Baidu PPC Strategies and Tips

How To Run Baidu PPC Advertising Campaigns [Tips & Strategies]

Last Updated on May 10, 2024

Brands must adapt to standard market practices to launch a successful marketing campaign in China. One strategy that can help you do that is utilizing Baidu Ads.

Besides a well-thought-out social media strategy, paid advertising tools can help generate high-quality leads and promote brand awareness if appropriate measures are implemented.

In this article, we’ll guide you through the steps to set up a Baidu PPC advertising campaign, explain the local restrictions, and explore the ad options you can use for your brand.

 

How Does Baidu PPC Advertising in China Work?

Baidu covers approximately 61.48% of China’s search engine market. With over 667 million monthly active users, advertising through this channel is an investment foreign brands shouldn’t skip if they want to enter the Chinese market.

Among the Baidu paid ads businesses can use for their campaigns, Pay-per-click (PPC) is perhaps the most common model seen in this local search engine. Meanwhile, DSP and Media Banner ads are options utilized less frequently.

One reason is that PPC ads are perceived differently on Baidu than on Google. Chinese consumers typically trust these ads more, as they appear along organic listings and are well-integrated within the platform’s user experience.

The rapid growth of the Baidu advertising market has made the PPC keyword bidding process extremely competitive. If you want to develop a successful Baidu Ads campaign, you must understand how the platform works.

 

 

Marketers who intend to utilize Baidu PPC ads should focus on factors like keyword research, content relevance, compelling ad copy, and effective landing page optimization.

Understanding the preferences and behaviors of the target audience and keeping up with the evolving trends in the China market can significantly contribute to the success of an advertising campaign.

If utilized effectively, Baidu paid advertising tools can enhance brand visibility, increase consumer engagement, and lead to potential sales conversions.

 

Latest Baidu GRC Regulations

In 2021, Baidu announced that advertisers must host their landing pages directly and exclusively on the platform’s domain. This regulation requires brands to adhere to China’s Governance and Custody of Commercial Risk Control Platforms (GRC). This development affects some features, including the Baidu search results and in-feed ads.

Listed businesses, Fortune 500 companies, well-known global brands, or enterprises with reputable trademarks will be exempted from these changes.

The regulations will see many industries switching over to Baidu’s landing page “Jimuyu” (基木鱼). It will prevent companies from redirecting traffic on URLs after the website has been approved with an ICP Chinese business license and by Baidu. These guidelines have been enforced since the 30th of September 2021.

 

In 2023, the GRC regulations highlight four priorities brands must note if they want to enter the Chinese market by advertising on Baidu. Here are some important points discussed:

  1. Business First Approach

Although adhering to these regulations is non-negotiable, each business must take a customized approach. Remember, GRC rules aim to foster a culture of compliance and accountability so that you can better serve Chinese customers.

 

  1. Risk Management and Categorization

Whether you’re introducing an international or domestic company into the China market, it’s crucial to prioritize legal obligations to minimize operational risks in the long run. Before you start advertising in China, remember to strengthen your internal regulations so that they can withstand external threats.

 

  1. Alignment with Global Regulations

GRC isn’t a one-time project. So, no matter what advertising platform you choose, your business must meet new regulations and industry standards based on evolving regulatory and economic landscapes worldwide.

 

  1. Integrate GRC and ESG Initiatives

These strategies focus on achieving specific goals and self-regulation, so aligning them together will positively contribute to the communities that businesses serve. It can bring significant value to a company by enhancing its brand reputation and future-proofing it against evolving regulations and local expectations.

 

In the past, several advertisers on the platform have appealed against Baidu’s mandatory ad requirements. In response, the platform issued an extended list of industries that would be exempt from these measures:

  • Electronics
  • Real estate
  • Travel
  • Transportation
  • Agriculture
  • Commodity Trading
  • Forestry
  • Animal husbandry & fishery
  • Communications
  • Internet services
  • Social welfare

The industries mentioned must comply with Baidu’s GRC regulations. They gradually need to transition their domain over to Baidu and use the provided hosting templates that are available for different industries:

 

 

Restrictions When Advertising on Baidu

Like Google Ads, advertisements released on this local search engine platform must undergo strict monitoring to maintain its high code of conduct. If you want your Baidu marketing strategy to play out, avoid using “absolute” terms in your paid ads, like exclusive, the best, number one, trustworthy, guaranteed, and top class.

