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Learn from Bridget, our Baidu SEM expert, who answers all the questions you could have on how marketing on Baidu works:
And understand the key variables to know to reach positive ROI on your China SEM spending.
This an example of 31Ten’s China digital strategy and online marketing training sessions. Contact us at email@example.com to learn how we can help train your team with digital marketing in China.
For your convenience, here is also the full transcript of the video:
Bridget- I’m Bridget. I’ve been working in digital marketing for like three to four years.
I know many of you are more experienced than me, so I’ll like to share some knowledge I have.
So today, this is the topic we’re going to cover today.
What is SEM, how it works, what are the players and the target pay products, how to classify different keywords, identify your own strategy, to set up a reasonable goal, ROI, and how to optimize the campaigns.
First, what is SEM? It is the abbreviation of Search Engine Marketing before, SEM includes paid search and SEO.
SEO is search engine optimization. It is without any extra costBut for paid search, you have to pay, you have to run the advertisement and pay to the platform.
Now, when we talk about SEM, it is only referred to our paid search here.
In SEM you now have two types. One is CPC.
I put PPC here because previously people called it PPC.
So CPC is cost per click because people saw your advertisement, they clicked it they pay for each click and the other type is for banner campaigns which use CPM as a way to pay.
So, the platform is going to charge you if you show 1,000 people your ads.
The platform is going to have an estimation. So when somebody search for your related relevant keywords, your ad will show there, once your ads show there, the platform copies it as your impression.
Who are the players? Basically, I will channel it to Google, Bing, Yahoo, by the way before Bing Ads and Yahoo Ads they were separated but three years ago, these two platforms combine together.
Bing, Yahoo are together now. Only in Japan, Yahoo Japan is running independently.
This is the only remaining of Yahoo, Yahoo Japan? I’ll say yes.
Yahoo Japan, Yahoo and Bing in other countries, they are together now.
So in China Mainland, it’s Baidu, 360 and Sogou. If I’m not wrong, Baidu still takes about 75% of the market share.
All of these three platforms, they have similar products We are going to check later. We are going to take Baidu as an example and check later.
Before the CPC, 360 and Sogou are a little bit cheaper than Baidu because they were just starting their paid search business but now they are more expensive. But for other products like brand zone which is only for increasing brand awareness we are going to check it later though.
360 and Sogou, their CPC is a little bit lower.
Now let’s just take a look on products Baidu has.
It must be varied, each search result now according to the latest China’s advertisement regulations, they have to highlight all the paid ads. Before they used Teiba for promotion which might cause some confusion to the visitors, because maybe they don’t know it’s paid advertisement but now they have Baidu much include Guangao which is paid advertisement in the bottom of each chart. So we call this creative, this is creative. We’re going to check the back office of Baidu or quick wall later.
We call this creative and we have the URL which is the place you want to drive your client to and the thing which the user puts here is a search term.
So, once you bid for specific keywords which match the search term which the users put, it’s going to trigger our campaign, so our ads is going to show here and you can see our advertising, okay.
If there’s something like that is the same, the thing which we call site links in Google Adwords so, for example, for 31Ten, you want to promote this company and you have different services like SEO, SEM and digital marketing, you could put 31Ten as the headline and put some description here and then you put SEO, SEM or digital marketing here and you can drag the traffic to each specific page, okay.
Here is Baidu Tieba, and you can see you can pay for the advertisement here as well.
Basically all the products on Baidu, you can pay for getting a specific advertisement place for Baidu Baike, it is more for SEO, it’s more for work but few years ago, it is totally for free. You can just create the term here to show maybe you want to talk about your company and you can create a term for your company here, it is totally for free.
But, recently like since I started working in SEO, I always have to pay for it it cost like (RMB) 2000 to have this Baidu Baike page confirm it.
Audience- Can you add it if you wanted to update your..
Bridget- Yes, we can add it to the link. yes… For free? For free yes
Audience- Did you say you have to pay (RMB) 2000 to officially build the initial page?
Bridget- Yes, to approve this page.
Audience- So it’s not free anymore? They all say it is free.
Now if you ask for results, people always say it is totally for free.
Bridget- I never get it for free unless I pay for it.
Audience- Okay, its free but nobody will find you if you don’t pay it,
Bridget- it won’t get approved. Okay.
