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Mastering Baidu PPC: A Comprehensive Guide to Advertising in China

W4 | W4 / June 16, 2023

Online advertising is critical in the digital age, especially in China, where its importance has grown exponentially. Baidu, known as the "Google of China," is the leading online advertising platform. With Baidu PPC, companies can bid on relevant keywords and have their ads appear prominently in search results.

To use Baidu PPC, a company must be legally registered in China. Advertisers must provide verifiable company information to comply with Baidu's guidelines. This opens up the opportunity for you to tap into the huge Chinese market and fully exploit the potential of Baidu PPC.

Additionally, understanding local culture and consumer behaviour is critical to success in the Chinese market. Working with a team familiar with Chinese culture and language enables the creation of compelling and culturally relevant ad copy. By tailoring content to the preferences of Chinese users, visibility, click-through rates, and conversion rates can be significantly improved.

This article looks at understanding and effectively using the Baidu PPC system, compares it to Google Ads, and addresses potential challenges.

Or download our free guide to learn the key points of Baidu PPC

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You can also schedule an appointment directly with our on-site expert to learn more about the benefits of Baidu

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Table of Content
  1. The Main Benefits of Baidu Advertising for Your Business
    1.1 Reaching the Right Audience with Baidu Targeted Advertising
    1.2 Extensive Data Points
    1.3 Low Budget but High Return
  2. Understanding Baidu's PPC System and How to use it Effectively
    2.1 Features of Baidu's PPC System
  3. Setting Up and Managing Baidu PPC Campaigns Effectively
  4. Keywords Research and Selection Strategies for Baidu Advertising
  5. Google Advertising vs. Baidu Advertising
    6.1 Easy Access to the Chinese Market vs Global Reach and Versatility
    6.2 Different Rules for the Copy Ads
    6.3 Unique Features of Baidu Advertising
  6. Navigating the Challenges of Baidu Advertising
    7.1 Strict Regulations
    7.2 Language Barriers
    7.3 Cultural Differences
    7.4 Keeping up to Date with the Latest Trends
  7. Embrace the Opportunity to Expand your Business in China with Baidu PPC

The main Benefits of baidu Advertising for your Business

With Google being banned in China, Baidu advertising is the perfect way for companies to enter and operate in this huge market.  When it comes to search engine dominance in China, Baidu stands tall as the undisputed leader. As the fourth largest search engine in the world, Baidu connects hundreds of millions of users to information, products, and services. Its widespread popularity and usage make Baidu Advertising an essential channel for businesses aiming to increase their visibility and reach in China. By strategically placing ads on Baidu's search results pages, businesses can tap into an extensive user base and capture the attention of potential customers at the exact moment they are actively searching for relevant information.

But beyond its massive reach, Baidu Advertising comes with many other benefits. Here are some of the main ones:

1. Reaching the Right Audience with Baidu Targeted Advertising

Baidu Advertising offers robust targeting capabilities, allowing businesses to refine audience segmentation based on demographics, interests, behaviour, and location. This Precision maximises relevant leads and conversions while optimising ad spending for desired results. 

Baidu Targeting Done Right: Localise your Landing Page

To truly take advantage of Baidu Advertising, businesses need to understand the importance of localising their campaigns, including landing pages. Most of the time, companies make the mistake of translating the desired web page using Google Translate or other tools, but this will not work. When done right, localised advertising in China is custom tailored for native customers.

2. Extensive Data Points

Baidu has extensive data on user behaviour, search patterns, and preferences. By leveraging this data, businesses can gain valuable insights about their target audience, refine their campaigns, and make data-driven decisions to drive success.

When done right, Baidu PPC leverages sophisticated analytics and the extensive network of Baidu partner sites and is built on all these data points.

3. Low Budget but High Return

The cost of your Baidu PPC depends on your strategy and industry. The tougher the competition, the more you need a high budget. But overall, the average CPC cost on Baidu is around €0.5- €1.00 to create a fully performing campaign. To start with, you should expect to spend between €1400-3000 depending on your site, including setup fees. As you can see, Baidu is an affordable marketing channel for businesses of all sizes. With low monthly costs, you can increase your brand awareness and traffic to your website, and ultimately attract more customers. When done right Baidu PPC can really save you a lot of advertisement budget.

Our professional Baidu PPC experts will create the most efficient campaigns taking your budget into consideration. Whether you're aiming to boost brand awareness, increase website traffic, or drive conversions, our experts possess the knowledge and expertise to create for you the best campaigns and help you achieve success. 

Learn more about W4 Baidu Service

Understanding Baidu's PPC System and How to use it Effectively

Baidu SEM, also known as Baidu PPC or Pay-Per-Click ads, is the advertising option offered on Baidu's search engine. It is an integral part of Search Engine Marketing, providing international brands with the quickest and most efficient way of gaining exposure on Baidu's search engine results pages.

