Baidu PPC Guide

How to advertise on Baidu in 2018? With this Baidu PPC Guide, I will show you step-by-step.

Before you can advertise on Baidu (i.e. placing search ads on Baidu’s search results pages) through paying cost-per-click (CPC), a new Baidu PPC account must be created. Baidu provides an official page (e.baidu.com) for new PPC accounts, but you cannot simply open a new account and expect your ads to go live on Baidu. Opening a new Baidu account is often a long and complicated process, especially for non Chinese based companies.

Follow the steps below to have your new Baidu PPC account fully setup and running.

Baidu PPC Advertising

New Chinese Website (Step 1)

Do you need to setup a Chinese website?

To advertise on Baidu, having a Chinese website up and running is the first requirement.

  • Create your new Chinese website in Simplified Chinese, not Traditional Chinese.
  • In Mainland China the population uses Simplified Chinese. Traditional Chinese are mostly used in the regions of Hong Kong and Taiwan.

Web Hosting

Do you have to host the Chinese website in China?

Hosting your website in China is not compulsory. Consider two options:

Host with your English site – You can setup your Chinese site within the same hosting where your English site (e.g. www.example.com) is hosted.

Host in Hong Kong – Hosting your Chinese site in a location which is geographically close to China should benefit your website visitors. Hong Kong is a great location. Service providers such as InternetSolutions, RackSpace, or DataPlugs can provide web hosting in Hong Kong servers.

Any one of the web hosting solutions will allow you putting up your website on the Internet.

  • Cloud solution
  • Dedicated server hosting
  • Virtual private servers (VPS)
  • Shared hosting

Chinese Website's URL

Your website in English (or in languages other than Chinese) should already be hosted in your country (or with a cloud solution vendor), and the site may be setup on domain www.example.com.

Now consider three options:

Setup the Chinese site on a sub-domain. With this option, you can host the new Chinese site with your existing web hosting vendor. Your other choice is to host it with a different web hosting vendor who has server location in Hong Kong.

cn.example.com/

Setup the Chinese website on a sub-directory. With this option, the only choice you have is to host the new Chinese site with your existing web hosting vendor.

www.example.com/cn/

Register a new domain name for the Chinese site. Once you have the new domain, you have the choice to host your new Chinese site with your existing web hosting vendor. Your other choice is to host it with a local Chinese web hosting vendor (who has servers located within Mainland China, i.e. Beijing, Guangdong, Shanghai, etc).

www.examplecn.com/

For the last option, find out how to choose and register a domain name.

Contact Information

Baidu will mostly require showing the company’s information on either the “about us” page or the “contact us” page on the Chinese website. The information must include:

  • Company name
  • Company address
  • Contact phone number 

New Baidu PPC Account (Step 2)

Make sure your Chinese website is fully function.

Now go through the following process to open a new Baidu PPC account.

Baidu Office

Contact Baidu’s office by visiting e.baidu.com or through the contact information below.

Phone: +86 400-800-8888
Email: ask@baidu.com

  • You need to explain you are opening a new Baidu PPC account for a foreign-based (non China based) company.
  • You will be given the contact information to one of the Baidu regional branch offices or resellers who can take you through the process to create your new Baidu PPC account. 

Company Information and Website URL

Once you have been assigned the Baidu branch offices and have spoken with them, the next step is to prepare and submit the following:

  • Your registered company name
  • Your Chinese Website URL (e.g. cn.example.com).

Once the branch confirms you can go ahead with the new account creation process, you will continue the next steps.

Business Registration Certificate

Provide a copy of your business registration certificate with a handwritten statement.

  • The business registration certificate must have these information: Company name, company registered number, country of registration, etc.
  • Ask the Baidu office exactly what you must write on the handwritten statement.

Chinese Translated Busines Registration Certificate

Your business is mostly in a language other than Chinese simplified (e.g. English).

  • You must get the certificated translated into Chinese simplified by one of the local agencies who is appointed by Baidu’s office.
  • A small fee is required for the translation and you can find out from the translation agency.

