Ever since Google exited the scene in 2010, Baidu has become the dominant search engine in China, with over 80% of the market share. Founded by Robin Li and Eric Xu in 2000, Baidu gets its name from a Song Dynasty poem that uses the word to denote ‘a persistent search for the ideal’. It is very effective in parsing and interpreting Chinese text, has a gigantic index of Chinese web pages, and can handle more than 3.3 million daily queries and provide high-quality results.
In addition to being a search engine, Baidu offers its users a plethora of services. These include an Android mobile operating system, a web browser, and cloud computing. It also has a translation service, maps, travel sites, a music platform, a video platform, an online encyclopedia with over 100,000 articles, and more. To make revenue, Baidu sells advertisements on its ad network and search result pages.
There are over 640 million internet users in China and most of them use Baidu every day, often multiple times. Foreign businesses looking to make a splash in the domestic Chinese market cannot afford to overlook Baidu. However, it is a China-focused search engine, with a Chinese language user interface, and prioritizes Chinese sites in its index and search engine results. To feature on it, you will have to host your business website with a Chinese web hosting provider and make sure that it has relevant Chinese content for your target audience.
For an effective promotional campaign with Baidu search engine marketing (SEM), you will need to make use of its pay-per-click (PPC) advertising and search engine optimization (SEO) features. You can get started with the Baidu PPC advertising paid plans on the Phoenix Nest platform. There is a specified fee to open an account and you can use the amount later to fund your advertising campaigns on Baidu. You should be aware that the advertising expenses will vary, depending on your industry, its business competitiveness, and the bidding prices for high-ranking keywords.
Using Baidu SEM
The main purpose of Baidu SEM/Baidu PPC advertising is to garner immediate online exposure for your brand. Your advertising campaigns will get you right there before your target audience, and you can speed up things by using the right keywords and keyword phrases, employing eye-catching and high-quality images, and writing excellent advertisement copy. However, you shouldn’t ignore the long-term effectiveness of SEO and use that in tandem with Baidu PPC advertising.
Here are a few ideas for getting the most out of Baidu SEM:
Make use of Baidu SEM services
You can boost your promotional campaigns by making effective use of Baidu SEM services like Baidu Brand Zone, Baidu Feed Ads, Baidu Huabiao, Baidu Pay for Placement (P4P), Baidu Pro Theme, Baidu Baike, Zhihu Marketing, Self Media, and Baidu TV. With these, you will be able to select keywords, list advertisements in the search results, buy priority placement, target a specific audience, customize ads, promote videos, push relevant content, share knowledge, and more.
Partner with a China-focused digital marketing company
Working with a Chinese digital marketing company will enable you to get the most out of your Baidu SEM campaigns. After all, Baidu Tuiguang, the Baidu account management interface is in Chinese—although, they do also have an English version now—and you also need to know the language to be able to select the right keywords and write persuasive advertisements.
Translation services can only take you so far and won’t guard you against brand-damaging faux pas. Furthermore, you may need to contact the Baidu support team from time to time, and knowing Chinese will make it easier to smooth over any issues you might have.
Comply with Chinese legal rules and regulations
Since the Chinese government regulates the Chinese internet, Baidu is very particular about who it allows opening an advertisement account on its platform. You will need to first apply to the government for an Internet Content Provider (ICP) license, register your business website with a .cn domain name, and host it with a Chinese web hosting provider. Next, you must make sure that the content is in high-level Chinese and does not violate any legal rules in China.
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