Ultimately, SEO is all about building your company’s authority and ranking on search engine results pages. But how do you become an SEO expert in China and what tools can you use to achieve your digital marketing goals?
We are quickly approaching the start of the new year. Have you already implemented your new year resolutions for your business? And what about a China marketing strategy?
Of course, we assume that you have already set your digital and search engine marketing goals for this year. In line with this, we from Tenba Group, your Chinese digital marketing agency, list the reasons why your business should be blogging in Chinese.
Plus, we reveal the top content marketing trends for China and the world, which you must know in order to become an SEO expert for China! We have put together the best online content marketing trends for this year and will discuss the ways Baidu and WeChat are influencing blogging in China.
Blogging in China
Blog articles belong on your website for Baidu search engine optimization as well as on your WeChat Official Account. In fact, Baidu is China’s most popular search engine because Google is blocked.
In the past, content on Chinese websites was less important and only required a bit of onsite optimization while the main focus was on creating backlinks. However, after the latest Baidu core updates, content is increasingly more important and a good content strategy for your Chinese website is essential to rank on Baidu, Sogou, or other Chinese platforms like WeChat.
No matter, where in the world your business is located, and which products or services you offer, reaching the Chinese digital market and around the world is a must in today’s time.
4 Chinese SEO Benefits of Blogging
Today, let’s talk about the benefits of blogging for your business. In our last blog post, we talked about search engine optimization (SEO) and whether it is important for your website. Spoiler alert: it very much is. We discussed factors like internal linking and meta descriptions as strategies to optimize your website for search engines.
But we didn’t discuss blogs in detail so far. So, what are the actual benefits of blogging for your enterprise? Let’s find out in this article by Tenba Group – your SEO agency for China. Also, let’s discover how blogging in China differs from writing blogs in other parts of the world.
First, let’s start with the similarities – why a blog is a great addition to your business website either way. We have identified 4 main reasons to start for you to start writing blog articles for your company today:
1. Keeps Your Website Relevant
If your website produces regular blog articles, it will help keep the website current. With almost 2 billion websites online worldwide, most of them brand-new, no one clicks on an outdated website.
Keeping your website fresh is really important so that a search engine can trust that it is up-to-date. Blogging allows you to update your website without changing much of the structural content.
Besides compatibility for mobile devices and speed, current and appealing content is a key factor for website users to continue spending their valuable time there.
What if I don’t know what to write about?
Not knowing what blog content to cover or how to write a blog is a common question. First of all, think of the product or service you are selling.
Who are your target clients?
What are their problems?
Why would they visit your website in the first place?
Once you have a clear answer to those questions, you can start coming up with topics.
To make your life easier, you don’t have to go 100% text on the first try. Original photos, videos, and podcasts are great as well. Using original photos and videos is a great way to build authority on a subject because users will share any good, quality content driving more traffic to your site.
2. Keeps Your Audience on Your Site longer
Another benefit of having a blog is that it gives you the opportunity to link to other parts of your website.
When users visit a web page and then jump to other pages on the same site, it tells the search engine that the website is full of value and that you are an SEO expert on China, bumping its rating. This is a great tool you can use to change your audience into potential customers later on.
How does that work exactly?
The longer and more frequently users visit your site, the more brand familiarity they will develop. Keep in mind that the average user will spend just a little over 2 minutes on your website. If the content and information have a high quality and are relevant to them, they will return.
As your visitors consider your blog an authority in the industry and need to order a product or service that your business offers, their familiarity with the brand will make your business the obvious choice.
So to get users to stay on your site longer make sure to link the content of your blog posts to the other pages on your website.
3. Reach Your Audience Precisely
Our third argument for blogging is that by using special keywords you can respond more precisely to the needs and problems of your target group.
Let’s say you want to search for “women’s fashion”. That generic search doesn’t actually say if your intent is to find an online store, a blog, or an app that tells you what to wear in different types of weather.
So the result is that you get millions of hits that aren’t relevant to your needs. But if you run a search for “Paris women’s fashion boutique” you will get results that are much more relevant.
