In China, there are hundreds of fashion brands vying for the attention of consumers. However, many of these brands do not have a strong online presence and thus cannot be found through popular search engines like Baidu. Without effective Baidu search engine optimization (SEO), these brands will likely continue to lose out to their competitors.
In this post, we guide you through the steps to rank on the top results of China’s number 1 search engine!
Baidu’s branding is important in China
Internet referencing and more specifically Baidu search engine optimization are vital for your success in China. Chinese consumers rely a lot on Baidu to search for information, just like Westerners on Google. They could search for the services you provide or a closely connected topic.
Whether you have your own website or not, you need to bring your information visible and clear to gain your consumers’ trust and show a good brand image. Also, the search results lead to longer time spent browsing in China (+30% longer exposure). Being ranked highly or at the top and on the first page of the Baidu Chinese search engine is the ultimate goal.
Introduction to the Baidu search engine
In China, no more “Google is your friend”. Baidu is the best friend of brands to get visibility on the internet. Baidu is the largest and most important search engine in China with over 70% of China’s search engine market share, being far ahead of Sogou (6,63%) and 360 Search (3,27%).
According to the authoritative data provided by third parties, Baidu PC and mobile have over 800 million active users and 97,5% of China’s netizens have searched via Baidu. In fact, there are more than 5 billion daily queries from Chinese Internet users.
This huge dominance in terms of market share coupled with an active user base reflects the importance of Baidu’s strategy for business in China. A good position on Baidu helps to drive quality traffic, increase lead generation and develop your branding on Baidu.
What is Baidu SEO?
The method for making your Chinese website visible in the natural and organic search results on Baidu is called search engine optimization.
Visibility in China is based on simplified Chinese searches. Mainland China presented a problem for Google in terms of Mandarin Keywords (Simplified) and the Chinese character system is completely unique when it comes to key search terms.
Baidu is deep into scanning and detailing Chinese websites in a way Google isn’t. Baidu actually approves websites before they can advertise on the platform. This is why the correct meta tags, meta descriptions, meta keywords, and titles for referenced websites are so important.
Why do fashion brands need SEO adapted to Chinese search engines?
There are a few reasons why Baidu SEO is so important for fashion brands in China.
For starters, Baidu is the largest search engine in China, with over 70% market share. If your fashion brand isn’t targeting Chinese consumers through Baidu, you’re missing out on a huge chunk of the market. The majority of SEO in China is done on Baidu’s search engine, as it’s the most effective way.
Chinese consumers are increasingly shopping online for fashion products, and they’re using Baidu to search for information about brands and products before making a purchase decision. If your brand isn’t appearing in the search results of Baidu and other search engines when these consumers are searching for information about fashion, you’re missing out on potential sales.
Baidu has a different algorithm than Google. What work on Google won’t necessarily work with Baidu.
SEO is important for any comprehensive digital strategy in China because the highest quality leads are generated from natural search results. When someone enters a meta keyword, he may want to find useful information, so it is necessary to facilitate the customer’s research.
Baidu considers some factors to decide how will be your ranking in its search engine. The quality of your website and some referencing features represent an on-site optimization and backlinks, friend links, and promotions represent an off-site optimization.
Are Baidu and Google similar?
Although Baidu and Google share many similarities, there are distinct differences that set them apart. As the largest index of Chinese web pages in the world, Baidu is exclusively focused on giving priority to content written in Simplified Chinese with minimal inclusion of English websites as search results—a feature not seen through Google’s lens.
Despite its core focus being search engine queries for users, much like its American counterpart it also offers advertising opportunities across networked sites and result pages which differ slightly from what one may find when using Google services.
Baidu’s vast range of platforms and websites offer greater complexity than Google, making it essential to develop a custom Baidu SEO strategy for optimal results. Taking the time to craft an effective approach tailored specifically to this ecosystem is well worth the effort.
What is considered a quality website by Baidu?
Quality websites are those that focus on delivering a great user experience. This means having a well-designed website that is easy to navigate and provides relevant, accurate, and timely information.
In addition, quality websites should be mobile-friendly and load quickly. Baidu also factors in a website’s third-party reviews when determining whether it is considered quality.
The site must feature quality Chinese content (Dual language or translated versions are less effective). “Quality” includes the language: the content should be in simplified Chinese as Baidu will not rank high other foreign languages sites or even Chinese dialects.
