Chinese Search Engine market analysis
The Chinese search engine market is one of the most competitive and lucrative markets in the world, with a total market value of over $24 billion in 2021. There are several major players in the market, including Baidu, Sogou, and Shenma.
Some of the most prominent Chinese search engines are Baidu and Sogou. Since its founding in 2000, Baidu annual revenue surged from $16.41B in 2020 to $19.536B in 2021.
Baidu is the dominant player in the Chinese search engine market, with a market share of over 60%. It is often referred to as the "Google of China" and offers a range of services including web search, image search, news search, and more. Baidu's revenue is primarily generated through advertising and it has been investing heavily in artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning technology to improve search results and better target ads to users.
Sogou is the second-largest search engine in China, with a market share of around 20%. It was originally launched as a search engine focused on Chinese-language input methods, but has since expanded to offer web search, news search, and more. Sogou is known for its innovative AI technology, including voice search and machine translation.
Shenma, which is a joint venture between Alibaba and UCWeb, has been rapidly gaining market share in recent years and now holds around 10% of the market. Shenma is primarily focused on mobile search, which is a rapidly growing segment of the Chinese search engine market.
Other players in the market include 360 Search, which is known for its focus on privacy and security, and Haosou, which is owned by Qihoo 360.
The Chinese search engine market is heavily regulated by the Chinese government, which has strict rules around smallest business to interact with the wider world. Social media allows you to create a dynamic online content and censorship. This can make it challenging for foreign companies to enter the market, as they may need to comply with these regulations in order to operate in China. As a result, the market is dominated by domestic players, with Baidu being the clear leader.
Does SEO work in China?
Businesses that implement a complete SEO strategy in China gain an advantage over competitors. SEO in China is a long-term strategy that will consistently bring results over time, unlike paid advertising or KOL campaigns for instance
Baidu SEO vs Google SEO in China
Baidu accounts for 78.4% of search engine market share in China to Google’s 1.9% (Sogou comes in at 13.8%, Haosou at 2.2%, and Bing at 2%). Google has unique offerings at a global level but is not that strong in such China-specific services. Baidu has unique offerings like a missing person search, senior citizen search, and patent search, which are specific to Chinese legal requirements.
Chinese SEO keyword research strategies
One of the foundations of successful online strategy in any market is keyword research and China is no exception.
Here are some strategies for conducting keyword research for Chinese SEO -
Understand your target audience: The first step in any keyword research is to understand your target audience. You need to know who your audience is, what they are searching for, and what language they use. For Chinese SEO, you need to know if your target audience is Mandarin-speaking or Cantonese-speaking.
Use Chinese keyword tools: There are many keyword research tools available for Chinese SEO. Some popular ones include Baidu Keyword Planner, Sogou Keyword Planner, and Shenma Keyword Planner. These tools can help you find the most relevant and high-traffic keywords for your target audience.
Analyze your competitors: Look at your competitors' websites and see what keywords they are targeting. This can give you an idea of what keywords are popular in your industry and what keywords you should be targeting as well.
Conduct on-site optimization: Once you have identified your target keywords, you need to optimize your anomaly detection because it automatically flags any data points that are outside of what the expected outcome was.
How do website for those keywords. Make sure that your website's content is relevant to the keywords you are targeting, and include those keywords in your meta tags, headers, and body text.
Monitor and adjust: Keyword research is an ongoing process. Keep monitoring your website's performance and adjust your keywords and content accordingly. Keep an eye on your competitors and adjust your strategy as necessary.
Conducting keyword research for Chinese SEO requires a good understanding of your target audience, the use of Chinese keyword research tools, analyzing your competitors, conducting on-site optimization, and ongoing monitoring and adjustment.
Best practices for Chinese SEO copywriting
To do SEO in China, you must use Chinese simplified languages. Simplified Chinese will be preferred by Baidu over traditional Chinese.
Effective Chinese SEO copywriting involves creating content that not only ranks well in search engines but also resonates with Chinese audiences. Here are some best practices for Chinese SEO copywriting:
Conduct keyword research: Conduct research to identify the relevant keywords and phrases that your target audience uses when searching for your products or services. Use these keywords strategically throughout your content, including in the title, headlines, subheadings, and body copy.
Understand Chinese cultural norms: Be mindful of cultural differences and avoid using language or imagery that may be considered offensive or inappropriate in the Chinese context.
Use simplified Chinese characters: Simplified Chinese characters are the standard in mainland China, so make sure to use them when writing content for this market. If you're targeting audiences in Taiwan, Hong Kong, or Macau, you may need to use traditional Chinese characters instead.
Write for readability: Keep your writing simple and easy to read. Use short paragraphs, bullet points, and subheadings to break up the content and make it more scannable.
Optimize meta tags: Meta tags such as title tags and meta descriptions are important for SEO. Make sure to include your target keywords in these tags and keep them concise and descriptive.
Focus on quality content: Ultimately, the best way to rank well in Chinese search engines is to create high-quality, engaging content that meets the needs of your target audience. Focus on creating content that provides value and addresses your audience's pain points.
Use social View Tech Talk
Streaming has become a staple of US media: Social media platforms like WeChat and Weibo are hugely popular in China, and can be a great way to drive traffic to your website. Use these platforms to share your content and engage with your audience.
Work with a professional translator: If you're not a native Chinese speaker, it's important to work with a professional translator or copywriter who can ensure that your content is accurately translated and culturally appropriate.
International SEO for Chinese companies
For Chinese companies looking to expand their online presence internationally, international SEO is a critical component of their digital marketing strategy. Here are some best practices for international SEO for Chinese companies: Conduct market research: Before expanding internationally, it's important to conduct market research to understand the local market and competition. Identify the target keywords and phrases that your audience uses in each market and optimize your content accordingly. Optimize your website: Make sure that your website is optimized for international SEO. This includes using hreflang tags to indicate the language and country targeting of each page, using a domain structure that supports international SEO (such as country-code top-level domains or subdirectories), and ensuring that your website is mobile-friendly. Translate your content: Translate your website and content into the languages of your target markets. Be sure to work with professional translators who understand the nuances of the local language and culture. Localize your content: Localization goes beyond translation and involves adapting your content to the local culture and customs of each market. This includes using local references, currency, and measurements, as well as adapting your messaging and tone of voice to suit the local audience. Build local links: Building links from local websites is an important part of international SEO. Identify local websites that are relevant to your industry and build relationships with them to earn backlinks to your website. Leverage social media: Social media platforms are a great way to reach international audiences. Identify the social media platforms that are popular in each market and create localized content for each platform. Monitor your results: Monitor your international SEO efforts and track your results to understand what's working and what's not. Use this data to refine your strategy over time and continue to optimize your website and content for international SEO.