Things to Know When Advertising on Baidu in English

Before we begin… what is Baidu?

Well, as most people call it, Baidu is the Chinese equivalent of Google. What Google is to you is what Baidu is to a Chinese person! This extensive web service company was founded in the year of 2000 and is easily one of the world’s biggest internet companies today. It offers multiple services, the most commonly used of which is its massive search engine. Almost 80% of the searches that happen in China occur through Baidu (and not Google- surprising, isn’t it?)

Now, if you’re thinking that Baidu advertising is anything like Google, Facebook, or LinkedIn advertising, you thought wrong- as it turns out, it is very different from other Western websites! Most people choose to opt for Baidu advertising when they want to expand their brand into a foreign land (in this case, China). If this is the case, you will need to learn a little bit about this internet company before diving in.

Advertising on Baidu in English?

But before we go on to some of the important factors to keep in mind about Advertising on Baidu, let’s answer the most pressing question of all: is Advertising on Baidu in English possible? The answer is YES! You most certainly can. However, one must keep in mind that this is not 100% recommended.

The reason is simple: if you were to search for your favorite restaurant nearby and the landing page was in Mandarin, how would you react? Similarly, when in China, know your market! As most searches occur in Mandarin on Baidu, the subsequent landing page is expected to be in Mandarin as well. If instead of this, they see an English page, they will most likely leave the website immediately, resulting in an unusually high bounce rate for the landing page. This ultimately results to a failed campaign, as you may have gathered.

Insisting on Advertising on Baidu In English

If for some reason you cannot go on without advertising your landing page in English, fret not, for there are workarounds. While your landing page might be in English, certain SEM agencies would recommend using Mandarin keywords, leading customers to a said landing page. This shoots up the search engine optimization (SEO) while permitting advertising on Baidu in English. Even though this is a possibility, keep in mind that this won’t be the most successful campaign. In fact, you’d have to be extremely hopeful that something good would come out of this. The fact is just that Mandarin landing pages would perform better than English. Ensure to weigh the pros against the cons and make a decision based on that! Advertising on Baidu in English could cost you…

Things to Know When Advertising on Baidu in English

1. The Role of Bureaucracy

Keep in mind that Baidu is regulated heavily by the government! This means that any Western company wishing to advertise on Baidu (in English that too) would have to go through a tonne of paperwork and form elaborate contracts. A company registration and finance document would have to be made before opening up an advertising account. Needless to say, advertising on Baidu requires the right documentation: this is the first thing to keep in mind while hoping to advertise on Baidu in English (or any other language for that matter).

2. Mandarin-Recommended

As mentioned earlier, Mandarin landing pages for Baidu advertisements are highly recommended. Even though English landing pages fueled by Mandarin keywords is an easy fix, you cannot be guaranteed a great output. Since 99% of users perform searches in Mandarin, studies have shown that a large chunk of them would abandon an English landing page after searches on Baidu because it was not in Mandarin. If you are ready to deal with the high bounce rate, you may go ahead advertising on Baidu in English!

3. Differences: Social & Cultural

It’s not all about the language! Keep in mind that your target audience has taken a shift: both socially and culturally! What works for western audiences may not work in China at all! In fact, you may end up offending them in ways you never meant to. Make sure to do your research thoroughly beforehand and hire an experienced, trustworthy SEM agency if needed.

Ultimately, keep in mind that Baidu advertising is much trickier than advertising in different parts of the world. However, with the correct approach and know-how, the sky’s the limit (even advertising in English!)

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