When talking about China SEO, marketers usually refer to Baidu, the most popular but sulfurous search engine operating directly from mainland China. While Baidu leading capacities were more and more challenged due to numerous scandals and a fast-growing competition over the past years, the historical Chinese search engine still remains a strong asset for any serious SEO strategy in China. In
When talking about China SEO, marketers usually refer to Baidu, the most popular but sulfurous search engine operating directly from mainland China. While Baidu leading capacities were more and more challenged due to numerous scandals and a fast-growing competition over the past years, the historical Chinese search engine still remains a strong asset for any serious SEO strategy in China. In this first article of the SEO series on altima° blog, we get back to the very fundamentals through specific insights that hopefully will help you start off your China SEO campaigns on the right foot. At a glance Incorporated in Beijing in 2000 by Robin Li, an eminent Chinese engineer trained in the US who specialized into search algorithm technologies Baidu, literally “hundreds of times”, takes its name from a well-known ancient Chinese poem and evokes the quest for the ideal In 2016, Baidu ranked 87 among the top 500 fortune Chinese company, mostly gained from the monetization of its paid search results Just like its Western competitors, Baidu also owns a search quality team, led by a certain Engineer Lee but this one (unfortunately) remains pretty mysterious and doesn’t show up very often in public Market shares Source: www.seojia.cn (November, 2016) Despite declining market shares, Baidu still appears as the dominant search engine on both desktop and mobile devices in mainland China. Behind this performance can be found the direct advantage of having been “the first one”. Through its status of historical search engine, Baidu therefore enjoys a highly diversified demographic - from young hispsters to old Dama, first tier to third tiers cities, blue collars to white collars, that allow marketers to reach their specific target audience. Search results pages’ breakdown Among all criticisms addressed against Baidu in the past, the similarities of its interface with Western search engines appear as a recurring one. If it’s true that the overall layout tends toward existing standards (paid results surrounding organic’s, related results on the right) the comparison stops here. When looking at the search results into details, differences immediately jump out. Below is for instance what Baidu shows (November 2016) when searching for the expression “what is SEO” (什么是SEO): Caption: - paid results (ads) - organic results (related suggestions) - organic results (third-party websites) - organic results (Baidu properties) As per visible among the top 5 organic results, Baidu ranks websites of its own ecosystem which consists of a wide range of properties, aiming at compensating early technological lag and a lack of indexable materials (remember that the Chinese internet is still not yet as diversified as in the World Wide Web). Besides, in an environment dominated by a need of confidence, Baidu properties eventually offer a solid user experience that is able to cover most of user’s queries. Baidu properties include both User-Generated-Content products such as, to mention but a few wiki, Q/A, forums or document sharing products, and traditional products such as video or music platforms. In addition, most of properties use to display bespoke rich snippets formats that aim at catching user attention and maximize CTR. It’s commonly estimated that Baidu properties capture between 30% and 40% of user searches. While Chinese competitors search engines all developed equivalent ecosystems, ironically, these ones still continue to enhance their own listings with Baidu properties. Needless to say, this Baidu ecosystem plays an essential role for any brand awareness or online reputation strategies. Search algorithms While Baidu could be realistically blamed in the past for its poor search technology requiring regular on-site monitoring and maintenance, this time is pretty much over. After numerous algorithms updates, ranking factors now converge toward the most advanced standards, making organic rankings comparatively more accurate and stable than its local competitors. That said, everything is not rosy and irrelevancies can still be found here and there. We therefore recommend