Tips for Improving SEO on Baidu

SEO Baidu

In the West, Google has virtually the monopoly on Internet search in most countries. But in China, Baidu (百度), HaoSou (好搜) and Sogou (搜狗) search engines are dominating.

Baidu is the most popular search engine in China. As of May 2021, it accounts for 72% of the Chinese search engine market share. 

If your website is registered under the .cn domain, then below are some tips to keep in mind for improving your website’s SEO :

Creating unique content 

Baidu will highlight unique content, so make sure not to duplicate other versions of your content elsewhere on the web, otherwise Baidu will shadow the duplicated contents.

Use simple URLs 

– Avoid special characters, numbers and dashes into the URLs

– Use popular keywords

– Use SEO friendly words for news pages related

Pay attention to quality and quantity 

Make sure that your publications have a minimum of 300 words on each page.

Think about mobile optimization

In China, 61% of the Internet traffic is made on the mobile phone, consequently all your website pages, articles and social media posts should be optimized for mobile, below are some requests for mobile version : 

– Report your website on Webmaster Tools 

– Highlight the visual quality of the web page 

– Produce qualitative content 

– Make responsive design for the accessibility of the website and pages 

– Ergonomics and optimal UX experience are important

– Good readability of the page is pleasant

– Fast loading time (between 1 and 3 seconds) is highly recommended

– No error pages displayed 

– Use the meta tag “location” by mentioning the province and the contact details of the company to allow the mobile website to be located 

More information for mobile content adaptation on this website.

Take a look at research trends 

By using Baidu Index, you can determine what are the research trends in China. You can refine your search by provinces, cities, age groups, gender, socio-professional category…

Get the official website icon “官方” which shows validation by Baidu 

Validation icon of Louis Vuitton on Baidu

Validation icon of Louis Vuitton on Baidu

Showing this “官方” icon off will increase your click rate and your trust rank for a better e-reputation. More information on this site.

Display advertising

Advertising on Baidu’s display network is a powerful way to increase brand exposure in China. By setting up advanced targeting advertising, you could reach the right audience that could be interested in your website.

Creating traffic from your social medias to your website

Florasis' Wechat account

Florasis’ Wechat account

From your posts published on Wechat, QR codes or on the Wechat’s account menu bar, all of these tools should redirect to your official website.

6.18 Shopping Festival : another high turnover post Covid-19

6.18 Shopping Festival

The 18th of June was the 6.18 Shopping Festival in China, known as the crucial business opportunity for all e-commerce platforms, occurring from 1st of June to 18th of June.

6.18 was first created by JD.com in 2004 but the event has been spread by other major e-commerce platforms such as Tmall, Taobao, Pinduoduo…

Although Tmall’s turnover was higher in 2020 (698.2 billion yuan) than this year’s (578.5 billion RMB), the results post Covid-19 are still impressive. On the contrary, JD.com raised its total revenues (269.2 billion RMB in 2020 against 343.8 billion RMB in 2021).

Tmall campaign for 618 Shopping Festival

Tmall campaign for 6.18 Shopping Festival

Technology and Food on the rise on JD.com

According to the sales data of JD.com, this year, the high volumes of purchases were dedicated to :

Technology :

🔶 Gaming mobile phones (increased by 5 times year-on-year)

🔶 High-end notebook computers (increased by 145% year-on-year)

🔶 Giant screen TVs over 75 inches (increased by over 300% year-on-year)

🔶 Air conditioners (increased by 7.2 times year-on-year)

🔶 Intelligent noise reduction earphones (increased by 300% year-on-year)

According to JD’s big data, a total of 236 brands have sold more than 100 million yuan, including 73% of Chinese brands.

Food :

🔶 Organic food sales (increased by 315% year-on-year)

🔶 Mystery box sales (increased by 6 times year-on-year)

🔶 Pet smart products (increased by 5 times year-on-year) –> our article about Pet Economy here

🔶 Health products such as melanin, vitamins, and probiotics have increased as well

By the way, international products from all over the world have had a good showing as well. For example, transaction volume of imported products increased 10 times compared with the previous period. JD Worldwide imported gaming phones increased nearly three times and imported dry cat food increased 108%.

Strong Logistics and Supply Chain efficiency

JD.com attested that consumers in 92% of districts and counties and 84% of townships in China enjoyed the high-efficiency experience of “D-day delivery” (当日达) and “next-day delivery” (次日达). In addition to the large-scale and time-efficient service reach, this year, the pre-sale model innovation has again increased, covering more categories and more regions. 

