Six Tips for Super Successful Baidu SEM Ads

Throughout a majority of the world, most people go to Google for their internet search needs, however, it is no longer available in China. Baidu instead is the go-to search engine for China’s one billion plus internet users, and it is the most important platform for placing ads in China. Baidu’s paid search ads work similarly to Google Adwords; you bid on keywords, provide ad copy, pay per click, and use a similar management system. However, there are some core differences you need to adjust for to be successful with Baidu SEM Ads.


Get Yourself an Internet Content Provider (ICP) License

An ICP license is necessary before Baidu SEM will even allow you to open a Baidu SEM ads account. An ICP license is issued by the government, but the application process can take well over a month. This license means your company has been vetted by the government, and it gives Baidu the freedom to accept money for advertising for your site. Just having a .cn domain name and a site with Chinese content is not enough.


Be Fluent in Chinese

Chinese is the language that Baidu operates in, from its account management interface to its customer support. All your Baidu SEM ads copy and keywords will also have to be in fluent Chinese to be posted to the search engine and get click-throughs from customers.


Ensure Your Website Hosting is in China

The Chinese government has strong control over the content on the internet in China, and to be successful on Baidu, you will need to host your website on a server within China. This allows the government to vet the content easily, putting Baidu at ease because they don’t want to send users to unvetted foreign websites.


Create Eye-Catching Advertisement

An issue you will run into when running Baidu SEM ads is the fact that they are much more plentiful on search results pages compared to Google. This means that customers can easily get distracted by a lot of different ads, so you need to make sure yours stand out. It’s possible for multiple image ads to appear on a Baidu search result page, so having eye-catching graphics can help you get better click-through rates. Baidu also employs something called “BrandZone,” which allows a huge ad to take up a majority of the screen space for brand keywords, which incidentally de-incentivizes bidding on your competitors' names.


Earn a Higher Trust Level from Baidu

Following suit with a lot of social media platforms, Baidu has a trust level system, which includes a little blue V symbol with a 1, 2, or 3 beside it. The more trusted you are by Baidu, the higher your V symbol will be. When showing Baidu SEM ads, websites with higher trust levels will get priority, if all else is equal.


Don’t Ignore the Alternative Search Engines

While your main focus for search engine ads should be Baidu SEM ads, don’t just ignore the other platforms. Baidu does not have a clear monopoly, especially with competitors like Shenma, an Alibaba-backed mobile-online search engine. If you believe it to be worth your time, consider paying for ads on other platforms as well. Click here to learn more.


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