Baidu Zhidao is really helpful for content marketing. By the way this kind of information, the data these are the data I got from 2016 and Baidu news, Baidu music, you can pay to get a place to display your ads anywhere in both Baidu news and music and pictures and videos, a lot of things.
Mainly, people run brand zone campaigns and ads mainly on Baidu Baike to see the ads here. They run the campaigns on Baidu pictures, Baidu videos as well so, they are going to be a lot of different strategies which are going to be set for Each one cases.
So I classify different strategies into three.
First it’s keyword marketing which includes search in Baidu
Brand zone and we are going to spend more time talking about the keyword marketing today.
And then is precise orientation.
Google displays GPN and targeting stuff that can help you to target your client more precisely and multimedia marketing. Image and videos, Baidu calls it ___?
I didn’t try all the products here. Baidu has thousands of products.
So this is what we’ve mentioned before, PC search, mobile search, brand zone, they have brand zone on Zhidao, picture, video, mobile
Audience- Can you quickly introduce what is the brand zone?
Here is brand zone.
When you search for branding, please keep in mind
brand zone is only working for brand name you can only purchase brand names.
So what is a brand name?
Brand name is the term which includes your brand name or brand information 31Ten is a brand name, LV is a brand name, Chanel or Dior they are brand names brand zone is only working for brand names, brand keywords or something.
So, apart from brand keywords, we have non-branded keywords we are going to check it later. I like to say brand zone is extremely expensive. So, I haven’t run brand zone campaigns
for almost like a year. The beginning of last year, the minimum investment,
generally, the minimum investment was RMB 100,000 per month to start a brand zone campaign. And the price is different depends on the industry or categories
Audience- Which one is most expensive?
Bridget- Travel, hotel or real estate
Audience- And when you start brand zone brand name campaign, is it just because,
“Oh, we are 31Ten”, people are searching for 31Ten and they have that campaign appearing I’m looking for digital strategies in Shanghai and…
Bridget- When you do this brand zone campaigns only when people start their campaigns
Only for brand keywords so it is extremely expensive and normally only luxury brands, cars, and cosmetic brands, they would like to try this kind of campaign the latest information I have is the CPC for each click for cosmetics is RMB 5
Audience- So it’s going to attract new clients a bit more?
It is more like to enhance your brand image but brand names comes to mind
It’s not really efficient for getting conversions.
These are the cost brands, better if you could go back it is just a search bar for the SERP Baidu Baike these are recommended links on the right side this is how it looks like on the mobile version it displays SEM links, it is available to call directly (…?)
If you are promoting your application, it is better to download the application directly.
This is where I mentioned you can do brand zone on Baidu image, Baidu picture, Baidu searching with events the brand keyword here and you can see the brand zone is way better here this is how it looks like on mobile devices.
And even on Baidu preferences we can set up geographic location, here users are just searching this generically here it is so It is very expensive if you want to tell themm
Anyway all the internet users in China, if you are a car-seller based in Shanghai and you want to transfer the people to offline store you can start up your campaign only targeting the users in Shanghai.
So only the people in Shanghai can see your ads. You can then save your cost so if you’re going to see the job overview, they just locate it in Shanghai
Audience- So in the beginning you can even say that I’m in Shanghai, but only Jing’an district?
Brigdet- No,Shanghai is the smallest one
Okay, so here we have to talk about keywords. I think we can have a look at the ads on Baidu
We have here pictures of the Baike structure, so this is the Baidu structure, this is the creative client which they are not using this account anymore. Here-
The web version is only in Chinese but they have a software which you can download, they have English version they have both both English and Chinese version.
So this is a dashboard. You are going to see what is your total cost, what’s the total impression, the clicks, the CTR which is the click-through rate the CPC which is pay per click. So each click. How much will it cost for getting each click
Audience- Click-through rate?
Bridget- Click-through rate.
Meaning the impressions divided by clicks, yes.
Okay, Here it is. This is the structure, the manufacturer of a
Baidu Tuiguang campaign. So first under one count, we can set up different campaigns, this is campaigns and under one campaign we can serve different ad groups it is exactly the same as Google Adwords or Bing Ads, exactly the same.
Under each ad group, we can set two keywords the URL which is the destination page, we want to drive traffic to creative, we saw it before it’s just an ad.
This is site links, like we mentioned the sub services that 31Ten could provide.
And this is the advanced format like you want to put a brand image or brand logo on the left of your creative available for you.
