Keyword Research for Chinese SEO/SEM

Using the Right Keywords on Your Site for Best Ranking in Chinese Search Engines

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Getting the right keywords on your site is quintessential when it comes to getting organic traffic from search engines. This is a very well documented and debated art in the USA and other English reading markets. We might know about the Google AdWords keyword research tool as well as SEOMoz and the other great SEO/SEM services out there. However, their advice might be not so relevant in the Asian internet space, where different languages and character sets are used. So how would we apply these keyword strategies to Asia and China internet keyword research?

Differences between being a Chinese Webmaster and a English Language Webmaster.

Being a webmaster for a Chinese language site is a different animal to being a webmaster in English speaking countries. For example, in China, Google is not the number one search engine like it is in the USA. The leading Chinese search engine is Baidu; which deals with SEO/SEM differently. You’ll also notice subtle differences in the layout and content between websites. Take for example, the Yahoo China site and the Yahoo! USA site. The Yahoo! China site is much denser in content and presents the user with a lot more information on a single page than Yahoo! USA. This website layout and content presentation is common amongst leading Chinese portals such as QQ.com and Sina.com.cn and the trend propagates down to the smaller Chinese language portals. This suggests that Chinese internet users consume information on the web much differently to English readers. Which provides Chinese webmasters with new opportunities.

Opportunities for Chinese Websites.



There are almost one billion Chinese readers on the web today who use Mandarin as their primary language for web search. The dense keyword arrangement on Chinese websites means that there are many more opportunities for keyword placement on the sites. This provides a competitive platform for Chinese web user’s attention, but also provides a good opportunity for placing lots of high ranking keywords on your pages.

Do note: There are a lot of keywords that have been banned in the People’s Republic of China and using these keywords will likely end up with your site being de-listed from search engines and, worst of all, blocked. You can visit Wikipedia for a list of blacklisted keywords in China.

WE3W. A keyword research tool for Chinese webmasters.

Now that we have unicode domain names which allow for simplified and traditional Chinese domain names to be registered, we also need a new set of services for ranking for Chinese keywords. When writing for the Chinese web, using a Chinese keyword research tool would be a much better idea than using an English keyword research tool for best results in search engine optimization (SEO) and search engine marketing (SEM).

WE3W is one of such tools. Through http://cn.we3w.com, Chinese webmasters have a free service which can identify their competitors’ keywords and what they are ranking for. It also suggests a list of keywords that you should be using for your Chinese language site. WE3W also provides a popularity rank based on the number of keywords a website ranks for.

For example, if you want to see a whole list of keywords for zhidao.baidu.com you can see them on the following page: http://cn.we3w.com/?site=zhidao.baidu.com

All in all, one must really think of a different strategy when writing websites and blog posts for the Chinese reading internet if the site is to rank correctly and attract the right traffic. Using the right tools for the job is half of the battle won. WE3W will be your stepping stone to success for your Chinese language website.

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