The Chinese search engine world is dominated by Baidu with a market share of 70%. But to appear on the search results pages (SERPs) of this popular search engine, you must have a smart SEO strategy.
This includes keyword research based on the search trends of internet users on Baidu Index as well as indexing your website on the Baidu search engine itself.
In this article by Tenba Group, the Baidu SEO agency of your choice, we describe how to navigate Baidu Trends and how to speed up the indexing of your site on Baidu with the Baidu Webmaster Tool. Plus, we tell you everything else around this topic that you must know, in order to boost your China SEO.
1. Baidu Zhishu (Baidu Index)
First of all, Baidu Index (Baidu Zhishu) compares to Google Trends. It basically shows which search terms users entered. Therefore, it reveals trending data (based on search behavior) and can help you to better understand the market and your target audience.
You can follow the search trends and your individual niche keywords and phrases over a period of time. Besides, you can analyze and evaluate search queries, and set filters like region or demographic.
Keep in mind that the displayed search volume of certain keywords on Baidu Index is relative and only shows trends. According to industry experts, doubling this number equals the actual number of searches.
Based on your analysis, you can adapt your online marketing strategy and create tailormade messages to reach your target audience.
Get started by entering a search term in the query box. Next, you will find a wide range of different information, which we will look at in a bit more detail here.
A) Historical & Forecast Search Trends
Find out how interest in a search term/keyword has changed over time. You can filter by region, time frame, and by device. Besides, you can compare up to five keywords and their trending data.
Next, let’s look at another trend.
B) User Interests & Needs
This graphic helps you to better understand the concerns and needs of users through extended and related interests. The closer an extended keyword is to the core keyword, the higher the relevance.
Next, we can evaluate related searches.
C) Related Searches
Here, you will find the top 15 related search queries by their search popularity. This way, you can identify competitors and gain further insights into the needs and concerns of your target audience.
This is particularly interesting for foreign companies aspiring to enter the Chinese market. They can get an idea of consumer interests and industry dynamics.
D) Interests by Region
This search allows you to filter according to geographic region. For example, you can choose the top 10 provinces that generate the most search for a specific term. Click on any region/province for a deep dive into the parameters there.
For example, if your budget is lower or your brand is new, you can start promoting your business in key regions to build your brand awareness.
E) Demographic Data
This provides a demographic overview of the audience, including age and gender. With this, you further break down your target audience and customize your online marketing strategy.
Next, let’s look at how to go beyond trends for keywords. Find out how to research and analyze keywords for Baidu in detail.
Alternative Search & Keyword Tools
In case you want to go beyond Baidu Index, where you can identify trends, you can check these tools to find suitable keywords: use 5118, Chinaz, and Aizhan for your search engine optimization in China.
Keyword Research: Google vs. Baidu
There are two very important aspects to keep in mind that will help you to excel with your Chinese SEO:
- Long-tail keywords are more important on Baidu. That’s because SERPs on Baidu often have many rich snippets at the top. So, even if your site is ranking high organically, the actual position can easily be at the bottom of page 1 or even on page 2. As long-tail keywords typically have less rich snippets, you have better chances of appearing higher on the SERPs.
- Use Chinese keywords for Baidu from a native Chinese speaker. As a foreign business, you may be tempted to use Google Translate to create your keywords and search terms. However, this will only lead to inaccurate, incomplete, and frustrating results.
Next, let’s look at how to speed up the indexing of your site on Baidu to rise to the top of the SERPs.
2. Baidu Ziyuan (Baidu Webmaster Tools)
Baidu Ziyuan provides many useful metrics to test your site’s performance, access SEO settings, and analysis. For example, the indexation rate, which keywords are relevant (similar to Google Search Console), and information on backlinks. Therefore, some people also refer to it as the Baidu Ranking Tool.
Plus, it allows you to speed up the indexing of your website. By submitting your websites’ URL including the sitemap, Baidu knows quicker which pages belong to your website and can index them faster.