The second search used what is referred to as a long-tail keyword. Since shorter generic keywords are very competitive, using long-tail keywords allows you to reach a particular audience to which you can offer your content. Having a blog gives you a lot of opportunities to use these long-tail keywords and become an SEO expert on China marketing strategies.
This is a great strategy for business owners because you will use content that you already have to bump yourself higher in search engine rankings and drive more traffic to your site.
The same is true for keywords with purchase intent, where you anticipate what a customer might need, and how he or she would search for it. For example, “Christmas sweater sale”.
How long does a successful blog need to be?
Your blog can be anywhere between 300 to 1,600 words. According to research, 300 words is the smallest amount of words your blog needs to have in order to show up in search engine results. If you are a business owner trying to tackle SEO strategy with very limited spare time then this option is for you.
However, for ranking high in search engine results you should aim to have 1,000 words in your blog. Furthermore, research shows that posts of around 1,600 are far more likely to be shared. How long your posts are up to you and your writing skills.
Of course, shorter blog posts give you fewer opportunities for using long-tail keywords and establishing yourself as an SEO expert for China on a particular topic but they are much easier to write.
Longer blog posts give you more opportunities to connect and interact with your readers and potential clients especially because readers are more likely to comment on longer posts.
4. Get Valuable Backlinks
Having a blog with good quality information will cause other users and websites to share your content. It also establishes you as an industry and opinion leader. If your website receives a link from another page or from social media, this is called a backlink.
Backlinks are a very important part of SEO because they are, essentially, a vote of confidence from another website in the information you provide. Since search engines care very much about quality information, having backlinks is an extremely important part of your business’s SEO plan.
Learn how to create a website easily here. Whether you are an established enterprise or a start-up, blogging is absolutely crucial for your business.
Do you want a helping hand with getting started? The dedicated SEO experts on China – your favorite online marketing company – Tenba Group are here to help you out. Give us a call, send us a WhatsApp message or an email. We are looking forward to hearing from you!
Digression: Blogging in China vs. the Rest of the World
Now, we have established that there are many benefits of blogging for your business. It informs your audience and provides added value, as well as optimizes your website for search engines and makes it easier for new clients to find your business. But are there differences in blogging around the world?
China has the following special features:
1. Video blogs on social media
In particular, the younger generation in the Middle Kingdom is constantly online. Blogging has become something of a national sport. Popular social media like TikTok/Douyin and xiaohongshu (RED) offer the possibility to create and share video blogs.
These are particularly popular with Chinese teenagers. Traditional blogs on websites are losing importance in the personal area. Companies still benefit from blogs on websites, in combination with a good SEO and/or PPC strategy.
2. Baidu instead of Google
Baidu SEO (“free”) and Baidu PPC (paid) are popular techniques to improve the ranking on this search engine and thereby attract visitors to your website.
You may have heard of internet censorship in the Middle Kingdom. This includes regime criticism, pornographic, and violence-glorifying content. Research well about which topics you can write about without hesitation.
The financial and pharmaceutical industries, for example, are also not allowed to place pay-per-click (PPC) advertising on Baidu. Therefore, SEO in these industries is the only way to improve search engine rank and get more visitors to relevant websites.
Chinese Content Marketing Trends in 2021
It is not enough to simply blog though. An SEO expert in China also needs to stay on top of current digital marketing trends and their impact on the Chinese market.
Find out how you can use these trends to improve your SEO strategy and expand your business to include the Chinese market.
1. Start with a Chinese SEO Expert Strategy
In our fast-paced world, every step your business takes online and on your social media channels must have a clear purpose. A successful content marketing strategy is aligned with your business strategy and goals.
In combination with target group-oriented China SEO campaigns, you will be successful with your company in China and around the world.
Sounds Logical, but What Does that Mean?
Most international social media platforms (except LinkedIn, for example) are blocked in China. With them, you can reach Chinese people outside of mainland China, for example, Chinese in Hong Kong and Taiwan.
