Website, SEO and SEM, tips, and importance in China

4 min read July 20, 2022

Many companies think having a WeChat official account is enough to do business in China. Having it is essential, but it should be in addition to, rather than, a website.  Not owning a website will let your company miss out on any leads generated through search marketing. It could be a significant loss given that, according to Statista, Baidu search accounts for 79.49% of all searches in China. Owning a website gives you also another advantage; you have complete control over the presentation of your brand. You can optimize everything on a website for appeal, including the layout, design, brand statement, and menu headings.

Source: Statista

When it comes to websites and China, it’s essential to keep in mind three crucial factors:

  • The website should be mobile-friendly.
  • The content should be in Chinese because websites with mandarin content gain high rankings on Baidu.
  • The website should be hosted in China.

It is possible to access a website not hosted in China from the Mainland, but the site’s loading speed is slowed down. To provide their users with a good experience, Chinese search engines will disregard the slow-loading site in favor of websites that can be easily and quickly accessed. The speed and stability directly affect the user experience of the website, as well as the crawling of search engines.

To increase site loading speed is to host your servers in the Chinese Mainland, which requires you to undergo the rather complicated process of obtaining an ICP license.

Baidu will still index sites hosted outside China but will give a more substantial ranking to the ones with Internet Content Provider (ICP). Without Chinese ICP, the site’s chances of ranking high on Baidu’s SERPs are slim.

For speed improvement and additional security, companies can consider using a CDN (such as Alibaba Cloud, Tencent Cloud, Wangsu, and Qiniu Cloud). A Content Delivery Network is a network of geographically distributed and interconnected servers that deliver cached internet content from a network location near a user’s location.


With all the confusing acronyms in digital marketing, it’s easy to mix up two similar terms. SEM and SEO are two terms that are frequently used interchangeably but mean very different things.

What is SEO optimization?

It is a set of behaviors that improve the website’s traffic and exposure by adjusting and repairing the website (link structure adjustment, content adjustment, keyword deployment, and so on) and off-site optimization of the website.

What is an auction (SEM)?

Bidding promotion uses keywords to promote a company’s products and services on a search engine platform. It is a relatively new and mature form of search engine advertising that pays for results. A small investment can bring in many potential customers, effectively increasing sales.

Four things you must know about SEO and SEM in China

  • Baidu SEM helps to target accurate users. The bidding promotion can analyze and integrate users’ interests and hobbies according to the user’s historical search so that advertisers can target them.
  • For Baidu, content construction revolves around: originality, update frequency, and relevance.
  • Use text instead of flash, pictures, JavaScript, etc., to display important content or links. Baidu crawls web pages on the Internet through a program called Baiduspider. At present, Baiduspider can only read text content.
  • Even if you only optimize your website’s SEO for Baidu, your website’s performance on other search engines will also improve accordingly.

Some of our works

Nippon Instruments Corporation

Nippon Instruments Corporation (NIC) is a world-class innovator in developing, manufacturing, selling, and servicing mercury analyzers. The mercury analyzers of the company are essential tools to help relevant industries remain compliant and protect workers and the public.

Scope of work:

  • Onsite SEO (On-site SEO focuses on improving the quality of the website).
  • Off-site SEO (Off-site SEO focuses on leveraging other sites and places across the web to improve the website’s position within search rankings.)


ARM & HAMMER™ Animal and Food Production is a global, research-based animal and food production team. The company uses science to unlock the power of nature, creating research-proven solutions for animal nutrition, animal productivity, and food safety.

Scope of work:

  • Onsite SEO
  • Off-site SEO


Associação Portuguesa da Cortiça (APCOR) is the employers’ association of the cork sector that represents, promotes, divulges, and carries out research in the Portuguese cork industry.

Scope of work:

  • Onsite SEO
  • Off-site SEO


Riskified is a publicly traded company that provides software as a service fraud and chargeback prevention technology. Riskified’s technology uses behavioral analysis, elastic linking, proxy detection, and machine learning to detect and prevent fraud.

Scope of work:

  • Onsite SEO
  • Off-site SEO

Because having a website and optimizing SEM and SEO is so important, it is even more critical to find an equally high-quality creative company to achieve the company’s goal.

Flow is a creative agency supporting organizations with their branding and digital presence in China. We create visual identities, WeChat Official Accounts, mini-programs, websites, SEO, SEM, and design marketing materials.

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