To get your business noticed online, indexing your website on Baidu with the Baidu Webmaster Tools is the first step.
As you know, with a market share of 79%, Baidu is the largest search engine in China. But to appear on the SERPs of this popular search engine, you have to take a few essential steps first.
In this article by China Gravy, the Baidu SEO agency of your choice, we describe how to speed up the indexing of your site on Baidu with the Baidu Webmaster Tools. Besides this useful tool in Baidu, we reveal more China SEO tips so you can boost your business in the Middle Kingdom.
So, let’s look at the Baidu index process, so you can rise to the top of the SERPs.
How to Index Your Site on Baidu with Baidu Webmaster Tools
In order to get your site indexed on Baidu, follow these steps:
- Create a localized Chinese website with a .com or .cn domain. Keep in mind to not simply translate your English website, but to customize it for the Chinese market. A China marketing agency like China Gravy can assist you with this.
- Ensure a fast loading time in China through measures like using a CDN, speed optimization, caching, and minification. Make sure to disrupt connections to blocked sites in China like Facebook in the background.
- Register a Baidu account or Baidu PPC account (see below), in order to access the Baidu Webmaster Tools
- Verify your website with one of three options
- Upload your website sitemap and URLs (optional)
- Monitor the indexing of your website on Baidu
So, let’s look at the Webmaster Tools in detail.
Baidu Ziyuan (Baidu Webmaster Tools)
First of all, the Baidu Ziyuan Webmaster Tools is similar to the Google Search Console. You can submit your sitemaps/URLs for indexing, access SEO settings, and analyze the performance of your website.
For example, you can check the indexation rate, find out which keywords are relevant, and get information on backlinks. Thus, it is also referred to as the Baidu Ranking Tool. Baidu Webmaster also gives you access to useful tools like the Baidu Speed Test.
To use Baidu Ziyuan (and Baidu Analytics/Baidu Tongji), you first need a Baidu account or a Baidu PPC account.
A Standard Baidu Account
To implement SEO strategies in China, you basically need a Baidu account. Remember that you basically need a Chinese phone number as options with international phone numbers are very limited. Plus, we also recommend the registration of an email address for easier (shared) Baidu account access.
So, a Baidu account allows you to access Baidu Ziyuan and Baidu Tongji.
A Baidu PPC Account
Baidu Analytics has more features in the PPC account. However, the Baidu Webmaster Tools have the same functions in the regular Baidu account and the Baidu PPC account.
Tutorial: How to Submit My Site to Baidu
Baidu Ziyuan allows you to speed up the indexing of your website. Submit your website URLs including the sitemap, so Baidu knows quicker which pages belong to your website and can index them faster.
Step 1: Log in to Baidu Webmaster Tools
To access the functionalities of Baidu Ziyuan, login as follows.
- Go to Baidu Webmaster Tools. As this website is fully in Chinese, you can use an online translation service like Google Translate for help. If you use Google Chrome, you can use extensions like Zhongwen for automatic translation.
- Click on “百度账号登录” (Baidu account login) and “密码登录” (password login).
- Use your Baidu account or Baidu PPC account login data to enter Baidu Ziyuan.
Now that you are logged in, let’s look at the options that the Webmaster Tools provide.
Step 2: Website Verification
This process is fairly straightforward and requires getting a verification code. You can verify your website with one of the following three options:
- download the verification file, which you add to the root directory on your website
- take the HTML tag and paste it into the header of your website (possibly the easiest way)
- copy the CNAME record, set it in your website’s DNS, and have it point to ziyuan.baidu.com
After you have the Baidu verification code and submitted it to Baidu, it will take up to six hours to verify your URL. However, typically, this happens within a few minutes. In case, one verification method didn’t work out for you, simply try another one.
Step 3: Submitting Your Sitemap
Once your website is verified, you can submit your sitemap to Baidu. This allows the search engine to crawl and index a website efficiently.
To do so, go to the menu point 资源提交 (resource submission) and click on 普通收录 (normal indexing including sitemap submission. See screenshot “站点信息 (HOME/site information)” and detailed description below.
Baidu recommends that sitemaps are
- in XML format
- less than 10 MB
- located in the website root folder (or uploaded manually)
Once you have submitted your URLs/sitemaps, you can check Baidu after a few days, if your website has been indexed. You can do so by entering “site:DOMAINNAME” in the search field on baidu.com. Keep in mind that indexing can also take a few weeks.
Step 4: Individual URL Upload (Submit Links for Crawling)
After you complete the verification of your site and the upload of your sitemap, you can additionally upload individual URLs for faster indexing. This can be helpful, for example, for new pages on your website.
- Go to 普通收录 (normal indexing including sitemap submission) and click on 手动提交 (submit manually) to submit individual sites manually. Refer to the screenshot below.
