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49 Best Baidu SEO Tips To Drive More Traffic

Last Updated January 08, 2018

While improving your brand's findability across the Chinese market is every business owner's dream, I am here to help you.


Baidu SEO Expert Sam H Mah

If you don't have time to read my 2439-word Baidu SEO post, here's my quick breakdown.

What You Need to Know

  • 1. STAY AWAY FROM POLITIC & SOCIAL ISSUES

    Baidu operates at the discretion of the Chinese government. With this reason, you should not discuss or support any “sensitive topics”. Otherwise, Baidu and other Chinese search engines will not index your website.

  • 2. AVOID FLASH, JAVASCRIPT MENU, FRAME AND IFRAME

    A website using any of this technology will hurt your search ranking. Stay away from this.

  • 3. TEST YOUR WEBSITE BEHIND THE FIREWALL OF CHINA

    Test your website in real-time with this web tool: Websitepulse.com

    DID YOU KNOW?

    According to Baidu‘s Official SEO Guide, Baidu indexes foreign and overseas Chinese websites. Furthermore, these treat as equal to Chinese-based websites hosted in China.

  • 4. GET HTTPS CERTIFICATE FOR YOUR SITE

    In 2015 Baidu announced that HTTPS would be included as a ranking signal.

5 Ways to Find Untapped Chinese Keyword Ideas

To get relevant traffic from Baidu, you need to know your customers and their search queries well. Let me show you how!

  • 1. LOOK FOR KEYWORD RELATED SEARCH FROM AUTOCOMPLETE

    E-commerce site
    Instead of searching for Baidu, many Chinese young professionals perform searches elsewhere. They go straight to Taobao, Tmall, and Weibo.

    Why?
    Because these big e-commerce platforms did their keyword research, they want certain types of words and phrases that‘ll result in conversions because their main aim is to sell products, so give them what they want faster.

    Type any keyword on their search bar to discover new Chinese keywords and synonyms.

    Chinese perform search on these popular sites
  • 2. BUILD A CONTEST FOR KEYWORDS

    When Chinese people submit new search queries to your contest, send them a prize as thank you.

    Think about it...
    You are going to get a few thousands of keyword submissions. As a result, a relationship is built and received their contact detail for the future use.

  • 3. REVIEW YOUR CHINESE COMPETITORS‘ KEYWORDS

    Look at the Menu Category, Meta Description, H1, Title and Schema Tags, these are your keyword clues.

  • 4. REVIEW YOUR LOCATION-BASED KEYWORD WITH BAIDU PRODUCTS
    Baidu Yun Bang Baidu Index (hot Chinese topics)
    Baidu Tuiguang (PPC keywords & long-tail keywords)
    Baidu Feng Yun Bang (Popular Chinese trends, popular keywords by location and category)
  • 5. HOW TO PICK YOUR TARGET KEYWORDS

    Ideally, your target keywords should be:

    Low-medium search volume
    Highly relevant to content and searcher‘s intent
    Keyword difficulty below 30

How UX Design Can Help Your Baidu SEO Effort

User experience is a ranking factor in Baidu. Good design increases satisfactory user experience. Let‘s dive right in!

  • 1. THINK LIKE CHINESE CUSTOMERS

    In 2017, Chinese consumer's habit is different, and your website needs to reflect that. Both designs focus style and experience. That's the key to win their loyalty.

    Famous brand Chinese and Western versions

    Additional tips

    Lots of Chinese sites feature a QR code
    Chinese websites tend to open new page in a new tab, but not always
    Chinese accepts pop-up advertising to a degree
  • 2. CHOOSE YOUR COLOR EMOTIONAL TRIGGERS

    From this chart, many famous Chinese companies use color to create their brand.

    Chinese color theory explained
  • 3. BUILD A STRONG SEO SITE ARCHITECTURE

    Site architecture is about improving how Chinese users find ways around your website. It‘s about getting the best, most relevant content in front of users quicker.

    You can increase keyword relevancy by naming your subpages with LSI keyword.