Chinese Site's Homepage Screenshot

Open your Chinese website’s homepage with your web browser on a desktop computer. Take a screenshot of the site. On a Windows machine, press these keys to take screenshot:

CTR+ALT+PrtSc

Proof of Company Registration

For the Proof of your company’s registration:

  • Visit your state’s local government official website.
  • Browse to / Search the page in which your company information is displayed.
  • Take a screenshot of the page (with the web address URL).

Examples of state’s local government websites:

businesssearch.sos.ca.gov - California
corporations.utah.gov - Utah

Submit Local Tax Payment Certificate

Provide your company’s local tax payment certificate.

Wait for Baidu's Approval

It may take a week or a couple of weeks to get Baidu’s approval for you to open the new account.

Complete Baidu's Application Form

Once approved, you will receive an application form for the new Baidu PPC account. Fill in the form, sign and stamp it with your company seal / chop.

Transfer the Pre-payment to Baidu

Send an initial pre-payment to Baidu – The initial payment is the marketing budget amount you are going to pre-pay for advertising through your new Baidu PPC account.

As the advertiser, you decide how much this amount is, but it must be above the minimum required amount. You should ask the Baidu branch for what the exact minimum amount is before sending the payment.

After Baidu receives your initial pre-payment, you will get the login details (i.e. username and password) of your new Baidu PPC account.

Baidu PPC Account Setup (Step 3)

Login to your new Baidu PPC account:

http://www2.baidu.com

To setup your PPC account, the next actions will include:

  • Research for new keywords.
  • Plan the account structure.
  • Create new campaigns.
  • Create new ad groups (ad units).
  • Submit new keywords.
  • Create new ads.
  • Set the daily budget.
  • Select the geolocations.
  • Set the ad unit (or keyword) maximum cost-per-click (CPC).

Get New Chinese Keywords

You have to build a list of keywords which you will be putting into your new Baidu PPC campaigns. You will need to use Chinese keyword tools – Below are 3 keywords tools:

Baidu Keyword Tool – Your Baidu PPC account includes a keyword research tool. Through Baidu’s keyword tool, you can run keyword research and get new keywords. Baidu receives over 60% of all China’s searches which enables it to provide the largest set of keyword data (where people search for everyday).

Aizhan.com – A web-based free SEO tools which provides multiple functions. One of the functions is that you can get up to 100 keyword suggestions. When you sign up and log onto the Aizhan site, you will get more keyword suggestions. Access Aizhan’s keyword tool through ci.aizhan.com.

Google Keyword Planner (AdWords Keyword Tool) – Google is a search engine that allows you to search multiple languages (or every languages in the world). This means Google has users’ keyword search data and can provide Chinese keyword suggestions. You will have to open an AdWords account to access the keyword tool.

Setup New Campaigns and Ad Units

Under a Baidu PPC account, there is this structure:

Baidu PPC account structure

Let’s go through an example for campaign and ad unit (or ad group) setup.

As a start, you may want to create a campaign for all your brand name keywords, a second campaign for a specific product (with product name keywords), and a third campaign for all the generic keywords.

Baidu PPC campaigns

Under the third campaign, you can create 4 ad units: Food, Fruits, Meats, Chocolates. Each ad unit is a container for your keywords. This way, you will already know what keywords you’re going to put into these ad units.

Baidu PPC ad units

Setup New Keywords and Ads

Ads – You create a new ad in each ad unit. One ad unit must have at least one ad (i.e. a text ad). You can have multiple ads per ad unit.

Keywords – You add keywords to each ad unit. You can import multiple keywords at once into an ad unit. For your keywords, you choose which matching type they should belong, i.e. Broad, Phrase or Exact match.

Select Geolocations

Geoloaction selection: For each campaign, you can set their geolocation to be on province level, or city level. For example, you may set campaign XYZ to Guangdong (i.e. a province), and campaign ABC to Hangzhou (i.e. a city).

If you haven’t updated the geolocation at all, the default in your Baidu PPC account is all whole world. This means everyone who searches on Baidu with your keywords may see your ads. If you don’t want audience from outside of Mainland China, you should uncheck “rest of world”, “Hong Kong”, “Macau” and “Taiwan”.

