marketing in 2024. We hope this article will give you some ideas as you plan out your online marketing program.
We are a China digital and Baidu SEO agency with more than 10 years of experience in helping foreign brands enter the Chinese market. We worked with over 600 brands from different industries, helping them with Baidu SEO, website design, e-reputation, branding, market research, app development, social media marketing and many more.
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We can help you gain success in China with a well-tailored marketing strategy. Our group of Internet marketing experts will be glad to discuss your project, so don’t hesitate to leave us a comment or contact us to start winning in China!