Ultimate Chinese keyword research guide : pros and cons

Chinese keyword research toolOnline marketers need to build their website based on keywords structure, especially for search engine marketers. In that sense, keyword research plays a very important role to your online marketing campaign, if not decisive.

When communicating with many clients(even the clients are professionals in online marketing industry), we found many of them don’t realize the value of keyword research, some of them lost in translation and localization, most of them are puzzled with Chinese keyword research due to unfamiliarity with Chinese language, Chinese keyword research tools and keyword research practice in China. So we would like to use this article to introduce the ins and outs, pros and cons for Chinese keyword research.

1)      Keyword research tools

The major keyword research and suggestion tools in China are: Baidu keyword research tool, google adwords keyword tool and Alibaba keyword suggestion tool.

Baidu.com and google.com.hk are two major search engines in China, account for more than 95% search market shares. So the keyword data(keyword suggestion, search volume, search frequency) provided by them are the major sources for keyword research. Meta.cn has combined the keyword suggestion tools from second tiers search engines such as soso.com, youdao.com, sogou.com, that is a very good supplementary way to find keyword ideas.

For products related keywords research, Alibaba is arguably the No.1 keyword tool. According to statistics, Aliaba has more than 40 million registered users, mostly large quantity buyers and sellers. So the internal search of alibaba is like a business search engine, the users are of high quality, the data they left behind has high quality.

Excellent western keyword tool like wordtracker is designed for English language, we seldom use it for Chinese campaign.

2)      Hire translator who know your industry

Many of my clients have launched successful online marketing campaign in their own countries, so they think they just need to translate their keyword groups into Chinese, copy their marketing campaign to China and wait for the success to come.

THAT IS NOT TRUE. As we mentioned, due to the language difference, we must not directly translated the keywords into China, it is like 50% of them can be translated directly, the rest 50% need to be deleted, then we do the keyword research with Chinese keyword tool, consult Chinese marketing and industry expert to come up with keyword ideas. Do it in the wrong way, your Chinese campaign will be ruined.

We recently did a translation project for a company that sells fancy show pigeons. The breeds of pigeons are very difficult to translate, we have looked up many documents online and offline, there are not many translation documents existing in this niche. We are fully aware that we must dig out the most appropriate terms/names for those pigeons so when Chinese pigeon buyers search, they can find us. We decided to hire a few fancy pigeon experts, we show them picture by picture of pigeon breeds to determine the translation for the American pigeons.

3)      Use PPC campaign to test keywords

Some online marketers will use search frequence on google, baidu(baidu do provide keyword frequence data since recently) and alibaba to sort out the importance of keywords, and then launch the marketing campaign based on that.

I would suggest to do a PPC campaign on baidu, google and alibaba(learn more about alibaba PPC) to test the impression volume, click volume, click through rate and conversion rate to judge the importance of the keywords. You might be surprised to find out the search frequence you gathered through PPC campaign are greatly different from the keyword tools. Another reason is that some keywords do have large search volume, click through rate, you use a lot of money but there is no conversion at all, those keywords shouldn’t be your focus.

4)      Use tracking and analytics tool

If you are using google analytics(or any other analytics and tracking tools), you might surprised to find that quite a large number of keywords that drive traffic to your websites are keywords that you never thought of. You might targeting keyword A, while Keywords B bring you more success. The data of your analytics tool is a gold mine to search for keywords idea.

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