So here, we are going to see we have different ad groups, and the basic information is displayed somewhere here.
In each ad group, you can purchase like… there is no limitation for how many keywords you can purchase but normally in order to manage it easily, I can recommend just put 20-30 set of keywords in each ad group outside of the relevant creative and also there are some factors
regarding to the ranking of the keywords.
For example, the qualityof the keywords, the search volume CPC, something like that and the relevance of the creative and the keywords and the destination URL would affect the quality score of the keyword form.
Audience- So actually when you want to do campaigns, you buy keywords?
Bridget- Yes, you buy keywords.
Audience- How do you buy keywords because I want to do campaigns
and I have 20 keywords and I assume that I don’t know, under car company, car
I assume that keyword is really expensive.
Does it mean that for like 100 I can have that keyword but the other one will have the keyword also for 100 or for a 100 I have the keyword for the next two weeks for me
Bridget- Actually, you are not the only advertiser that’s going to bid for that keyword
because you have fellow advertisers, right? So you’re right if you a bid for the keyword car which is very expensive and I think it’s the most broad generic keywords.
So you have to make it more specific.
Like what kind of car, car for home, car for lady, car for…
Audience- Yes, but if I want to car and I have unlimited money
and I want to buy the keyword car, do I have an exclusive
usage of the keyword car?
Bridget- No, you can have the exclusive usage of your brand name, but never the generic keywords, never.
Audience- So even if it would be 1 Million? No, it’s impossible
If another one pay 1 Million, it would have… it’s impossible.
If you’re the highest bid, you would have a budget for a day, so, if you have the highest bid, you would run out your budget and the next…
Bridget- You can set up an account budget like the and you can set up a daily budget and you can set up a budget for each of your campaigns as well.
Audience- So everyday you have to…
Bridget- You have to adjust it when you want to optimize it but only when your investment in budget in account runs out. Then you have to put more money.
Audience- How does the matching of the keyword work because you have exact
matches and then you have loose matches. How does that work?
Bridget- There are three different match types in Baidu;
One is exact match
For example, when someone search for 31Ten which means and you buy the keyword 31Ten and you use exact match that means people have to put exactly the same as “31Ten” with the same sequence same people.
Then, they are available to see your ads and there is wrong match so if you put 31 space Ten with Baidu keywords no matter if you put 31 or Ten or Ten 31, they are available to see the ads.
There is also another type of phrase match, which is the “quote”
This mark. It is like in the middle of exact match and broad match it’s not that broad as broad match but it is not that strict as exact match.
Audience- Now, what would be your recommendations for campaign clouding in terms of …
Bridget- When I said campaign, normally I use broad match to target as much keywords as I can. If I use broad match I would not pay for two generic keywords. I would try more at least two words.
A combination of two words or better three words.
So, if the keyword contains three or more words, it’s called long tail, in long tail, it looks like how to get into diplomatic service, this is like a keyword more.
It is more precise to get the better traffic.
Yeah, but more precise, lower traffic volume, you have to balance it.
…According to the data. In the first week, like first seven to 10 days, we are going to use the broad match to target a combination of two or three words or long tail of keywords and after that I’m going to take out the keywords with low search volume and the keywords with very low CTR and the most, the least efficient keywords.
They bring a lot of traffic but there is no engagement, but they don’t have any interaction on my website.
And from day 20 to day 30, I would consider if I need to change or adjust the structure of the count to see how I can manage it better.
There is going to be a lot of data to value to measure if your campaigns are working good or not.
Like you can take CTR which is the click through rate, to measure if people are really interested in your ads.
So if they see your ads and your ad that you created is eye-catching, probably they’re going to click it and go to your website if the CTR is very low, maybe it means your creative is not attractive enough.
You can also see a bounce rate if people go to your website and just leave it.
Maybe they are not interested with the content you provided or the content on your website is not relevant to your creative.
Also, you can see the staying time on your website to see their curiosity how much they are interested in the product or content you provide.
Audience- Does Baidu provide landing pages of their own?
Like, ads that they use for specific campaign if you run a campaign and you have a landing page, that Baidu provides a landing page and instead of buying thousands of clicks, you buy leads
Bridget- I don’t think so. I don’t know, I don’t think so.
Normally, people just create on their own page in any website.
I thought Zoe asked a question on trigger.