    Effective Baidu SEO site architecture
  • 4. APPLY A PURE CSS NAVIGATION

    The text navigation is super search engine friendly and lightweight. This navigation should code in HTML and CSS. Best of all, you can edit these navigational names anytime.

  • 5. WHY A LOGO LINK MATTERS

    Making your logo synonymous with your homepage is best practice. This technique can help Chinese users to easily navigate back to your homepage.

20 Essential On-page SEO Tactics

In search engine optimization term, on-page optimization refers to factors that have an impact on your site rankings. Let me teach you how!

  • 1. GET A PROFICIENT CHINESE TRANSLATOR

    Our friends at HI-COM sent us an incredible tip.

    You must hire a Chinese translator who familiarizes with local vocabulary and grammar. Even though they are Chinese, different parts of the country have different vocabularies. This method may affect your localization if your target region in particular.

    Finally, you should get a focus group to read your finished translation. Your friends can help you to avoid embrassing moments.

  • 2. ADDING UTF-8 ENCODING & HREFLANG

    China has simplified Chinese and Traditional Characters. Each region has a language reference, so it's crucial to choose the right UTF-8 encoding.

    Mainland China

    <meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=gb18030"/>

    Hong Kong and Taiwan

    <meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=big5"/>

    Besides to UTF-8 encoding, the Hreflang attribute is super necessary. Why? You tell Baidu to deliever your content to the right region.

    Taiwan

    <link rel="alternate" href="http://domain.com" hreflang=" zh-Hant-TW " />

    Hong Kong and Macau

    <link rel="alternate" href="http://domain.com" hreflang=" zh-Hant-HK " />

    Mainland China

    <link rel="alternate" href="http://domain.com" hreflang=" zh-Hans " />
  • 3. DESIGN THE PERFECT CHINESE CONTACT AND ABOUT PAGE

    Baidu recommends these tips to build your About and Contact page:

    Showcases the people behind the company to create trust
    Avoid industry jargon and replace it with an authentic voice
    Let customers / employee do the talking
    Provide physical address and social media details
  • 4. EXTERNAL CSS AND JAVASCRIPT FILE

    The CSS should not place in an HTML file. You create an external for CSS. The main advantage is the small file, thus creating load time faster.

    The same applies to JavaScript.
    What‘s more, the external file loads once and then cache in the browser. This best practice prevents to download the files again.

  • 5. CLEAN CODE MATTERS

    You‘d surprise to see many web developers are careless. Each page might show some errors and warnings.

    Guess what; this is not good enough. Without any thoughts on optimizing the code, this will hurt your web performance. Ultimately, the user experience is not best.

    To check your website code:

    W3C's validation tool
  • 6. HAVE A PROPER IMAGE OPTIMIZATION

    The image optimization benefits everyone including Baidu:

    Add primary keyword & synonym together in the first six-word
    Add secondary keyword to your image file name
    Contain at least 100 words around the image
    Write an honest description on ALT or Title attribute
    Reduce image size for best quality
    Add Caption tag as an extra bit of help to increase keyword prominence

    This image SEO establishes relevance, especially for Baidu Image Search, while improving accessibility for the human.

  • 7. PLACE PROMINENT CONTENT TO THE TOP

    The Baidu SEO community reported Baidu Spider might not crawl everything on your page. I suggest you place important content earlier in the body text. Here's how.
    <!doctype html> <html lang=“en”>
    <body>
    <div >Put PROMINMENT CONTENT HERE</div>
    <footer>2017 Copyright</footer>
    <nav> </nav>
    </body>
    </html>

  • 8. WRITE A PROPER TITLE TAG

    Taking a note from Baidu‘s official SEO guideline, it suggests this format:

    Home — Site Name | Description of Services | Main Product.
    Blog post — Content Page title | Category Name | Domain Name

    Give every page a unique Title.

  • 9. WRITE 110 CHINESE CHARACTERS

    Not only the Meta description is a ranking factor, but it can impact the click-through-rate. Write a value proposition statement to get Chinese searchers to click your website.

