8 steps to do effective SEO in China


If you are interested in Chinese Market, you should know that online market is very efficient to attract customers and to increase visibility to your website/brand. In 2013, the number Chinese netizens has reached 570 million, and will surely keep increasing in the following years.


=>80% of them use Search Engine to search information.

=>60% of all Internet traffic in China is from search engines


Search Engine optimization is a must to your communication, it is a cost efficient way to do online Marketing , and reach your target. If you sell a High Class Chocolate brand and you appear on the first page on the keywords “the Best Chocolate”, “top chocolate” or “luxury Chocolate”, you will influence the customer to associate your product with high class feeling, and further to make purchase because Chinese consumers are very likely to trust the information online about foreign products.

If your company appear on certain keyword without doing anything, it is “jackpot”!

If your company do not appear, all these leads will go to your competitors.!

For example the best chocolate is (according to Baidu) “Cadbury” !

catburry chocolate china


How to do SEO in China ?

You can find here the methodology that we use in our agency.


1-Competition Analysis

First you need to analyse your competitors, who are they (online) and which keywords they target? What is their online strategy to reach the netizens or your potential customers. It is very important for you to figure out a suitable positioning of your product in terms of your schedule, budget and product itself.


2- Keywords Selection

What are the keywords that matches your service and product as well as your targets and potential customers use? What are the search volume on Baidu,  the search engine that takes 70% of market share in China?

You need to have a clear idea of the popularity of all these keywords to estimate your potential traffic, time and budget. If you have no idea, don’t worry, THEY are very willing to give their professional advice.


3- SEO Strategy

Following the pilot survey on competition and keywords is the promotion plan making. And a good plan is supposed to answer the questions as follows: Which strategy i will use to increase the keep the visitors? Where i should communicate ? What I should Change to get higher ranked on Search Engine?

The result of SEO depends on the search engine algorithm which is mainly based on Content, website structure, trustrank, update and external Backlinks.


4- On page optimization

If you want to increase your ranking on Chinese search engine, you will probably need to change your website content or structure.

Baidu prefers website  with well organized category pages and breadcrumb, or have a clear sitemap to simplify the Baidu spider work.


5- Content creation

99% of the Chinese population can not read english (or do not want to read english). Information needs to be present in  simplifed Chinese. To attract netizens you should have interesting and original content. Baidu more and more encourages website to create original content. Baidu like pages with clear title containing one keyword inside.

You also need to increase the density of “Keywords” in the page to match with the search engine algorithm.

Baidu likes fresh content, thus you need to give on your website frequent update to get bonus.


6- Internal Link builing

Baidu will give priority to websites with better structure, especially with internal links. It usually means a clear website, and well organized.

Your article should be able to be found in one category, and be linked with other relevant page.

“Anchor text” is still very important.


7-External link building

That’s the key of Baidu SEO, External backlinks. The more backlinks you have, the higher rank you will have (if the links are put properly). Acquisition of backlinks change on Baidu with the Money Plant update (copy of Google penguin). Baidu only take in consideration the backlink link to the keywords family in order to get better results.

If a backlink speak about “China” refer to “India” it will not count.

In 2013, backlinks should be targeted, quantity yes, but on relevant pages

Baidu will also care of your amount of backlink should be “regular” and constant. The algorithm will punish the massive acquisition of backlinks in short time.


8- Feed back and Reporting

After the excecution, content+update+backlinks, you need to get feedback from what you have done and your results. Baidu takes much more time to reflect the results than Google, and will usually test a new website for 1-3 months.

New websites have to be, firstly,  reviewed  and are indexed after …


SEO China


Baidu VS Google

You can find the main difference between baidu and Google




Homepage is very important Inner pages can also get good rankings.
Like Update, and fresh news Prefers original content.
Quantity backlinks orUsing Baidu Adverting see information here Give bonus to reliable external links (High quality backlinks).
Prefers pages which the title includes a single keyword.Do not care about url . Punish sur optimized page (title and keywords) .Prefers keywords in URL
New sites take time to appearhave to be reviewed first, and are indexed slowly. New sites are indexed fast
Priority to updates. Priority to original content
Manuel changement often appear Strictly follow robots rules.
Advertising appear on the first result Advertising appear in colorfull area or in the right.
Baidu give priority to his own websites Google is more fair, and do not highly rank his own websites
Users use long keyword to find information and screw Users focus on a few search results at the top.
Prefers big websites with good structure Small websites can also be positionned on niches.
Strong Censorship from the government low Censorship, but unstability of the search engine in China


See also our previous articles about SEO here and here


Olivier VEROT
Marketing China