Baidu is Google’s number one rival (link to the old article). It is the primary search engine in China and is, therefore, the first choice when it comes to promoting one’s brand in Mainland China.
We have already mentioned the importance of Baidu in your Chinese marketing strategy, and how you could get into this gigantic market quickly. But do you know what Baidu PPC is? Here we will briefly explain what you need to be able to enter this new world and some little advice.
Baidu PPC and SEO
Baidu PPC is a Pay-Per-Click ad that appears on the top of Baidu search engine results pages. It is a form of Search Engine Marketing (SEM). Baidu PPC is the most effective and fastest way to reach your audience and is the advertising most used.
To run a campaign, you need to open an account, set up an ad, target your niche’s keywords, and bid them until your brand stands out sufficiently in the search engine. Every time users click on your ads, you will pay a fee (CPC, cost-per-click) and it can be extremely precise in targeting (gender, age, location, interests, etc.) of your audience. Usually, brands need to spend around $1500-$3000 to launch their campaign, this because the average CPC on Baidu is around $0.5-$1.00
Along with Baidu PPC, which gives immediate visibility thanks to the paid ads, brands should also take care of the SEO. SEO makes their brand rank high organically in the first pages of search results. This means that they need to invest in fully optimised content, starting with web pages to ending with blog articles, and continuously updating the website. Using essential keywords helps the ranking higher and higher on search results. But compared to PPC, this will require a lot of time before seeing excellent results.
Baidu keyword research
For both Baidu PPC and SEO, keyword selection is vital. You cannot pick random keywords, or what those are thought to be the most generically searched for by internet users. You should do meticulous research if you want to reach a vast audience.
The first thing to consider is the user’s intention, what they want to look for, and what solution your brand can give. You will then have to build a customer persona and simulate a buyer’s journey.
Only after imagining your potential customer (fictitious), you can brainstorm the words related to your services and products. Take into consideration what potential leads often require, what is the most sought-after content that brings a lot of traffic to your website, etc. The Baidu system has tools suitable for searching for new keywords that you may not have thought of yet.
Your competitors are also a source of research. By typing the keywords directly into the search engine and checking the ads that appear, you will see which keywords are most convenient for you. If the search results are a lot, then you know the keyword has a very competitive market, and it is best to avoid it.
After having this long list of keywords, you need to prioritise them. You need to analyse their search volume and how much competition there is on the web. Tip: it makes more sense to prioritise less competitive keywords if your brand is new on the market.
- Do not just Google Translate: This is our number one rule for the Chinese digital market and, in this case, Baidu PPC. It does not work. Automatic translation is often all wrong, so you need a native speaker to take care of it.
- Do not rely on your Google strategy: if a strategy works for Google does not mean that it works also for the Chinese market. You need to think out of the scheme and think about a new one.
- Implement a tiered strategy and budget: your brand can tailor the strategy to different tiered cities. We consider the large metros cities tier 1, the smaller tier 2, and so on. The top-tier cities are usually more open to foreign brands, but also citizens from tier 2&3 cities look for good overseas products. It is an emerging part of the population that overseas brands should take into consideration. We suggest localising the ads more on tier 1 cities and, consequently, the budget.
- Optimise for small devices: nothing to explain here. Millennials and Genz are not the only generations that strongly use mobile devices, but even older generations. The mobile optimization should not include only the website but also ads.
- Promote special offers: Chinese people are always excited when they see that there are special offers on products and services. As soon as they read words like “sales, limited time, and special edition” they can’t resist. This greatly helps your ROI.
What we have described in this small article is the tip of the iceberg of all the work that requires an efficient campaign on Baidu. In our previous articles, we have talked about other important elements that help make your brand stand out on search results, such as:
Our local team will be happy to support you in this long journey, advise you on the right strategy to enter the market, and take care of every detail of your SEM and SEO.