Features of Baidu's PPC System

When it comes to advertising on Baidu, it is important to understand the different ad types and what they mean. Baidu offers several ad formats:

  • Search ads are the most common form and appear at the top or bottom of search engine results pages (SERPs). These ads are triggered by specific keywords and display relevant text and links. They provide a great opportunity for businesses to capture the attention of users who are actively searching for products or services.
  • Display ads are visually appealing and are served on websites within the Baidu Display Network. These ads contain images, videos, and interactive elements, making them ideal for brand promotion and creating awareness among a wider audience.
  • Baidu Brand Zone is a premium ad option that offers unparalleled visibility and exclusivity. It allows businesses to dominate search results for their brand name by displaying a large banner at the top of SERPs. This type of ad increases brand awareness and credibility, as it occupies a prominent position on the page.

Screenshot of the brand zone ad of Nike

The success of any advertising campaign on Baidu depends on Relevance and Quality. These factors play a critical role in determining the effectiveness and placement of ads. 

Search ads, for example, rely heavily on keyword targeting. When users enter specific search queries, ads that are particularly relevant to those keywords have a greater chance of being displayed. It is important for advertisers to conduct thorough keyword research and select appropriate keywords that match the search intent of their target audience. By ensuring the relevance of ads to users' search queries, companies can increase the likelihood of attracting engaged and interested users.

In addition, Baidu's algorithm takes into account various aspects of ad quality, such as ad text, landing page, and user engagement and experience metrics. Ads that offer valuable and engaging content, have well-written text, and provide a seamless user experience are more likely to achieve a higher ad rank and better positions on the search results page. This is the case of Display ads and Brand Zone. 

Quality and Relevance are not the only factors that determine ad rank and positioning. Businesses should not neglect other key metrics such as: 

  • Bid amount: The bid amount set by advertisers also influences ad positioning. In general, higher bids increase the chances of better ad positions. 
  • Click-through rate (CTR): CTR click-through rate, which indicates the percentage of users who click on an ad after seeing it, is an important metric considered by Baidu's algorithm. Ads with higher CTRs are often rewarded with better ad rank and positioning.
  • Historical performance: Ads that have delivered positive results, high CTRs, and high user satisfaction in the past are more likely to achieve better ad positions.

It is important to note that these factors work together and that ad rank and positioning can fluctuate in real time depending on competition and relevance. Advertisers should focus on optimising their campaigns, so they can improve their ad ranks and secure better ad positions to ultimately maximise their visibility and reach on Baidu's paid advertising platform.

Setting Up and Managing Baidu PPC Campaigns Effectively

Screenshot of the homepage of Baidu Tuiguang

To set up a Baidu PPC account and tap into the vast Chinese market, you need to navigate the Baidu Tuiguang (百度推广) ad platform manager. It is a multi-step process that begins with registering an account and providing key company information. Do not worry, W4 has a team of on-site experts who can guide you through the entire process.

Before you can get started, you will need to meet a few requirements:

  • A licence and a SAP CPI tenant to connect. (But is it not mandatory, also overseas business can open a Baidu Account)
  • A website in Mandarin Chinese and make sure your registered business name matches the one on your website. 
  • Proof of your business registration
  • Chinese bank account details
  • A copy of your company seal for verification 

An initial payment is also required, which you can later use for your campaigns. Once everything is submitted, it usually takes about 2 to 4 weeks for your Baidu PPC account to be approved.

Once your account is operational, the real fun begins. You can create campaigns and ad groups and select relevant keywords to target the right audience. 

A Baidu campaign is divided into ad groups and keywords. Ad groups are a way to group related ads and keywords, which allows for better management and customization. Each ad group can contain multiple ads and a set of relevant keywords associated with them. This structure allows advertisers to target specific topics or categories within their campaign.

Efficient organisation of ad groups simplifies the management of your campaigns, while careful keyword selection ensures that your ads are displayed to the most interested users. Setting realistic budgets and consistently monitoring campaign performance are critical to success.

Download our Guide of what you need to open a Baidu PPC account and what is the best way to run the campaigns, including our tips for monitoring your campaign performance.

Download Whitepaper

Alternatively, reach out to us, and our team of experts will explain and guide you through the entire process

Book a meeting with us!

Keyword Research and Selection Strategies for Baidu Advertising

Keyword research is an important aspect of Baidu PPC campaigns. Understanding the nuances of Chinese search behaviour and user intent is critical to selecting the right keywords. Baidu's index is a comprehensive database of search queries and can provide valuable insights for keyword research. By analysing trends, search volume, and competition, companies can identify relevant and high-performing keywords.

Understanding the unique search behaviour and intent of users in China is essential to successful Baidu advertising. Chinese users, unlike their Western counterparts, tend to be specific and detailed in their search queries. Cultural nuances, language variations, and localised trends significantly influence user search behaviour. Advertisers should adjust their keyword strategies accordingly, capture the essence of Chinese search queries, and design ad content to resonate with the target audience.

Download our free Baidu PPC guide to learn how to select the right keywords and manage a successful campaign:

Download Whitepaper

Google Advertising vs Baidu Advertising

When it comes to online advertising, two prominent platforms dominate the global landscape: Baidu Ads in China and Google Ads worldwide. What are the main differences? 