To do so, follow these steps:
- Go to Baidu Webmaster Tools
- Go to the link submission page
- Enter your website URL
- Click “Submit”
- Verify your website with one of the following options:
- download the verification file, which you add to the root directory on your website
- copy the HTML code and paste it into the header of your website (possibly the easiest way)
- Copy the CNAME record, set it in your website’s DNS, and have it point to ziyuan.baidu.com
After the verification step, it will take up to six hours for Baidu to verify your URL. However, typically, this happens within a few minutes. In case, one verification method didn’t work out in your case, you can simply try another one.
Submit Your Sitemap
First of all, submitting your sitemap allows the search engine to crawl and index a website efficiently. This is important for allowing Baidu to index your site and to check for updates later on.
Keep in mind that Baidu only accepts sitemaps that
- are in XML format
- are less than 10 MB
- Have the sitemap in the website root folder (or upload it manually)
Speaking of distinctions regarding Baidu and SEO marketing in China, we have put together a few things you should keep in mind to maximize your China marketing impact.
Specialties of Online Advertising in China
The social, economical, and political environment in the Middle Kingdom is different from the Western world. So is marketing in China.
Therefore, a few thoughts to remember when entering the Chinese market and the online world:
- Baidu prefers Chinese websites over foreign sites.
- Avoid offensive, sexual, or political content (cue: censorship).
- Up-to-date quality content, optimization for mobile devices, and buyer-intent keywords are important factors for user-friendliness, and high search engine rankings.
- Besides, keep in mind that Baidu values a high number of links (regardless of the quality, at the moment). Therefore, it is particularly important to get many backlinks.
- Finally, a logical website structure and optimized meta descriptions and meta tags increase your chances of appearing at the top of Baidu searches.
To take a deep dive into search engine optimization in China compared to the rest of the world, take a look at this article. If all of this sounds overwhelming, an SEO expert for China can help you to get started!
Extra Tips for Your Baidu SEO
To boost your business rankings on the Baidu search engine, we also recommend to utilize the following tools:
- Baidu Tongji (Baidu Analytics)
- Baidu Ads Manager (for Baidu PPC)
Let’s look at these in more detail.
1. Baidu Tongji
Also known as Baidu Analytics, this official Baidu tool is similar to Google Analytics. Companies entering the Chinese market as well as established businesses can benefit from the FREE data insight.
For example, you can track traffic data of users visiting your site (ad impressions, organic search, etc.), create reports, and derive action steps for your China digital marketing strategy. Baidu Tongji provides more detailed information for Chinese traffic than Google Analytics. At the same time, the Baidu tool is not as sophisticated as the international Google tool.
2. Baidu Ads Manager
Step up your search engine marketing game! Besides SEO (“free”), you can also utilize paid services (PPC ads) on Baidu.
Similar to Google, PPC advertising in China is an effective way to generate leads, and increase your presence on Chinese search engines.
Likewise, the Baidu Ads Manager (Editor) compares to the Google Ads Manager. You can make multiple changes quickly through practical functionalities like drag and drop or replace.
Click here to take a deep dive into the world of Baidu PPC advertising. This article includes the similarities and differences between Google Ads and Baidu Ads, keyword research, the Baidu Ads Manager, and more.
To sum it up, 93% of all online sessions begin with an internet search. This is typically a Baidu search in China or a Google search in the rest of the world. Therefore, appearing at the top of the SERPs with your online presence is the key to reach your audience and generate leads.
In this article, you have gained insight into Baidu Index (Baidu Zhishu) for search and trend analysis. Plus, you got to know the Baidu Webmaster Tools (Baidu Ziyuan), where you can access SEO settings and get insights into your site’s performance. Besides, Baidu Ziyuan can help you with the indexing of your site on Baidu.
Do you still want to know more about Baidu optimization and SEO in China? Take a look at this Baidu Guide, where we describe how to boost your rankings, utilizing the (partly) owned Baidu platforms Zhidao, Zhihu, Tieba, and Baike.
An SEO agency for China like Tenba Group can help you to get started. Contact us today for your FREE CONSULTATION!