Posts Tagged ‘your’

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.

How to Optimize Image Filenames on Your Websites for Better SEO

Monday, March 1st, 2021

Image filenames are an important on-page search engine optimization (SEO) element. Before adding a new image to your website, you should optimize its filename. An optimized filename will help search engines understand the image so that they can rank it, as well as the page where it’s published, in the search results. For better SEO, however, there are a few steps you should take when optimizing image filenames.

Overview of Image Filenames

An image filename is simply the name of an image file. Regardless of their format, all images consist of a single file, and like all files, they require a name. You can edit an image filename by right-clicking the file and selecting “rename.”

Image filenames are visible to both visitors and search engine bots. Visitors can see them by downloading images from your website or by copying the images’ addresses. In comparison, search engine bots will see the filenames when crawling your website’s images.

Create Unique Filenames

You shouldn’t use the same filename for two or more images on your website. Whether your website has 10 images or 1,000 images, you should create a unique filename for each of them.

If you try to upload an image with the same filename as another image to the same directory, it won’t work. Each file in a given directory of your website must have a unique filename. Even if you place images in different directories, though, it’s recommended that you create unique filenames. No two images are exactly the same. By creating unique image filenames, search engines can comprehend the differences between your website’s images.

Focus on Relevancy

Relevancy is paramount when optimizing image filenames. Filenames should provide context about the images with which they used. In other words, you should be able to identify images by reading their filenames. If you can identify an image by reading its filename, so can search engines.

Don’t stuff keywords into image filenames for the sake of improving your website’s SEO. Unless a keyword is relevant to an image, you should avoid using it. Instead, create highly relevant filenames that describe the images in plain text.

Place Hyphens Between Words

Most image filenames consist of multiple words. To make them legible and easy for search engines to understand, you’ll have to separate the words. Using two or more words consecutively in an image filename will restrict its SEO value.

While you can’t use spaces to separate multiple words in image filenames, you can use hyphens. Image filenames support hyphens. Between each word, add a single hyphen. Search engine bots are programmed to treat hyphens in filenames as a space. If they encounter an image with the filename “computer-desk-in-an-office.jpg,” for example, they’ll read it as “computer desk in an office.”

Use Lowercase Letters

Always use lowercase letters for image filenames. If you use uppercase letters in them, some visitors may not see your website’s images. Different visitors have different operating systems and web browsers. Even if you’re able to see your website’s images, visitors may not. A visitor’s operating system or web browser may automatically convert uppercase filename letters into lowercase letters, which can prevent the images from loading.

Using only lowercase letters will improve the accessibility of your website’s images. No matter what operating system or web browser they use, visitors will be able to load your website’s images. As a result, they’ll spend more time on your website while simultaneously sending engagement signals to search engines for better SEO.

Beware When Renaming

You should use caution when renaming images that are already published on your website. Like with standard web pages, filenames convey the location of your website’s images. Visitors can load an image by typing its filename — along with your website’s domain and the appropriate directory or directories — in their web browser.

If you change an image’s filename, it will have a new location with a new address. Therefore, the image will appear broken on all pages where it was previously published. The pages will attempt to look for the image at its old location, and since it’s no longer there, the image won’t display. You can still edit image filenames, but you should update the pages to reflect their new location.

After editing an image filename, pull up the pages where it’s published. Each instance of the image should have a link. You’ll need to change these links so that they feature the new filename. The pages will then point to the image’s new location as denoted by the filename, thereby allowing visitors and search engines to see the image.

Keep Filenames Short

While they technically support up to 256 characters, you should create shorter image filenames. Long image filenames are messy. They’ll clutter your website’s directories so that it’s harder to find specific images or other files. Short filenames are cleaner and provide greater SEO value.

With short image filenames, your website may attract more inbound links. Images are often a source of inbound links. If a blogger wants to share one of your website’s images, he or she may hotlink it. Hotlinking is a form of embedding in which one website displays an image from another website by linking to it. Hotlinking will consume some of your website’s bandwidth, but you can acquire inbound links from it.

You’ll get more inbound links from hotlinking if you create short image filenames. To hotlink an image, webmasters must copy its address. The filename, of course, is part of the address. If an image has a long filename, webmasters may not bother trying to hotlink it. A short filename makes hotlinking easier. Webmasters can copy the image’s short address, after which they link to it.

Images are essential to your website’s rankings. According to OptinMonster, web pages with images obtain almost twice as many views as those consisting entirely of text content. They rank higher in the search results and generate more visitor engagement, which in turn leads to more views. Just remember to optimize image filenames for maximum SEO benefit.