Easy Access to the Chinese Market vs Global Reach and Versatility

Google Ads provides global reach and versatility, making it an ideal choice for businesses operating worldwide. However, it's important to note that Google is not accessible in China due to restrictions. In contrast, Baidu Advertising is primarily used in China and offers unparalleled access to the Chinese market, connecting businesses with millions of potential customers.

Different Rules for Copy Ads

Baidu ads allow you to use more characters for your ad's meta title compared to Google ads. So, you have more space to describe your products and services or special offers.

Unlike Google ads, Baidu allows you to use only the first line for your ad text, as the second line is not necessarily displayed in the search results. So it is an advantage if you have a good and catchy first line.

Unique Features of Baidu Advertising

Baidu Advertising has several unique features and benefits that set it apart from Google Ads. First and foremost, Baidu's deep understanding of the Chinese language enables more accurate keyword targeting and semantic search. Baidu's platform is specifically tailored to the preferences and behaviours of Chinese users, providing a more culturally relevant experience.

Unlike Google's very clear placement of ads in the ad section, Baidu ads appear as natural results that blend in with normal search results. The only difference is the small word "广告" (advertise) at the end of the ads.


Screenshot of the search results for the brand “Adidas”, the ad is in red

We also want to highlight that Baidu ads usually drive qualitative traffic to your website. So there is a chance for businesses to gradually combine the two approaches, and do a more SEO-specific approach after the initial traffic from Baidu PPC. 

What is not really welcomed in Europe are the “special offers”. In China, this kind of promotion works really well, because Chinese consumers are more attracted to special deals instead of the brand itself, and they are more likely to buy the products after seeing the discount promotion. That’s also why most of the time companies use this kind of promotion.

Navigating the Challenges of Baidu Advertising

​Baidu advertising offers immense opportunities for companies looking to reach the Chinese market, but it also brings some challenges. In this chapter, we address some of the biggest hurdles advertisers may face when using Baidu Advertising, including strict regulations, language barriers, and cultural differences.

Strict Regulations

One of the biggest challenges to advertising on Baidu is complying with strict Chinese government regulations. The government closely monitors online content to ensure it complies with the country's laws and regulations. Advertisers must navigate a complex web of guidelines, restrictions and licensing requirements. It's critical to understand and comply with these regulations to avoid penalties, ad rejection, or even temporary suspension. For example, do not use political content that could lead to misunderstandings and scandals, or use Chinese words such as "number 1," "best," "guarantee,"as these are prohibited for the same reason. In addition, China is extremely strict when it comes to health products, gambling, finance, or other YMYL (Your Money Your Life) content so the regulations for this industry are even stricter. Working with a team that understands Baidu advertising and is familiar with Chinese regulations can help companies effectively navigate these challenges.

Language Barriers

Language barriers pose a significant challenge when advertising on Baidu. The Chinese language, with its unique characters and linguistic nuances, can be daunting for companies unfamiliar with it. Creating compelling ad copy, optimising keywords, and targeting Chinese customers requires a solid understanding of the language. It's important to work with professionals who have bilingual skills and specialise in Chinese advertising to ensure effective communication and accurate translations.

Cultural Differences

Cultural differences play an important role in the success of advertising campaigns on Baidu. Chinese consumers have different preferences, tastes and values than Western audiences. Advertisers must adapt their messaging, imagery, and overall marketing approach to resonate with Chinese audiences. Understanding cultural nuances, local customs and cultural references is critical to crafting effective campaigns that appeal to Chinese consumers. Working with experts who have a deep understanding of Chinese culture can help companies better craft their campaigns.

Keep up to Date with the Latest Trends

Baidu Advertising operates in a competitive environment. Companies need to keep up with the latest trends, strategies, and best practices to stay ahead of the competition. Continuously monitoring and optimising campaigns, analysing performance metrics, and adjusting strategies accordingly is essential to maintaining a competitive edge. It's important to stay informed about Baidu's evolving algorithms, ranking factors, and advertising opportunities to maximise campaign effectiveness.


With our deep understanding of the Chinese market and expertise in marketing in China, we are well-equipped to guide you on your journey. Whether it's understanding the intricacies of Baidu PPC, creating culturally relevant ad copy, or conducting effective keyword research, our Beijing-based experts will ensure that your marketing efforts resonate with your Chinese audience. With our support, you can tap the full potential of the Chinese market and pave the way for your success.

Book a meeting with us!

Embrace the Opportunity to Expand your Business in China with Baidu PPC

Expanding your business in China is an opportunity that should not be missed, and Baidu PPC provides the means to reach a vast audience of internet users. While the challenges may seem daunting, our experienced local team is here to help. We handle all aspects of Baidu advertising, from account setup to ad creation, management, and optimization. With our expertise in Chinese culture and market dynamics, we ensure targeted campaigns that resonate with the Chinese audience. By partnering with us, businesses can confidently navigate the challenges and tap into the immense potential of Baidu PPC, driving growth and success in the Chinese market.

Book a meeting with us!

Tags: China Marketing

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Sarah Wilhelm
Sarah Wilhelm
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