Make sure you know these options before you enter the Chinese market.
1. STAY AWAY FROM POLITIC & SOCIAL PITFALLS
Recently, Marriott, the big chain hotel website is listed Taiwan, Tibet, Hong Kong and Macau as separate countries. For this particular reason, China shuts down the site.
If you target Taiwan, Tibet, Hong Kong and Macau, you should say Chinese Taiwan, Chinese Hong Kong, Chinese Tibet and Chinese Macau.
Remember this, If Baiduspider sees something the Chinese government disapproves, your website will not index at all.
Pages with iFrames tend to have more than one URL, one for the page the iFrame is hosted on and another from the page it's pulling the content from elsewhere. Baiduspider gets confused with this technique.
While Google has been able to index Flash since 2008, Baidu has yet to index one. You should thoroughly ignore a Flash technology. What's more, Flash becomes less accessible and is not compatible with mobile devices like Apple iPhone.
3. TEST YOUR WEBSITE
According to Baidu‘s Official SEO Guide, Baidu indexes foreign and overseas Chinese websites. Furthermore, these international websites treat as equal to Chinese-based sites hosted in China.
4. GET HTTPS (SSL) CERTIFICATE
In 2015 Baidu announced HTTPS is a significant ranking signal.
Buy SSL certificate from your hosting provider.
5. BAIDU verification
Many Chinese verification procedures (such as Baidu Trust) require an ICP license. These verifications provide a badge that displays on the Baidu SERP for your site.
The outcome the badge has on organic ranking is unknown. Many trusts Baidu does not treat it as a ranking factor, but it can develop your website’s search appearance and click-through rate.
To get relevant traffic from Baidu, you need to know your customers, and their search queries well. Let me show you how!
6. Autocomplete Suggestions
While the big e-commerce platforms like Tmall, Taobao, and JD know certain types of words and phrases that will result in conversions because their main aim is to sell products, you should take massive advantage of learning many possible LSI keywords here.
7. 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.
8. REVIEW YOUR CHINESE COMPETITORS‘ KEYWORDS
Look at the Menu Category, Meta Description, H1, Title and Schema Tags, these are your keyword clues.
9. REVIEW LOCATION-BASED KEYWORDS WITH BAIDU PRODUCTS
↱ Baidu Zhishu (Baidu Index - Free tool)
↱ Baidu Tuiguang (PPC keywords & long-tail keywords)
↱ Baidu Feng Yun Bang (Popular keywords by location and category)
↱ Baidu Tieba (Largest online community)
↱ Baidu Nuomi (Chinese Groupon)
10. HOW TO PICK YOUR TARGET KEYWORDS
Ideally, your target Chinese keywords should be:
↱ Low-medium search volume
↱ Highly relevant to content and searcher‘s intent
↱ Keyword difficulty below 30
For more keyword ideas, read my Google SEO post!
User experience is a ranking factor in Baidu. Good design increases satisfactory user experience. Let‘s dive right in!
11. 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.
↱ 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
12. CHOOSE YOUR COLOR EMOTIONAL TRIGGERS
From this chart, many famous Chinese companies use color to create their brand.
How does this help to improve your SEO? Each color represents a meaning.
To choose the right color, you will build better experience with Chinese consumers
13. BUILD A STRONG 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.
Baidu usually has problems crawling URLs with parameters.
The following URL is NOT Baidu SEO best practice:
Replace your URL with LSI keyword:
14. APPLY A PURE CSS NAVIGATION
The text navigation is super search engine friendly and lightweight. This navigation should code in HTML and CSS.
15. WHY A LOGO LINK MATTERS
Making your logo synonymous with your homepage is the best Baidu SEO practice. This technique can help Chinese users to navigate back to your website quickly.
In search engine optimization term, on-page optimization refers to factors that have an impact on your site rankings. Let me teach you how!
16. GET A PROFICIENT CHINESE TRANSLATOR
Our Chinese friends at HI-COM sent us an incredible translation 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 you target region in particular.
Finally, you should get a focus group to read your finished translation. Your friends can help you to avoid embarrassing moments.
17. ADD 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.
<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 deliver your content to the right region.
<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 " />
<link rel="alternate" href="http://domain.com" hreflang=" zh-Hans " />
18. 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
What's more, the external file loads once and then cache in the browser. This best practice prevents to download the files again.
20. 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, run W3C's validation tool
21. 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 of 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.
22. 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”>
<div >Put PROMINMENT CONTENT HERE</div>
23. 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.
24. 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 Description statement will display in Baidu search result.
25. USE OF META KEYWORD TAG
Place the first five prominence SEO key phrases. Don‘t go over 100 characters.
26. 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.
27. 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.
28. 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.
29. USE AN ABSOLUTE URL PATH
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.
30. 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:
Inside the Canonical tag, you tell Baiduspider Bot that this is your preferred URL.
<link href="http://example.com/china-seo/" rel="canonical">
31. NAME YOUR FILE AND SUBFOLDER WITH KEYWORDS
Good naming convention improves keyword relevance and frequency.
You could either use PinYin or English for your subfolder and file names.
32. 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.
Baidu Cang (bookmark)
33. HOW TO GET LISTED ON BAIDU?
An individual webmaster account can significantly improve your Chinese website for that search engine.
Baidu Webmaster Tools
Sogou Webmaster Tools
360 Webmaster Tools
Shenma Webmaster Tools
34. ADD BAIDU Tongji (Analytics)
This tool includes stats, heat maps, site speed test and Baidu index checker.