    <meta content="Write your own description here" name= "description">
    The Meta statement will display in Baidu search result.
  • 10. USE OF KEYWORD TAG

    Place the first five prominence SEO key phrases. Don‘t go over 100 characters.

  • 11. PROVIDE PHYSICAL ADDRESS TO EVERY PAGE

    Baidu looks for websites with the legitimate local address. Also, creates confidence, stability, and credibility in the eye of local customers.

  • 12. WRITE EMOTIONAL <h1> HEADLINES

    Baidu Spider identifies a headline with the header tag like this <h1>. I recommend you can add a primary keyword to the H1 tag. This SEO tip can boost your relevances of the page.

    Use H2 and H3 tags to break your page copy into small paragraphs. Decidedly, this best practice can improve the experience for readability.

  • 13. WRITE A PROPER INTERNAL ANCHOR TEXT LINK

    Baidu places a lot of weight on keyword usage in the anchor text link. To get the most Baidu SEO benefits, create an internal link like this.

    Anchor text example
  • 14. USE AN ABSOLUTE URL PATH
    <a href="http://www.shmdesign.com">Home</a>

    Absolute URL paths are valid for SEO as they are better for optimization. Besides, when scraper steals your content, the link in the content remains to direct back to your site. Protect your original content in China.

  • 15. ADD CANONICAL URL TAG

    In Feb 2013, Baidu preferred quality original pages only. If you have two duplicate pages, add the canonical attribute to your web pages:

    http://example.com/china-seo/
    http://example.com/blog/China-seo/

    Inside the source code:

    <!doctype html>
    <html>
    <head>
    <link href="http://example.com/china-seo/" rel="canonical">
    </head>
  • 16. NAME YOUR FILE AND FOLDER WITH KEYWORDS

    Good naming convention improves keyword relevance and frequency.

  • 17. ADD CHINESE SOCIAL SHARING BUTTONS

    Ask the Chinese users to share your page. Why? This social media trick will boost your keyword relevance and ranking.

    like button
    Baidu Cang (bookmark)
  • 18. SIGN UP CHINESE WEBMASTER TOOL ACCOUNTS

    Sign up an individual account can significantly improve your Chinese website for that search engine.

    Baidu Webmaster Tools
    Sogou Webmaster Tools
    360 Webmaster Tools
    Shenma Webmaster Tools
  • 19. ADD NEWSLETTER SUBSCRIPTION

    Newsletters or mailing lists are the perfect way to collect email addresses so you can nurture prospects over time to become leads.

  • 20. IE 9 STILL USE IN CHINA

    According to StatCounter, Chrome led desktop browser market in China with 52.62% market share, followed by Internet Explorer with only 23.13% market share.
    Internet Explorer 9 STILL USE IN CHINA

Make Your Chinese Website FASTER

Site speed is a key search ranking factor.

  • 1. SITE SPEED IS A FACTOR

    Chinese searchers prefer a fast loading website. To feed this demand, Baidu rewards any fast loading website a boost in site ranking.

    I use these 4 tools to test my websites:
    Qihoo Speed Test
    17ce Speed Test
    GEO Peeker
    Webkaka Speed Test
  • 2. MINIFY JAVASCRIPT, HTML AND CSS FILES

    Comments, white space, and un-optimized code can take up unnecessary load time and file size, so you must compress your systems when possible.

    Minfy HTML
    Minify JavaScript
    Minify CSS

    Your file size will reduce as much as 5%.

  • 3. BAIDU MOBILE INSTANT PAGE (MIP)

    On March 7, 2017, Baidu launches Mobile Instant Pages.

    Demo
    Validator tool
    Submission tool

    Baidu MIP is the latest web development, and it's an exciting time to build a great website with MIP.

  • 4. GET CONTENT DELIVERY NETWORK (CDN)

    Baidu demotes slow websites. Right CDN can boost your page speed tremendously.

