Baidu SEM/PPC: Your Guide to Baidu Search Advertising

Baidu SEM/PPC: Your Guide to Baidu Search Advertising

Welcome to the world of Baidu SEM and PPC! You’ll love it here!

Baidu is China’s biggest and most popular search engine, with an astonishing market share of over 70% versus Google’s 1.6%.  

Better still, Baidu remains relatively unknown in the West — making it a prime opportunity for businesses to get ahead of their competitors on a platform that shows no signs of slowing down.   

So how can first mover international brands use Baidu to their advantage?

Well, the answer lies in Baidu SEM/PPC — the most effective route to instant visibility and success on the platform. 

In this post, we’ll be delving into how search advertising on Baidu can be used to boost your brand in China. 

Let’s get started!

What is Baidu SEM/PPC?

Baidu SEM or Search Engine Marketing refers to the integrated advertising opportunities available on Baidu. It is also referred to as Baidu PPC or Pay-Per-Click ads that appear on Baidu’s search engine results pages. 

In short, PPC advertising is a form of SEM — and for international brands on Baidu, it is the fastest and most effective route to exposure.

Baidu SEM/PPC ads boost webpages to the top of the search results page just like Google search ads do, as demonstrated below:

Baidu PPC ads can also include promotional images, like in this ad to study at a Japanese university highlighted below:

Baidu SEM Search Image ad from universities for study abroad programs

How exactly does Baidu PPC work?

Just like with Google, businesses need to open an account to use Baidu — you can learn how in our complete guide to advertising on Baidu. Then you’ll need to set up an ad, target specific keywords, and bid on those until you’ve reached the amount of exposure you need. 

When your ad is live, users searching for related keywords will see it in their search results. Every time they click it, you will have to pay a CPC (cost-per-click) fee, which will depend on the competitiveness of the keywords you are targeting. 

How much does Baidu PPC cost?

The cost of PPC advertising on Baidu is based entirely on your industry.

For example, if you’re targeting the keyword ‘smartphone’ on Baidu, your CPC will be higher than what it would be for less saturated keywords. The kind of consumer your ad is targeting — in terms of gender, age, and location — will impact your CPC, too. 

All of that considered, the average CPC on Baidu is around $0.5 – $1.00 to build a fully optimized campaign. Brands should expect to pay between $1500 – $3000 as the initial campaign spend, which covers CPC and all set-up fees.

Compared to other advertising opportunities in China, this makes Baidu one of the most affordable marketing channels in the country. 

What’s the difference between Baidu SEM (PPC) vs SEO? 

While Baidu PPC is about paying for instant visibility, Baidu SEO is about organically achieving high rankings on the engine’s results pages.

Similar to the west, this requires businesses to invest in fully-optimized content. Businesses can create Chinese blog articles and/or landing pages that include specific keywords in the hope of ranking for these terms.

SEO also includes obtaining relevant backlinks from other websites, frequently updating your website, and ensuring that it runs quickly and without any errors. 

While SEO is worth investing in, it can take time to see results and there’s no guarantee that your efforts will pay off. 

Why should brands invest in Baidu PPC?

In addition to low costs — and avoiding the drawbacks of SEO — there are a number of reasons why Baidu PPC is one of the best advertising opportunities not only in China, but in the world

First, it is the biggest and most popular search engine in China, attracting around 700 million users a month. You can also target very specifically according to gender, age, location, and interests. 

And while Google PPC continues to get more and more competitive, Baidu remains a relatively untapped platform in the West, offering a unique opportunity for brands to achieve a high ROI in the biggest e-commerce market in the world. 

Essentially, Baidu is the place to be for international businesses looking to target tech-savvy consumers in China, who, more than anywhere else in the world, trust advertising and welcome it as part of their online experience.

Should businesses use a Baidu PPC agency to manage their advertising on the platform? 

For brands without in-house marketing teams, a Baidu PPC agency offers a ‘ready-made’ solution. But that doesn’t come without its risks — agencies can be very expensive, can delay reports, and aren’t always as transparent as they could be. 

Of course, none of this means that brands shouldn’t use agencies. They’re great for outsourcing what can be a very difficult and time-consuming process. But putting a system in place that guarantees you up-to-date insights on your terms is always a good idea. 

And to do just that, can help. 

By connecting your Baidu SEM account to our platform, you’ll be able to access, review, and manage your advertising strategy whenever you need to. It’s a great way to instantly increase the efficiency and transparency of your agency partnership. 

And if your current ad agency only runs your campaigns in the west, an account on will give them all the tools they need to overcome the learning curve of PPC management in China. 

Brands can also use to manage their own campaigns independently, as our end-to-end platform makes advertising in China accessible for all — even for those that don’t have an in-house marketing team. 

Want to learn more about how we can help? Check out our product tour for more information. has helped hundreds of brands reach the China market. To see how can help you get started with advertising on top channels hassle-free create a free account today.

Can businesses set up a Baidu PPC campaign in English? 

Unfortunately, the Baidu PPC interface is in Chinese, which can make it difficult for international brands to get started. 

But don’t worry, that’s why we created — a first-of-its-kind platform that makes advertising in China more accessible than ever. 

On our platform, you’ll be able to manage your Baidu campaigns in English with the same features provided by Baidu.

How can businesses track the performance of Baidu PPC ads? 

Unless you speak Chinese, it’s difficult to get coherent reports directly from Baidu. PPC agencies typically only share reports every few weeks, which makes it hard to monitor campaigns on an ongoing basis. 

That’s another reason why is the go-to platform for international businesses to manage, optimize, and review their Baidu campaigns. 

With our platform, you’ll be able to instantly access your campaigns whenever you need to, and review their performance.

Already running Baidu SEM ads?

If you’re interested in, and want to integrate us into your existing setup, you’re in luck!

Whether you’re managing your campaigns in-house or working with a partner, it’s easy to connect your account to our platform. You can then access your current ads and get started with transparent reporting. Schedule a free demo to learn how we can help you optimize your Chinese advertising strategy, by breaking into Baidu.

Baidu SEM and PPC — the missing piece in your global marketing strategy? 

Too many businesses are missing out on Baidu. Take advantage of that, and get a head-start on your competitors in the biggest market in the world. 

The search engine offers laser-focused targeting features. It is also one of the cheapest (yet valuable) marketing channels in the world. 

And while advertising in China can be tricky, makes it easier to create and manage your Baidu campaigns

Get started and supercharge your Baidu PPC strategy today!

Looking to establish your presence in China? is the #1 platform to get started with advertising in China. Our platform and team take care of everything from set up to running your campaigns for leading brands across the globe. Create a free account to get started.

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