Baidu Ads Manager: Set up Baidu PPC Ads

how to set up baidu ppc ads

The Baidu Ads Manager in the Baidu PPC account is the one-stop place to research trends and create a variety of Baidu promotion/search ads for China’s most popular search engine – Baidu.

In this China Gravy article, we reveal how to research trends and keywords as well as how to create campaigns for Baidu.

The Potential of China PPC

Whether you are already active in the Middle Kingdom or aspiring to enter the Chinese market with your brand – there are a few platforms that you basically can’t get around. 

In the social media world, that’s WeChat. And in terms of search engines, it’s Baidu. With a market share of more than 75%, Baidu is in China what Google is in the rest of the world. 

Especially for B2B lead generation in China, Baidu promotion through Baidu PPC is the method of choice to generate qualified leads. You will be able to reach almost 1.4 billion Chinese in mainland China with smart digital marketing tactics. 

Moreover, China is the largest and fastest-growing e commerce market in the world, which is why lifting the potential of the China market is rewarding if you can find a cost-effective and efficient way to do so.

But first, a short recap!

Baidu’s Search Structure

To start off this topic, you may want to take a look at how Baidu SERPs (search engine results pages) are structured

Since Baidu promotes and favors its own products and platforms like Baike or Tieba, it’s more difficult to rank for keywords organically on Baidu.

This is where advertising on Baidu through pay-per-click ads comes into play. Naturally, Baidu didn’t miss the opportunity to offer a variety of paid branding and promotion options.

By now, you can choose from a number of Baidu promotion options, including in-feed ads, brand zone, and more to reach your Chinese customers. 

You can also take advantage of a drag-and-drop landing page builder (Jimuyu) to make your Baidu ads more effective.

An Example: Search Results for 普拉达 (Prada)

Top Banner (brand advertisement): Brand Zone: 品牌广告 

  1. PPC ad to (official text ad)
  2. PPC ad to (competitor text ad)
  3. PPC ad to (competitor text/image ad))
  4. organic result for
  5. organic result for Prada on Baidu Baike

A. Union (related brands): 相关品牌
B. Related Stock Information (Hong Kong stock exchange): 港股涨幅榜

Source:, search for 普拉达 (Prada) on 15 January 2021

Baidu Ads Manager – Get Started

For a general introduction to Baidu PPC advertising in China click here. There you can read up on the general framework of search engine marketing in China (Baidu SEM), the differences from the Western world, and more.

Now, in this article, we take a closer look at how to set up Baidu ad campaigns, while keeping in mind the whole process.

  1. Trends and Keyword Research
  2. Get a Baidu PPC Account
  3. Access/Use of Baidu Ads Manager
  4. Set Up Baidu Ad Campaigns
  5. More Functions in Baidu PPC
  6. A Few Things To Keep in Mind

Let’s get started!

Every search marketing campaign starts with a concept of what you would like to promote (products, services).

If you are new to the Chinese market, you can conduct trend analysis and keyword research with Baidu Index or the Baidu PPC keyword tool, combined with the data of market research of China (competitors, pricing, etc.).

If you already have some data and online experience in China, you can use Baidu Tongji for further market, trend, and keyword research. This ensures that you create appealing campaigns that will convert prospects into loyal customers.

Within the Baidu universe, Baidu Index/Trends (Baidu Zhishu) and the Baidu PPC Keyword Tool are great places to start your research for the market in mainland China. 

Read up more on keyword research for Baidu promotion and how it differs from keyword research in the Western world respectively for Google.

2. Get a Baidu PPC Account

Using your Baidu PPC account is a bit tricky. But don’t worry, we’re here for you every step along the way.

First of all, you need to have a Baidu PPC account. You don’t need a Chinese phone number, but a Chinese website. Find out all the details about opening a Baidu account and a Baidu PPC account in this China Gravy article

As Baidu always requires a China Marketing agency to open a Baidu PPC account, a China expert like China Gravy can help you with this.

3. Access/Use of Ads Manager Baidu

Once you have registered your Baidu PPC account, you can get started with Baidu promotion!

You can access the Baidu PPC account through Fengchao or through Baidu Tuiguang. Both options take you to the Baidu Ads Manager and allow you to run ad campaigns (Baidu Tuiguang), access the Baidu Webmaster Tool (Ziyuan), Baidu Analytics (Tongji), and the Jimuyu landing page builder.

