Google has been continuously losing its search share in China after they left the Chinese search market around two and a half years ago. According to CNZZ, Alibaba Group’s third-party web analytics subsidiary, Google now ranks number 4 in China with 4.72 percent of search share in October, down from 5.08 percent the month before.
The search newcomer Qihoo 360, which has just been launched this August, has quickly advanced to the second position, capturing 9.64 percent of the market. Baidu’s share has dropped from 75 percent in September to 72.97 percent in October.
Setting up a Baidu PPC account is more complicated than on Google, Bing, or other PPC platforms. The main complexities are the necessary paperwork and the transferring of a pre-payment, especially for foreign companies who do not have a Chinese bank account. This blog post will walk you through the main steps of setting up a PPC account on Baidu.
Before you proceed, check first: do you already have a Chinese website?
Step 1: Register online
If you are completely new to Baidu, register online at the Baidu PPC registration platform and send a request to set-up your account. If you already have an account manager from Baidu assigned to you, you can skip this step and contact her/him with your request. For further information, you may also refer to the Baidu Starter Guide, which is a very helpful resource.
After you have set up your Baidu Pay Per Click (PPC) account, you can start uploading your campaigns. There are three very important differences between Baidu PPC and Google AdWords that you should notice when you are preparing your campaigns:
More characters allowed on Baidu ads
While Google Adwords allows 25 characters for the title and 35 characters for each line of ad text (two lines of text in total), Baidu allows twice the length!
The specifications are: 50 characters for the title and 80 characters for each line of ad text (in total two lines). You are having more space to describe your products or services in detail.
In contrast to Adwords, advertisers can choose to only write one first line of ad text for a Baidu ad and leave the second line empty. However, it is very important to note that, even if you decide to use both lines of ad texts for your ad, the chance that both lines are displayed depends on the position of the ad. Only when an ad has the highest relevancy and a very good quality score, Baidu will display it on the top positions of its search results, showing both lines of ad texts. When an ad is presented on the other positions, Baidu will only show the first line of the ad text. Therefore it is highly recommended to write the first line of your ad in a way that it can stand alone, – meaningful and grammatically correct – in case the second line is not being displayed at all.
For advertisers who want to mirror their Adwords campaigns on Baidu and want to do so in a quick way, they can combine their two lines of ad text on Adwords and use them as a single text line for their Baidu ad. Two text lines for an Adwords ad have a maximum 70 characters, which fit easily within Baidu’s 80-character limit.