Consumers are now staying online more than ever and they are preferring purchases based on the search engine rankings and ads. Ask anyone in the Western world what they reach out to search online, and the answer is quite unanimous – Google. But when we pose the same question to a Chinese or a person living in Mainland China, the answer will be entirely different!
Baidu – The game-changer of SEM in China
You cannot Google in China. Yes, because the search engine giant has a strict ban in this nation. The search engine that the Chinese majorly use is Baidu. This makes search engine marketing in China (adstochina.westwin.com/Search-Engine-Marketing-in-China) entirely different compared to the Western World.
Let us understand in what ways it differs and how to tackle search engine marketing in China.
Registering a website on Google needs minimal or sometimes not many legal formalities. But if you want to register a website and business on Baidu, there are many legal registrations you must go through. Unless you take the help of a proven internet marketing agency based in China, at most times, you find it tough to complete the entire procedure.
Google indexes webpages with time and after some technical constraints are met. Ranking and traffic for a website on Google may take months at times a minimum a year. But when it comes to Baidu, the time taken for ranking and traffic inflow is quite faster. This makes it faster for websites to show up in search results in China compared to in Western countries.
Westerners are more of a notion that paid ads are targeting them to buy their products. Unless they need them or find them too interesting, customers in Western countries do not easily click on the paid ads.
On the contrary, the Chinese believe that those brands that are spending on paid ads might have something that might be worth trying. This is the reason many paid ads get through better click-through rates in search engine marketing in China. This is a boon for those companies that are planning to expand their business through paid internet marketing strategies in China.
Google ranks websites based on their depth in content and does not focus too much on the home page. On the other hand, search engines in China focus more on home page content and its quality along with other pages. That said, if you are keen to win customers through your website, you should give enough focus to your website home page as a part of your search engine marketing strategy in China.
Also, while Google gives priority to unique and plagiarism free content, Baidu accepts copy-pasted content without penalizing the website owners. Thus the cost of content creation and efforts needed are lesser in China.
In western countries, it is the websites made in English that score well on search results and search engines. When it comes to search engine marketing strategy in China, it is only that websites designed in Mandarin rank fast and get approved easily compared to the English based ones.
When we talk about websites in the Western world, what strikes us the most is the websites ending with .com, .org, etc. But if you want to hit the bull’s eye in China through search engine marketing, you should choose a .cn extension for your online space. Else, it might be not a cakewalk to get approval that easily.
To rank better on Google, western websites focus on outbound links. But when it comes to ranking in Chinese web engines, the focus should be on both inbound and outbound links. This is because unlike their western counterparts, the Chinese search engines focus equally on the quality of both.
When considering outbound links to your website, Chinese search engines give preference to the ones arriving from Chinese websites rather than English websites. This is another aspect that one should not while drafting a search engine marketing strategy in China.
One needs to remember to act like a Roman when in Rome. Thus, when you are planning to expand your business base through your website in China, you should adhere to its rules and regulations to win the game and rank at the top.
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