Digital marketers around the world know it's nearly impossible to create an effective marketing and sales strategy without the insights that Google Analytics provides.
But what is a marketer to do when operating in a country where the data provided by GA isn't always trustworthy? Like in China, where many of Google's services are blocked.
Though Google Analytics can work in China, it's not 100% reliable, as the interface is often unreachable and the reports aren't always accurate. On top of that, Google isn't the biggest search engine in China. Baidu is, claiming the lion's share of search engine queries. To provide analytics to its users, the search engine giant created Baidu Analytics (also called Baidu Tongi) in 2009. Today, more than 7 million websites use the platform to generate reports on the performance on their Chinese website.
What is Baidu Analytics?
Similar to Google Analytics, Baidu Analytics give digital marketers the tools they need to better understand Chinese visitors to their website. It's reports include statistics about a website's traffic, conversions, on-page activity, and visitor demographics.
What key features does Baidu Analytics have?
As an analytics tool, Baidu Analytics contains many features that make it easy for businesses to track visitors to their site, see what pages are being visited, check on conversion rates, and look for on-page issues that need to be fixed.
Below are some of Baidu Analytics' major functionalities
- Track visitor data: Among its most basic functionalities, Baidu Analytics tracks site metrics including traffic by page, events (subscribes, downloads, etc.), number of pages viewed, and visit duration, among others.
- Audience Insights: Another of the tools' most basic reports provides information about visitor demographics including geographic location, device, education level, age, vocation, and interests.
- Ad tracking: Particular useful for marketers who use paid advertising and SEM, Baidu Analytics offers insights into ad impressions, cost data, and PPC campaigns.
- Inbound SEO: Another of Baidu Analytics' reports reveals which search terms visitors used that landed them on the website.
- E-Commerce Tracking: Retailers using Baidu Analytics can track their e-commerce activities by order ID, order total, item name, SKU ID, category, price, and quantity..
- On-Page SEO: Baidu Analytics crawls websites looking for common SEO problems including missing alt tags and incomplete meta descriptions.
- Heat Map: Businesses can use Baidu Analytics to see how people interact with individual web pages and which links get clicked the most.
How can marketers use Baidu Analytics
Marketers familiar with using Google Analytics to define and guide their digital marketing strategies will find the same holds true for Baidu Analytics.
Whether you need to find cost-effective ways to drive traffic to your Chinese website, increase e-commerce conversions, or get its free resources downloaded by more prospects, the insights provided by Baidu Analytics can help marketers determine their next steps.
In order to get the most out of Baidu Analytics, business owners and marketers must first determine what their website's target goals are. One established, they can identify which reports will help them measure their current success and strategise for future success.
Here are a few ways businesses can take advantage of Baidu Analytics:
1. Understand research patterns.
First and foremost, marketers can use Baidu Analytics to understand how the China market does online research. A university or corporation seeking to recruit students or recent graduates can look at what keywords drive traffic to its websites. These keywords can then be used to create paid marketing campaigns that correlate directly with searcher intent.
2. Track and grow e-commerce.
Retailers active in China can use Baidu Analytics to track which products are most popular, and which need an extra promotional push. Similarly, retailers can track the effectiveness of their ad campaigns to see which ones result in sales and which ones need to be tweaked.
3. Leverage High Page Traffic for Conversions
Businesses can also use site traffic to determine which pages get the most visits, then optimise those pages with CTAs and purchase links to boost sales and/or engagement. For instance, a marketing agency looking to grow its Chinese clientele can add whitepaper and case study CTAs to high-traffic webpages, while an online travel seller can put Bargain Newsletter sign-up CTAs on its high-traffic pages.
4. Prioritise Webpage Fixes
Marketers on a budget can use Baidu Analytics to help them prioritise which pages on their website to invest money in fixing. Say a business owner uses Baidu Analytics to crawl her website for SEO errors and discovers several meta tag issues. Before directing money and time to fixing all of them, a quick look at page traffic statistics can clarify what's actually needed. If page visits are high despite the meta tag issue, resources might be better used elsewhere.
5. Strategise Partnerships
By tracing visitor traffic back to its source, businesses can look for partnership opportunities. For instance, a university seeking to recruit more Chinese students might reach out to a particular organisation to partner on a recruitment event if it turns out lots of traffic is being generated by that organisation.
How Baidu Analytics compare to Google Analytics
Though Baidu Analytics offers a robust array of tools that mimic what Google Analytics offers, there are some key differences.
Most significant, Baidu is only available in Chinese. Having said Sinorbis' suite of SEO tools, provided many of the insights that you can gain through Baidu Analytics. What’s more, we provide you the same level of in-depth insights for China’s four major search engines to help you set your strategy going forward.
One area in which Baidu Analytics has an edge over Google Analytics is its access to localised data, giving a more accurate picture of visitor demographics.
Baidu Analytics is also the only analytics tool in China that has detailed data for Baidu PPC inside the user interface.
Some features marketers might be used to using in GA are not available in Baidu Analytics, including Google AdWords integration, site search, and multi-touch attribution reports. There are also extra costs associated with some of Baidu Analytics' features, and others require additional setup steps.