Your website ranking and traffic is a direct result of how you select and optimize your website keywords. Using a China SEO keyword strategy, you need to consider primary keywords, secondary keywords as well as long tail keywords. So how do you select keywords with targeted traffic?
There are four steps you need to consider. They are the choice of keywords, screening and, based on the filtered keywords, how to further optimise the keywords ranking by using intelligent SEO tools such as Sinorbis platform, webmaster tool and so on.
While these tips apply to businesses wishing to use China SEO keyword strategy to help them enter the China market, the general principles apply any time you need to find the best keywords to use for a business.
Step 1: 7 tips for selecting your keywords
- Starting with the products or services your company provides, list all the keywords related to your products and services.
- Analyse competitor websites and check the source code of their homepages. Usually, keywords are deployed in the tag for title, keywords, and meta description.
- If you have traffic statistics tools (such as Google Analytics, Baidu statistics, or other statistical tools) on your site, check your site's traffic statistics and see which keywords your visitors are using to find your website.
- Check the keyword information provided by Baidu Index. There are two practical tools in Baidu Index. One is "Trend Analysis 趋势研究”, and the other is “Demand Map 需求图谱”. “Trend Analysis 趋势研究” helps you to analyse the trend of keyword search volume. "Demand Map 需求图谱" helps you analyse the user needs related to the keyword, which you can use to extend the keywords.
Example of Trend Analysis on Baidu index when searching for澳洲留学 (study abroad to Australia)
Example of Demand Map on Baidu index when searching for澳洲留学 (study abroad to Australia)
- Pay attention to recommended keywords on the dropdown in the Baidu search bar as well as the bottom of the SERP. Those are the keywords being searched quite often as well.
Example of recommended keywords on the dropdown in the Baidu search bar when searching for澳洲留学 (study abroad to Australia)
Example of recommended keywords at the bottom of Baidu SERP when searching for澳洲留学 (study abroad to Australia)
- If your company has used paid search ads in China with a Baidu paid search account, then you can leverage the Baidu backend tool “keywords planner关键词规划师” to expand more keywords based on existing roots.
- Use the keyword extend function of webmaster tools to explore more related long tail keywords based on existing roots.
Step 2: Keyword screening for China SEO
After following those seven step, you will have come up with many keywords. Before you can optimise them, you next need to sort them out because some will not be suitable for your needs. They may be too broad, have high competition or low correlation. In the next step, you will find how to further filter them to find the most effective keywords.
1. Keywords should not be too broad or too narrow
Broad keywords cause high competition and high cost of optimisation. For example, the keywords “ 留学 (study abroad) ” are too broad. Even if we optimise the keyword ranking to the first page of the SERP, the conversion rate is usually still quite low because the needs of users searching for that keywords vary greatly.
On the other hand, a keyword that is too accurate is not a good option either, because it brings potentially low traffic. Consider the keywords " 澳洲本科留学申请 (Australian undergraduate study application)" There will be a limited audience searching for those specific keywords. The choice of keywords needs to consider both search volume and targeted needs. You could use a combination of the keywords; for example, focus keyword + targeted needs word such as " 澳洲留学申请 (Australian study abroad application)" or " 澳洲本科留学 (Australian undergraduate study)". This increases the likelihood of reaching a greater target audience.
2. Select keywords users are actually using for search
You and your employees are very familiar with your company’s own products and services so it’s easy to take for granted that those are the keywords being searched for by search engine users. However, users may think in different way. So, when screening keywords, ask people outside the company to see what keywords they would use to search for the kinds of products or services you offer.
3. Select keywords with high search volume but low competition
The most efficient keywords are those that have fewer competing pages and high search volume. Some keywords have intense competition and you need spend a lot of money to improve the ranking. Sometimes, though, not many people actually search for that keyword.
Take "眼霜(eye cream)" as an example. It’s a hot word in the cosmetics industry, but even if ranked on the first page of the SERP, the conversion rate is still low. If you revise the keyword from "眼霜 (eye cream)" to "抗皱眼霜品牌 (anti-wrinkle eye cream brand)", the conversion rate will be much higher. Why? Because when people searching for "抗皱眼霜品牌 (anti-wrinkle eye cream brand)", their needs are more specific. For example, the traffic for "眼霜 (eye cream)" is 1000, but only 10 of them lead to an order. Yet the traffic for "抗皱眼霜品牌 (anti-wrinkle eye cream brand)" is only 500, but 50 people go on to buy. It’s obvious that keyword “抗皱眼霜品牌 (anti-wrinkle eye cream brand)” is more valuable for optimisation.
Remember that the Chinese have different search preferences to those you might be familiar with in the west, and Baidu has its own specific set of needs. For more information, take a look at an article we have written about Baidu SEO keyword filtering approach.
The next step in the process is to decide which are the most competitive keywords and whether they will suit your needs.
Step 3: Keyword competitiveness analysis
Understanding the search volume of keywords is just the starting point. The more important thing is to know is the competition level. Let’s look at how to determine the competitiveness of a keyword:
1. Compare the number of keyword search results
Generally speaking, the fewer keyword search results, the less the competition level, so the difficulty of optimisation will be lower as well. On the other hand, the more search results, the greater the competition level. You then need to rely on more high-quality content and inbound links for the website optimisation.
What is a good result when it comes to China SEO search results? A search result around 500 thousand means low competition level, 1 million is medium-low, 3 million is medium, 5 million is high and more than 10 million means intensive competition.
2. Check if there are famous/large-scale websites or Baidu’s own websites on the keyword search result page
If the top search results for the keywords are all from news portals (such as Tencent, Sina, 163), big vertical websites or Baidu’s websites such as Baidu Zhidao, Baidu Wenku, then the competition level for that keyword is high.
3. Analyse keyword search volume
You can check the keyword search volume by using Baidu Index. Theoretically, more search volume means high level competition. However, some keywords may have a large search volume but low competition.
Currently, some SEO analysis tools or the Sinorbis platform can effectively evaluate the keyword competition level based on search volume, keyword ranking and number of keyword search results. This will help you to more easily define your keywords optimisation strategy.
Step 4: Keyword optimisation
The three steps above are preparation for the keyword optimisation. The ultimate purpose is to optimise the more valuable keywords for the website to improve the organic search ranking and traffic. To achieve this goal, you need to analyse and modify the website source code, structure, content and look at inbound links. It’s a complex process that requires a long-term maintenance process. Without an in-house team, there are two ways you can do this:
- Ask a professional China marketing agency to provide Chinese search engine optimisation. The advantage of this is that the service is very comprehensive, but of course, the cost is higher.
- You can also use intelligent SEO tools such as Sinorbis platform to crawl the keywords ranking, search results and website page details for targeted keywords. For the targeted keywords page, the Sinorbis platform is able to provide recommendations for SEO optimisation. Website technology developers only need to revise the website accordingly. After completing the basic SEO optimisation, you might then find a professional SEO company to offer more comprehensive and advanced SEO optimisation recommendations.
It’s an ongoing journey and continuous efforts are needed for website SEO optimisation. Using a China SEO keyword strategy to select the most effective keywords, then you are able to improve the organic search traffic and ranking step by step.
If you want to understand more about how your keywords are performing in search ranking on Chinese search engines, register your interest today for the innovative Sinorbis platform. This powerful SEO functionality will give you the advantage when it comes to marketing in China.