How to register for a Baidu PPC account
The steps involved in registering a Baidu PPC account is much more complex than opening up a Google Adwords account. It is extra difficult especially if users wish to secure a successful launch in the China market.
There are dozens of inquiries from users regarding the set up of Baidu PPC accounts from western companies to chinese digital marketing. A lot of users seek help as the majority of them are confused about the search engine advertising regulations in China.
In the year of 2016, the China government had further reinforced the regulations for online advertising which led to a stricter and longer application process for Baidu PPC accounts.
In view of those changes, this article will include the list of documents required and the breakdown of the complete procedure to register a Baidu PPC account.
- Get a chinese website ready
First, users will have to translate the english website into a chinese website. As the majority consumers Baidu targets are chinese, the ad platform will recommend the chinese language ads. Even though english sites are fine for Baidu ads, the bounce rate will be sky-high and users would not want to waste unnecessary money on targeting consumers that failed to read your website.
Businesses are not required to have their website hosted in mainland China, but companies need to make sure the site can be opened in mainland China. It needs to have sufficient site speed as the site loading experience can influence Baidu website verification and the results of PPC campaigns.
It is recommended to check if the site design is appealing enough to chinese consumers or is relevant to people’s search results since the intention of doing PPC campaigns is to generate conversions. It is essential to create a well-designed chinese website before applying for a Baidu PPC account to ensure a successful launch.
- Spot your current location and contact the regional Baidu reseller.
One key thing to keep in mind, Baidu only accepts local clients in mainland China. It has authorised multiple local resellers and divisions to handle PPC business which includes registering new accounts.
Companies which are based in China need to contact the local Baidu resellers directly. For instance, a company with an office in Beijing needs to contact the Baidu Beijing division. If the office is located in an area without any baidu division, then you will need to get in touch with the local resellers.
For detailed information, visit the Baidu PPC application page to browse for the contact information of the local resellers/divisions of the relevant area. An alternative would be to full out the form as the picture shown below and wait for a Baidu representative to contact you after submitting the information.
For those western companies that are yet to have an office in China yet, they will need to contact an overseas reseller that provides Baidu services in the company’s origin country. They also can seek out agencies that have the ability to help in registering a Baidu PPC account.
- Provide the company’s name and website
After step 2, the company will be asked to provide a relevant website address for verification purposes. Baidu will verify if the website’s legitimacy, authenticity and if is permitted to conduct search advertising.
Gambling and pornograhic websites are strictly prohibited to apply for search ads. For some particular fields which include medical, drug, financial and health products may require additional licenses and certificate submission to Baidu.
- Submission of supporting documents
After passing the first verification from Baidu, the company will be asked to submit a complete list of legal documents for further evaluation. A total of 5 documents are required for foreign companies:
- Copy of business registration certification and the handwritten statement “文件与原文件一致” (it is the same as the original)
The certificate needs to include company’s name, registered office, company number and company name change paper, if applicable.
- Simplified chinese translation of business registration certificate
- A screenshot of the website homepage with URL shown and written statement “与网站一致” meaning it is same as the website.
The reason behind this is that Baidu needs to evaluate your website further to verify if the site can be loaded, if it is developed completely with no dead links and whether the website information is consistent with the business registration certificate.
Users might need to adjust the website content to adhere to Baidu’s stringent requirements, especially the ‘ about us’ or ‘contact us’ part of the site. Those parts should include the full registered company’s name, address and phone number.
- Local government official website search
Go to the user’s local government official website to browse for your company information. Then, submit a screenshot of the final query page showing the relevant URL. Users have to provide the page with your handwritten statement “与网站一致” meaning it is same as the website. Users can put the chinese words on the side of every english character on the same page If chinese translation is needed.
- Business bank account statement
Users can choose to submit either one of the documents such as bank account information, local tax payment certification, bank statement or bank payment order form.
For instance, if the user provides the bank account information, it should also include bank name ,business account name, account number, bank branch name and address.
- Foreign language documents must be provided with a translation.
- All submitted documents are required to be stamped with the advertiser’s official company chop or seal. The name of the advertising company needs to be shown.
- Scan these required documents in full colour and be sent with a handwritten statement as mentioned above. The company’s stamp can be replaced by the signature of an authorised staff member of the advertiser.
- The letter of commitment or authorization has to be signed and stamped by the client. Different Baidu resellers may require a different letter of commitment.
- Follow up with the process
It will usually take 2-4 weeks to get the Baidu PPC account approved after documents submission. Users have to keep in touch with the representatives oftenly to ensure things are progressing. Users need to be patient here since the evaluation process is strict and time consuming.
Resellers might come back and forth especially when they notice missing items or review you. Users may need to resubmit the particular documents until all of them are approved.
It is recommended to work on your account structure in this period of time. Once users get the final approval, they will be ready to progress further. Users can plan the structure through conducting keyword search, generating keyword lists and creating advertisements. Users will be able to set up the account straight when all the above mentioned things are ready.
- Sign the contract
After getting all the legal documents approved, the baidu reseller will send the Baidu platform contract which contains privacy terms and advertising policy.
The contract might vary. If users set up through an agency, the contract will be signed between the agency and Baidu reseller. If users set up the account directly, it will be signed between the company’s representative and Baidu reseller instead. Some Baidu reseller may not able to provide an english contract, so plan on extra time for review and translation.
- Make down payment
Baidu requires paying the down payment for PPC ad spends first. Some of the resellers in China may require an annual service fee and account set up fee, especially for those companies without an office in China.
Baidu does not accept any forms of international payment methods. Hence, users need to transfer the ad budget to the Baidu reseller through an international wire transfer.
Please make sure the bank information is correct to ensure a successful transfer. If the reseller is based in China, the payment will be made in chinese Yuan. For other non China areas, the most secure way is to pay with US dollars.
- Activate Baidu PPC account
Once the payment is received by Baidu, the PPC account will be released within 3-5 working days. Users will get the account name and temporary password. Users will be required to change the password after logging in the first time.
Now, you’re done! If the account structure has planned out well, you should be able to run campaigns straight. Remember to always understand your target audience and leverage Baidu PPC tools to make the campaigns successful.
Although the whole process is time consuming, it helps to screen out many illegal competitors. Baidu PPC remains one of the most effective digital marketing tools in China and all the efforts will be paid off in the long run!