to continue paying a specific attention to the following elements: # Website conception Ensure your strategic pages are easily accessible through the navigation (i.e. linked either from the navigation menu, a sidebar or a footer) to facilitate their crawl and (re)indexation Consider a local (or Hong-Kong based) hosting to maximize crawl frequency Avoid embedding contents (texts, links) with Flash or JavaScript Keep the page loading time low to ensure the page remains ranked (especially for mobile rankings) # Website promotion Leave the translation of your contents to a Chinese native speaker Publish regular fresh contents (through a blog, news, FAQ, templated, landing pages, etc.) Prefer qualitative link building (contextualized & natural backlinks) Baidu tools To help marketers in their daily work such as marketing researches, website optimizations and analysis, Baidu comes with its own suite of tools, with no equivalent on the local market. Below is a list of the most generic ones. # Baidu Tuiguang Keywords Tool Equivalent to Google Adwords Keyword Planner, Baidu Keyword tool (part of the Tuiguang platform) provides daily searches impressions, CPC estimations and related expressions to be used during keyword studies. # Baidu Zhishu (Trend) Equivalent to Google Trends. In complementary to the previous keywords tool, Baidu Zhishu aims at providing context around demographics or related contents dimensions. # Baidu Zhanzhang (Webmaster Tools) Equivalent to Google Search Console. Baidu Zhanzhang provides useful SEO data such as crawl and indexation reports, backlinks history. # Baidu Mobi As a response to the rapid development of the mobile traffic, Baidu Mobi proposes to analyze website compatibility with official mobile guidelines and if necessary highlights improvements to be done. # Baidu Tongji (Analytics) Equivalent to Google Analytics. Although Baidu Tongji probably won’t replace your main analytics solution, the tool turns out to be mandatory to retrieve the full list of organic keywords used on Baidu (as Baidu now does not provide them any more out of its own analytics solution). As per described all along the article, Baidu remains the most advantaged Chinese search engine in terms of audience, technologies or data intelligence. Before we could predict the future, we’ll continue our in-depth exploration and focus in the next articles on more specific facets of this colossus search engine.
It’s official, SAP Hybris has made us Gold Solution Provider Partner! What’s Hybris by the way? Hybris was born in 1997, as one of the first multichannel ecommerce and product content management (PCM) software. In 2013, it was acquired by SAP to become SAP Hybris.
It’s official, SAP Hybris has made us Gold Solution Provider Partner! What’s Hybris by the way? Hybris was born in 1997, as one of the first multichannel ecommerce and product content management (PCM) software. In 2013, it was acquired by SAP to become SAP Hybris.  It is now is one of the leading omni-channel digital commerce solutions on the market. It helps integrate all digital and physical customer touchpoints onto a single platform – including online, mobile, point-of-sale, call center, social media and print.  In China, some of the most successful retailers have chosen Hybris to strengthen their digital ecosystem. Watsons, Cache Cache, or Benefit Cosmetics are part of these. SAP Hybris & altima° altima° has received earlier in October one of the greatest distinctions from SAP, becoming SAP Hybris Gold Solution Provider Partner. This distinction comes in recognition of altima°’s quality work on SAP Hybris. Our team, which counts more than 25 specialized Hybris engineers, conceptualizes, develops, maintains, and hosts high value-added omni-channel ecommerce solutions. With over a dozen of references, we have demonstrated our capacity to build innovative platforms in different industries using a SAP Hybris basis. As a SAP Hybris Gold Solution Provider Partner, altima° will now enjoy special support from SAP Hybris's team to deliver best quality and timely solutions to customers. Feel free to reach out to ask for more information.
With over 160 visitors, it was a great opportunity to meet actors from Demandware community such as retailers, technology and solution partners. My colleague Victor Ariza, Digital Analytics Consultant at altima° China, had the pleasure to be a guest speaker and talk about one of our favorite subjects: data and more precisely web analytics.
