Is Baidu Advertising a Good Way to Reach Chinese Speakers Living in Western Countries?

Thu, 09/27/2012 - 15:04

Somebody recently asked me:

Would Baidu's advertising platform would be a good way to reach Chinese-reading Internet users based in Australia?

To answer this, it's important to know how much Baidu search traffic there is in Australia. For that matter, how much Baidu search traffic is there outside of China in total? How about USA, the UK, Canada?

To answer these questions, I dug into some statistics for 10 websites. Over the timespan I checked, there were 58,000 visits via Baidu.

This is what I found:

  1. 95.9% of the Baidu visits were from mainland China.
  2. 96.5% of the Baidu visits were from 'greater China'. This includes Hong Kong, Taiwan and Vancouver. (Just kidding, not Vancouver.)
  3. Only 0.07% of the Baidu visits were from Australia. That's 43 visits out of 58,000.
  4. Visits from USA: 1.1%
  5. The UK: 1.0%
  6. Canada: 0.2%
  7. In total, only 3.55% of Baidu traffic for these sites was not from mainland China, Taiwan or Hong Kong.

What does this mean?

For one, Baidu pay per click advertising probably isn't your best marketing channel for reaching Chinese-reading demographics located in Western countries. There's just not enough search volume. Plus, Baidu's platform doesn't allow for targeting by country anyways.

However, search engine optimization is still an option in some cases, because basic:

  1. SEO can (sometimes) be done for a small expense.
  2. It's applicable to other search engines, most notably Google.
  3. It may be possible to target many low-volume search terms.
  4. You don't pay per click, so even if you are getting traffic from China, it surely won't hurt.

The data should be taken with a grain of salt because it isn't a huge sample size.




Thanks so much Tait, this is exactly the kind of research and feasibility information I was looking for. I really appreciate you taking the time to write an article on this. Best regards, Justin.

No Problem Justin. I hope others find it useful too. :)

Indeed, very interesting article Tait. Do you think SEO on Baidu is really valuable for English-language websites( that means ranking English keywords) or that a foreign website needs to implement a SEO strategy based on Chinese keywords ? Do you know the percentage of keywords or phrases written in English on Baidu toolbar ? Thanks

I don't think Baidu SEO is very useful for English-language websites. There may be some exceptions...but they are few. For English SEO, focus on Google.

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