Baidu PPC (Pay Per Click) Advertising in China
Baidu’s PPC ads are generally displayed in three different ways.
The display order of PPC ads is decided automatically on Baidu. The system measures the relevancy of the searched keyword to an advertiser’s registered keyword, the bid price, and the quality score (i.e., ad to landing page relevancy). PPC ads normally appear on the right side — Area A. If an ad is more relevant to a user’s search than average, it can appear in Area B at either the top or bottom. If an ad is deemed to be especially relevant to a search, it can appear in Area C in the middle of the SERP. It’s important to check how your ads will appear for the keywords you select.
Baidu features various different keyword match types.
Exact Match – Ads appear for this type when searched keywords exactly match registered keywords and there are no extra words in the query.
Phrase Match – Ads appear for this type when at least part of the searched query matches the registered entries or a synonym of the words.
Broad Match – Keywords with this match type will bring up ads in the same fashion as Exact and Phrase Match varieties, but also for other related user queries. ‚ÄúBroad Match‚Äù means exactly what its name suggests: a broad interpretation of the registered keyword. This entails synonyms and grammatical variations of the keyword.
Wide Match – Baidu also offers a wider match type for paid search advertisers to take advantage of. It’s called “wide match” and it will help advertisers to show ads for keywords with an even more distant relation to their registered entries. Depending on your budget, wide match might not be the best for you though as it can lead to higher advertising costs. Please use it carefully.
The above four match types should be used accordingly so that your ads will appear or not appear as desired.
Baidu Ad Chinese Copywriting.
The higher Baidu quality score an ad has, the longer title and description lines it can display. The general format of a text PPC ad on Baidu is a title of up to 14 characters and a description of up to 40 characters.
Ads with high quality scores, on the other hand, can display titles with up to 25 characters and a description with up to 80 characters.
This aspect of quality and how it affects ad copy must not be forgotten. It is important that you create lengthier ad copy for the possibility of their appearing in better positions.
Characteristics of Chinese Keywords.
One prominent characteristic of Chinese language search queries is that they do not include spaces between words. This is a very important element, and it is recommended that you keep this in mind when creating your keyword list.
When investigating the monthly search volume for “English language study” (which can be written with or without spaces in Chinese, as many as 5,300 searches were recorded for (no space), but only 50 for (space present). In English, it is natural to enter spaces between words in a query, but that is not the case for Chinese.
Characteristics of Chinese Ad Copy.
Baidu also allows telephone and QQ numbers (QQ is a popular Chinese chat system) to be inserted into PPC ads. Chat is widely used in China for e-commerce customer support, so having a QQ code in your PPC ads is beneficial, because it signals to searchers that you will provide support during the purchase process.
Baidu Bidding System
Baidu has a bidding system similar to Google AdWords:
CRI = bidding price X quality score.
Baidu’s bidding system is based on an index called the Comprehensive Rank Index (CRI). With a high CRI, you can still reach top level display spots even with a bid price lower than competitors. In order to achieve a higher CRI, you must increase your CTR, which can be done by raising the level of your ads’ relevancy to users’ search queries. In other words, having well written ad copy that creatively integrates keywords being searched will attract more clicks and, thus, increase your CTR. So, even if an advertiser’s bid were 2 USD (a price higher than all his competitors), he wouldn’t beat out a competitor with a higher CRI and a bid of only 1.80 USD.
For Baidu, it is important to remember that a quality score is just as important as bid price. Quality score is measured mainly by the following criteria:
Quality of ad copy
Ad relevance to landing page and keyword
Having an ICP license
Load time of the landing page
Condition of your host server
Regional Settings are Important, Too
For Chinese SEM, it’s really important to consider where you want to market within the country before you go about starting your campaigns. China is often thought of as a nation with one people and one language, but in reality, it is much more complex. For example, there are significant differences between the coastal and inland regions in terms of spoken languages, culture, and lifestyle. Not carefully setting the target regions for your campaigns can lead to wasted time and wasted money.
The Baidu Keyword Tool.
Baidu has a keyword tool that will provide you with keyword search volume, competition levels for keywords, and peak search periods (i.e., which month a keyword is searched most). This tool can be accessed via the following link:
http://u.baidu.com/?module=default&controller=Reg&action=regUser&appid=3 (registration required)
In order to use the Baidu Keyword Tool, you’ll need to first create a paid search account with them. Only then can you access all the valuable data that will assist you in planning for your Chinese SEM.
Baidu has a tool that is very similar to Google Trends. Unlike Google’s version, however, which provides numerical data gathered from user searches all over the world, Baidu only provides information related to China (as you would expect). One other major difference between the two, though, is that explicit figures are not shown on Baidu’s version; rather, data collected by Baidu is used to show which keywords are trending at specific periods of time. By using Baidu’s tool to organize your SEM, you can estimate when more traffic will come to your site. Furthermore, this tool provides other useful information such as alternative keywords with a high level of relevancy to yours, search data associated with users’ gender, data regarding users’ educational background, and even regional statistics.