You asked how to find the appropriate keywords and we have two ways.
So here in keywords, when you create more keywords, when you click here, there are going to be a lot of recommended keywords if you put your industry you’re working on or you just put the URL of the destination page you want to drive the client to they are going to provide some recommended keywords.
Also, there is a tool called keyword assistance provided by Baidu, they can provide you some idea on what kind of keyword.
In the recommended list, you’re going to see the estimated traffic for, you’re going to see how much it’s going to cost for getting the top one ranking, top two to top five, you can see this kind of data, estimated CPC.
If you put some Chinese name here, they’re going to show you a list of keywords.
When you pay for specific position, the ranks.
You see, LV, and there are going to be extension of the key words, like LV handbag the Baidu keyword system is available to download, it is a software to download so this is going to show you the competition situation of the keyword like how many people compete to pay for the same keyword and if you want to rent for top place, how much it would cost you.
Normally, if your business goal is branding
then it’s always better to have top one, top two
but the conversion rate may be low, CTR may be low.
So normally, I would recommend to bid for level three to level five
it’s a bit safer, because if you’re ranked at the top or second position
it is going to cost like clicks or random clicks.
They’re going to click it but they’re going to leave your website very soon.
Also, sometimes I use Baidu Index to check for the keywords which I should leverage as well.
So in Baidu Index when you search for something they’re going to provide you relevant keywords or relevant search terms or relevant terms that we’ve been talking about or the specific terms you are searching for.
So Baidu, the tool on Baidu works directly, the download softwareand Baidu Index are then used to search for the keywords and the web page.
This is where we talked about before brand zone.
This is only for brand names. Baidu has another products which allow you to pay for generic keywords or industry keywords.
It’s called Baidu Baibo.
It is the same format that allows you to purchase words, specific industry keywords.
For keywords like car, it’s too generic, I don’t think Baidu will allow you to do that.
It allows you to see the product portfolio of Baidu matrix.
There are so many paid products, when choosing the keywords, basically when you set up your creative try out your own keyword strategy to cover the whole client purchase here.
To add meaning when they search for specific products you can have more generic keywords.
This is called generic keywords, very broad generic keywords.
And then the consideration is not here again, It then starts getting more specific and then the purchase is more specific normally, it’s just the long tail keyword which contain three or two more words.
And during a loyalty term, you can pick for branding keywords because they already know your brand, the brand keywords are always cheaper and more efficient. But there is the thing.
If you have a brand, you have big brand awareness, probably your competitors are going to buy your brand keywords as well.
Of course you can buy your competitors’ as well.
It’s very tricky, because Baidu… they buy your keyword? Yes
If you rate your… to their website, yes.
Audience- So it’s possible to…?
How do you know the first results has balance.
Bridget- No you can’t, because they’ve already know about brand zone.
This is the benefits of running brand zone campaigns.
You have the brand potential but for the brands which you have not branded in brand zone campaigns.
Baidu claims if you can provide some certificate to show your older brands and, they can provide you brand protection. Other people cannot purchase your keyword but it is just a figurine.
Lest I forget, for foreign companies to get this kind of certificate it’s pretty complicated. for Chinese companies located here it’s easier but for foreign companies, it’s a little bit complicated.
You have to prepare a lot of certificates and sometimes you register your brand out of China and you have to prove something, it is a little complicated.
It’s a very tricky way to drive the traffic.
That no, I think that’s too generic.
For example the keywords in Hotel Trem, the brand name is Melia and Ctrip or these kind of OTA platforms, they purchased that keyword because they haven’t registered in China yet.
Audience- So when you search for it, you’re going to Ctrip at the top?
Bridget- Yes, Ctrip at the top and these kind of OTA, they have the financial power to bid a lot for getting a better position.
So now, let’s talk about how to define a keyword strategy.
So I have to say, to define your own keyword strategy, 100% depends on your business points.
You work out your conversion, of course everybody is working for getting conversion and some luxury brands they want their branding or for some new products or startup companies, they want to do some branding campaigns, but normally we use hybrid for a multinational branding campaigns.
Audience- What’s hybrid?
Bridget- It depends. You decide which is going to be the percentage of branding campaigns and conversions in your Baidu SEM account.
So I would say, in the Baidu account, underneath, you can set up Baidu campaigns
in different campaigns in Baidu, I would say to separate campaigns match different businesses (business goals?).
