Everything You Need to Know About Baidu PPC

Search engine marketing through Baidu is one of the most commonly used means to attract the Chinese audience and potential customers from the land where Western search engines have limited or no presence. Baidu, like its Western counterparts, offers PPC advertising for companies and brands who wish to traverse the paid route to capture the audience when they search for keywords directly or indirectly related to the brand’s products, service, or name. If you are considering putting in your marketing money into Baidu PPC, here is what you will need to know before getting started.

You need to set up a Chinese website

Your target audience through Baidu PPC is Chinese people and hence it is absolutely necessary to set up an alternate version of your website in simplified Mandarin Chinese. This can make your brand look legitimate and authentic to Chinese consumers, who may find it difficult to read and comprehend English content. It also makes sense to get a .cn domain and host your website out of China for faster loading and browsing speeds. Also, remember to tailor your website structure and design to appeal to the Chinese audience and to use payment systems accessible to the people there, like Alipay, UnionPay or WeChat Pay.

There is a lot of bureaucracy involved

Before you can set up your Baidu PPC account, you need to provide a set of legal documents to Baidu – which can also be done through an agency that offers Baidu PPC services. This is to ensure that your business and website are valid and that you do not sell or promote content, products or services that are prohibited in China. For foreign companies, the list includes a copy of business registration certificate,  a copy translated into simplified Chinese, as well as a couple of other affidavits, plus bank documents required for payments. In case your business falls into a sensitive industry like food, health, finance, etc., you may need to submit additional certificates or licenses, thus taking longer while for your account to be set up. Once this is done and your account is approved, you need to deposit an amount into your Baidu account to get things started.

You can choose from different core offerings

Once your account is set up and good to start attracting customers, you can make use of Baidu’s core offerings to run your paid search engine ads. The first is Baidu Pay Per Click Search and Display Network. You can bid for keywords and users then get to see your ads when they search for that particular keyword. You get charged when the person clicks on the link. This method also makes your ads visible to over 600,000 display network of websites. While PPC is the most commonly used, you can also augment your paid marketing efforts with Baidu Pay for Placement(P4P), where you bid for priority placement of ads with specific keywords and links. The third is Baidu Brand Zone, which allows you to dominate search results for your brand name, trademarks, or anything related to it with logos, text ads, banners, videos, social links, and more.

There are advertising and research tools too

To help you in your advertising campaign, Baidu offers a wide range of tools such as for keyword research, ad monitoring, and performance analysis. Baidu Keyword Planner is one such tool that is integrated into the PPC platform. It shows search volumes for keywords and also helps you with P4P campaigns on how much you need a bid on certain keywords. Baidu Tongji is Baidu’s own analytics platform that lets you track your number of visitors, the time they visit, and where they come from. It is a great way to know which advertisements are performing well and which drive the maximum traffic to your website. Another is Baidu Zhishu, which provides insights into search volumes for keywords, search trends, and other information that can be useful for Baidu advertising.

As with any other search engine platform, Baidu introduces new policies and features from time to time. So, it is important that you stay up to date with these changes to ensure compatibility, compliance and best results.

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