Extending your Global Reach by Optimising for Baidu
A key part of building a successful SEO campaign is targeting the right market, but what if your marketplace is a little more unconventional? As the Chinese market expands, how can you make sure that you are taking advantage of every opportunity? Your website might be ranking well in Google, and even across Bing and Yahoo, but maybe it’s time to go where your target market are and optimise for Baidu – China’s biggest search engine. If you are trying to sell to a predominantly-Chinese market, it might be wise to change your SEO game-plan and aim for success in a different search engine.
Baidu is the Chinese equivalent to Google, and this search engine enjoying massive popularity across China – becoming the search engine of choice for the majority of Chinese users, with 84% of users choosing to search with Baidu. With Chinese-speakers making up almost a quarter of internet users, it is important to ensure that you can take advantage of this if you want to attract customers from the Chinese market.
How is Baidu Different to Google?
As you might expect from a developing search engine, Baidu is similar to the younger Google of a few years ago. It uses simpler algorithms and is less advanced, and there are a few things to keep in mind if you want to successfully optimise your website for Baidu. If you want to enhance your site so that it can help you to make the most of the business opportunities that 444 million Chinese-speaking internet users can offer, remember the following;
- Baidu pays less attention to inbound links than Google, so you can forget a few of your concerns about searching for those elusive high quality links.
- Whilst Google now sees meta tags as being less important, Baidu considers them to be of high importance when it comes to SEO.
- Your content should be written in Chinese to rank in Baidu. “Pinyin” Chinese (a simplified, colloquial version of the language) is acceptable, and it might be worth investing in some professional help from a translation company to ensure that your content is up to scratch.
- The simpler the better when it comes to navigation, as Baidu is reluctant to follow links which are buried or hidden within a mess of code.
- As well as a keyword-rich domain, it is also important to have a Chinese domain name. Hosting with a Chinese host is also an advantage.
Optimisation for Baidu isn’t totally different from optimisation for any other search engine but it certainly has its specifics. Paying attention to these specifics will pay dividends for those hoping to break into the Chinese marketplace with their E-Commerce websites to sell their products and services worldwide. Look a little further than Google when it comes to SEO, and you can enjoy even greater business success on an international stage.