Conversion upgrade, do not mix them together.
I could see different keyword under the same group?
-Yes, you can, under the same…
Audience- I’m assuming different keywords?
Same keyword coming in the same place in different campaigns
Audience- No, same campaigns, different keywords but separate products?
In Baidu, please do not pay for the same keyword in different campaigns
otherwise you’ll be competing with yourself.
Because before I was working with a hotel brand and you know hotels have thousands, millions of keywords and at the end, everything is just like out of control and they could not manage it, they are just competing with themselves and they rated the CPC higher and higher.
Audience- Maybe you can give an example for conversion campaigns, of what keywords you would think you would use what copy you would show for running campaigns.
Bridget- For campaign keywords, normally long tail keywords work better Long tail keyword with three or more keywords a combination of three or more keywords work better because people type that when they search something with long search terms, they normally know what they are looking for.
All the brand keywords work better, but of course it brings smaller traffic volume.
Audience-Is smaller traffic volume better?
Bridget- Yes, normally, yes. For those keywords, exactly and regarding your creative, it is very important to put a CTA here like ”buy now” ensure that you highlight the salient point and we can show the site links under the creative, under the headline. It is headline, and description, and URL, there is site links.
We should maximize leverage so you have more content or opportunity to show your unique selling point and here is the limitation for writing the content.
For Baidu it is it is 20 Chinese characters, and 70 for description.
For Google it is like 25 and 50 For branding campaigns, I always use more abstract and good for words for the creative but when you select the keywords, you should go for more generic keywords.
Okay and of course brand keywords. So for the start ups, it gets pretty important to invest money in more broader generic keywords.
Here I put in the checklist on how you do optimization because it is very important to optimize your account of your campaign from time to time for SEM campaigns.
You have to check the performance everyday. It is necessary, especially when you’ve just set up your account, maybe twice or three times a day, you have to check it and you have to optimize it to see if there is any keyword which cost a lot of money but brings nothing.
Here, I put some key data. Impressions, which is when the platform show our ads where our ads is displayed on the search result page.
CTR is very quick cost, CPC, cost of click and data related to ROI which is the arrival percentage, cost per visit, the bounce rate, staying time, the leads which we can see conversions and conversion rate CPA, cost for acquisition or you say cost per leads, all the memory are affected.
Baidu has another tool which is the tracking tool and they are copying other leads which is called Baidu Tongji.
You would be able to get all these information from Baidu Tongji.
There are two. I’m going to show you the whole conversion funnel so your first goal is to get the clients to remain on your website from SEM campaign, then you want them to go for the products detail page then, you want them to fill out their information and you want them to submit’.
So, you can set up a different goal for each landing page and see how the campaign performs from Baidu itself to Tongji all this data for each step on Baidu Tongji and this is just the checklist going through optimization.
This is where I mentioned before, a product portfolio, portfolio matrix of Baidu. For SEM, they have PC SEM and mobile SEM.
So here, the English is displayed, it’s just like Google, Google-display network to the end.
They have CPC, DSP demand site platform and mobile stuff.
Here, it’s only for branding so it is brand zone and different format of brand zone.
Like when we say Baidu pictures and videos and this is what I mentioned (name?. This allows you to bidding for more generic keywords and advertise the layout on search result page.
This, it is only for Baidu pictures.
So when you look for beautiful cars, it is a very generic keyword, if you join this campaign on the search result page, on the top of the page, you’re going to see, you’re going to display the picture of your product inside there.
This is the multimedia products I mentioned before Baidu has a number of paid products and they are updating the products, like I think, twice a year. 360 and Sogou, they have the same structure.
Actually, 360 has more available products, except the product for SEM for mobile and PC
on 360, Sogou, Baidu, the CPC is more or less the same now.
For the rest of the products on Sogou on 360, the CPC is better (?).
That’s it. Thank you.
Audience- Maybe you can do a very quick introduction about the difference between SEM and SEO because some people can confuse them in the tutorials.
Bridget- I think SEM and SEO are both, the aim of both matter are to drive the traffic to your website and to get a better
ranking or index by the search engines. For SEO it is free, and normally you would do SEO by setting the keywords on the website to adjust the structure of your website.
Audience- So SEO is more technical…
Bridget- I think so..
Audience- It’s content, SEO is related to content.