 

Regardless of whether you’re advertising on Baidu or not, the Chinese government expects your brand to refrain from using these topics when launching your paid campaigns:

  • Pharmaceutical/drugs
  • Gambling
  • Pornography
  • Superstitions
  • Obscenity
  • Terror
  • Violence

 

On top of the topics mentioned above, your Baidu campaigns must abide by the platform’s restrictive measures on advertisements. Here are some industries not allowed to launch ads on the platform:

  • Healthcare products
  • Auction houses
  • Franchise opportunities
  • Sex products

 

Awareness of these prohibited areas is important to avoid penalties or any violation of the Advertisement Law of the People’s Republic of China. Not complying with these regulations or any restrictions implemented by any advertising platform can result in revoking the business registration certificate and medical-related licenses to operate (if your business has one).

 

How to Open Your Account in Baidu

Creating an account to advertise on Baidu is a straightforward process. To ensure a successful account setup, follow these steps:

 

  1. Visit Baidu’s advertising homepage:

You can access Baidu’s advertising homepage by entering the URL or searching for it on a web browser.

Once you see the  “Sign Up” button, click on it, and it will redirect you to a webpage where you can choose between creating an individual or a corporate account.

 

 

  1. Fill in your account information.

Depending on your selected account type, the platform will ask you for personal information like your name, email address, and phone number. Make sure to input the details accurately.

 

  1. Verify your account

You’ll receive a verification code from Baidu to your provided phone number. Use the code and enter it in the designated field to verify your account. This step ensures the security and authenticity of your account.

 

  1. Provide additional business information.

After the verification, you must add supplementary information about your business. You must accurately provide details like the company’s name, industry, and business license number.

 

 

  1. Set up your payment method.

Before you start advertising on Baidu, the platform will require advertisers to set up a payment method. You can choose between a credit card, bank transfer, or Alipay.

 

 

  1. Create your ad campaign.

After the setup and payment method verification, proceed to the below section for a more thorough method of verifying your PPC account and starting your ad campaign. It’s worth noting that Baidu offers several types of ads, including search ads, display ads, and programmatic ads.

 

Steps to Verify a Baidu PPC Account

To open a Baidu account, you must gather and send the required documents to Baidu for review. Here are the steps you will need to follow to get your account up and running:

 

Step 1: Provide your business license for your Baidu Ad account

Step 2: Localize your website to appear on Baidu organic search results

Step 3: Provide a screenshot of your website’s landing page

Step 4: Provide a screenshot showing your company on a government public listing

Step 5: Prepare your Business Bank Account Statement as proof

Step 6: Apply for your Baidu PPC account and submit the needed documents

Step 7: Sign the service contract for your Baidu PPC account

Step 8: Pay the initial fee for opening your Baidu PPC advertising account

 

 

What Are The Baidu Advertising Formats You Can Use?

As a leading search engine and advertising platform in China, Baidu offers diverse ad formats for businesses to reach their target audience effectively. Here are the types of Baidu ads available:

 

1.     Search Ads

Paid Search Ads are at the top of Baidu’s search engine results page (SERP) when users search for specific keywords related to the advertiser’s products or services.

These Baidu paid ads typically contain text or extensions for additional information, such as phone numbers or site links. Search ads are highly relevant to user queries, so the chances of driving targeted traffic to the advertiser’s website are also particularly high.

 

2.     Display Ads

You can use these advertising options to showcase your ads in a Baidu-listed agency partner. Typically, these popular websites and mobile apps utilize visual elements to capture the target audience’s attention.

Advertisers can target their display ads based on demographics, interests, and user behaviors. Thanks to the customization options of this Baidu ad format, marketers can reach audiences who are already engaged and interested in what the brand has to offer.

 

3.     Programmatic Ads

Advertising on Baidu also enables advertisers to reach their target audience automatically across a network of websites and mobile ads. With programmatic ads, you can utilize advanced algorithms and real-time bidding to optimize ad placement and attract the most relevant users.

 

4.     Native Ads

Besides appearing on search results pages, Baidu promotes ads through seamless integration within the content.

Typically, native ads blend in with the surrounding editorial content. This format makes them appear more natural and less intrusive. It aims to provide a non-disruptive user experience while promoting the advertiser’s products or services.

 

 

5.     Baidu Brand Zone

This exclusive feature on Baidu aims to provide businesses with an engaging platform to showcase their products and services. It’ll help you secure the top spot in Baidu’s search results to increase visibility and customer engagement.