For the content, you have to add new and unique content so make sure there are new publications regularly and with content that hasn’t appeared anywhere else.
Also, the quantity of information is important. 8-12 pages are typical: as we just said, quantity is important, but do not put quantity over quality. It is necessary to manage both.
Quality image: Images are above all here to increase your Brand’s impression. In China, appearance is very important for your product and for your brand.
How to optimize your website for Baidu SEO?
There are a few things you can do to optimize your website for Baidu. The most important is to make sure that your website is hosted on a server in China. This will ensure that your site loads quickly for Chinese users. Baidu also favors websites hosted in China over foreign ones.
You should also use Chinese keywords and phrases on your website. This will help Baidu index your site more effectively and make it more visible to Chinese users.
In addition, you should remember to regularly update your content to keep it fresh and relevant. You can use many available Baidu Webmaster Tools to check trends and customer insights, to get the idea on what content might be interesting for your readers.
A static website is better for reducing the load time as the speed of load time is also considered by Baidu. The Baidu Spider (the automatic program control) can detect slow-loading pages and it will push down the rankings.
Manage your Meta-tags. Take a look at our previous article about 15 useful Baidu SEO tips for brands in China that provide explanations for Meta-tags.
On-site optimization takes time and you need to carefully manage it in order to launch an effective campaign.
What else can you do to improve your ranking?
Apart from taking care of quality content and the overall look of your website, there also other actions you can take to improve your ranking in Baidu search results.
Get an ICP license
Unlike Google, Baidu requires all websites to have an ICP license, issued by the Chinese government, if they are hosted within China’s borders and indexed sites outside of the country. Obtaining this internet content publishing license brings added responsibilities; individuals must possess a valid national ID while businesses need full registration with the state before applying for it.
With such rigorous standards surrounding websites and access being available even off mainland soil via international hosting services or mirror copies, these guidelines shape how we interact with information online from one part of the world to another. If you need help with obtaining an ICP license for your Chinese websites, we are your Baidu SEO agency, contact us for any help you might need.
The back-linking process is important for Baidu SEO
There are a few things you can do to get backlinks and improve your Baidu ranking:
- Publish high-quality content on your website that is relevant to your target audience. This will help attract links from other websites.
- Public Relations and Press release
- Participate in online discussions and forums related to your industry, and include a link to your website in your signature.
- Submit articles featuring your company or products to popular online publications and blogs.
- Include links to your website in the bios of social media profiles, and post links to interesting blog posts or articles on Chinese social media and forums
Backlinks are part of off-site optimization, which refers to the processes outside of the site itself. The two processes perfectly complement one another. The more your website is attractive, producing fresh and clear content, the more you will succeed in off-site optimization
The links from other websites to your website represent an important part of the ranking process. The quality (of the website that put your link in its content) and the quantity (the number of websites that introduced you) will impact your position in the search engine results. The better the ranking of other sites linking to your site/content the higher you are placed.
Get a Chinese domain address
To ensure your content is visible to Baidu users and decrease chances of experiencing problems due to the country’s Great Firewall, obtain a .cn domain. Though for non-Chinese citizens or businesses, this may not be feasible, enlisting help from an experienced local Baidu SEO agency can give you a head start in overcoming these challenges.
Don’t experiment with coding – go with HTML
Baidu Pay Per Click
Baidu PPC is the dominant model for ads on the platform with Banner/DSP less advanced. It is possible to collaborate with Baidu and to pay for search exposure of your website (the first 5 paid results).
This solution is more efficient at the start of your campaign, with no previous visibility. You need to invest in paid search results on popular Keywords. In fact, achieving the first-page position takes time. SEO is achieved by building backlinks and producing content, the effects are cumulative.
How can we help you?
GMA is also a Baidu SEO specialist. We aim to be clear and transparent with clients about the nature of the work we do.
- To select mandarin Chinese Keywords: our team is constituted of Chinese and Foreign people who have good knowledge of the Chinese market and its latest web trends.
- To provide a large database of local sites for links and references: we have developed a database of qualified sites with strong positions to build the reputation of our client’s Chinese sites.
- Site Audit and optimization on Baidu: we can help you to manage your website in the way Baidu will favorite it.
- Lead generation campaign: in terms of cost per lead, we have seen significant ROI. We have developed many successful projects by using the latest digital tools
- To implement PPC/SEO
You can take a look at our SEO services for fashion brands in China here. Do not hesitate to contact us if you want to launch or develop your business in China.