Consumers in more than 200 cities across the country can experience it right after paying by choosing the “minutes delivery service” (分钟达) that is faster than usual. On-demand consumption has been solidified as a shopping trend in China. The experience of receiving orders in one-hour has brought the customer experience to a new level.

JD.com managed autonomous delivery vehicles

JD.com’s autonomous delivery vehicles

In the context of the rapid increase in the volume of large-scale business orders, the national average daily order volume forecast accuracy rate exceeded 95.5%. In addition, JD’s smart supply chain makes more than 400,000 supply chain smart decisions every day, including replenishment, allocation, etc…

Live Streaming was the best sales tunnel

64.5 billion RMB is the total sales of e-commerce by live streaming, led by the well-known Chinese KOL Austin Li, Viya and Cherie.

KOL launched a series of live streaming during 618 Shopping Festival

Li Jiaqi 李佳琦, Viya 薇娅 and Cherie 雪梨

On Tmall, the turnover generated via live streaming sessions in the first hour of 1st of June was the equivalent to last year’s average daily turnover.

Besides, the turnover of more than 1,700 brands exceeded the entire day of the same period last year.

Being part of big shopping festivals in China are not just about selling products, but also a big opportunity to build long-term growth. See our article about the future of retail here.

The Future Upcoming Festivals

📅 Qixi Festival : 14th of August

📅 Mid-Autumn Festival : 21st of September

📅 Single’s Day : 11th of November

How short videos became the new format for selling ?

Short videos are the new format for selling

Nowadays, according to a fast pace of life, people need brief and short information. Instead of a long and detailed written format, people prefer to watch a short and animated format

Did you know that Chinese users spent more than 25% of their phone time on short video mobile apps ? Consequently, 38.28% of leisure time was spent on mobile entertainment according to the China Good Life Survey.

In China, Douyin 抖音 (Chinese version of Tik Tok only usable in mainland China) is the leader of short videos mobile applications, followed by Kuaishou 快手.

Apart from Douyin and Kuaishou, short videos are on the rise on Wechat Channels as well. The super mobile application developed all formats of videos : short, long, live streaming sessions… 

Music, dance, lifestyle, humor, short story or advice videos are plenty for users to spend time on short videos apps. But how do brands manage to take short videos for selling ? 

Short videos are fun, creative and time-spending

Mobile applications such as Douyin and Kuaishou are based on browsing short videos endlessly. Users don’t expect to see advertising but creative content made by other users.

Some of the good ingredients to create a good video that will make people watch it to the end : Visual + Trendy music + Plot twist + People’s face.  

Brands have understood the importance of short videos and are now engaging with creators who have a large audience on Douyin to promote their products. 

Test and try products by Li Jiaqi : Mac Cosmetics

Video from Douyin @李佳琦 Austin Li

Short videos are recommended according to users’ interests

Douyin’s algorithm is made for entertaining users, consequently all of the content will be shown if the user has shown preferences to some of the categories of videos.

Douyin’s algorithm will highlight these user’s call-to-actions :

Active (likes, comments, shares, sending tips during live streaming…)

Watch-time (from the beginning to the end of the video, replay, swipe…)

Search methods (recommendation page, hashtags, music search tab…)

If a user has shown interest in a video showing shopping places, then Douyin’s algorithm would also suggest lookbook videos that could inspire the user to buy some new clothes or accessories.

Lookbook video on Douyin

Video from @曲岑兮 yitingyou

Brands are pushing ideas for collaboration with creators on Douyin : unboxing, test and try products, showing off clothes or luxury bags collection…

Watching several videos in a row with the same brand’s products will create the viewer’s desire and attract curiosity. On Douyin’s videos, users can directly shop products by clicking on the shop logo, which is usually just above the username. After arriving on the creator’s store, users could buy clothes, cosmetics products, DIY objects and other categories of products.

Short videos are great format for Millenials and + 30 years old people

Compared to mobile gaming and digital reading, short video have higher mobile user penetrations of 75.2% and the majority of China’s short-video users (which is over 70%) is between 18 and 35 years old and the majority are located in third-tier and fourth-tier cities than the top tier cities, according to China Internet Watch. 

Users of Douyin have a longer duration of the engagement. Around 30 million users opened Douyin early in the morning and browsed it late at night. 