 

6.     In-Feed Ads

This advertisement option seamlessly integrates your promoted content into the user’s newsfeed on the Baidu app. It closely resembles organic posts but boosts your products or services more naturally and engagingly.

 

7.     Video Ads

You can display your ads on the Baidu video platform or other partner sites if the content is in video format. As an advertiser, you can choose between in-stream and out-stream ads to effectively convey their brand message and captivate viewers.

 

8.     Maps Ads

This feature allows you to create location-based ads that appear within Baidu’s mapping services. Thanks to its configuration, brands can precisely target users based on their location and search query.

 

 

How to Run Your First Baidu PPC Ads Campaign

After successful Baidu account registration, creating a solid brand campaign is essential to achieve the best ROI. Having a clear account structure will ensure that your ads receive high-quality traffic that can generate leads.

 

 

Before anything else, log in to your new Baidu account through Baidu’s PPC advertising page (www2.baidu.com).

 

1.    Find Search Ads Promotion

After logging in, you’ll see an account overview that provides information about various features. Simply click “Search Ads Promotion,” located on the left-hand side of the page, to go directly to the relevant section. From there, you can manage and optimize your search ad campaigns.

 

 

2.    Preview your Account Structure

By exploring your account’s structure, you can familiarize yourself with the factors and settings available on this platform. It’ll help you assess and optimize your account according to your advertising goals and needs.

 

 

3.    Develop A Baidu PPC Advertising Plan

After exploring your ad account, you can set up your campaign plan. Each user can create up to 100 campaigns, providing ample opportunities to promote your business effectively.

Consider incorporating elements that reflect your business, products, or brand attributes when naming your ad plan.

 

 

4.    Set Baidu PPC Campaign Bidding and Budget Price

Bidding for keywords for your brand is a crucial part of every Baidu advertising campaign. The highest bidder gets the highest ranking for their ad. Brands also receive quality scores for their campaigns, which Baidu assigns on a rating scale of one to ten.

To get a high-ranking PPC advertising campaign, you must bid high and score well on the quality scores.

Choosing suitable bids is essential for advertising on Baidu in the long run. Otherwise, you will be overspending and receiving less traffic. Remember that developing the quality score will take time if you are just starting your campaign.

You can also assign your daily budget, giving Baidu an idea of how much you can spend to receive clicks on your ad. This allows you to set maximum daily budgets for each Baidu paid advertising campaign on the “account level” tab section.

After that, you must also configure a maximum CPC (click-per-cost) for each ad unit and manage your keyword bidding by setting a maximum CPC on your precise keywords.

 

 

5.    Create Baidu Ads Group

Keywords are grouped in “ad groups” to simplify Baidu advertising campaigns. In this section, advertisers can organize and set up your campaigns.

You can create one campaign for phrase keywords, one for brand name keywords, and another for an exact product. Under each campaign, you can add “ad units” which contain one of your keywords.

 

6.    Configure Ad Target Location and Duration

For this step, you must select the geolocation of your Baidu PPC advertising campaign. We recommended setting your paid ads to a specific province or city for better reach and results.

The Baidu Ads Manager will automatically configure your adverts to “worldwide” if the particular area isn’t selected.

 

If you want these paid ads to appear only in Mainland China, you must manually uncheck “rest of the world,” “Hong Kong,” “Macau,” and “Taiwan” from the Baidu Ads Manager.

You can choose what time and days you want your ad to run on Baidu. However, you cannot spread your budget across different times of the day.

 

 

7.    Plan A Creative Content Strategy

Getting the basics right is crucial, so rather than just translating your ad copy, we recommend using experts inside the country or a trusted Baidu advertising agency so that you can localize your advertisements for Chinese audiences.

Baidu ads typically contain a title, meta-description, and promotional links. However, the title must be at least 50 Chinese characters, and the description cannot exceed 80.

You can also add images if needed. It’s advisable to occasionally analyze and update your ad copy to align content with relevant user experience and install test ad extensions to receive data analytics on your ads.

 

 

8.    Utilize Baidu Analytics and Live Chat

Through the Baidu Ads Manager, you can link Baidu Analytics/ Baidu Tongji directly to your ad campaigns for free. The system is similar to Google Analytics. However, it’s worth noting that it has limited features.

To access Baidu Analytics, you must log into your Baidu PPC advertising account. From there, open a new tab and enter the URL: tongji.baidu.com. Your user details will be the same as those of your Baidu PPC account.

