Baidu is the largest and the most dominant search engine in China. The influence of Baidu on the Chinese digital market is unprecedented. If you want to enter the Chinese market it is vital for any e-commerce platform to have a strong presence here.
Baidu is not simply the “Google of China”
If you want your e-commerce sit to be present on Baidu, you have to understand how it is works. Baidu cannot in reality be compared to Google as it uses different searching algorithms and different systems. For example if you want to book a movie ticket on Baidu, you can even choose the specific seat, which you cannot do on Google. These additional services have contributed to the Chinese giant’s success.
More than a search engine
Baidu is offering multiple services including; “Baidu Baike” (akin to Wikipedia), Baidu Maps, Baidu Yi (a Chinese mobile platform) and ‘Baidu Tieba’ a popular social community where content is ranked, the higher the rating the more that content is shared and seen by the community (much like on Reddit).
Baidu TV is an established search engine advertising space for companies wanting to post their promotional videos on selected websites.
From PC to mobile
Baidu has expanded its market from PC to the mobile device by offering a wide range of functions and digital services on the smart phone.
There is certainly big potential for expansion in m-commerce.
On Baidu, there is an interesting way to promote a brand. Baidu attracts more customers by offering a creative display for brands with pictures, videos, and interactive content. For example if you search for cosmetic brands such as L’Oreal you will find pictures of many featured products alongside the usual search results on the first page.
Baidu is a website that is hosted locally so it can be wise for companies to have a local domain with .cn. This way, it will be easier to rank highly on Baidu and to generate more traffic in China.
If you have a Chinese version website, it would be interesting to use Chinese keywords in your SEO strategy. You can easily translate the keywords that you have in Chinese.
Be careful about the content on your website. If you share or feature content that is deemed to be inappropriate by the Chinese government, your website might be taken down or restricted from Baidu.
Benji is a digital marketing specialist based in Shanghai, China. For more information see his marketing website and blog here.