4. Set Up Baidu Campaigns in Baidu Ads Manager

Upon login, you will see this dashboard. Click on “进入” (the blue button) in the “搜索推广” section (search advertising) to get to the Ads Manager.

Baidu Ads Manager
Screenshot Dashboard:

Now, you are ready to start with your Baidu promotion campaign. Simply click on “计划“ (campaign). 

The campaign structure in Baidu is similar to Google and Facebook. At the top level is the account, where you can also link a domain. Below that are the individual campaigns, which can have several units (similar to ad sets in Facebook or ad groups in Google). For these units, you can define creatives, keywords, landing pages, and audiences.

Baidu promotion

For orientation, the menu on the left reads as follows:

  • 账户概览: account overview
  • 优化中心: optimization center for CRO
  • 计划: campaign
  • 单元: unit
  • 定向 (关键词, 网址, 人群): orientation (keywords, websites of competitors where Baidu automatically generates keywords, audiences)
  • 创意 (创意, 创意组件): creatives (creatives, creatives group) 
  • 设置 (计划设置, 账户设置): setup (campaign setting, account settings)

To set up a new campaign, click on the blue button “新建计划” (create new campaign).

Baidu promotion

There, you will see this guided path to build your text ad campaign.

Besides text ads, there are also display ads (text & image) in Baidu, as well as Brand Zone ads, but here, we will focus on PPC text ads.

The menu of the Baidu ad setup is as follows (left side menu)

Overview of the Baidu PPC ad setup:

  1. Step 1: Ad campaign (推广计划)
    • Marketing goal (营销目标) 
    • Campaign settings (计划设置)
  2. Step 2: Ad unit (推广单元)
    • Unit settings (单元设置)
    • Orientation settings (定向设置)
  3. Step 3: Ad creatives (推广创意)
    • Ad copy (创意文案)
    • Landing page information (落地页信息)
    • Image settings (图片设置)

Now, let’s look at each step in more detail, so you can set up your Baidu promotion campaign with ease.

Step 1: Set your marketing goals

Baidu will help you find the best product features to achieve your set goal. This will help you to create better advertisements and maximize the effectiveness of your promotion.

  1. Select what you would like to promote from the icons at the top (only one selection possible): website, app promotion, product catalog, store promotion, e commerce shop promotion
  2. Decide if you want to promote a business or only brand keywords
    • Select your industry (e.g. real estate, manufacturing). This is important because there are several restrictions in place in China, e.g. for finance or gambling. You can either select an industry that you promoted in the past or a new industry with “其他” 
    • Alternatively, you can choose to promote only brand keywords without the industry via “只推广”
    • Keep in mind that for all campaigns in your account you can only choose one industry.
    • Click the blue button “确定” (confirm)
Baidu promotion

Continue on the next page:

  1. Select a title “计划名称” (campaign name): up to 30 characters
  2. Enter the landing page “推广网址” (promotion URL): since 2021 this has to be a Jimuyu landing page; make sure to have created your landing page beforehand
  3. Choose the region “推广地域” (promotion area): nationwide or a specific region; you can assign more/less budget to certain provinces, cities, or regions; the categorization is China, Japan, and rest of the world.
  4. Select the period “推广时段” (promotion period): unlimited or customized
  5. Choose the “推广方式” (promotion method): keywords or URL → if you select URL, e.g. a competitor URL, keywords are automatically generated
  6. Determine the “设备出价设置” (device bidding settings): select either mobile or desktop as default device and enter the modifier factor 1-10 for either higher desktop or higher mobile bidding → in China’s mobile-first environment, it often makes sense to allocate a larger budget to mobile bidding. Desktop prices are generally cheaper and work better for B2B products, because typically customers use their desktop PC or laptop at work to research and buy business products. For B2C typically you will select mobile bidding, depending on the keyword. You can check the keyword manager and prices for more details and your best strategy. On the campaign level here, you will be able to set modifiers from 1-10 to allocate more budget in your campaigns to either mobile or desktop devices.
  7. Set your “预算” (budget): unlimited or customized
  8. Optional: select your audiences “人群”: unlimited, target audience, or exclude a certain audience
  9. Click the blue button “保存并新建单元” (save and create unit)
Baidu promotion
Baidu promotion

