Posts Tagged ‘social media’

Baidu Search Engine Optimization (SEO): How to Optimize Your Website for Baidu

Sunday, April 18th, 2021

Google and Bing aren’t the only search engines for which you can optimize your website to rank. Depending on your website’s audience, you may want to target Baidu as well. Research by StatCounter shows that nearly four-fifths of all online searches performed in China are processed by Baidu.

Founded January 1, 2000, Baidu is China’s most popular search engine. It’s become known, in fact, as China’s Google. But like Google, Baidu isn’t bound to its country of origins. Chinese-speaking users from across the world, including the United States, can access Baidu to perform online searches. Targeting Baidu in your organic search engine optimization (SEO) strategy will allow you to draw these users to your website.

Existing Website vs Separate Version

To rank on Baidu, you have one of two options: you can either optimize your existing website for the Beijing-based search engine, or you can build a separate version of your site. Most webmasters typically prefer the latter method. If you optimize your existing website for Baidu, you’ll forfeit English-speaking traffic. Building a separate version of your website, on the other hand, ensures that both English-speaking and Chinese-speaking users can access it.

Consider a .cn Domain

Whether you intend to optimize your existing website for Baidu or build a separate site, you may want to consider a .cn domain. It’s a country code top-level domain (ccTLD) that’s designed for Chinese websites. You can either move your existing website to a .cn domain, or you can build a separate site on a .cn domain.

Baidu ranks websites with all types of domains, but it favors those with a .cn domain. Most high-ranking websites on Baidu have a Chinese-designated domain name. Keep in mind that .cn domains have stricter requirements than generic top-level domains (gTLDs). You’ll have to verify your identity, for instance, by providing the registrar with a copy of your driver’s license or passport. You don’t have to live in or operate your website in China, but you will need to verify your identity to activate a .cn domain.

Write Content in Simplified Chinese

Your website won’t rank high — or possibly at all — on Baidu unless it’s written in Chinese. For an effective Baidu SEO strategy, you should write content for your website in Simplified Chinese. Simplified Chinese is a modern variant of the Traditional Chinese language that’s spoken in mainland China.

Baidu is only available in Simplified Chinese. There’s no option for users to switch to a different language. With Simplified Chinese being Baidu’s default and exclusive language, you should use it when writing your website’s content.

Avoid JavaScript and Flash

For higher Baidu rankings, avoid using interactive scripting languages like JavaScript and Flash for your website’s content. While most websites no longer use Flash-based content, many of them do use JavaScript-based content. Baidu, however, will ignore content created in these scripting languages.

You can still create Flash- or JavaScript-based content, but it won’t earn your website any recognition from Baidu. When Baidu crawls your website, it will pass over the interactive content. The Flash- or JavaScript-based content won’t affect your website’s Baidu rankings.

Don’t Forget Alt Tags

When adding images to your website, remember to use alt tags. Most search engines analyze alt tags when crawling images, and Baidu is no exception. When compared to Google, though, Baidu relies more heavily on alt tags to process images for ranking purposes.

Alt tags are pieces of Hypertext Markup Language (HTML) code that provide a text-formatted description of a published image. When Baidu encounters an image on your website, it will read the alt tag. Baidu may then increase your website’s rankings for keywords used in the image’s alt tag, especially if they are relevant to the rest of your site’s content.

Promote on Chinese Social Media Networks

Social media promotion can help your website secure better Baidu rankings, but you’ll need to choose the right social networks on which to promote your site. Most of the top U.S. social networks are blocked in China. Therefore, promoting your website on Facebook and Twitter won’t lead to higher Baidu rankings. You’ll need to promote it on Chinese social media networks for maximum SEO effect. Doing so will send positive signals to Baidu that drive higher rankings.

Some of the most popular Chinese social media networks include:
• WeChat
• Weibo
• Tencent QQ
• Zhihu
• Sina Weibo

Build Authoritative Backlinks

Baidu uses backlinks in its ranking algorithm. It will analyze how many backlinks your website as well as the authority of its linking domains. Authority refers to the perceived credibility and trustworthiness of another website. Building backlinks from these authoritative sites will usually result in higher Baidu rankings.

It’s a little-known fact that Google’s PageRank algorithm was based on the work of Baidu’s founder. In 1996, Baidu founder Robin Lin developed a backlink-based scoring system for websites. When Google filed a patent for its backlink-based scoring system, PageRank, it cited Li’s work. Today, Baidu continues to rank websites based on their backlinks.

