Four Unique Features Found In Baidu Paid Search Management

In my previous post, we discussed eight ways that Baidu advertising differs from Google AdWords from an account and setting perspective.

Today, I will share four unique features of Baidu paid search advertising management to help better target the China market: keywords, ad groups, ad creative, and sitelinks.

Unique point in digital marketing

Keywords – Match Types

In AdWords, there are four keywords match types – broad, broad modifier, phrase, and exact match.

In Baidu paid search advertising this is not the same case. Because of the unique spelling in Chinese text, words can have very different meanings if they are grouped with same characters but different sequences.

Therefore, there can be more variety in Baidu advertising keyword match types.

First off, there is no broad modifier match type in Baidu Paid Search. In addition, phrase match is divided into three different phrase “types”.

In total, there are five match types in Baidu:

  • Broad Match

Similar to the broad match type in AdWords, the ads are triggered by search terms that are relevant to the target keywords, even if the characters are not specifically in the keywords.

Compared to the AdWords, Baidu PPC Broad Match can be much broader than the original meanings because the broad match is based on each Chinese character, unlike the AdWords that are based on the English words.

  • Phrase Match-Core Phrase (Broad Phrase)

Baidu will show the ads when someone searches for a term that contains the same core meaning of your target phrase, including synonyms or phrases with different sequences. In my experience, Core Phrase Match in Baidu is more like broad match found in AdWords.

  • Phrase Match – Synonym Phrase

These ads are triggered when someone searches phrases containing synonyms of target phrases.

  • Phrase Match – Exact Phrase

These ads are triggered when someone searches phrases containing an exact target phrase. This is more like the typical phrase match type found in AdWords.

  • Exact Match

Exact Match works similarly to AdWords – the ads can only be triggered when people search for the exact same terms.

Ad Group – Bids & Keywords Structure

With Google AdWords, an easy way to set keyword bids is to set a maximum cost per click to cover all keywords at the ad group level.

B2B marketers can also put the same keywords with different match types in one ad group, and set a single bid for all of them.

In similar fashion, Baidu paid search allows advertisers to set a firm bid at the ad group level to control all keywords at once.

However, Baidu doesn’t allow the same keywords to be put within one ad group even if they are with different match types. If you need to use the same keywords with different match types in your campaign, you can only set up a broad match group, phrase match group, and exact match group for some or all the keywords respectively.

This might make the account management very complicated, and the account structure cumbersome.

To solve this issue, Baidu introduced a new feature at the ad group level in 2015 – bid adjustment based on match types.

By turning on this feature, the bid of keywords within one ad group can be adjusted based on the match types, and the ads will be triggered by search terms with various match types.

For example, you can set your bid adjustment for one ad group as follows:

Bid of broad match= the original CPC *0: it means the broad match search term will not trigger the ads.

Bid of phrase match= the original CPC *1: it means the CPC will keep the same if the search term is the same as the target phrase.

Bid of exact match= the original CPC *2: it means the CPC will be doubled and the traffic is more qualified if the search term is the exact match of your target phrase.

Then, one keyword, “Global Freight” with a bid of $2 for example, will be triggered by the term “Global Freight Shipping” at the same CPC as $2, and the exact match “Global Freight” will be triggered at a bid of $4.

Baidu Paid Search Ad Group Bid Adjustment

With this bid adjustment,  B2B marketers don’t need to set separate ad groups for various match type keywords, potentially providing a great deal more flexibility with PPC bid management.

Ad Creative – Content & Type

With Google AdWords, search-specific ads can are only text-specific. AdWords typically allows text copy to follow a 25-35-35 rule. This consists of one headline of up to 25 characters, and two description lines of up to 35 characters.

In May 2016, AdWords announced that the ad character limits changed to 30-30-80, which made the ads more prominent and longer. Many advertisers were happy with the ETAs (expanded text ads) because they found that their click-through-rate had increased.

Advertisers may be even happier running paid search campaigns on Baidu because character limits are greater via text ads. For Baidu text ads:

  • The maximum character limit for the headline is 50 characters.
  • The description line is up to 80 characters, and there are two lines of description!
  • In total, there are 210 characters that B2B marketers can leverage to deliver ads.

Like AdWords, Baidu paid search ads allow Keyword Insertion to make the inserted key phrases more attractive to the visitors.