As previously announced, we were glad to sponsor and animate the Demandware Retail Connect conference which took place in Shanghai last September 14. With over 160 visitors, it was a great opportunity to meet actors from Demandware community such as retailers, technology and solution partners. My colleague Victor Ariza, Digital Analytics Consultant at altima° China, had the pleasure to be a guest speaker and talk about one of our favorite subjects: data and more precisely web analytics. His session was jointly presented with Helen Yang, Regional Manager of Digital and E-commerce at Clarins and Ethan Fan, Head of Digital and E-commerce in China, and moderated by Orlane Hazard, Senior Customer Success Manager at Demandware. After reminding how important the data is in the decision making process, Helen, Ethan and Victor explained how Clarins successfully set up a data driven culture among several countries in APAC (China, South Korea, Japan, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Thailand, Malaysia and Australia). As a summary, the three main reasons why Clarins succeeded: They built up a strong data collection structure by understanding the tool ecosystem (in their case: Demandware, Tag Commander, Google Analytics), defining a measurement strategy and working continously on data integrity They defined roles and missions to perform by setting up the right organization and processes, training, explaining, evangelizing and following up They changed their way of thinking regarding media performance from ad-centric to site-centric focus and then channel contribution. You can download the full deck here.
IKEA: A Chinese Success Story... IKEA is one of these western brands that have successfully broke in the Chinese market. Since 1998, the most famous Swedish ready-to-assemble furniture firm has been surfing on the rapid and strong improvement of local living conditions which have led the Chinese to invest more in home decoration.
IKEA: A Chinese Success Story... IKEA is one of these western brands that have successfully broke in the Chinese market. Since 1998, the most famous Swedish ready-to-assemble furniture firm has been surfing on the rapid and strong improvement of local living conditions which have led the Chinese to invest more in home decoration. Its numbers are impressive: 12 billion CNY in sales within the last 9 months, 20% of growth YoY, 3 new stores opening per year in average.   …Late on the digitalization of its sales strategy And yet, until now, IKEA had not set up any e-commerce platform to support its sales performance, in a country where more than 80% of 1st tier cities citizens are used to buying online. Things are nevertheless changing as the furniture retail giant has recently decided to join the bandwagon of offering online shops, literally adding the bricks and clicks as part of their global China sales strategy. All products, except food and green plants, will be available online. The company is making its first attempt in Shanghai, which will serve as a test for the entire APAC region.  IKEA has already launched it in Europe, where sales exceeded one billion euros this year. The launch of its e-commerce should particularly help attract new customers who don’t have yet access to physical stores (third and fourth-tier cities). Implementing a omnichannel strategy will also strengthened IKEA's position in China.   What’s next? Going on marketplaces? In a country where brands struggle to make online business on their own platform, notably due to the outstanding performance of marketplaces, it would certainly sound relevant from a digital marketing & sales point of view for IKEA to complete its online presence by establishing a store on a site like Tmall as well. Will this be IKEA’s next move?  
After Sydney in August, Demandware will organize its annual Retail Connect Customer Conference in Shanghai, China on September 14. This cloud conference program across Asia Pacific region will be heading to Tokyo two days later.
After Sydney in August, Demandware will organize its annual Retail Connect Customer Conference in Shanghai, China on September 14. This cloud conference program across Asia Pacific region will be heading to Tokyo two days later. Demandware is a software technology company providing a cloud-based e-commerce platform, as well as additional services for retailers and brand manufacturers. It has recently been acquired by Salesforce, the leading American cloud computing company specialized in CRM. The goal of this conference is to connect and exchange between leading industry retailers who have implemented Demandware platform and the partner community, including technology and services partners such as altima°. Our team will take part to the event, so let’s meet and exchange at our booth!  In addition, Arnaud Rofidal, CEO at altima° Asia, and Victor Ariza, Digital Analytics Consultant at altima° China, will animate a session about digital analytics in collaboration with Ethan Fan, Head of Digital and E-commerce China, and Helen Yang, Regional Manager of Digital and E-commerce from Clarins whom we have been working for the past year.  The presentation and discussions will cover several subjects about how to measure performance and profitability of digital marketing investments in China, as well as present how we have been using attribution modeling to better understand how to adjust the marketing mix in Clarins’ case study. Additional speakers and experts from Demandware, Tencent, L’Oréal China and other partners will share their knowledge and insights about e-commerce. The conference will be located at The Longemont Shanghai, No.1116 West Yan An Road, Shanghai, China. Interested in the event? Please register here and specify you come from altima° (within Demandware Partner field). 

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