Step 2: Enter the ad details

  1. Decide a “单元名称” (unit name): maximum 30 characters
  2. Set a “单元出价” (unit bid): 0.01~999.99 in RMB → refers to the max. CPC price within a unit
  3. Decide the “计算机出价系数” (desktop bid modifier): use desktop settings or select your own; the unit level is set to mobile by default, so here you can adjust bids for desktop devices. For example, if you enter “1” it means that the same budget is allocated for mobile and desktop, if you enter “2” this means that twice as much budget is allocated for desktop compared to mobile.
Baidu promotion

In the next section, define the “定向设置” (orientation settings)

  1. Enter your industry or keyword(s) and search for them
  2. In this example, we’ve selected the keyword “塞浦路斯移民” (Cyprus immigration)
  3. Baidu will give you additional information like hot keyword, CPC (in RMB), monthly average search volume, ad time (e.g. morning or evening), etc.
  4. Add the desired keywords to the column on the right-hand side and click on the blue button to save and continue or add a new unit.

Step 3: Enter the creatives

创意文案 (Ad Copy)

  1. Enter a 创意标题 (title): 9-50 characters
  2. 创意描述第一行 (description first line): 9-80 characters
  3. 创意描述第二行 (description second line): 9-80 characters

落地页信息 (Landing Page Information)

  1. 移动访问网址 (mobile URL): select your Jimuyu landing page
  2. 移动显示网址 (mobile display URL): enter your domain (otherwise it will be generated automatically)
  3. 百度小程序 (Baidu Mini App): off (default), can be switched on (can be disregarded as most landing pages are normal HTML pages)
  4. 计算机访问网址 (Desktop version URL): select your Jimuyu landing page

图片设置 (Image Settings)

  1. Add an image that matches your ad (max. 2MB, min. 200×200 pixel for mobile ads) and create a caption for the photo

Review your ad and click the blue button to finish this step or create further creatives.

Baidu Ads Manager

Congratulations, you’ve set up your Baidu PPC ads campaign! Check your dashboard for the ad performance or head on over to Baidu Tongji for a deeper analysis.

Baidu Ads Manager

Insider Tips for Ads Manager Baidu

  1. Analyze your campaigns and adjust keywords and ad copies accordingly
  2. Control your ad spend, e.g. with bid modifiers to adjust bids according to device, time, location, audience, and more
  3. Experiment with the more than 30 different Baidu ad extensions to help with the finetuning of your Baidu ads, e.g. click-to-call (phone number), app download button, 
  4. Check your competitors from time to time, and learn from them, while avoiding bidding wars
  5. Do A/B testing

Are Baidu Ads Right for Me?

Paid search marketing is typically more suitable for larger international businesses. As China is a large country with a population of almost 1.4 billion, a meaningful campaign will start from around 2,000 USD and the sky’s the limit. 

Narrowing down your niche and ideal target audience will help you to better plan and control your budget. Maybe one of the latest e commerce trends, Xiachen (Lower Tier Marketing), plays into your strategy as well!

So, is that all that the Baidu Ads Manager has to offer? Well, you guessed it, there’s more!

5. More Functions in Baidu PPC

While the Jimuyu landing page builder is only available in the Baidu PPC account, Baidu Tongji (similar to Google Analytics) and Baidu Ziyuan are available in both account types – the standard Baidu account and the Baidu PPC account. 

However, Baidu Tongji has more options in the Baidu PPC account compared to the ‘normal’ Baidu account since it provides insights into the paid campaign.

Update: Since 2021, Baidu only allows landing pages created with the Jimuyu page builder for its PPC search ads. Learn how to access and use Jimuyu in this China Gravy article.

6. A Few Things To Keep in Mind

Restrictions for advertising on Baidu include certain words (e.g. best, guarantee, exclusive) and industries (e.g. health supplements, finance/cryptocurrency, gambling).

When you create ads, make sure they are localized and not just translated from English to Chinese. Are you keen to learn even more about Baidu? Discover Baidu SEO insights and how to boost your rankings with Baidu Zhidao, Zhihu, Tieba, and Baike.

Baidu Ads Manager – The Takeaway

Search advertising is a vital part of any digital marketing strategy, and even more so in China. The Baidu Ads Manager offers a variety of advertising options on China’s most popular search engine.

Start advertising your brand on Baidu to conquer the Chinese market! Please contact China Gravy for your FREE consultation!

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