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How to enjoy success on Baidu

With over 800 million Chinese customers currently online, Baidu SEO is an essential channel for long-term, sustainable visibility – and its gains offer permanent benefits. Every Western brand will need to develop a bespoke strategy according to its unique goals, current position and available budget. Depending on its market position, objectives and desired investment (considering the use of other digital marketing channels as part of a holistic strategy) a typical Baidu SEO strategy might capture the following activities:

1. Carry out competitor analysis
By understanding what your competitors are doing, easier decisions can be made about focus areas and routes for gaining competitive advantage and higher placement for certain keywords.

2. Chinese Website development
Western brands will need to develop and localise their Chinese website to ensure that pages are optimised for Baidu SEO. This includes analysing the structure of the website and optimising the UX accordingly for SERPS and human readers alike. (At Market Me China, we use tools to provide instant and rich analysis for targeted improvements and necessary site development.)
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3. Chinese Website ‘housekeeping’
Carry out essential SEO ‘housekeeping’ – from removing deleting negative links through to adding header and image tags and optimising URLs. For example, it is important to remove redundant code in the back-end of website pages to improve their weighting (again, our tools identify this automatically and flags up instant fixes.)

4. Develop a Chinese keyword strategy
Assess Chinese keywords, rank them and ensure that keywords are incorporated into branded content correctly and in line with Baidu algorithms. A full content strategy will prioritise content and ensure a regular calendar of rich, varied and value-adding content that is designed with Chinese readers in mind, and which provides solutions to their pain points.

5. Develop a linking strategy
From backlinks to internal links, the right linking strategy and delivery will ensure that Baidu’s search engines can accurately read and rank your content, and build it’s ‘authority’ weighting for your target keywords. Again, this will also grow organic traffic. A sound strategy will factor in the right blend of social media, forums, online Q&A or wikis plus review and recommendation platforms for your brand; all building links and reciprocal traffic which increases your Chinese website’s relevance and weight for Baidu search engine.

6. Consider social media and mobile website
There is a strong link between brands that have a powerful social media following and those which are ranked highly on Baidu seo. The search engine indexes certain media platforms such as Sina Weibo, so it is worth optimising your full digital hub for integrated benefits. Equally, Baidu takes your mobile version website into account, and will naturally rank those brands which have a great mobile website that Chinese users find easy to use (this means a seamless UX, fast loading speeds, responsive web design and other key factors that you will become familiar with from your ‘regular’ website optimisation activities for SEO.)

Going the extra mile
Because Baidu operates in line with Chinese online users, Western brands must seek to really understand what makes Chinese users tick, and what represents a superb online experience in their eyes. We can provide these insights into behaviours and local factors which are essential to SEO success. At all times, white hat SEO techniques must be used to avoid being penalised by Baidu. Market Me China only ever uses legitimate white hat techniques for sustainable, long-term success.

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