With a population of almost 1.5 billion and the world’s second largest GDP, it’s no wonder China is an attractive market for Western companies, both big and small.
Tapping into that market can put you on the fast track to business success.
But how do you reach the Chinese market if you don’t have the organizational capacity to set up a local Chinese team?
Luckily, for the smaller brands of this world, there’s Baidu.
Baidu is China’s answer to Google. It’s the country’s biggest and most popular search engine. In fact, it boasts a 70.5% search engine market share in China, while Google lags way behind at 1.6%.
As well as being an internet browser, Baidu offers services including maps, music, video platforms and a Wikipedia-style information site. It also offers brands the opportunity to raise their profile through SEO and paid advertising.
Want to get your brand in front of a Chinese audience? Baidu is the place to be.
So what’s the sticking point?
Navigating Baidu when you don’t speak Mandarin can be tricky. The language barrier makes using the browser something of a challenge. And that’s before we even get started on the complexities of keyword research.
Nevertheless, with a few translation tricks up your sleeve, it is possible to use Baidu in English. And we’re here to tell you how.
How to use Baidu in English – A step-by-step guide
Type baidu.com into your browser and, unless you speak Mandarin, you’ll be faced with a webpage that looks pretty incomprehensible.
So how can you get Baidu in English?
How to change the language in Baidu to English
Step 1) Check your browser
If you don’t currently use Google Chrome, you’ll need to download the Google Translate extension. With this extension, you’ll be able to translate the Baidu webpage easily into English. It’s that simple!
For Chrome users, continue to Step 2.
Step 2) Click the three vertical dots in the right hand corner
This is if you are using Chrome. Once you’ve clicked on these dots, select Settings > Advanced > Languages.
Step 3) Select English from the list
Under Languages, you can select English or any other language you can read. You can also request that Google offer to translate pages that aren’t in a language you currently read.
Step 4) Head to Baidu.com
Now, Google will automatically offer to translate the Baidu homepage into English.
Quick tip: If you dismiss the translation pop-up or (for whatever reason) it doesn’t appear on a subsequent webpage, go to the address bar. To the far right of the bar, you’ll find an icon that looks like a folded piece of paper. Click the icon, select English and Google will translate your current webpage.
So now you know how to translate Baidu to English. But let’s add in a quick disclaimer here. The translation from Google Translate is by no means flawless. It doesn’t always make for easy reading.
However, by translating baidu.com into English you’ll find it easier to navigate the page and understand search results too. This leads us on to our next point…
How to search Baidu in English
You’ve let Google Translate work its magic and you’re currently looking at the Baidu English version. It’s now time to enter some searches.
You can simply search in English, then hit enter or click on the 百度一下 button to see search results related to your keyword.
Take a look at this example. We searched for “Italian shoes” in English and got just over 5 million relevant search results.
The problem with this approach is that Baidu is designed for Chinese users. They don’t tend to search in English. The vast majority of Chinese speakers search using simplified Chinese characters.
So how do you get the best, most relevant, and most realistic search results on Baidu? You need to search in Chinese.
Let’s break this down into steps again. To search in Chinese on Baidu, you’ll need to:
- Go to Google Translate.
- Enter your search term in English and translate it into Chinese (Simplified).
- Copy and paste the Chinese translation into the Baidu search bar.
This time you’ll see a completely different set of search results, ones that are much more aligned with those of Chinese-speaking searchers.
You also tend to get more results.
Take the example of our “Italian shoes” search. When we search the same term in simplified Chinese characters (意大利鞋) we get over 51 million search results.
And we get to see what a Chinese-speaking audience would see if they searched for the same term.
How to use Baidu in English via AdChina.io
Searching Baidu in English to access local Chinese resources and information is one thing.
But want to use Baidu in English to market your brand to a Chinese audience? The process of constantly translating pages and content will inevitably feel long-winded.
To make marketing in China a viable and efficient option for your business, you need to find keywords for your Chinese market quickly and reliably. You also need to turn those keywords into Baidu ads, guaranteed to catch the eye of your intended audience.
That’s where AdChina.io can help.
AdChina.io is a first-of-its-kind platform, helping international businesses advertise in China (including on Baidu) simply, easily, and successfully.
Our interface is all in English, so you don’t have to be quite so addicted to Google Translate. And if you want to lighten your load, you can let a native Baidu ads manager do the legwork for you.
So how exactly does it work?
Imagine we’re still trying to sell our beautifully handcrafted Italian shoes.
Using our Baidu Keyword Tool you can enter Mandarin keywords and check their keyword volume. As you can see from the screenshot below there’s an average of over 600 daily searches of this keyword across all devices.
You’ll then analyze those keywords and create a campaign, advertising your products or services to a huge Chinese market.
Ready to get started? Create a free AdChina.io account and test out our features on a free service plan today.
From Baidu registration to ad translation to Chinese landing page design, AdChina.io provides expert local support for all your Baidu advertising needs.