baidufeatured

5 Baidu SEM Tips From the Pros

  |  February 14, 2013   |  Comments   |  

The key to success with Baidu SEM is to be able to outperform your competitors. Consider these five tips.

Baidu dominates China's search market and provides marketers with access to an advanced search engine marketing platform. In my opinion, Baidu's offerings are strong enough that anybody doing digital marketing in China should at least consider advertising on Baidu.

While advertising on Baidu may be powerful, and highly flexible, it isn't easy because Baidu is also extremely competitive. The key to success with Baidu SEM is to be able to outperform your competitors.

I chose the five tips below based on common issues I've come across with Baidu pay-per-click campaigns. This is by no means a comprehensive list, but I hope these tips will help point would-be Baidu advertisers in the right direction.

1. Do not expect perfect keyword targeting

Don't ever expect perfection from Baidu when it comes to keyword targeting. Watch performance for keywords carefully, especially when trying new keywords or new keyword match types.

As a broader principle, it's always essential to test, evaluate, and repeat. In my experience, it's quite common to see budgets run up due to even just one high-volume keyword that isn't performing as expected. This may be due to the marketer's own misinterpretation of searcher intent, but in some cases I am close-to-certain it's due to incorrect keyword matching on Baidu's part. Plus, although click fraud is unlikely on Baidu, it is not impossible, and it may only affect certain keywords. Regardless of the cause, some keywords perform strangely at times, so watch performance closely.

2. Don't translate: Create keywords and ads from the ground up

This tip is for all the marketers out there who hope to create a sister Baidu campaign to match their Google AdWords campaign. At best, translating keywords and ads is a recipe for missed opportunities.

Explaining the potential pitfalls of simply translating an English campaign into a Chinese campaign could fill an article of its own - or a book. To explain it in just a few words, consider what is different between an English campaign and a Chinese campaign:

  • Competitors. In your ad, you need to explain what is special about your offerings. That often won't be the same in China as it is in another country, because the competitive landscape is different.
  • Customers. Do they really want exactly the same thing that customers of another country do? Likely not. Do they have the same expectations and values? Likely not.
  • Language issues. One English word could be translated into multiple Chinese words, or vice-versa. Meaning may also be lost in translation.

My advice is to use the data from campaigns in other languages as an important source of information, to be considered in context with keyword and competitor research done anew for the Chinese market.

3. Try out Baidu's chat tool, Baidu Shangqiao

Chinese Internet users expect real-time customer support, often via chat box. If you've seen many Chinese websites, you've probably noticed these chat boxes. Sometimes, they're just tucked neatly in the corner of the site. Other times they're floating around, flashing or popping up in your face.

Baidu provides an excellent chat tool called Baidu Shangqiao that integrates with its SEM platform. It's easy to use, and provides extra data on the user, such as her location and what keyword she searched to find your site.

4. Integrate Google Analytics

Since you're reading an English-language article about marketing, I'm going to go out on a limb and assume you're familiar with Google Analytics. Using URL parameters, you can pass important information from the Baidu campaign for use in Google Analytics. You can learn how to build URLs for Google Analytics here.

Note that while Baidu also has an analytics platform, I feel it isn't nearly as useful as Google Analytics is in most cases. Another option for sites with a simple conversion process is Baidu's conversion tracking, which will collect conversion data directly into the Baidu ad platform.

Whether you use Google Analytics or another web analytics tool, it's absolutely essential that you make sure you are able to analyze the behavior of visitors to your website on a keyword basis.

5. Get help with account signup

One of the most common complaints I see online is that Baidu can be a major hassle to get set up with. There are many horror stories out there of accounts taking months to get set up.

Baidu sells ad credit via a complex layered network of resellers. Some of them provide great service, others... not so great. These resellers are often part reseller, part ad management agency. Most of them have no idea how to go about working with non-Chinese clients. And this is where I think most of these horror stories come from.

Plus, most Baidu SEM agencies receive commission from Baidu. So, if you sign up with Baidu directly and then try to get an agency to manage your account, you're going to end up getting charged more.

So, those were my five random tips. What other tips do you have? What questions do you have about Baidu SEM?

Subscribe to ClickZ Asia to receive your weekly dose of the region's latest trends, tips, and insights straight to your inbox.

ClickZ Live New York What's New for 2015?
You spoke, we listened! ClickZ Live New York (Mar 30-Apr 1) is back with a brand new streamlined agenda. Don't miss the latest digital marketing tips, tricks and tools that will make you re-think your strategy and revolutionize your marketing campaigns. Super Saver Rates are available now. Register today!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Tait Lawton

Tait Lawton is the founder of Nanjing Marketing Group, a company that provides Baidu advertising management services, Baidu account setup services and other Chinese-language digital marketing services. You can catch him on Twitter or Google Plus. He also writes the blog East-West-Connect.com.

COMMENTSCommenting policy

comments powered by Disqus

Get the ClickZ Search newsletter delivered to you. Subscribe today!

COMMENTS

UPCOMING EVENTS

UPCOMING TRAINING

Featured White Papers

Google My Business Listings Demystified

Google My Business Listings Demystified
To help brands control how they appear online, Google has developed a new offering: Google My Business Locations. This whitepaper helps marketers understand how to use this powerful new tool.

5 Ways to Personalize Beyond the Subject Line

5 Ways to Personalize Beyond the Subject Line
82 percent of shoppers say they would buy more items from a brand if the emails they sent were more personalized. This white paper offer five tactics that will personalize your email beyond the subject line and drive real business growth.

WEBINARS

    Information currently unavailable

Jobs

    • Lead Generation Specialist
      Lead Generation Specialist (The Oxford Club) - BaltimoreThe Oxford Club is seeking a talented writer/marketer to join our growing email lead-generation...
    • Health Marketing Editor
      Health Marketing Editor (Agora Inc.) - BaltimoreCome flex your intellectual muscle as part of Agora, Inc’s (http://agora-inc.com/) legal team...
    • Marketing Systems Analyst
      Marketing Systems Analyst (OmniVista Health) - BaltimoreOmniVista Health is looking to add a Marketing Systems Analyst to our expanding team. We...