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Five tips to get your properties seen in China
By Juwai, 24 October 2018
Getting your properties seen online inside mainland China is a challenge that many overseas property developers and real estate agencies are failing to achieve. It is certainly possible to build your own web presence and brand in mainland China - if you are prepared to devote considerable time, energy and resources towards it.
That being said, if the name 'Baidu' means nothing to you, then read on.
1. Learn about Baidu
Baidu is the second-largest search engine in the world. It has more than 80% of search engine market share in China (1). Much like Google in other parts of the world, if you get your Baidu SEO strategy wrong, or worse, if you fail to acknowledge its importance, then you’re unlikely to be seen by the vast majority of online users in China. Some of what Baidu does is similar to Google, but SEO marketing on Baidu has some unique characteristics marketers need to be aware of to drive traffic to their website. (2)
2. Increasing your domain authority in China
Subdomains and subfolders (3), the common ways of handling multilingual websites, is something that Baidu doesn’t like. If you want a high ranking on Baidu, you will need a separate Chinese language domain to slowly build your reputation. To increase the authority of your domain you will need backlinks from other domains with good authority. Forget about backlinks from websites outside China; Baidu gives preferential treatment to backlinks from Chinese websites.
3. Chinese keyword strategy
Baidu also has blacklisted keywords. Although they’re unlikely to be used by a property website, using one could mean your China website will not be indexed by Baidu. At worst, it will be completely blocked. Talking about sensitive political issues on your website can also lead to a ban. Umdertaking Chinese keyword research using Chinese tools and professional Chinese partners is vital. If you think that simply translating a property listing from English to Chinese using Google Translate will work, think again. Machine translation tools can do irreparable damage to your brand. You will need to use a native Chinese speaker, or better still, hire a professional partner with extensive property experience to help you build your brand in China.
4. Social media posting
Links to global social media websites including Facebook and Twitter will appear broken from inside China, and any embedded YouTube videos will not work. Google Maps and Google Fonts will also cause performance issues. Chinese solutions, such as Weibo, Youku and Baidu Maps, are the only sensible options for a trouble-free consumer experience.
5. Beyond the 'Great Firewall of China'
Another challenge facing many overseas websites inside China is page loading times, which will also impact your Baidu ranking and the overall user experience. Most of the websites are blocked by the 'Great Firewall of China'
. Hosting in China is only an option if you are able to obtain a license from the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology. If your website is not hosted in China, the chances are that Baidu will not find your website quickly. So, if you do plan to invest substantial time and money to create your own website to target Chinese buyers you will probably need the help of a local property marketing specialist such as Juwai.com
Sources: (1) https://www.marketingtochina.com/search-engine-market-share-china-2018/ (2) https://qpsoftware.net/blog/how-do-seo-china (3) https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/subdomain-subfolder-localization-which-better-china-seo-zheng-yao/
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