Does Baidu penalize over-optimization, like Google, if you have an SEO and if you rank more than 80% for optimization, it’s like the limit.
Bridget- I have never heard Baidu have something like that.
A lot of people say Baidu optimization is useless but I don’t think so.
And, I think SEO is long term strategy, you won’t see a very fast feedback in a short time.
Like at least you have to wait 1 to 3 months to see the feedback but for SEM you’re going to see the traffic increase very fast, like five days, a week you’re going to see the increased traffic
and you’re paying for that traffic.
Audience- Is it a lot harder, the SEO?
Bridget- It’s harder to see a feedback,
Maybe I’m not a professional SEO. I think it is harder to do SEO on Baidu than it is on Google.
Audience- How would you advise a brand that is arriving here in China, what KPIs do you think they should set for themselves for their SEM performance?
I know it depends a lot on the industry, but typically, what budget should they set for themselves and what kind of returns can they expect from it?
Bridget- Yes, ROI. I would recommend two things, one is CPA.
What is the CPA they can afford? How much do they want to pay to get a lead or let’s say a client, the other is Return on Investment (RoI), it really depends on their business.
Audience- Maybe you can provide a simple example of one industry that you know.
Bridget- The hotel industry. The ROAS, the return on advertising spending, must
be higher than 8, you’re losing money.
Because they have a lot of costs,
-So you must reach 8.
So when you pay for one as the advertising spending, you get 8 as the revenue. Let’s say ROAS, return of advertising spending.
In this case, if my business goal is conversion, I need to choose a conversion strategy which means any campaigns, keywords bring the ROI under 8, I should take them out, this is very conversion-driven but it is impossible as a company just coming into China, you must include the branding stuff. At the beginning, I would suggest half-half.
So, half for conversion, half for branding. I think as an agency it is pretty important to let them know at the beginning maybe you won’t see any huge feedback when you’re investing in brand campaigns.
So how could you define your branding campaigns got some feedback?
You can check Baidu Index. It is a non existing brand in China before, maybe nobody knows that brand, so nobody searches for it.
So this keyword haven’t been indexed by Baidu.
We cant find any search result in Baidu Index.
After you’re running your branding campaigns, after like two or three months at least,
maybe you’re going to see these keyword have been indexed by Baidu Index.
To me, it is a big step.
Audience- You are saying, I could have one keyword and I could use the keyword and I’ve searched for all the brand name and tomorrow it’s not going to show in Baidu Index?
Bridget- No of course not.
Baidu Index only include the terms which have at least three search request everyday at the databases.
Audience- What’s the point of buying your own keyword if it’s not showing?
Bridget- You are not only buying your own brand keywords to increase your brand awareness, you have to have to leverage the generic keywords as well, to drive customers to your website and let them see your keywords and remember you have different match types so when you use broad match, if people are searching for a brand for handbag they just type handbag, if you are using the broad match and the keywords you’re bidding is the brand name plus handbag
then your ads would be very sure (available?) and it is an influence to the clients to know your brand
Audience- You’re mentioning that there is an optimization process
especially when you start a SEM strategy. What is the time it takes to reach that optimum learning of keyword of what’s best for SEM?
Bridget- One month, not less than 30 days.
Audience- So to reach that, for example the hotel industry, to reach that 1 to 8 ratio, it would typically take a month?
Bridget- For that Baidu SEM campaigns, to reach our ROI, it depends a lot on brand awareness.
If you have a better brand awareness, it’s much more easier to reach your goal.
So, it is very important to set up a reasonable ROI.
For example, I was working with the regional office for their hotel chain.
But in China, they have no brand awareness. Nobody knows them.
So basically 90% of their campaigns are for branding, just 10% could be conversion-driven.
Audience- For example, in the auto industry, does the environment change very often?
Like is it very fast?
Bridget- -No, the environment doesn’t change very fast but the CPC increases insanely every year.
Audience- What would you say is the trend for SEM in terms of cost because if I’m not mistaken, the cost of SEM is much higher here in China for a lot of industries, where do you see it going?
Bridget- I think the increase won’t stop. It’s going to keep increasing and the platform would create different types and format of products.
Because for a lot of brands, especially for the brand brands, it’s kind of very awkward in the environment, situation.
If you stop investing in SEM, you lose the traffic and nobody will visit your website.