Also, remember that there are Chinese-specific social networks in the Middle Kingdom. The most important ones are WeChat (the super app for literally everything), Sina Weibo, and Douyin/Tik Tok. Being active there is a must if you want to skyrocket your business in the Chinese market!
How do I create a Content Strategy?
Answering the following questions may help you to develop your individual content marketing strategy:
- What do you currently post? How does your audience react?
- Do you talk about your products and services?
- What do your customers and testimonials say about you?
- Are you already an opinion leader in your niche?
- When (day, time) do you publish new content?
- How does your content connect to your business strategy and goals?
- Are you using the SEO expert in China strategies to reach more consumers?
A good content marketing strategy allows you to
- create brand awareness
- inform people about your offers
- spark interest in your brand
- encourage purchases of your products and services
With good content, it is easy to turn new prospects into regular and loyal customers.
2. Find your Niche
An unbelievable 3.6 billion people around the world use social media platforms. It may sound tempting to want to reach all of these people at once. When social networks were fairly new, this was also a good strategy.
But nowadays, as the market is becoming saturated, it makes more sense to address a specific niche with tailored offers. Because there are fewer competitors in an (undeveloped) niche market.
Let’s look at this from a more practical angle. For example, instead of a general clothing brand, you could create minimalist fashion for young business people. Instead of a generic gym, you could specifically target young mothers or seniors.
Nowadays it is always a matter of addressing a smaller audience with high-quality information and content. As a result, the conversion rate, meaning from prospects to paying customers, typically will be higher.
Is it the same in China?
Currently, the trends in China are around safe, high-quality household and baby products as well as luxury brands in the fashion and cosmetics sector.
In China, too, there are countless opportunities for your company to serve a special niche or to meet a special need. Of course, that depends on your business model, your network, and your ideas.
3. Be Original
Although internet users generally have a very short attention span, statistics show that websites with added value such as high-quality information can keep users’ attention longer. This is true for China as well as the rest of the world!
For example, do you know the viral videos in which Chinese farmers dance in their fields? Longer blog articles and videos such as tutorials and webinars are great ways to provide users with unique content with tangible added value. Based on this, you can offer premium options, for instance.
4. Be Authentic & Transparent
Your content must reflect the values of your company and communicate transparently – regardless of whether your company focuses on sustainability or profit optimization. If your business has more appearance than substance, you will lose your customers.
This means that whenever you create online content, you should be authentic, honest, and transparent. It doesn’t matter whether you upload a YouTube video to your channel or publish a LinkedIn article on your company site.
If you publish shorter texts, Sina Weibo is a great choice. Longer texts belong on WeChat. Using your WeChat official business account, optimized WeChat articles will be ranked and Sogou will index them, helping you reach a larger Chinese audience.
5. Personalize Your Content
Online users pay attention to where they spend their money. They prefer brands that they value as customers. With personalized content, you can get in touch with your target group. Here are some examples of what you can do:
- Use the poll feature on Facebook
- Customize the homepage of your website, for example for registered members
- Add tags to your WeChat contacts to customize communication
This year is about delivering tailored experiences. Providing personalized content is only the first step.
China has a real passion for personalization and individual content compared to the rest of the world. Since the sense of community is more important than individuality, many Chinese strive to live out their peculiarities and personalities digitally.
6. Connect With Your Community
In addition to the exchange with your target group, your business will benefit from working with other brands. Think about which products or services from other providers could create synergistic effects with your offer.
Collaborations like Nike & Apple or Uber & Spotify show that companies in China can expand their customer base by examining how consumers use their services and expand their offerings accordingly.
Besides, the trend in China is towards “private traffic”. This means that brands are increasingly looking to communicate with their customers on their own channels, instead of selling platforms such as Tmall and JD (“public traffic”). This makes sense in order to connect customers more to the brand and to reduce external fees.
Is this too much for you to begin with? Don’t worry … start with something easier like a podcast interview or a guest post on a blog.
7. Work With Chinese Mini-Influencers
You can also build your community with social media influencers. But, watch out! Nowadays influencers are no longer just celebrities! Key Opinion Leaders (KOL), Key Opinion Consumers (KOC), meaning real consumers, as well as Wanghong, are becoming increasingly important.