    Two best China content delivery networks:
    Alicloud
    Chinacache
  • 5. DO NOT LINK TO WESTERN SOCIAL MEDIA SITES

    Links to blocked sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Google or YouTube will appear broken. These broken links slow your website.

    Avoid these features:
    Google fonts
    Google map
    Google Analytics
    Any western news websites
  • 6. WHY DOES WEBSITE UPTIME MATTER?

    Uptime is an excellent measure of how good a web hosting provider is at keeping their network systems up. This system runs your website. 3 points to remember:

    You will lose customers
    It will absolutely affect your rankings
    You lose customer trust when your site is down

    Baidu wants to keep Chinese searchers happy. Buy a reliable web hosting with 99.5% in uptime.

5 Uncommon Strategies for Baidu Mobile

Make sure Baidu recognize your Chinese pages so that it can rank accordingly. Let‘s dive in and learn some proper mobile optimization techniques.

  • 1. MOBILE META TAG

    By adding this tag to your web page, you tell Baidu that your site is responsive designed:

    <meta name="applicable-device" content="pc,mobile" >
  • 2. WHY RESPONSIVE WEBSITE DOES MATTER?

    As of December 2015, China had 619 million internet users.

    Mobile stats for Chinese consumers
  • 3. BEST MOBILE DESIGN PRACTICE

    When designing your mobile pages, apply these best design practices:

    No horizontal scroll
    No zoom need to view content
    No annoying interstitials, pop-up ads
    Make big readable text to 16px
    Use mobile navigation and breadcrumbs when possible
    Use short form
    Have well-spaced of target links/icons to avoid selection errors
    Make phone number as the auto-detect:
    <a href="tel:1-408-555-5555">1-408-555-5555</a>
  • 4. HOW TO INCREASE BETTER WEB PERFORMANCE

    Help Baidu to improve your intention. Add one of the Meta tags inside the <head> tag:

    Desktop: <meta name="applicable-device" content="pc">
    Mobile: <meta name=“applicable-device” content=“mobile”>
    Responsive: <meta name=“applicable-device” content=“pc,mobile”>
  • 5. HOW TO IMPROVE YOUR LOCAL SEO VISIBLITY

    Add this tag to your Chinese website. If you live in Beijing, follow this example.

    <meta name=“location” content=“province=北京;city=北京;coord=116.306522891,40.0555055968”>

    It will rank your website higher in SERPs where searchers‘ location matches with your geolocation.

5 Chinese Social Media Sites You must Sign Up

When building brand authority, share your opinions, experience, and skills to your Chinese audience.

  • 1. TOP CHINESE Q&A WEBSITES

    Baidu Zhidao (百度知道) is the world‘s largest Interactive Q & A platform in China. This is a fantastic opportunity to drive up your brand awareness and influence here.

    To be a Baidu Zhidao Expert, you must have a Chinese identity card ID to sign up.

  • 2. CLAIM A CORPORATE PAGE ON BAIDU BAIKE

    Baidu Baike(百度百科) is the authoritative source of unbiased information.

    Baidu places the Wiki page near the top of the search result, much higher than an organic listing. This can essentially guarantee more business exposures to your brand.

    To claim the Baike page, your businesses must have an ICP license to qualify.
  • 3. CREATE YOUR WEIBO ACCOUNT

    Sign up your Weibo account.

    You can find your competitors by doing these tricks

    keyword + intitle: conference
    keyword + intitle: seminar
    keyword + intitle: expo
    keyword + intitle: trade show
    keyword + intitle: exhibition
  • 4. TOP CHINESE VIDEO UPLOADING SITES
    Youku.com — 260 million Chinese users
    Ku6.com
    Sina Video
    6.cn — good for product placement
    QQ Podcast
    56.com
    tv.sohu.com
  • 5. WECHAT MARKETING

    800 million active monthly.

    While Wechat content is not accessible to Baidu, Because of this, it might be useful to Sogou. If your customers are using Sogou, this is highly beneficial for your business.

    Sogou, whose name translates as “search dog.” According to research from iMedia in January 2017, Sogou was third with 16.2 percent of Chinese user.

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