The first name that springs to mind when most think of search engines is Google…
China is a burgeoning marketplace for business and one which many more businesses are tapping into each year. If you are interested in starting or growing your business in China, then there are a number of things you need to know about, not least of all Baidu.
In this article we will outline the key opportunities for growing your business with Baidu.
First, what is Baidu?
Baidu is a Chinese web services company which was established in 2000 and has since become one of the world’s largest internet companies. They offer a number of services including a search engine. You can think of it as the Chinese equivalent to Google.
Baidu has an index of over 750 million web pages and accounts for well over 70% of Chinese internet search queries with tens of billions of searches on its search engine every single month.
Just like Google, Baidu also offers music streaming services, maps, images, data storage and, most importantly for your business growth – pay-per-click ads.
Marketing with Baidu
Baidu’s revenue comes mostly from advertising and marketing. There are a number of different ways to use their services to promote your brand and products to the ever-expanding Chinese market.
Here are the 4 most common ways:
1) Baidu Tuigang
Baidu Tuigang is a pay-per-click advertising platform which is similar to Adsense or Google Adwords. It enables advertisers to have their ads displayed on the search results pages of Baidu’s search engine and on websites which are in the Baidu Union.
Its admin interface is primarily in Chinese, but an English language version has been developed. The service can only be used by companies who have a registered address for their business within China and some other parts of East Asia.
2) Pay for placement (P4P)
This service allows companies to reach customers following relevant searches. It allows businesses to bid on keywords in order to have their website link and information displayed prominently on the search engine results page. It effectively enables you to buy priority placement of your business’ site within search results, a practise shunned by Google, but possible in China.
This service is available to Baidu Union members and allows the display of promotional links on specific web pages. It is much more targeted to relevant searches than through the use of Tuigang.
4) Baidu TV
Baidu’s advertising service is operated in collaboration with Ads it! Media Corporation and gives advertisers access Baidu Union members’ websites. Advertisers can choose themselves which sites they wish to use to display their ads.
Why choose Baidu?
With over 70% of Chinese market share, the question is why wouldn’t you choose Baidu? There are competitors to Baidu within China and Asia, but none of them close to matching their reach. It’s very similar to the situation with Google in the West, their market share is just so big, you may as well focus on them first.
Baidu is used by over 90% of Chinese internet users which equates to around 700 million users, which is a huge potential audience for your product.
Research has shown that Chinese consumers actually don’t mind online ads and believe that any company willing to pay to promote their products in this way must be reputable. It is perhaps a different attitude to customers in the West, but with Baidu ads on over 600,000 Chinese web pages, the potential marketplace for new business is colossal.
Online advertising has by far the largest reach in China and many companies report great success from it when compared to returns from other forms of advertisement.
The popularity of Baidu means that not only will your ads target PC users, but also anyone accessing the internet via mobile or tablet too – which is growing year on year.
Getting set up on Baidu
Opening a Baidu account simple if you know Chinese, but can prove problematic if you can’t.
For starters, the application website is in Chinese and you may need some help making sense of it. You will need to input simplified Chinese characters as part of the registration process so your keyboard needs to be up to the task. You’ll also need a Chinese phone number in order to receive a verification SMS.
If you have trouble with this process, don’t worry – at Eggplant we offer services to help you get set up on Baidu – contact us to find out more.
Setting up your ads
Once you have passed through the application process you’re ready to begin. You can now choose how you wish to target customers and which kind of ads you wish to run.
To help you get clear, Baidu offers some incredibly helpful tools to help you decide how to best target potential customers and keep track of your ads’ performance.
Baidu Zhishu is an index which is relatively easy to use. It analyses behavioural data for you and gives insight into the volume of searches for specific keywords. It will show you historical data, data by region, search trends and a host of other very useful factors which will aid you in how to approach your online marketing using Baidu.
Baidu Keywords Planner
Baidu Keywords Planner is another tool which will show you the volume of searches for a particular keyword in a specific period of time. If you are thinking of using P4P ads this will help you to determine how much you should bid on a specific keyword.
By adding the Baidu Analytics web statistics tracking system to your website you can see how many people are visiting your site, when they are visiting and how they got there. This information can aid you when it comes to targeting potential customers with adverts and lets you know which adverts drive the most users to your site. It works in a very similar way to Google Analytics.
Baidu services to help you grow in China
At Eggplant, we know Baidu and Chinese language advertising can be a daunting prospect. That’s why we offer services across the board to help you set up, launch and optimise your paid advertising in China.
If you are launching your business in China and need help implementing a Baidu paid advertising campaign – or simply would like to know more – contact us to arrange a consultation.
We are dedicated to your growth and success in China!