Once you’ve done this, insert the Baidu Analytics JavaScript code onto every page of your Chinese website. This will allow you to see what conversion rate the ads are generating. You can then access this data in your Baidu PPC Ads account report. Here are the data and insights available in the account report:

  • The campaign’s conversion rate.
  • The conversion rate per ad unit.
  • Conversation rate against each keyword.
  • The daily number of conversions.

 

You can also activate live chat functions with Baidu Shangqiao, increasing the leads generated.

 

 

9.    Results Analysis and Baidu PPC Advertising Campaign Adjustments

While it is unlikely to create a perfect campaign right from the start, analytical tools and continuous adjustments can significantly enhance your campaign’s success and achieve the highest possible conversion rate.

Analyzing the results of your Baidu PPC advertising campaigns is crucial to understanding how they are performing and identifying areas that require improvement.

Fortunately, Baidu provides various analytical tools, such as Baidu Analytics and Baidu Tongji. These features can turn valuable insights into metrics, including click-through rates (CTR), conversion rates, keyword performance, and user behavior.

By regularly reviewing and analyzing these metrics, brands that advertise on Baidu can comprehensively understand campaign performance and identify areas for optimization.

Once you have collected the necessary data, you can use it to adjust and optimize your Baidu PPC advertising campaign.

You must use these gained insights to refine the brand’s targeting strategies, adjust bidding techniques, refine ad copy, and optimize the landing page to improve overall campaign performance.

 

How to do Keyword Research for Baidu Ads

Finding the most suitable keywords for your brand is crucial for a successful campaign. Fortunately, Baidu advertising accounts can support small campaigns requiring around 100 keywords and more extensive advertisements with over 100,000 keywords.

You can find keyword types with appropriate brand relevance and popularity based on your target audience’s search results inquiries.

 

Baidu keywords set up

 

You can also use Baidu’s keyword research tool called Keyword Planner. Some helpful metrics it provides are average daily search volume, average daily mobile search ads volume, the competition level for a keyword, and estimated top page bid cost and ad spend.

 

Baidu Keyword Planner interface

The Baidu Keyword Planner interface not only facilitates keyword discovery but also assists advertisers in understanding the potential impact and reach of their chosen keywords on specific web pages.

 

 

You can also enter a keyword, receive alternative suggestions, and find data for a combination of different keywords.

 

Baidu Advertising For Mobile

It’s not a secret that China has high mobile internet usage. With 1.76 billion active mobile connections within the country, optimizing brand landing pages for small screens should be a priority.

Your website should have a responsive design, so Baidu offers a unique solution called Jimuyu. It has built-in templates for creating H5 pages, mini-programs, and mini-sites. You can utilize this feature within the Baidu app to make mobile-optimized assets from scratch.

 

Baidu Tuiguang and Baidu TV

Another way to display your ads is through Baidu Tuigang. This PPC advertising platform works similarly to Google AdWords. Your ads will appear on Baidu’s SERP and other websites directly linked to the search engine.

 

 

Baidu also accommodates video ads with Baidu TV. Here, advertisers can select which sites they want their video ads displayed. Alternatively, for heavily content-based ads, you can create information feed ads that will appear on Baidu News and Baidu Forum.

 

How much does it cost to advertise on Baidu?

Advertisers are required to pay a minimum initial advertising credit deposit of around $1500 when launching a Baidu ad campaign.

The typical pay-per-click costs on Baidu range around $0.5 to $1. For highly competitive keywords, the pricing may go up to $20. However, these fees depend on many factors, like your industry and the keyword’s popularity.

 

Quick Q&A

Is Baidu only for China?

While Baidu’s landing pages and services are predominantly centered around the Chinese audience, they are accessible globally. The only catch is that its international reach isn’t as massive as other Western search engines like Google.

Nevertheless, global users can still access its landing page, register for a Baidu account, and use Baidu interface features. All the Baidu search results pages will appear in simplified Chinese.

 

Your Trusted Baidu Advertising Partner in the Chinese Market!

Navigating the complex Chinese digital landscape and running effective Baidu Advertising campaigns requires the expertise of a seasoned digital marketing agency.

 

You may also want to read:

SEO best practices for China

 

With years of industry experience, Sekkei Digital Group can be your trusted partner in developing and executing successful digital strategies in China.

 

Sekkei Digital Group Services

 

Our team of experts understands the intricacies of the Chinese market and Baidu’s advertising platform.

Through proven methodologies, we can provide tailored solutions to optimize your brand’s visibility, attract relevant traffic, and drive conversions. Contact us today to achieve success using Baidu Ads in China.

 

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