The key to getting noticed & succeeding in the Chinese digital space is to rank high on Baidu. You’ll witness a consistent & considerable rise in ranking if you master the right strategies required to get discovered by their spiders.
Keep it simple and follow the basic criteria outlined below, to be popular on Baidu.
Keep Your Chinese Characters ‘Simple’
The fact that Baidu solely indexes simplified Chinese characters is its most valuable attribute and key selling point. This is why having a simplified Chinese version of your website is critical. A Chinese homepage is recommended if we want to appear first and boost your visibility. Besides, to improve its trust rank, it is recommended to have a “.cn” website.
Also, note that Traditional Chinese is used in Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Macau, while simplified Chinese is used in mainland China.
To Offend Or Not To Offend……
You should be aware of what content you’re putting out there, even if you’re speaking the correct language. Anti-government rhetoric, pornographic material, promotion of gambling, and anything considered culturally sensitive news and information are all censored by Baidu.
This may prove to be more complicated than you think. Because of their political overtones, certain seemingly innocent words like “toad” and “rubber duck” have been prohibited (source: International Business Times). Similarly, an innocent snapshot of sunbathers could result in a website being prohibited due to excessive skin exposure.
The content on your website will avoid conflict with local Chinese censorship bodies, if you conduct thorough purposeful local market research and hire a skilled linguistic expert from China.
Straight To The Point
Baidu only has a limited amount of time to index web pages, and it usually only considers the top 100 KB of any page. To improve your rankings, start at the top of the page with the most locally relevant content and keywords. This may imply a move away from more Westernized page layouts and graphic designs. Frequent updates, such as fresh blog content or news stories that follow this same strategy, will also help you improve your rating.
Mobile Adaptability Is Key
More users have searched on Baidu via mobile than via desktop in recent years, and this trend is projected to continue. If you want to be found on Baidu, you’ll need to focus on mobile SEO. Chinese consumers are primarily mobile-focused, with many users owning several phones. Naturally, mobile-optimized websites are highly valued. Baidu, in fact, considers this when prioritising search results.
Submit & Be Seen By Baidu
If your website does not appear in Baidu’s search engine, it is critical that you submit it to them. The Baidu spiders (computer bots that crawl the internet) won’t be able to find your website if you don’t submit it, thus it won’t be indexed.
At http://open.baidu.com, you can submit your site to Baidu’s open-source platform.
A Note About Your Homepage & HTML
The homepage of your website, as well as its content, are extremely significant to Baidu. Linking the landing pages you want to rank will undoubtedly help them. As with many Chinese websites, we recommend having a lot of links in the header and footer.
As far as HTML goes, ISO-8885-1 should not be used. UTF-8 and GB2312 are the two coding platforms to employ. UTF-8 is the better of the two because it supports any language on the planet.
We hope you have a better understanding about the rules of the game. Play by these rules and you will surely be found among the 3.3 billion searches that happens in China everyday.
While establishing and optimising your presence on Baidu, a holistic, multi-channel approach to digital marketing in China will help you maximise engagement online. Contact us to figure the right one out.