Sign Up for Baidu Webmaster Tools

Baidu offers a suite of online analytics tools that you can use to further refine your Baidu SEO strategy. Known as Baidu Webmaster Tools, it contains many of the same features as Google Search Console. You can use Baidu Webmaster Tools to track your website’s rankings, impressions and click-through rates (CTRs). It also offers tools for finding broken links, validating robots.txt files, conducting security audits and more.

The downside to using Baidu Webmaster Tools is that it’s only available in Chinese. You can use a browser-based translator to convert the interface to English, but no translator is perfect. Nonetheless, if you’re proficient in the Chinese language, or if you a Chinese-speaking business partner, you can sign up for Baidu Webmaster Tools.

Optimizing your website for Baidu isn’t much different than optimizing it for Google or Bing. You’ll need to create engaging content while also building backlinks and promoting your website on social media. Just remember to tailor your website towards a Chinese-speaking audience.

Social Media Tactics That Will Increase Your Site’s Traffic

Saturday, June 22nd, 2013

You have uploaded a really informative article or re-designed your blog, but no one will really know about it unless you market it well.

Since social media users are projected to increase by up to 18 percent this year, this is a good avenue to increase your site’s traffic.

These social media tactics can help your content to stand out and secure a place in the World Wide Web.

Go out of the usual platforms

Facebook and Twitter may be the popular ones, but social media is not confined to just these two. LinkedIn can be used to establish a more professional connection, while Pinterest, Instagram, and Tumblr are geared towards a more hip and trendy audience.

Quora is also a rising platform, where users answer questions based on their expertise. The idea here is to pick a social site that would best suit your niche, so you can reach out more to your target audience.

“Please RT”

According to Dan Zarella, Hubspot’s social media scientist, including the phrase “please retweet” at the end of your Tweet would give you 4x more shares. You have to encourage your audience to share your content because it signifies necessity. An influencer you follow may not have the time to read your article or watch your video, but once he shares it on social media, people who follow him may be interested in your content.

Follow and be followed by the right people

Follow not only influential people in your niche but also people who follow them. Most likely, they are people who are in the same industry as you who are also seeking the same social media exposure as them. Some will follow you back and will ask you to drop by their website. Do support them because when it’s time for you to ask for a favor, they will gladly help you out too.

Put more hashtags

Utilize Twitter and Instagram’s hashtag ‘feature’ and type related popular keywords to enable users to find your content easily. The more people use hashtags, the higher the possibility of making it to the trending topics which can rake in more retweets, regrams, and reposts. Facebook recently launched hashtags in status updates, photo uploads, and even in comments so feel free to utilize that as well. Note, though, that overdoing hashtags can be annoying to some users so keep it to a minimum.

Design visually-appealing images for image-based sites

Make Pinterest-worthy graphics and images that can be embedded in your article to encourage visitors to continue reading. The same images can be uploaded in your Pinterest account (and other image-based social sites like Tumblr) with links leading to your website. Compose witty descriptions and captions or even include quotes whenever possible. If you recently published a post, plug it with a nice image that will trigger the community’s curiosity.

Participate in forum discussions

Forums are an effective way to actively share your thoughts on a specific topic. It is also a way to find people who share the same interests and views as you. Increase your visibility in forums by commenting on an opinion, answering a question, and discussing an issue. Make sure to continue replying and posting as it will make you gain friends and followers who you can ask to view your blog or read an article you have written recently.

 

Film YouTube videos

Never underestimate YouTube’s power to make you an internet superstar overnight. Promote your content through YouTube videos. Be creative: make use of moving texts, homemade funny videos, or produce a 2-minute film or advertisement complete with props. Expect an increase in your website’s traffic once your video becomes viral so put some effort in creating out-of-the-box concepts. Remember that high-resolution videos have higher chances of converting viewers so invest in HD camcorders.

 

Put up visible social sharing buttons

Social sharing buttons should be visible and easy to locate. This is considered as a tiny detail but crucial to social media shares which some websites leave out. The basic buttons should be located ideally on the leftmost side of the content. The eyes read from left to right and placing social sharing buttons on a strategic place will allow users to click it at once. Users tend to share content when they see that a number of people have already shared it.

 

Build your online reputation

These days, anyone and everyone can post online and claim to be experts on certain topics. Because of this, more and more users tend to screen who to believe to avoid getting the wrong data. This is why you have to appear and becredible. Your posts should reflect the knowledge you have on a topic. Avoid composing offensive content, posting tweets with profanity, and commenting negatively on other posts. Also, make sure that the photo/s you use for your profile is decent and appropriate – no tasteless hand signs, messy hair and or inapt clothing.

Social media will help increase your site’s visibility by selecting the platform/s that would best fit your target audience then applying the right strategy. Which of these tactics can you start doing today?