Chinese search engine marketing (SEO, PPC) is a great way to promote your business in the Middle Kingdom. In this week’s article by Tenba Group, your China online marketing company, we take a deep dive into PPC advertising in China.
Online advertising in China is slightly different from the rest of the world. That’s because Facebook and Google are not available and Chinese-specific platforms have emerged. Besides, Chinese consumers have their own preferences, and the Chinese market is setting more and more trends for the rest of the world.
So, let’s get started with PPC advertising in China.
Chinese Digital Marketing
As mentioned above, China marketing follows its own rhythm. For one, WeChat, Sina Weibo, and TikTok/Douyin are the Chinese social media sites of choice. Facebook is not accessible due to the Great Firewall of China.
Regarding user preferences, out of China’s more than 850 million internet users, 99% browse on mobile devices. They love to watch short videos (89% of online users), play games, shop, chat, and pay on the go.
In terms of Chinese search engines, Baidu has the largest market share with 70%, followed by Sogou (20%), Shenma (5%), and 360Search/Haosou (3%). Click here to read up on the six main differences between Baidu and Google in terms of SEO. Moreover, here is an in-depth article on the Chinese search engine Sogou.
Generally, search engine marketing offers two options:
- SEO: search engine optimization (“free”)
- PPC: pay-per-click advertising (paid search)
Both methods aim at reaching the top positions on the search results pages of search engines. PPC campaigns are classical ads that you can bid on. You literally pay-per-click.
On the other hand, SEO means adjusting the content on your website (and work on backlinks, page speed, etc.) and online presence to improve the rank on search engines. That’s why marketers refer to it as “free” as it only costs the time you invest. Or if you hire an SEO agency for China, you need to pay their fee. Other than that, SEO creates no further cost.
PPC Advertising in China
As Baidu is the main search engine in China, we will focus on Baidu PPC in this section. It will help your business to increase its reach in the Middle Kingdom, acquire new leads, and build brand awareness.
To give you a general idea, Baidu ads work similarly to Google ads. You can set a budget, select your target audience, set keywords, create ads, and measure the results. However, there are certainly some differences.
1. Baidu PPC vs. Google Ads
Naturally, the algorithms of Baidu and Google are different. However, there are similarities when it comes to relevant parameters. The similarities of ads on both Google and Baidu search engines include current and relevant content, mobile optimization, quality links, and a logical website structure.
At the same time, note that the backend for Baidu PPC ads is well developed, it is secure, and offers click-fraud protection. Just like Google, Baidu constantly adapts and improves its algorithm.
Now, how do you get started for pay-per-click-advertising on Baidu? We’ll tell you how!
2. How to Open a Baidu PPC Account
To begin with, this process is more complex compared to opening a Google Ads Account, and it is carried out in Chinese. But don’t let this stop you!
The first step is to create a Chinese website for your business. While Baidu indexes English websites and accepts ads for them, the bounce rate will be too high.
Secondly, contact your local Baidu division. If your business doesn’t have an office in China yet, Baidu appoints a marketing agency, which will help you to open the Baidu PPC account. Tenba Group is happy and ready to assist you with this process.
Next, provide your company name, industry, and website to the local division of Baidu, so they can verify it. Keep in mind that China’s online regulation is rather strict. Naturally, advertising for gambling, violent, or pornographic content is not allowed.
Likewise, particular industries are also excluded from online advertising. These include the financial sector, the pharma industry, and health products. However, at times there are exceptions with additional certificates or licenses.
After the first verification step, you will have to provide further documents for evaluation. These include your business registration certificate from the country of origin, a simplified Chinese translation of this registration, as well as screenshots of your website. Keep in mind that Baidu may require you to adjust your website content to comply with their strict rules.
Once all documents are submitted, it typically takes 2-4 weeks until a Baidu PPC account is approved. Keep in close contact with the Baidu representative you have been assigned to make sure that things are moving forward. And be patient. Alternatively, work with an agency to take this burden off of your shoulders.
3. Keyword Research for China
As you know, the foundation of successful SEO and PPC is finding the ideal keywords for your niche. Focus on longtail keywords and buyer intent keywords. Keep in mind that voice search is a growing trend. Therefore, try to identify keywords that resemble spoken language rather than written search queries.
Finally, take a look at the CPC (cost-per-click) price to make sure you stay within your budget and have a chance of appearing with your ads. To research specific keywords you can use free tools like Baidu Keyword Planner, 5118, Chinaz, and Aizhan. Likewise, Google Ads Keyword Tool and SEMrush are also suitable for the Chinese market.
4. Baidu Ads Manager
To set up and manage your Baidu pay-per-click ads, you can use Baidu Tuiguang (百度推广). It is the equivalent to Google Ads.
5. Baidu Display Ad Network
Baidu PPC account users can also use Baidu’s content network, which is similar to Google’s display network. More than 600,000 websites partner with Baidu to display the banner ads.
6. Baidu Brand Zone
This product is exclusive to Baidu. It may be costly, but it provides an average CTR of 50%. Brand Zone includes your brand logo, company introduction, and tailored content.
As trademarks play a large role among Chinese consumers, in particular high-end quality brands, Baidu Brand Zone offers additional options to communicate your brand and its values.
Besides, rich media banners and videos make them more engaging and increase the CTR. They act as visual “stoppers” and grab the attention of online users, which are exposed to constant stimulation of digital input.
7. Baidu Analytics
Once the ads are up and running, monitor their performance. Then, adjust the ads and optimize the bids. You can also do A/B testing to improve your CTR rate. The average click-through rate (CTR) on Baidu is 1% compared to 0.2% on Google.
To analyze and improve your Baidu ads, you can use the official Baidu Tongji, which is similar to Google Analytics. You can create reports and statistics on your website traffic, get information about conversion rates, and more. You can basically create your own Baidu ranking tool.
But don’t confuse Baidu Tongji with the Baidu Webmaster Tool. This allows you to index your site and access SEO settings and analysis.
8. Landing Page
Many SEM experts consider an engaging landing page – after a user clicks on the Baidu ad – an integral part of the campaign. The online user is directed to your website or social media channel and typically finds a call-to-action through a special sales promotion or sign-up.
You can either create the landing page yourself or use Jimuyu (基 木鱼) – an app on the Baidu Ads account. Either way, make sure that the page is available in China without problems. This means, for example, no links to blocked sites and no recaptcha for forms. Also, keep in mind that all content is optimized for the Chinese audience and that forms are not too long.
Digital marketing is a great way to start expanding into China with your business. PPC advertising in China is a fast and cost-effective way to increase your reach and leads, as well as to position your brand in the Middle Kingdom.
While PPC takes effect quicker than SEO, setting up a Baidu PPC account takes some time and effort. Chinese business consultants like Tenba Group can help you with this process if you wish.
Baidu is the largest search engine in China. Therefore, appearing on the first positions on this site is important to increase your leads and sales in the Middle Kingdom.
Congratulations, you are now an expert on Baidu PPC advertising in China! Click here to skyrocket your business in China with Tenba Group, your Baidu SEO agency. Make sure to ask for our FREE CONSULTATION!