5 Basic Concepts You Should Know About Chinese SEO

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Do you have plans in tapping the world’s biggest Internet market? China is big, so is the number of its Internet population. As of this writing, China had 772 million internet users reported by the end of 2017 with a penetration rate of 55.8 percent according to the Internet Society of China. Whether you’re plain curious on the nooks and crannies of Chinese SEO or have plans in setting up a Chinese website, here are the 5 basic concepts you should know before you dip your toes in this competitive landscape.

Baidu is king (for now)

Meet Baidu, China’s answer to Google search engine. The Beijing-based company is the biggest and popular search engine in China with 665 million mobile search active users for December 2016 and an increase of 2% year-over-year.

According to Matt Antonio of Pay On Performance, “Anything associated with Baidu helps you rank.” So, better start using any of their services. Learn more about Baidu PPC campaigns, too.

Simplified Chinese over Traditional

There are two kinds of written Chinese language—Simplified and Traditional. If you’re attracting the audience in the Mainland, use Simplified Chinese on your website, including content, keywords, tags, etc. Otherwise use Traditional Chinese if your target market is located in Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Macau.

The key is to localize your SEO strategy on Baidu. But here’s the sweet caveat. Baidu, according to Search Engine Land, “prefers simplified over traditional Chinese characters, and does not like romanized characters.”

Be conscious of the website’s page speed

One of the best practices in Google SEO is that the website’s page speed is crucial in rankings. MOZ defines the term as the “page load time” (the time it takes to fully display the content on a specific page) or “time to first byte” (how long it takes for your browser to receive the first byte of information from the web server).

In Baidu SEO, the page load time is an important element in strategy. If your page is too slow, it will affect your site’s ranking. Avoid integrating flash on the website. SEO Agency in China wrote, “Loading time is also influenced by the number of backlink aiming at foreign hosted websites. So the more of those backlinks you have, the slower your website is going to be.”

Tags, metatags and keywords are important

What would Chinese SEO be like without these important site elements? On-page optimization almost works similar with Google SEO, but of course, we use Simplified Chinese when incorporating title tags, meta tags, and keywords instead of Pin Yin.

Regular updates of content

Unique content is non-negotiable in search engine rankings. Make sure you update your website regularly and write in Simplified Chinese with unique content of minimum of 300 words.

“All words in the content should be checked for relevance and other meanings to ensure the correct words are being used,” according to Search Engine Land. “From a marketer’s standpoint, this means you need to hire a native Chinese translator with very strong language skills and knowledge of the different dialects in China.”

To conclude

These are the five basic things you need to know in Chinese SEO. Though Baidu dominates the market, search engines like Sogou is also catching up. Always keep up to date to local social media channels and lastly, avoid using censored words and keywords.