How to optimize your website for China. Discover the best practices for China and follow these steps to put your site on the radar of your target audience in China.
How to optimize your SEO strategy for China
The SEO strategy is a fundamental pillar of any digital strategy, especially in China, one of the most digitalized countries in the world. Nevertheless, the customs and methods related to the Internet are drastically different in China. It is not enough to simply copy and paste your strategy to adapt it effectively to Chinese search engines.
1: Translate your site into Mandarin
This step may seem logical but without it, you will simply have no presence on Chinese search engines! The official language recognized by search engines in China is of course Simplified Chinese. Your site must be translated into correct, clear and good quality Mandarin. Using online translation sites like Google translation or Reverso would be a serious mistake since they will only be able to produce an approximate and often meaningless translation. The translation must be not only grammatically correct but also natural for your site to be well referenced. Search engines like Baidu greatly favor 100% Chinese sites.
2: Host your site in China
Search engines value websites hosted in China. They pay particular attention to URL extensions (.fr, .com, .cn, etc.). The Chinese government favors sites that it can easily reach in China. Sites that benefit from a Chinese host, with a .cn url extension, will automatically be better referenced than foreign sites. In addition, sites hosted in China have a loading time 10 times faster than sites hosted abroad. This crucial step is nevertheless one of the most complicated to achieve because the site must be registered in a Chinese company, an agency or a partner in China will have to be found.
3: Optimize your content
Regardless of the country, the content of your site is an essential element for your SEO. But in China, special attention must be paid to your content strategy. Indeed, the Chinese government closely monitors the topics covered and does not hesitate to censor and reprimand sites that use expressions or keywords that are on their censorship list. These censored keywords must be avoided at all costs in order not to be penalized, badly referenced, or even blacklisted. In addition, Chinese search engines pay great attention to the quality but also and above all to the quantity of content. Indeed, regular updates and additions of content are essential to ensure a good Chinese e-reputation and good SEO.
4: A mobile-first site
In China, the mobile phone dominates with 56% using mobile equipment against 41.5% computers. You really have to focus on the mobile version of the website, which is called Responsive web design. The goal is to have a pleasant and easy to use interface with a smoothness and responsiveness on each page which are part of the fundamental points to optimize your website for China. As well as pleasing visitors, a smartly responsive site is highly rewarded by the algorithms.
5: Baidu, the number 1 Chinese search engine
In China, the leader of search engines is by far Baidu. It is without question the engine to use for your SEO strategy. The first step when your site is ready is to index it with Baidu. If you don’t submit your site yourself, Baidu won’t find your site and won’t feature it in its results. You can easily submit your site to Baidu via this link: http://open.baidu.com. It is advisable to submit as much information as possible to Baidu to facilitate the indexing of your site, such as a sitemap for example. It is possible to create a corporate account on Baidu to have access to maximum functionality.
Are you looking for an agency to support you in your digital strategy in China?
HI-COM can support you in your projects while providing personalized assistance.
HI-COM is a digital marketing agency dedicated to providing China-specific strategy, social media communication and e-commerce marketing services to businesses around the world. Working with more than 100 brands, HI-COM is the go-to partner of companies that want to enter China market! Contact us for your free consultation today!
Scan QR code to follow Localization and The Chinese Market Entry News or Contact us on WeChat: