One might think that building a website for a Chinese audience would be easy. Simply take the content from the original website, translate it, create a subdomain for Chinese users, and job done, right? Wrong. The way that people interact with the web varies around the world. Netizens in China have a fairly distinct set of expectations about how a website should look, feel, and navigate.
When adapting your business for China’s online ecosystem, one of the very first things you will need to focus on is website localization. Many user interface (UI) and user experience (UX) preferences and SEO strategies that work well in other countries, might not be appropriate for Chinese audiences.
There are numerous cultural and technical differences that you will need to consider when tailoring your site for China.
When it comes to ranking higher on Baidu or Google, your website security is something that can make a difference. If you and a competitor are competing to take the top spot on a search engine, having HTTPS instead of HTTP in your domain could be all it takes for you to rank higher. On top of that, easy accessibility on an insecure website is harmful for your brand’s image.
Mobile apps are, and have always been at the center of consumer behavior in China. China’s app economy surpasses most other markets in consumer spending, the number of apps used, and the overall time spent in apps. Nevertheless, getting your app discovered and downloaded can be quite a challenge considering how fragmented the Chinese app market is with more than 400 third-party app stores available to consumers.
Content has become one of the most used methods brands interact with their customers and a well-designed, easy to use website is key for any business to be successful. Websites tend to flourish on the quality of their content, but more than often too many resources go to the creation of content over anything else. While that’s undeniably important, there’s little thought put into how brands should curate the content they have on their webpage, to ensure the content remains up to date.
China’s #1 Search Engine – Baidu
As you likely already know, China’s search engine market isn’t dominated by Google like in the rest of the world. Google left the Chinese market way back in 2010 after it suffered from a cybersecurity attack that had originated within China. In place of Google several domestic Chinese search engines have risen up to dominate the market, with the most successful being Baidu.
In China’s digital world, more often than not, users are conducting extensive searches on their phones, not from desktops. By the end of 2018, the number of smartphone connections surpassed 1 billion, securing China’s position as the largest mobile market globally. With more customers using mobile devices and channels than ever before, brands and businesses across industries are looking to execute mobile optimization strategies that satisfy the purchasing demands of Chinese consumers.
Just like that, another year is almost over. Digital marketing in China is flourishing and it’s been an exciting journey making sense of all that has changed over the past 12 months. With its sophisticated shoppers, the rapid rate of innovation and integration of social media, China’s online ecosystem offers a glance into the future of all things digital.