They just want to keep the minimum traffic, then they have to keep investing, they won’t stop, so the CPC is going to go higher and higher because there would be more and more competitors joining the competition.
So I don’t think it will stop but you can also find some other format for a new product you can try.
Audience- But if SEO actually becomes very effective,
would SEM eventually go down?
Bridget- SEM? Yes, in a short time, you can leverage SEM to help increase your traffic
but SEO is the long term strategy so when your SEO works well you could consider to decrease the budget of your SEM campaigns.
Audience- In a company like Tmall, do they do SEM more or…
Bridget- They do SEM, on their platform, they have SEM product among all
They are not just a search engine so I didn’t put it here.
But Taobao has their own SEM product on their platform
Audience- But I was thinking about, on Baidu?
Bridget- Yes, they have purchased the keywords and all.
Yes, a lot of competitive keywords.
Audience- For me, it works alone, everyone knows Tmall, so…
Bridget- it’s like “I have money, I just want to be the top one”.
Audience- For a junior that’s never been in involved in this industry, how long does it take to get familiarized with SEM and SEO?
Bridget- Actually it’s going to be enough to understand the whole logicand basic stuff, it is important to read the data into optimized,you have to track it.
If you don’t track it or measure it,it doesn’t make any sense, you cannot optimize it.
For optimization? It won’t stop.
Normally, I would say three to six months. you would have more confidence in managing the campaign and it depends on the account, how complicated the account you’re managing is.
Audience- Would you recommend, for a brand, does it make sense to have an account on Baidu then on 360 and Sogou as well? When does it make sense because you’re multiplying the effort?
Bridget- If your budget is limited, like you only have RMB 10,000, just go for Baidu, don’t try any other platform because it’s still dominating, the biggest player.
But if you have more budget, I would say be on different platforms multiple platforms.
Audience-For example, like the audience for Sogou and 360 and Baidu varies a lot, or you have Baidu with 20%, so it has all the fields of targets, but if you go to Sogou is it more popular in a very specific range of people?
Bridget- I don’t think so. A lot of people use 360 just because they installed the browser.
So I don’t think that people are going to be very different.
Also there is a limited entrance fee for Baidu advertisement which is RMB 6000 and you have to pay technical support fee I think it’s RMB 1,000.
Audience- So you have to pay for at least RMB 7000
Bridget- Yes, very necessary.
Audience- What would you say is the typical SEM budget for a SME B2B and B2C, what is the typical budget that they should have?
Bridget- I would recommend at least RMB 10,000 for two months.
Audience- For a year, what’s the typical yearly budget?
Bridget- -For a year, the budget is RMB 50,000
Audience- The very minimum?
Bridget-Yes, the very minimum. It always start with testing, I have to say.
There are a lot of ways to optimize if your budget is limited.
You can adjust to the time period.
You don’t have to target all the cities in China, you can have specific cities, where your target audience is located. You can also select specific display time, like you want to target mothers, normally, they sleep early, midnight won’t be the proper time to show your advertisement, so you can just schedule, post the campaign during the time only show the advertisement to them during the period that they are going to wake up and you can increase the bid for specific time period as well.
How you get this data? From reading the tracking data.
Audience- As a senior SEM professional, what would you say are the number one mistakes to avoid when you start the SEM, when you build and strategize SEM campaign?
Bridget- This is a very stupid mistake, but in each project I worked with,
I remember all of these accounts I take over from someone has this problem I think it is a very basic, simple logic to never have duplicated keywords in the same account but when your account is getting more complicated and has more keywords, it’s very difficult to manage.
And also the structure is important.
Audience- And as the opposite, what are the best tactics that you have found and you have seen working?
Bridget- Copy the competitors ‘keywords strategy.
Just see what they are doing, this is the easiest way.
Because, not all of us are the expert or professionals for a specific industry, right?
We need time to learn more about each industry, so copying your competitors is easier and faster.
Audience- You have to share tactics that were very effective, like keywords that nobody thought about that were particularly effective as brand awareness and conversions?
Bridget- I’ve used a lot of descriptive keywords, when I worked with hotel brands, it worked very well. Like “boutique”, or “high-end”, more descriptive keywords.
Because normally people are going to search for very generic nouns but not that much people are going to use the objective words to describe or to look for objective keywords.
So put it in the keyword platform.
This is my experience just with the hotel chain.
Audience- Very well, that’s it for today.