Chinese search engine Baidu is the undisputed market leader when it comes to search in China – and following Google’s closure of its Chinese website, its market share is likely to rise. Organisations attempting to reach the 380 million Chinese internet users should already be targeting Baidu but it is now even more important to ensure your website is indexed by – and ranking well in – Baidu.
Here are a few key factors to consider when conducting SEO for Baidu.
1. Get the language right: Use Simplified Chinese
There are several variations of the Chinese language, but Simplified (or Mandarin) is the official language of the People’s Republic of China and therefore Baidu – so use it!
2. Do not scrimp on keywords
No surprises there! Make sure your keywords appear in every element of the page. Utilise the title and description tags to help both the search engines and users to understand what your page is about and reinforce your message by including the important keywords in the copy, anchor text links and alt tags.
Your keyword research should be done using Baidu’s own keyword tools to ensure you are targeting the most effective terms.
3. Focus on quality links, rather than quantity
Baidu places value on the quality of the websites linking to you, rather than the quantity so focus your attention on attracting relevant, good quality links. Naturally it is links from Chinese websites and sources that will carry the most value.
4. Use native speakers
Just like any multilingual SEO activity, you will get the best results if a native speaker is involved in the optimisation process. This will ensure that your content, keywords and links are relevant and appropriate for the Chinese audience you are targeting.
5. Host your website in China
Although websites hosted outside China will still rank in Baidu, the search engine does favour websites hosted in the country. This will just give you an extra advantage in the competition for ranking positions.
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