If you’re looking to do any search marketing in China - organic or paid - you’ll need to get to know Baidu.
What is Baidu?
Baidu is China’s biggest search engine, with over 72% of China’s search engine market share. It also owns a variety of other websites.
To get a feel for how a regular Chinese person uses Baidu, check this video:
To learn more about the other search engines in China, check out this post first. Although Baidu is the most popular, it’s not the only search engine out there. Plus, people tend to go directly to e-commerce platforms when they’re ready to make a purchase.
Baidu Paid Marketing (Pay Per Click)
Baidu has an advanced advertising system that is very similar to Google Ads. It allows you to show ads to users that are searching for certain keywords. Read our guide here.
To learn more about the pay per click advertising interfaces, check this pdf guide.
Baidu advertising can also be extended beyond the search engine as well. Ads can be placed in:
Baidu’s mobile news feed (xinxiliu), which has over 500 million users.
Other websites that allow Baidu to manage ads on them (similar to Google AdSense).
Outdoor spots owned by Baidu.
Baidu’s knowledge products, such as Baidu Zhidao.
Baidu’s B2B platform, which also features regularly in search results.
Baidu Organic Marketing (SEO)
If you have a website with valuable Chinese-language content on it, it would be a waste to ignore even the most basic SEO. Have a look at this post to learn the easiest way to get started.
Experienced SEO-ers will find the above guide too basic, so here are some resources to help you level-up:
From there, there are two main routes you could take with regards to SEO.
The Low Road
One way to win at Baidu SEO is to copy and re-organize lots of content and post on your website’s homepage 5 or more times per week.
This works in niches where your brand will have relatively low touch with the consumer. In other words, they won’t check your content in too much detail, then they’ll move on to fill out a form or otherwise convert.
The High Road
Another way to work is to create high-quality, insightful, unique content.
That’s expensive, but it allows you to position your brand as a thought leader.
To make this work, we recommend you spread the content via more than just Baidu. Place your unique content not only on your website, but also on WeChat, Zhihu and popular sites within your niche.
To learn more about this, you’ll need to learn about our whole marketing system, as explained in China Digital Marketing 101’s sections on WeChat and Content Marketing.
Baidu offers a digital analytics tool similar to Google Analytics.
In some ways it isn’t as advanced or flexible as Google Analytics, but it provides value in other ways. Namely, it integrates better with Baidu’s advertising system and it provides more data on organic search queries.