The NBH Guide: How to use Baidu SEM to accelerate  your online presence in China

The NBH Guide: How to use Baidu SEM to accelerate your online presence in China

If China is an important market for your company, then Baidu should have the same priority as your Google strategy.  

Baidu can easily be described as “China’s Google”, and if you take a quick look, there are many similarities, partly in appearance, but in terms of search engine, SEO and SEM there are a lot of differences. 

In China, whenever you want to search for something you “Baidu it”, and to reach the top of the search result, your Baidu strategy is fundamental.

Are you aware of how you and your competitors appear in searches on Baidu?

This guide will give you deeper insight into succeeding with Baidu SEM. We will answer questions such as the difference compared to Google and what’s important to think about when it comes to Baidu SEM.

If you would like to get a more profound knowledge about Baidu, and Baidu SEO, please read our guide: The NBH Guide: 10 steps to succeed with Baidu SEO

Baidu search engine logo
Baidu logo

Fascinating statistics on Baidu usage in China

We’ll give some figures to understand the usage and importance of Baidu in China.

Baidu No. 1 search engine in China

Although China is one of the most important markets for many companies, Baidu is still relatively unknown to many.

Many people think that a Chinese-language website is enough or that the google strategy works as fine for Baidu, but this is not the case. You have to adapt your digital marketing strategy for China, and including China’s No. 1 search engine could be a very good first step.

Investing in Baidu SEM will get you:

  • Impressions
  • Clicks
  • Directs leads
  • More understanding of your China market

Baidu SEM (PPC)

Baidu SEM (Search Engine Marketing) can also be referred to as PPC (Pay-Per-Click) or ads on Baidu.

Baidu PPC can be a cost-effective way to get a higher, or perhaps top result on Baidu. These kinds of Baidu ads can also be added with images, such as product pictures or special campaign images.

Most importantly is that you adapt the ads for your targeted audience in China and perhaps market yourself with the right timing. This should be included in your marketing content plan.

Example of Baidu PPC ad including promotional images.

SEM and SEO, are all about keywords. What will the potential customer search for and what would be your keywords in China?

Once you have your ad live, and the user searches for related keywords, they will find your ad in their search result, and hopefully among the top results.

  • CPC (Cost-Per-Click)

Every time someone clicks on your ad there will be a CPC (Cost-Per-Click). The cost of the keywords (the CPC) depends on the bidding of the keyword, in other terms, how competitive the targeted keyword is.

  • Market your landing page

In order to get a good first impression, why not market your landing page in search results?

Take the chance and market your webpage according to your brand guideline and targeted audience in China. Show your products and services in a tasteful and “want to know more of” way!  

Example of a Baidu ad, promoting their landing page and products

Directs communications with your costumers

One popular and beneficial function that Baidu SEM has is to add a contact form directly in the ad. The consumer can in quickly way leave their phone number and company name. You can then easily return to the client and answer their questions.

This service is very appreciated among Chinese consumers because it offers the possibility to get in touch with you in a fast and more personal way. It is a very effective CTA (call to action) because it encourages the consumer to make a quick decision to get in contact with you.

Baidu ad with contact form

Track your performance with Baidu SEM

As with all marketing, it is essential to be able to measure your results. No matter what marketing activities are being done for a company, data is the key to getting knowledge about your performance. 

Knowing your performance will take you one step ahead in optimizing your digital marketing in China.

NBH believes in transparency and we always want what’s best for our clients. Please read more about how NBH works with data tracking: Data tracking in China.

How NBH can help you with Baidu SEM?

NBH has years of experience creating ads (SEM) so that companies easily can be recognized, creating relationships, and direct leads. 

We develop your Baidu SEM strategy and make you competitive in the market. We create a tailor-made keyword list for Baidu and create ads aligned with your brand and specialized for your Chinese audience. To be competitive, we do the daily operation of Baidu SEM, including bidding keywords.

We also offer monthly reports in English in order for you to take ownership of your digital marketing in China.

Book a free consultation meeting with one of our sales representatives. Together we discuss your specific needs and get to know more about how we can help you use Baidu SEO and SEM in your marketing strategy for China! Book a meeting, here.

The NBH Guide: 10 steps to succeed with Baidu SEO

The NBH Guide: 10 steps to succeed with Baidu SEO


Companies, especially within B2B think it’s a challenge to reach the Chinese market, what platforms are there, and which ones to prioritize?