Yet, the behavior of the users’ purchasing power is different. Chinese Z Generation people are more likely to buy instantly and are more quickly convinced of a trendy product, while those over 30 years old have a more thoughtful consumption and will take the time to learn more about the product’s details. 

But in both cases, it is profitable for the brand which is gaining notoriety. The more visible it is, the more users have the potential to turn into consumers or advise people around them about the products and brands they have seen, consequently creating word of mouth effect.

       Unboxing : Converse

Video from Douyin : @帕尔哈迪迪

The Future of Retail : China Experience

Retail in China

Despite the coronavirus pandemic occurring at the end of 2019 in China, retail sales now increased 34.2% compared to the previous year in March 2020.

China has always been dominant in the e-commerce market, but indeed, the unexpected crisis has strengthened advanced retail methods from now on and for the coming years.

Go for Live Streaming

Live streaming sessions are made for direct products’ demonstrations and authentic personal feedback. KOL (Key Opinion Leaders), KOC (Key Opinion Consumers), virtual influencers or shop’s vendors can introduce products and thus, convince watchers / potential customers of buying it.

Live streaming sessions are more and more intended to be entertaining, informative and well organized with links that redirect to the product’s page, instant animations and flash sales. It gives the viewer the feeling to watch a show and to participate in it (ask questions, click on links, send tips…).

At left : Li Jiaqi’s live streaming 6 hours session during 20th of May. At right : Viya’s live streaming 7 hours show during 21st of May

Choosing the period of broadcasting is decisive. Special days as Chinese New Year, Mother’s Day or 520 Festival are famous events that can bring a lot of viewers who are looking for recommendations of gifts. 

Highlight Social Commerce

In 2020, the online retail sales in China reached 11,760.1 billion yuan, grew by 10.9% year on year. Social media represent company’s website. Using Chinese social media and e-commerce functions make the customers purchase while having social interactions.

From eMarketer x InsiderIntelligence.com, January 2021

Wechat has deep mobile penetration and is essential for all kinds of needs : grocery purchase, food ordering, content sharing, direct shopping facilities…

Social commerce is user centric and it is also building a consumers community with centralized purchase data. 

Improve Client Purchasing Online Experience

Dior used AI for delivering beauty advice to customers from its Wechat’s mini program called “Dior’s AI-powered Skin”. The function is quick and simple : after taking a picture of themselves and gathering some basic information, the mini program sends you a skin report with some products’ suggestions. After that, customers can request products’ samples mentioned and even ask for a beauty consultant.

Dior’s AI-powered Skin mini program

Think about a Phygital Strategy

Even though online shopping is more and more chosen by customers, brands that already have physical stores can implement a strong traffic both online and offline.

Brands can combine the best aspects of digital and physical commerce to create the ideal integrated experience for the consumer and new opportunities for retailers and marketers.

At left : Randomevent pop-up store in Hangzhou. At right : Miu Miu x Levi’s pop-up store in Shanghai

Some level of phygital implementation is likely necessary for the continuation of shopping in physical storefronts, especially for Chinese Millennial and Generation Z consumers, who are highly digitally connected. 

How to position a beauty brand on the Chinese market ?

How to position a beauty brand on the Chinese market ?

Did you know that China is the world’s second-largest cosmetics market after the U.S. in terms of revenue according to Statista ? This ranking is powered by urbanization, growing disposable income by Chinese people, and of course social media’s huge influence. 

China’s beauty industry is experiencing rapid growth and international beauty brands are taking up Chinese social media, especially on Xiaohongshu (RED).

How do international beauty brands enter the Chinese market ? 

Brand positioning and branding communication are key points to reach Chinese customers.

But before that, you have to set up a brand notoriety strategy.

How do international beauty brands evaluate notoriety ?

The competition on the beauty market is fierce, including Chinese brands, foreign brands and the new trends which are constantly evolving.

The first step is to make a brand awareness analysis on Chinese social media and platforms : 

  • Baidu (Chinese main search engine, compared to Google)
  • Zhihu (Chinese platform where you can get answers for all kinds of topics).

With 220 million registered users, Zhihu is a real tool of trust since it creates interactions of questions and answers between a group of people around a subject

  • Wechat (Chinese first super application and most popular mobile application)

Estée Lauder (American cosmetics brands) on Baidu

Shiseido (Japanese cosmetics brands) on Wechat promoting eye cream

Then, do some research on Chinese e-commerce platforms :

  • Taobao (China’s leading e-commerce website for C2C)
  • Tmall (commercial website based on Tаоbао platform, operating on the B2C system)
  • JD.com (the largest retailer in China)

Nivea (German skincare brand) on Tmall

How do international beauty brands differentiate from the competitors?