- Enter your website URL
- Select if it’s an HTTP or HTTPS site
- Click “Submit”
Are you curious to discover more settings and options in Baidu Ziyuan?
More Functions in Baidu Ziyuan
After you are logged in to the Baidu Webmaster Tools, Baidu offers a large variety of functionalities.
- 站点信息 (HOME/site information) with 站点信息 (important information/alerts), 核心数据 (core data: traffic by clicks and by impressions, keywords, index volume), 网页抓取 (website capturing data: link submissions, mobile adaptation), as well as 抓取频次 (crawl frequency), and 抓取异常 (crawl exceptions).
- 资源提交 (resource submission) with the sub-menus 快速收录 (quick indexing, under development), 普通收录 (normal indexing including sitemap submission), 移动适配 (mobile adaptation), 死链提交 (dead link submission), and 抓取异常 (crawling problems).
- 数据统计 (statistics) with the sub-menus 索引量 (index volume), 流量与关键词 (traffic and keywords), 抓取频次 (crawl frequency by the Baidu Spider), 抓取诊断 (crawl diagnosis), and Robots.
- 搜索展现 (search appearance) with the sub-menus HTTPS认证 (HTTPS authentication), 站点属性 (site properties), 站点子链 (sitelinks; function in progress), 专业问答 (featured snippets), 落地页视频转存 (Baidu Video Cache), 视频极速服务 (video speed service), 医疗权威资源 (medical authority resources), and 热议资源 (hot discussion resources).
- 优化与维护 (optimization and maintenance) with the sub-menus 闭站保护 (closed site protection), 网站改版 (website revision), 移动落地页检测 (mobile landing page detection), and 网站体检 (website examination)
Baidu Webmaster Tools: Baidu Zhanzhang
To access the Administration Settings of the Baidu Webmaster Tools, go to “用户中心” (user center) in the top menu. In the sub-menu, select “站长管理” (webmaster management).
Here, you can manage and administer the general settings of your sites. For example, under 管理员设置 (administrator settings), you can grant other Baidu accounts access to your sites.
If you are curious about what sets Baidu and SEO marketing in China apart from the rest of the world, we have put together a few things you should keep in mind to maximize your China marketing impact.
Specialties of Online Advertising in China
The social, economical, and political environment in the Middle Kingdom is different from the Western world. So is marketing in China.
Therefore, a few thoughts to remember when entering the Chinese market and the online world:
- Baidu prefers Chinese websites over foreign sites.
- Avoid offensive, sexual, or political content (cue: censorship).
- Up-to-date quality content, optimization for mobile devices, and buyer-intent keywords are important factors for user-friendliness, and high search engine rankings.
- Besides, keep in mind that Baidu values a high number of links (regardless of the quality, at the moment). Therefore, it is particularly important to get many backlinks.
- Finally, a logical website structure and optimized meta descriptions and meta tags increase your chances of appearing at the top of each Baidu search.
Extra Tips for Baidu SEO Tools: To boost your business rankings on the Baidu search engine, we also recommend utilizing Baidu Tongji (Baidu Analytics) and the Baidu Ads Manager for Baidu PPC. Let’s look at these in more detail.
Baidu Analytics (Baidu Tongji)
Also known as Baidu Analytics, this official Baidu tool is similar to Google Analytics. Companies entering the Chinese market as well as established businesses can benefit from the FREE data insight.
For example, you can track traffic data of users visiting your site (ad impressions, organic search, etc.), create reports, and derive action steps for your China digital marketing strategy. Baidu Tongji provides more detailed information for Chinese traffic than Google Analytics. At the same time, the Baidu tool is not as sophisticated as the international Google tool.
Baidu Ads Manager
Step up your search engine marketing game! Besides SEO (“free”), you can also utilize paid services (PPC ads) on Baidu.
Similar to Google, PPC advertising in China is an effective way to generate leads, and increase your presence on Chinese search engines.
Likewise, the Baidu Ads Manager (Editor) compares to Google Ads. You can make multiple changes quickly through practical functionalities like drag and drop or replace.
Baidu Webmaster Tools – The Takeaway
To sum it up, 93% of all online sessions begin with an internet search. This is typically a Baidu search in China or a Google search in the rest of the world. Therefore, appearing at the top of the SERPs with your online presence is the key to reaching your audience and generating leads.
In this article, you have got to know the Baidu Webmaster Tools (Baidu Ziyuan), where you can access SEO settings and get insights into your site’s performance. Besides, you now know how to submit a website to the Baidu search engine for indexing with Baidu Ziyuan.
After your site has been indexed, you can optimize your China SEO with Baidu Tongji, Baidu Trend analysis and keyword research, and the Baidu Ads Manager.
An SEO agency for China like China Gravy can help you to get started. Get your FREE CONSULTATION!