Insight & Analysis

Baidu Search Advertising: A Brief Guide


Baidu PPC

Pay per click (PPC) advertising is a tried and tested form of marketing that has been proven to help businesses the world over expand their reach, drive traffic to their sites, and increase their online and offline sales. In Australia, Google and Facebook are among the most popular platforms for PPC advertising, but if you’re marketing to customers in China, you will need to get to grips with Baidu.

Baidu is the largest search engine in China, and the number one platform for PPC advertising since Google left the Chinese market in 2010.

How does Baidu differ from Google AdWords?

Although at first glance it may seem fairly similar to Google, Baidu’s PPC platform does have a few key differences.

  • Display – on Baidu, the ads sometimes display on the SERP to the right hand side in the same way as Google’s ads, but other times they can appear in the results listings, randomly sprinkled throughout.
  • Bid prices – the calculations used by Baidu are similar to Google’s but the minimum bid price on Baidu is the maximum bid used by the advertiser ranking lowest in the auction, and not the minimum auction price. This can mean higher bid prices.
  • Brand promotion – this is a feature separate to the PPC platform and it provides searchers with additional information as well as images for branded searches.
  • Language – Baidu is only available in Chinese, which means that whoever is managing the account should be a native level speaker.
  • Setup – the process for setting up a Baidu account is complex and can be time consuming, unlike AdWords.

Why should I use Baidu in my Chinese marketing plan?

If you are marketing to a Chinese audience, Baidu can be a highly effective way to expand your reach and promote yourself. With an estimated 400 million active users, Baidu can give you access to millions of potential customers in a way that other platforms just can’t.

What do I need to know before getting started on Baidu?

If you’re keen to get started on Baidu and you’re new to the platform, here are a few suggestions that may help:

  • Prepare early. It takes time to get an account set up, so make sure you allow for this before you plan to implement your first campaign.
  • Don’t expect the same response as AdWords. Baidu is highly competitive and it may take time before you can outperform the bigger brands.
  • As Baidu is so competitive, you will need to be able to respond quickly to market changes or you run the risk of being left behind.
  • Create fresh campaigns for your Chinese audience – don’t just translate your existing campaigns.
  • Google Analytics is generally considered superior to Baidu’s analytics platform, but it might not give you the full scale of data due to internet restrictions. So it is a better practice to have both Analytics tools installed.

Baidu can be challenging, especially if you don’t have a native level understanding of Chinese. For help setting up and managing Baidu PPC marketing, or marketing to China in general, get in touch with Digital Crew’s China Online Marketing division today.

We have 10 years of experience in marketing, and a passion for all things digital. Whether you need SEO, PPC, social media or content marketing services in Australia, or targeted at the Chinese market, we’ve got you covered.

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