Then, international brands have to identify their targets and highlight their added value according to the Chinese consumers needs :

  • Taking the Chinese culture into consideration
  • Be aware of the best sellers beauty products of the moment
  • Be informed about the trends on the spotlight

Users on Zhihu gave feedback about skincare products of Innisfree (Korean beauty and skincare brand). The range of products above is mainly made with tea from Jeju Island

What are the marketing methods for international beauty brands ?

After completing these steps :

Raising awareness → Creating interest → Branding communication → Customers conversion

Brands need to implement marketing strategy with the help of specialized agencies :

Dior’s Wechat mini program store

For more information about the Chinese market, do not hesitate to contact us at project@emotionchina.cn 

We can propose you customized digital marketing services according to your needs.

For more information about Digital marketing and business in China, subscribe to our newsletter :  https://www.subscribepage.com/chinabusinessletter 

Social commerce is now possible on Zhihu

Zhihu

有问题,上知乎 ! (For any questions, ask Zhihu) is the slogan of Zhihu, a Chinese platform where you can get answers for all kinds of topics.

With 220 million registered users, Zhihu is a real tool of trust since it creates interactions of questions and answers between a group of people around a subject. 

To begin with, why is Zhihu essential to brands ?

Online reputation management in China impacts so much on a brand’s image and visibility. Chinese search engine results and social media platforms are effective tools used for increasing online reputation. The best way to make a brand visible on the Chinese market is to implement a global marketing strategy on the main social media including Wechat, Xiaohongshu, Weibo, Douyin and Zhihu. Thus, by developing your strategy and raising brand awareness on Zhihu, you increase your brand’s visibility and build effective long-term promotion.

Besides, using Zhihu is also a tool to improve a brand’s Search Engine Optimization thanks to a high domain authority on Baidu, consequently one Zhihu page will be displayed on a Baidu search engine result page, no matter what the date of publication is. 

But except from being a community-based platform, Zhihu is now seen as a lever for doing business.

Here are some new functions added on Zhihu :

Brands and Product Recommendation Program :

Brands (Chinese or foreign brands) can post articles or answer questions related to their products by linking to a product on their websites or e-commerce platforms such as Taobao, Pinduoduo or Sunning. It is the best way to drive traffic and to help effectively potential customers.

For example, on the pictures below, a user asked for a liquid foundation. After describing her bad experiences with luxury brands like Armani, Lancôme or Estée Lauder, she is looking for any recommendation for other liquid foundations adapted to dried skin.

Among the answers she received, several products like Make Up For Ever’s foundation were recommended with the product’s details and application advice. If the user clicks on the button “去购买” (purchase) on the right, he is redirecting to the product page. 

Recommendation on cosmetics products with product’s links

Creators can also link their products to the shop (商品橱窗) on their Zhihu account main page. Besides, livestreaming sessions now include a shopping icon that leads the users directly to the product page on e-commerce platforms or leads to the creator’s store on Zhihu. Briefly, everything is done to facilitate the customer journey within Zhihu.

Zhihu

Creator’s jewelry store clickable on the creator’s main page

Raising trust through experts’ insights :

Zhihu uses knowledge, information, and personal experience that could influence the decision-making process of any potential consumer before purchasing. But the other main point of Zhihu now is the presence of experts including writers, scientists and businessmen that show legitimacy to the users.

Entertainment and inspiration on Zhihu :

If some users are looking for answers to specific questions, others just want to have fun on Zhihu. Films, videos, documentaries, and even TV series can be streaming and creators can receive a commission based on video views as well. 

The following picture shows a video introducing the interior design style from North European countries. By displaying a series of pictures, it gives inspiration on house decoration for fans of design.

Video introducing the interior design style from North European countries

VIP access

Zhihu is a free platform but users can take advantage of special contents or flash sales if they belong to the VIP club.

According to the topics you are interested in, a selection of articles or most popular contents is recommended on the membership tab. 

Other articles accessible only on VIP access

For more information, do not hesitate to contact us at project@emotionchina.cn

We can propose you customized digital marketing services according to your needs.

For more information about Digital marketing and business in China, subscribe to our newsletter : https://www.subscribepage.com/chinabusinessletter