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All About Search Engine Marketing on Baidu


China not only has the largest population in the world at well over a billion people, but they also have the largest population of internet users, with several hundred million people using the net daily. Whether they are using their desktop computers, laptops, or mobile devices, traffic statistics show that the most common method of finding something on the internet for Chinese users is to use the Baidu search engine; 2018 saw Baidu having 80% of the search engine market in China. Baidu has over 60 million visitors per day, so this means, if you are planning on doing business in China, you are going to need to optimize your website and content for Baidu, as well as prepare for search engine marketing through Baidu.


Account Setup

To begin your search engine marketing strategy on Baidu, you need to know a few things first, and that begins with setting up an account on Baidu. Before you can start paying for ads on Baidu, you need to set up an officially registered account as your company. If you are a foreign based company, this can be a bit more expensive, and paperwork intensive, but in the end, it will be worth it for selling your products within the Chinese marketplace. Validating a Baidu PPC account is going to take a few months, or even up to 6 months, so be patient. It may help you to get assistance from a company that already operates with China to speed up your process and better understand it.


PPC Ad Placement

Baidu PPC is a bit different from Google’s version in that it is a more simplistic implementation. Where on Google it's made obvious which are clearly ads, on Baidu they are integrated in the search results more. This is mainly due to the fact that Chinese people in general are more comfortable with ads, so they don’t need to separate them as much. Furthermore, when it comes to paying for ad placement, price trumps quality on Baidu when compared to Google AdWords. Google will weigh the quality and relevance of ads when it determines cost for PPC, but on Baidu, while they have been leaning towards an AdWords system, it is still primarily determined by price; pay more and you will get a better ad placement position on search results.


Advertise to the Location

When deciding on your marketing strategy on Baidu, remember where Baidu is primarily located. All your advertising should be focused on your Chinese products—and on the markets of Mainland China, Taiwan, and Hong Kong. You should also take into account the control of the government over certain content, so avoid sensitive topics or keywords to avoid censorship of your ads.


Budget Flexibility

Compared to Google, Baidu has much better budget flexibility options. Google generally only allows you to plan a campaign level on a daily basis, where Baidu expands upon this. On Baidu, you can plan your daily spending limit on both an account-wide level and on individual campaigns. You may not know which of your campaigns will perform well, and this allows you to easily adjust budgets on-the-fly if one campaign is doing better than another, allowing a campaign to pull from account level allotment rather than just its own. The Budget Accumulation Tool can also allow you to reallocate unused funds automatically to other days in your campaign to drive up traffic.


Keyword Planner and Evaluation Report

Baidu has a built-in tool to help you find the right keywords for your advertising campaign. You can see what relevant keywords are related to industry keywords that you choose, and their relative bidding price. As well, Baidu will generate detailed statistical reports for your SEM campaigns to help you decide on what prices to set for campaigns and your account.

If you are looking to expand into the Chinese marketplace, or are already there and need more connections, visit the Plan China website and sign up for the next Plan China conference in London, UK on April 23, 2021. Contact us for more details.