In this guide, we will talk Baidu! In the West, we talk Google and the term “let’s google it” has become normalized. Maybe you think this is a standard fraise all over the world? But like everything else in China’s digital world, everything works a little bit differently.

Baidu is China’s largest and most used search engine. Baidu can easily be described as “China’s Google”. If you take a quick look, there are many similarities, partly in appearance, but also in functions, such as maps, videos, images, etc. In terms of search engine and SEO there are a lot of differences.

What is Baidu?

In China, unless you have a VPN to break through the firewall, Baidu is the first search engine of choice and the 6th largest operator in the world, according to StatCounter 2021. Baidu is not only the first choice due to limited options, Baidu also has a high level of trust among its users.

Baidu Vs. Google – SEO

As we mentioned earlier, at the first glance, Google and Baidu seem to be similar. One might think that your Google strategy might work just as well for Baidu, but that is not the case.

The SEO for Baidu simply works differently. So how to optimize your Baidu SEO? NBH will guide you through the 10 most important steps (without ranking).

1. Domain

Baidu ranks the Chinese domains higher in the search result than the global domains. Use a Chinese domain, either .cn or

To get an even better result, also add a keyword to your domain name, to indicate what your website is all about.

2. Host your website in mainland China

To get a faster loading speed and a high user experience, we recommend hosting your website in China. The great firewall slows down the speed of externally hosted websites.

3. ICP license

Websites that are hosted in China need an ICP license (internet content provider). The ICP license can be purchased from the Chinese government and it’s important to display it in the footer of the website.

When it comes to different licensing, there is a major difference between Baidu and Google.

Google does not require any license to get indexed and climb the ranking results.

Baidu also indexes sites that don’t have an ICP license but it prioritized China-hosted sites, and to get a Chinese-hosted website the ICP license is required.

4. Crawling

Baidu script is not as advanced as Google’s. So, you can forget JavaScript and flash, Baidu simply can’t crawl it. Instead, we recommend using HTML static pages.

5. Use the right language

Baidu only index Simplified Chinese. Chinese users prefer using the Chinese language when searching on Baidu, even though they search for international topics. The use of Chinese language will gain the trust of your customers and clients.

6. Meta tags  

Unlike Google, Baidu uses meta tags as an important ranking factor. Choose a meta description that contains at least two keywords and a branded term. You can use up to 78 meta descriptions in Chinese characters.

So, make sure to optimize your meta description, meta image tags, meta keywords, heading tags, and other tags that you find important.

7. Links

Baidu prioritizes backlinks from domestic websites higher than external websites. Make sure to use internal links in order to get a better result, and use many of them, the more the better!

8. Mobile using

In China, people prefer using mobiles, therefore it is important to make sure that your website also is optimized for mobile use. Baidu’s mobile reach is over 1 billion active users, so mobile-friendly is important in order to deliver a great customer experience.

9. Be updated with your content

As always, make sure to always deliver fresh content! Not only for your followers but also for better ranking at Baidu, updated content sends a signal to Baidu and the chances for better ranking are higher. Keep your content alive, publish new articles, pictures, and videos, and make sure that your existing content also is up to date.

10. Optimize your SEO by using Baidu’s own site

Baidu owns several websites and unlike Google, Baidu chooses to prioritize them high in the search field than external websites. Pages that often comes up when scrolling on Baidu are:

  • Baike  (Baidu’s answer to Wikipedia)
  • Tieba (Online discussion forum, similar to Reddit)
  • Zhidao (Question and answer platform, a lot like Quora)

To optimize your SEO it is recommended to also be seen at these sites. Like, Google, it is good to have updated info on Wikipedia, for better ranking. This is the same for China, one way to optimize SEO is to be on Baike (China’s Wikipedia), especially since Baidu owns that site.

Click here if you want to know more about how NBH works with Baidu SEO.

To summarize – Why succeed on Baidu?

To get started with Baidu, there are simply a lot of steps to be aware of, not least licenses and documents. But keep in mind that Baidu has over 1.1 billion users and billions of searches per month. Baidu is the leading search engine on the market.

If you take a closer look at Baidu’s app, there are 580 million activated users, so make sure that your website is mobile-friendly!

To succeed in China a Baidu strategy is a must-have!

NBH has years of expertise in working with digital marketing in China. Our expertise is available in both Europe and China.

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