However in Baidu advertising, key terms become red in search results, potentially more eye-catching, compared to this same feature in AdWords. Moreover, Baidu also provides Location Insertion, which can dynamically reveal the visitors’ location into the ads.

In 2015, Baidu also launched a new type of ad called Text + Image (Video) ad. By simply uploading an image or video into the paid search platform, the media will be shown together with the traditional text ads if the ad is at the top position.

This may help advertisers to grab a larger retail space on the SERP, making ads more attractive to searchers and significantly improves the CTR. (see below).

Baidu Paid Search Text & Image Ads

Ad Extension

Most B2B marketers are familiar with AdWords extensions including Sitelink, Callout, Call Extension, and Structure Snippet.

With Baidu paid advertising, there is a wider range of ad extensions that can be leveraged. The three primary extensions are as follows:

  • Sitelink

Similar to AdWords, B2B marketers can create sitelink extensions to add more links to the ads, which leads people to specific pages, such as a page of particular product, a form to submit, a whitepaper to download, or more. On the desktop device, advertisers can create 3 to 5 links with a character limit up to 56, while on the mobile, they can create 1- 4 links with a character limit up to 32.

  • Shantou – Directory & Listing

Shantou is an advanced ad style that contains multiple choices, including directory and listing ads.

With the directory ad, B2B marketers can create your primary categories of services or products first, and then list out the links of the sub-categories. (See below)

Shantou Directory Ads

The listing ad is more like a combination of sitelink and callout. Advertisers can create the links of each category first, and then list out their descriptions, benefits or advantages through a few words. (See below)

Baidu Shantou Listing Ads

  • Dynamic Callouts

Unlike Google AdWords Callout extensions, advertisers cannot generate the callout list manually. The system will create it for an advertiser automatically this feature is enabled. The callout is one sentence shown under the regular headline to indicate the benefits of particular product or service, based on historical ad creative, visitors’ search popularity, and the landing pages.

Baidu Ads Callouts

Advanced Ad Extension

In addition to the extensions listed abive, Baidu paid search provides a list of advanced ad styles shown together with the regular text ads to help advertisers generate more lead channels.

  • Call Extension

Similar to AdWords, Call Extension lets advertisers add phone numbers to the ads. When a call extension shows up, searchers can tap or click a button to call a business directly on their mobile device.

  • Inquiry Extension

Baidu paid search provides an extension that allows visitors to directly communicate with a sales representative when they land on site. To turn on this extension, it requires a URL that is generated from a CRM chatting tool, like Shangqiao, a free Baidu chatting product.

  • XunKe Short Form Extension

XunKe is a unique conversion feature that Baidu paid search provides for both mobile and desktop. When an ad shows up in the top position, searchers will see a formatted short form that they can fill out to get more information. B2B marketers can read more about Xunke in this previously written post.

  • Customized Short Form Extension 

XunKe also provides standard formatted forms to various industries. However, some advertisers may not find an appropriate form format for their business if their industries are not on the XunKe list. In this case, Baidu launched a new feature that is similar as XunKe, but advertisers could customize the form design.

B2B marketers can create a short form to fill in for inquiring info, such as a quote, date, cities, or a drop-down listing of business interest. No matter what information an advertiser would like to get, the form can be generated.

  • Form Submission Link Extension

Baidu recently launched a new sitelink-type feature targeting on form submission. It is similar to the regular sitelinks mentioned previous, but is only targeted to a link leading searchers to a form submission page. The goal is a more targeted experience that may improve the conversion rate.

Final Thoughts

Although Baidu may appear very similar to Google AdWords, the search engine has many unique points with advertising management.

By being better leverage these features, B2B marketers can more precisely choose the right keywords and the match types to target the search terms that are fit for the Chinese language context, deliver engaging ad content to the searchers, and maximize the efficiency of various extensions to increase the opportunity to reach to people.

I hope this post can help B2B marketers get more familiar with Baidu paid search. I’d love to hear either perspective via comments below or feel free to contact us directly as well!

“The team @ KoMarketing Associates clearly understands how to effectively utilize all methodologies of search engine marketing and builds powerful programs to achieve outstanding results. The team they have constructed is not only professional but fantastic to work with.”

— Chad Beasley, Vice President at Delivery Agent

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