Let’s start our introduction to China SEO with an example. Imagine an internet user (let’s call him “Ben”) searching for “squirrel feeders.” Ben’s search for squirrel feeders returns results of over 7 million hits. Apparently, like Ben, there are a lot of other squirrel enthusiasts on the internet.
He clicks on the top link and gets all the information he needs. But what about the millions of other pages? Surely they must also have content that would be relevant as well? Well, that’s why SEO is important. Find out how to optimize your business for search engines like Google and Baidu in this Tenba Group article.
SEO is the term that marketers love and non-tech savvy business owners are afraid of it. It stands for “search engine optimization” and references the process of a website gaining online visibility and showing up high within search engine rankings. And the reason why it’s so important to optimize your website for search engines is that two-thirds of all clicks (67%) go to the first 5 organic search results.
The most popular search engine in the world is Google, and for the Chinese market, it’s Baidu. There is even a sustainable search engine, which plants trees – Ecosia. And, did you know that 93% of online experiences start with a search engine?
For Ben, it’s great news. He’s found the information he is looking for. But not for all the other websites with the content that could have also been useful. Those websites didn’t cut. Why is that?
How search engines work
Two parts are relevant to our discussion: crawling and indexing. First, a search engine sends out spiders to “crawl” the web and get any information available on any public webpage. After this information is consolidated, it needs to be organized and sorted.
This is called “indexing.” Indexing is what determines where your website will show up in the search engine results. SEO specialists are very concerned with a website being indexed. It’s important so it can show up very high in the organic search results later on.
A well-organized website that has good content will be much easier to crawl. On the flip side, a website with a poor organization or one that runs slowly becomes impossible to crawl and, in turn, to index. This is the first basic requirement that business owners and China SEO specialists need to pay attention to. If you want to take a step back and learn how to create a website for the Chinese market first, simply click here.
But let’s go beyond that. Let’s say you run a search for content related to what’s available on your website and your site isn’t appearing anywhere close to the top of the results page? Well, this is probably the result of not having very good SEO.
How to optimize your website for search engines?
Google’s algorithms take into consideration many things. Let’s look at 4 things you can do to optimize your website for search engines fairly easily.
- Quality Information
- Let’s start with the basics: quality content. When Ben ran a search for squirrel feeders, the top result likely had information, products, images, and blog articles (we explore this in-depth here).
- When users look at a page and like the information that is provided, they tend to stay on it longer. This is great for a website’s SEO because it positions your website as an authority on the subject. With the internet being home to over a billion websites, quality content is a must.
- Internal Linking
- This refers to links that lead users to the other pages of your site. Internal linking is important because it shows that consumers value the information you have on your site.
- Search engines view this as a big plus because it reinforces your authority on a subject matter. For example, if you want to read about 17 SEO mistakes to avoid, we can send you to this article via an internal link on our website.
- Site Speed
- Site speed is all about the time it takes when the user is interacting with your website. It is essentially the response time to a user’s command.
- If your site takes a long time to load (more than 3 seconds!), chances are the user will get impatient and go somewhere else. Slow speed equals low website ranking.
- Site speed is particularly important in China. Otherwise, your website will be blocked by the “Great Firewall of China” if the set up is not done correctly. Make sure that the hosting is in China or geographically close to Hong Kong. Besides, a fast loading time of your website is an important factor for Baidu when ranking your page.
- Meta Descriptions
- This is a summary of a web page’s content that appears in the search results. It is right below the search listing. Since the meta description allows about 150 characters, you need to choose your words wisely.
- Having a good representation of your website, along with focus keywords, will captivate potential customers. It will also increase the traffic to your site. For Baidu, keep in mind that the recommended meta description length is 78 simplified Chinese characters.
Click here to read answers to the 5 most common questions around Baidu SEO that we get. Now that you know what to do, you may ask yourself, where to start? Let’s get to that right away!
Which of your site’s pages can be optimized?
First, you need a good landing page that captures the audience’s attention. Although there is no rule for this, this is oftentimes a company’s homepage.
Since this is the first page a user sees, you should consider why they are coming to your website. If you can figure out that question, you can provide the answer to it in the form of a directive.
Once you’ve got the user sucked in with the landing page, focus on how you present your product or service through the product page. Good SEO practices including China SEO focus on utilizing the right keywords and descriptions, especially within the image captions.
If your audience isn’t sure whether they want to buy your product or service, a good “about us” page can seal the deal. This page seems a bit challenging to optimize at first glance. But you will soon see that industry or product-related keywords like “agency” or “bureau” fit in here more than anywhere else.
China SEO – The Takeaway
Google’s goal is to make the web a more experience-centric place, focusing on quality. As such, it’s important to optimize your website so that it can reach more users. And since Google regularly rolls out updates to its algorithms that can affect SEO practices, one solution is to use a professional agency.
The same principally goes for Baidu – find out more about Baidu SEO for the top Chinese search engine here. However, Baidu’s algorithm is not as advanced as Google’s (yet). For example, you can improve your website’s ranking with links in forums and blogs to your Chinese website. Also, these links help that Baidu indexes your pages faster. On the other hand, links in forums and on blogs are something that Google doesn’t “like”.
An SEO agency China, like Tenba Group, stays up-to-date on Google’s and Baidu’s algorithm changes and provides SEO strategies and China digital marketing services that let business owners focus on their business.
Chinese digital marketing agencies are experts in modern SEO tools and beyond. They know how to apply these strategies to increase your company’s online presence. Keep in mind, that most marketers (70%) say that SEO is a more effective tool to drive sales than PPC advertisement (pay-per-click) – it’s also free (less the time invest) and sustainable in the long run.
Whether you choose to hire an agency or take a more “DIY” approach, be sure to follow the blog of your favorite Baidu SEO agency for more SEO tips and marketing advice for China in the future.