Especially in China, but also in the rest of the world, these influencers are becoming increasingly popular. Influencers stand out from “normal” advertising media through their personal and authentic connection to their fans.
As a result, they are regarded as trustworthy, which benefits the advertised business and its products and services. In a way, an influencer is also sort of an SEO expert in China by knowing how to direct followers to the content they are most interested in.
In China, influencers play an even bigger role in social media marketing than in the rest of the world. Consumers are much more interested in the experience of real and authentic buyers than in the flood of official brand and company information.
This is partly because, in the past, larger companies sometimes kept problems to themselves and handled them poorly. Perhaps you remember incidents like plastic in rice or toxins in baby milk? This is one of the reasons why Chinese consumers place so much value on the opinions of real consumers online.
8. Implement Chatbots
Statistics show that quick responses are an important factor for customers to make a purchase. What do you think is the average response time of companies for online customer inquiries? More than 42 hours! Would that annoy you? Us, for sure!
Chatbots were developed as a result of natural language processing. You can have simple conversations with customers to solve standardized problems. You can patiently answer open questions and process customer information.
In fact, chatbots combined with machine learning and artificial intelligence are currently THE trend in China. Test this trend in your company too!
9. Be Creative on Chinese Social Media
Of course, having a social media presence is a great start. Today, there are many more ways to use this media profitably – from Facebook stories worldwide to WeChat marketing in China.
This year is the perfect opportunity to try out the following new online marketing trends:
- Live streaming on WeChat, TikTok/Douyin & Co.
- 360° photos
- Augmented reality
Trying out new strategies can be tough. But don’t be afraid! Research the format with which you can inspire your target group and simply try it out! Maybe you can even get a viral hit!
10. Voice Search & Smart Speakers
Sales reports from Amazon Echo and Alexa as well as Google Home and Nest show that people love smart speakers. For example, global sales will double between 2018 and 2023, to an estimated 200 million units.
These smart speakers can be used as mobile personal assistants. They not only answer questions but also provide their users with information that they would have previously researched on their laptop, tablet, or smartphone.
The Alibaba Group developed its own smart speaker for the Chinese market in 2017: Tmall Genie. It uses Alibaba’s personal assistance service AliGenie. Just like other smart speakers, the Tmall Genie supports web search, music streaming, controlling the smart home, and ordering products on Tmall.
Language integration is limited to Chinese (Mandarin) for now. But extensions are already being planned. In addition, two trends come together here: Tmall and the automobile manufacturer BMW have been working together since the beginning of 2018. The BMW Group was the first premium car manufacturer to fully integrate the Alibaba voice assistant into its vehicles.
What Does That Mean for Your Online Strategy?
You should adapt your content to a search in natural language. On the other hand, you should formulate sentences the way people actually speak. Remember that spoken and written language is different. Either way, make sure to include your keywords!
If you want to learn more about how to optimize your website for search and gain more experience as an SEO expert in China, we have compiled the most important information for you here.
11. Use Email Marketing
In general, email marketing is inexpensive, easy to use, and analyze. This year focus on:
- Minimalist design
- Visual stories
- Mobile optimization
If you are looking for a smart email marketing automation tool, try „Mautic managed by hartmut.io“.
But Watch Out!
Email marketing hardly plays a role in China, since digital life mainly takes place on WeChat & Co.
Instead of sending a newsletter or a promotion by email, in China, you should publish this content as an article on your official WeChat account.
The Takeaway: Become an SEO expert for China
It was a good first step to get your company online. However, if you really want your company to be ahead of the competition as an SEO expert in China, you should follow these content marketing trends in 2021 and utilize the power of blogging for your business. If you are looking for a China marketing agency, Tenba Group is here for you!
We look forward to developing intelligent strategies with you so that you can get started in the Middle Kingdom! From online marketing advice to Chinese SEO services – we will skyrocket your business! Send us a message and tell us about your project!