Set Daily Budget and Maximum CPC

Daily Budget – Daily budget is how much you are prepared to spend through your Baidu PPC account to advertise (i.e. to get clicks). You should set a maximum daily budget on the “account level” and to each campaign. Consider the two examples.

Example one: You set the account daily budget to RMB 1,000. You have 3 campaigns, each has daily budget of RMB 200, 300, and 400. That’s a total of RMB 900 which is lower than 1,000 (i.e. the account daily budget). This way, you’re allowing all 3 campaigns to have sufficient budget for the day to receive clicks. This means you have allowed your Baidu PPC account to spend up to a total of RMB 1,000 per day.

Example two: Your account daily budget is set to RMB 800. You have 3 campaigns, each has daily budget of RMB 200, 300, and 400. That’s a total of RMB 900 which is higher than 800 (i.e. the account daily budget). If the first 2 campaigns reach their maximum budget during of day (i.e. 200 and 300), then there is only RMB 300 left for the third campaign and it won’t be able to reach 400 (which is the maximum campaign budget). This means you are only allowed your PPC account to spend a maximum of RMB 900 per day.

Maximum CPC – Maximum cost per click (CPC) must be set to each ad unit. If you want more control over a keyword’s bidding, you can also set a maximum CPC for the specific keyword.

Web Analytics Tracking Setup (Step 4)

You can use one of the many (web analytics tools) to track the performance of Baidu PPC. Here we will use the two free tools.

  • Baidu Analytics (Tongji)
  • Google Analytics

Setup Baidu Analytics

Baidu provides a web analytics tool (i.e. Baidu Analytics / Baidu Tongji) to all Baidu PPC advertisers for free. The web analytics tool is similar to Google Analytics but with a lot less features and capabilities (especially in terms of customization).

This means you won’t have to register a new Baidu Analytics account. Once you have received the login of your Baidu PPC account, you already have a Baidu Analytics by default.

Here is how access your Baidu Analytics account

While you’re logged onto your Baidu PPC account, open a new tab from your web browser. In the address bar of the new tab, enter tongji.baidu.com. You will always use the same login information for both Baidu PPC account and Baidu Analytics account. 

From your Baidu Analytics account:

  • Get a Baidu Analytics JavaScript Code.
  • Create a goal conversion in the account.

Then you will have to insert the Baidu Analytics JavaScript Code onto every pages of your Chinese website. If you don’t know how, ask your web developer to do it for you.

Once your Baidu Analytics setup has been completed and Baidu ads have brought in conversions, the conversion data will show up in your Baidu PPC account’s reports.

  • Account report (Daily Trend): This report displays the number of conversions per day.
  • Campaign report: This report shows the number of conversions per campaign.
  • Ad unit report: The report tells you the number of conversions per ad unit.
  • Keyword report: This is the best report where the number of conversions is lined up against each keyword.

Setup Google Analytics

This guide (i.e. Google Analytics Tracking Codes) has all the information on how you can setup Google Analytics on your Chinese site.

Tag URLs for Keyword Tracking

If you tag your website URLs, you will receive the Baidu keyword data in Google Analytics reports:

  • The visitors who came through Baidu PPC will appear under baidu / cpc as source / medium.
  • Keywords will be associated with baidu / cpc.

An example in which your Baidu PPC URL is tagged:

utm_source=baidu
utm_medium=cpc
utm_campaign=brandexact
utm_term=欧冠足球直播

The fully tagged URL will be:

http://cn.example.com/?utm_source=baidu&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=brandexact&utm_term=欧冠足球直播

Refer to this guide (i.e. Google Analytics Campaign Tracking) for keyowrd URL tagging.

Baidu PPC with Keywords in Google Analytics Reports

In Google Analytics, the all traffic report will show baidu / cpc under the source / medium column.

Baidu PPC Data in Google Analytics

Add “Keyword” as “second dimension” to the all traffic report, and you will see the Baidu PPC keywords.

Baidu PPC keywords in Google Analytics

Baidu SEO Checklist

Baidu SEO checklist pdf download

I’ve put together a COMPLETE Checklist so you can follow the Baidu SEO best practices step by step.

You can always refer to this Baidu SEO Checklist before you launch your new Chinese website.

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