Chinese SEO - an Introduction
Companies that want to market to Chinese speakers must first decide on their target markets.
Who are you trying to reach? Also, bear in mind that there are two main versions of Chinese:
- Traditional Chinese is used in Taiwan and Hong Kong
- Simplified or Mandarin Chinese is used in Mainland China
For example, if you were manufacturing chop sticks in Tel Aviv and you wanted to sell to restaurants in mainland China, you would target this keyword in Simplified Chinese - 特拉 维夫筷子制造厂
If, however, you wanted to sell to companies in Hong Kong you would write in Traditional Chinese -
Mainland China, Taiwan, and Hong Kong all have their own ccTLDs. If you are marketing in China, use the .cn, .hk TLDs. The cn is best if you are marketing to mainland China. Do not use the Taiwan ccTLD: .tw when marketing to mainland China.
You should also use servers that are in the target country when marketing to China.
Chinese Internet Marketing
China has its own search engines and social media platforms. They also have their own Internet payment methods.
Chinese SEO Company Search
Now that we have our terms defined, it is obvious that the first thing we need to do is define our geographic markets. This will determine, for the most part, if we need Simplified or Traditional Chinese.
Then we can search for a vendor who has the appropriate language skills. If we prefer to look for a company located in our target market, we must search in the appropriate search engine. You can use Google and press the radio button which limits the search just to sites in that country.
Google and press the radio button which limits the search just to sites in that country.
Here are some examples:
Hong Kong: http://www.google.hk (Traditional Chinese)
Singapore: http://www.google.sg (Simplified Chinese)
Taiwan: http://www.google.com.tw (Traditional Chinese)
PRC China: http://www.google.cn (Simplified Chinese-cannot access from inside China)
Traditional Chinese http://www.google.com/intl/zh-TW/
Simplified Chinese http://www.google.com/intl/zh-CN/ (If you are in China and type in Google.com you will be redirected to this site)
Of course, in China, http://www.baidu.com (in Simplified Chinese) is much more popular than Google. Although the interface is in Chinese you can search in English.
Another option is to look for a vendor who speaks your language. This kind of SEO company will be easier to communicate with and will most likely be able to offer additional languages, so you won't have to deal with so many vendors. This kind of search is relatively easy. For example, a good place to find an SEO company that can provide International SEO services is Israel, as it is an immigrant society with native speakers of many languages. A search for:
Chinese SEO Israel
brings up an SEO company which can handle Chinese SEO and many other languages
Another option is to do Chinese SEO in house. You may have in house Chinese speakers or you can use outside vendors just for translation. In any case, this SEO China article gives you a basic start, so you won't waste your money translating to Traditional Chinese when your target market is in Mainland China.
You can learn about using Chinese characters in the URL in this post. One of the most important things to do is make sure your translations are not literal-use the keywords that your searchers use.
Although Chinese SEO can look daunting to English speakers because the characters are so different this, it is now easier than ever due to technology. You can even get a quick translation The Google Translator for example can translate both Simplified and Traditional Chinese to English and back. It can also translate Simplified to Traditional Chinese and back. Today there is no excuse not to communicate with over a billion people.
Learn more about SEO China and Chinese Internet marketing with AIMS.
If you want to learn more about increasing sales or leads in China, contact me: