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Understand Your Chinese Audience: Part II

By Rebecca Li

In our previous article, we introduced how foreign companies can use Baidu Zhishu (Index) to gather broad industry and Chinese consumer analysis. Two other free Baidu tools, Baidu Keyword Planner and Baidu Analytics, can help companies understand their customers on a much deeper level. The Keyword Planner offers more narrow research into search behaviors, and Baidu Analytics is an even more focused research and precise scope tool.

Keyword Planner

If a company is unfamiliar with the online behavior of Chinese Internet users, the Baidu Keyword Planner is a great place to start exploring. It is a free tool for any company with a Baidu PPC account and can be used for keyword research.

Nowadays, Chinese consumers are likely to purchase goods online or conduct product research online to determine what they want to buy and from whom they could get the best deal. If the internet is the first place a potential customer goes to look, companies have to make sure that their website can be found quickly and easily. That’s why keyword research is one of the most important and valuable activities for search engine marketing and in developing an overall online marketing strategy.

For small and medium businesses looking to expand to the China market with a digital presence, keyword research is an inexpensive way to identify consumers’ online interest and provides a blueprint for content that attracts target audiences.

Before conducting the research, marketers should keep in mind that the goal of keyword research is to not only find suitable keyword phrases for their business, but also to understand what/how questions are being asked by their target audience. This process requires marketers to define the “core keyword” accurately and creatively.

By entering a “core keyword,” marketers will see the relevant keywords based on account information on the keyword tool homepage. With various filters, marketers can refine the results. Filtering options include:

  • Devices: Desktop, mobile, or both

  • Geographic Targeting: National, or specific areas. (Location and proximity can be an important factor for the Chinese buyer.)

In addition to the keywords result, marketers will also get other valuable data:

  • Suggested Reasons: Suggestions from Search Query report, Dark Horses (Terms with a high rising potential on search volumes), Mobile Dark Horse, Mobile, Used by Competitors, or Website related

  • Average Daily Search Volume (Note: Google uses monthly search volume. Baidu uses daily search volume.)

  • Average Mobile Daily Search Volume

  • Estimated Top Page Bid

  • Competition

By sorting, prioritizing, and refining those keyword phrases, marketers can generate a keyword list that’s aligned with their goals. Also, the search volume of the specific targeted location can helped them decide which areas they could start launching their marketing initiatives first for maximizing the usage of budget and earning a better ROI.

Baidu Analytics

Baidu Analytics is available to any China website as a free website analysis and reporting tool. It provides real time and historical data about the performance of a company’s online presence, such as PPC metrics, website data, SEO suggestions, audience insights, etc. Specifically, the audience insights are especially valuable to developing a general online marketing strategy.

Demographics Overview

Different from Google Analytics, Baidu Analytics provides more insights comparing visitor data for a specific website and the overall Internet. By indicating the difference between a website users and Internet users, Baidu Analytics helps companies gain a more clear perception of their target audience that can be used to create and deliver more focused messages in more accurate channels.

Education and vocation

Are a website’s visitors highly educated? Are they IT professionals or waitresses? Baidu Analytics offers these kinds of insights. Users are defined by level of education (elementary, high school, college and plus) and in one of 10 industries (IT, education/students, telecommunication, marketing, construction, energy, automobile, service, aerospace, and public service). Here, Analytics also offers comparison data for site visitors vs. overall internet users.

With this information, the website owner can make better content decisions and develop ads to target key groups. Specific efforts like these increase the likelihood of making a conversion.

Geographic data

This tool pinpoints the location of website traffic. It shows the Page Views, Unique Viewers, Bounce Rate, and Average Visit Duration. A map visually displays visitors’ locations, which is useful for targeting social and search ads, or determining the main target markets or market layers.

New and returning visitors

Baidu Analytics gives a percentage of new and returning visitors to a website, showing specific session data and time on site.

Loyalty – Frequency, Recency and Engagement

These reports indicate how often a visitor comes to the website, how many days (on average) between sessions for repeat visitors, how long visitors stay on site and how many pages visited in a single session.


Gain insight on how visitors are logging on to a website – the browser, operating systems and network. This information directs companies when they optimize their website or are determining the best method to engage users.

Final Words

Baidu’s suite of tools – all free to use – offer tremendous insights into the China market and specific audiences. Whether a company is looking to start an online business in China, or has already opened shop, these three tools should be used as a starting point for online strategy and a way to gain continuing insight into customers and their behaviors.

Rebecca Li is a digital marketing strategist for KoMarketing Associates – specializing in Pay-Per-Click (PPC) campaign management with Google Adwords and Baidu Ads. Being fluent in English, Mandarin and Cantonese, she helps U.S. clients manage international digital marketing campaigns.

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