35. 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.
Why is this tip important to your Chinese SEO?
Most web developers build your site with the latest web technology like CSS 3. It looks correctly fined on your current browser. What you don't know, this most recent CSS technology is not compatible with the oldest browsers.
What if your Chinese web developer does not check the old browsers for your business website, this hurts your greater first impression if your target customers still use Internet Explorer 9.
Site speed is a crucial Baidu search ranking factor.
36. HOW FAST IS YOUR WEBSITE? TRY THESE TOOLS
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 four tools to test my websites:
Qihoo Speed Test
17ce Speed Test
Webkaka Speed Test
Comments, white space, and un-optimized code can take up unnecessary load time and file size, so you must compress your systems when possible.
Your file size will reduce as much as 15-20%.
38. BUILD YOUR SITE WITH BAIDU MOBILE INSTANT PAGE (MIP)
On March 7, 2017, Baidu launches Mobile Instant Pages.
Baidu MIP is the latest web development, and it's an exciting time to build a great website with MIP.
39. GET CONTENT DELIVERY NETWORK (CDN)
So how do you ensure you don’t get penalized for a slow loading website?
Get China CDN; this can boost your page speed tremendously.
40. DO NOT LINK TO WESTERN SOCIAL MEDIA SITES
Links to blocked sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Google, YouTube or major newspapers will appear broken. These broken links slow down your website.
41. BUY DEDICATED SERVER HOSTING
Buy a reliable, dedicated web hosting with 99.5% uptime. This hosting you don't share with any websites. Also, this guarantees you don't get in trouble with the Chinese authorities.
Make sure Baidu recognize your Chinese pages so that it can rank accordingly. Let‘s learn some proper mobile optimization techniques now.
42. IMPLEMENT MOBILE META TAG
By adding this tag to your web page, you tell Baidu that your site is mobile design:
↱<meta name="applicable-device" content="pc,mobile" >
↱ Desktop: <meta name="applicable-device" content="pc">
↱ Responsive: <meta name=“applicable-device” content=“pc,mobile”>
43. WHY DOES RESPONSIVE WEBSITE MATTER?
As of December 2015, China had 619 million mobile users.
As of 2017, 97.5% of Chinese netizens access the internet through a mobile device.
44. 6 TIPS FOR DESIGNING MOBILE-FRIENDLY SITES
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
↱Make phone number as the auto-detect:
45. FOR MOBILE WEBSITES, SIZE MATTERS
Have well-spaced of target links/icons to avoid selection errors
46. 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”>
Replace your province, city and GEO location coordination.
It will rank your website higher in SERPs where searchers‘ location matches with your geolocation.
Source: Dragon Metrics
When building brand authority, share your opinions, experience, and skills to your Chinese audience.
47. BAIDU ZHIADO
Baidu Zhidao (百度知道) is the world‘s the world‘s most extensive Interactive Q & A platform in China.
If the questions haven’t been asked yet, you can post the question to Zhidao. Alternatively, if you find questions that have already been answered, feel free to provide your thorough insight and include a link to your site.
This Chinese platform 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.
To register for your company, you can call Baidu Zhiado directly at 010-59924485/8632.
48. BAIDU Qiye BAIKE
Baidu Qiye 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 Chinese version of Wikipedia can essentially guarantee more business exposures to your brand.
To claim the Baike page for your corporation, you must have an ICP license to qualify.
49. Baidu Wenku
Baidu Wenku (百度文库) is a free platform that allows users to upload and share documents and files.
Since this is a Baidu platform, the relevant backlink you obtain here is considered authoritative and high quality.
How can you use Weibo for your business?
↱ Improve brand recognition and brand loyalty for your company
↱ Gain valuable insights from potential clients
↱ Increase inquiries and sales, both online and offline
↱ Improve customer service and social engagement
Watching videos now ranks fourth for online activities among Chinese users.
Youku/Tudou — 288.6 million monthly active users
Tencent Video — 338.1 million monthly active users
iQiyi — 368.9 million monthly active users
Lets allows users to share short video clips or live stream.
lets users shoot, edit, and share 10-second videos.
Lets users make perfect 60-second short videos!
Live streaming app
50% of China’s online population having used live streaming at least once.
Let users earn through activities such as karaoke or creating tutorial videos.
Also referred to by users as 'Yi,' is a Chinese live video-streaming app that is similar in appearance to Periscope.
Weixin (微信) is known as WeChat in North America. It has 800 million users.
As of June 6, 2017, you can now link contents to your other official accounts.
Baidu announced in 2015 that they would ignore all links except those on trusted, high-quality websites and punish websites who were found to be using black-hat methods.
53. Link Building 101
Let’s say that you have a restaurant site and you get an inbound link from a regular directory. Baidu won’t see that website link as relevant to the subject of your site.
But, if that link gaining is from a website that’s related to restaurant reviews, like SCMP's Good Eating or Dianping that’s centered around food cuisine, you will not only improve your rankings, but your site will be relevant and valuable to the visitors.
54. Try Paid Advertising on Toutiao
Toutiao is a Chinese news curation platform established in 2012.It attracts 450 million Chinese users who like to read the news.
Your ad is thoroughly blended with the news content.
Hope this article helps you understand Baidu search engine optimization better. Drop me a message if you have any thoughts or questions!
I would appreciate it if you helped me, by sharing this Baidu search engine optimization guide with your friends. Thanks!
Most popular articles: