How do we optimize a Chinese website?

Now, most businesses already know how important it is for them to optimize their website for Google. But while Google may be a huge search engine across the world it is not in China. As a matter of fact, only 16% use Google in China because they rather use Baidu.

Baidu holds 78.3% of the search engine market share in China. Which amounts to literally millions of searches each day and so it makes sense for businesses getting into the Chinese market to optimize for Baidu.

Let’s start with the keywords

The first step to optimizing for Baidu is to make sure that you have a list of Chinese keywords you want to target. It is essential note that Simplified Chinese is the most commonly used language by this search engine and its users. So, any and all content, including keywords should be in simplified Chinese. Ideally, you’ll want to employ a native Chinse speaker who will do a bit of keyword research to make sure that your website is optimized for those keywords.

The keywords like in Google should be used in the title tags, and meta descriptions as well as throughout the content. Also, the keywords should be used both on the website as well as off it. Luckily, Baidu has its own keyword research tool which should help you figure out what users are searching for in China.

Be active on Chinese Social Media

Just because China bans Facebook, that does not mean that other social networking sites are banned too. The most popular platform is called Sina Weibo which is used by 30% of Chinese with internet access. Think of it as a sort of Chinese Twitter, so it’s important to get on the site and start making the company’s voice heard.

After a recent partnership between Sina Weibo and Baidu, posts that are made on the social media website are now directly linked to search results. So, if you want to rise in SERPs make sure you use the keywords along with your marketing messages on the website.

Some other places businesses need to be active on are:

Baidu Tieba: One of the largest forums in China with a huge online community. People type in a keyword to start a discussion. So, if you want to gain attention, this is one of those places that’s worth being active on.

Baidu Baike: The Chinese version of Wikipedia. It can and should be used, but Chinese censorship means that you need to be very careful about how you tailor the message.

Change content and structure

When optimizing for the Chinese market and search engines make sure that the structure and content on the website is for the people of China. You should make sure that all category pages are well organized, breadcrumb is used and have a sitemap so that Baidu’s spider can do its thing.

Chinese content for Chinese search engines

Always have all the content on your website localized to the Chinese market. A simple translation may not suffice because it’s essential to ensure that the content is tailored to the culture and language norms of the country.