Baidu SEO: How to Optimise Your Website for the Chinese Market
Baidu is the largest search engine in China and is used on more than a billion devices. Although it is often compared to Google, there are vast SEO differences between these two search engines. If you want to be found on Baidu, you have to understand how SEO in Baidu works. Because Baidu is the main way you can be found online in China, here is how you can optimise your website for Baidu.
Your Domain Name
Baidu places a lot of weight on websites with a .cn domain name that is hosted on Chinese servers and those that receive backlinks from Chinese websites. Because of this, you need an Internet Content Provider (ICP) licence. They are issued by the Industry and Information technology ministry and give websites hosted on Chinese servers permission to operate there.
Websites with a .cn domain are often ranked better than other websites. However, websites using other domains can also do well if they are optimised for the Chinese market.
Because almost all internet users in China are on mobile devices, Baidu transcodes websites that are not optimised for mobile. The search engine does this by changing the layout of pages to conform to Baidu’s best practices.
If you do not want your pages to be transcoded, add the “_applicable-device_” meta tags to the mobile and desktop pages that you want to be left alone. Also, try to optimise your website’s design for mobile phones to avoid this issue in the first place.
Use Structured Data Snippets
Structured data snippets are valuable when optimising Baidu SEO. This is because the search engine’s result pages contain more of these snippets compared to Google’s search pages. To ensure maximum visibility, make your data snippets available through Baidu Open. This is the better way to submit these data snippets because Baidu Webmaster Tools are limited in this regard.
Baidu’s Own Content
Baidu puts a lot of emphasis on the platforms it has built, which can be frustrating for brands that want to rank for specific keywords. However, most platforms owned by Baidu allow you to upload content, which allows you to engage with Baidu’s audience. All you need to do is register on these platforms and any information you upload is automatically trusted by the users of Baidu’s various platforms.
Use of Thumbnail Images
As with Google, Baidu also provides relevant image results depending on the images uploaded on your website. However, Baidu relies on image links, Alt tags, and related descriptions more than Google does. This means if you want your image to feature on image search pages, you need to optimise all three of these ranking factors.
In addition to optimising for these factors, you also need to make sure your images are of great quality, so they can drive more traffic.
Content freshness is an important factor for Baidu too and so you should try to post content twice or thrice a month. Just ensure that you are consistent with your posting schedule.
Also, watch out for censored content. This can include words with political connotations or images that might be misconstrued as showing too much skin.
Baidu SEO should be a significant part of your search strategy in China. Although it takes a lot of time and effort, the ability to reach a significant number of Baidu’s 1.1 billion users will be worth it.