Google AdWords for China? Nope! Know Your PPC Alternatives …
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Google AdWords for China? Nope! Know Your PPC Alternatives …

Google AdWords for China? Nope! Know Your PPC Alternatives …

BaiduPresenter Jon Ritzdorf is Moravia’s Solutions Architect and a global SEO expert. He also teaches translation technologies and localization fundamentals at New York University, the Monterey Institute of International Studies, and the University of Chicago. In his webinar, “Steps to Effective Global SEO: Off-Page Factors,” Jon discussed the challenges of multilingual content management for brands working in global markets with an eye to best practices that improve site ranking.

With Google AdWords, you can place pay-per-click (PPC) advertising next to Google search results to drive traffic to your website for specific keywords. If you’re reading this, I’m guessing that you’re already using AdWords for advertising or keyword research for the U.S. marketplace. There are, however, international markets where neither Google nor its PPC platform are the #1 choice, namely China, Korea and Russia. To advertise to consumers in those markets, you need to consider using their search engines and tools.

Not As Simple As AdWords

Anything that’s non-Google is going to require more time and preparation on your part. Google pretty much allows any person and their dog to register and get started as long as you have a Google account. My dog might need my help adding some AdWords credit to get started (since she doesn’t own a credit card) but that’s not hard to come by.

Now, other search engines don’t make it quite as simple. For Russia’s Yandex, for example, you must have a Russian language website, a Russian email, and some Russian contact details before you’re allowed onto its advertising a platform. It gets even trickier with China.

Baidu’s “Phoenix Nest” PPC: Can It Get Any More Complex?

China’s Baidu is the number two search engine in the world and number one in China (Google is banned). Although setting up PPC for Baidu can be painful, it’s definitely going to be worth the hassle if you are investing heavily in the Chinese market.

Unlike Google, Baidu’s “Phoenix Nest”, the Chinese doppelganger of AdWords, requires such things as an official government issued ID and a translated company license that has been locally certified by an agency or representative whom the Chinese authorities can call if they need to.

Once that is done, you must sign Baidu’s contracts, privacy terms, and agree to their advertising policy. In addition, you have to have a locally registered bank account for wire transfer – neither credit cards nor PayPal are allowed for payment – this also requires a local address, phone number, and local business registration. To top it off, you will definitely need to understand at least some basic Chinese to get through the process and, ultimately, to use their offline PPC editor (which is not localized into English).

Bidding Differs Too

Whether you’re looking at Baidu in China, Yandex in Russia, or Naver for the Korean market, it is important to note that not only is this whole registration process different but the actual ad bidding itself differs by platform. Don’t assume Google AdWords’ rules are a universal constant for PPC worldwide.

Not only will you be dealing with local currencies, but the concept of things like “campaigns” can be different (Naver does not have the concept of “campaigns”), character restrictions can be different (Naver allows 15 Korean “Hangul” in the headline vs. Google’s 25 characters for alphabetic languages), and whether you are allowed to use negative keywords (Naver doesn’t allow them). These are just some of many differences.

Choose Local Support!

While you may be able to find support from the search engine provider in English – Baidu openly advertises their English support services – proceed at your own risk. Most global SEO experts recommend recruiting the help of a locally based search engine marketing agency or calling up a provider of localized SEO services like Moravia. Either of these options will help you jump start your local PPC presence.