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Sogou is also important when you do SEO in China
Sohu is a Chinese Internet company headquartered in Beijing. The company offers several services such as search engine, advertising news, e-mail, and games between others.

Sogou is one of the most popular search engine in China.
The company revenues come mainly from brand advertising and online games. Companies have the chance to advertise themselves via Sohu using several methods such as text or media formats including banners, buttons, logos, or streaming advertisements.

Sohu group owns several web pages: it is a site that incorporates web search, many content channels such as news, sports, entertainment, IT… it is a web search engine. focused on news and community for online games. It was launched in 2000 as the first game-dedicated portal. The site has more than 600 game zones and tens of millions of registered users. Is a website related to real estate news and sales portal. The site provides information for home buyers, homeowners and real estate professionals. It has become one of the largest online youth communities in China related with online alumni. provides online maps.


Sogou is owned by Sohu and its primary services are search engine, Sogou Pinyin input, and Sogou Web Directory. After Baidu, Sogou is the clearly leader among the rest of Chinese search engines with a market share by revenue of 6.24% and last year, Sogou mobile search traffic grew by nearly 20%.
Recently, many companies have noticed that it is very helpful to reach audience from lower tier cities with lower cost per click advertising.

Sogou pinyin

Sogou Pinyin is the leader input method editor in China which allows users to type in Chinese. The dictionary of Sogou Pinyin can be enhanced by adding so-called cell dictionaries that contain words in special fields.

In addition, Sogou pinyin allows customizing its dictionary, appearance and function. For example, users can choose on Sogou’s website a variety of skins and animations in order to personalize the appearance.

In 2009, Sogou launched a tool called Sogou Cloud Pinyin that enables any browser to input Chinese characters on a website without the necessity of installing any new software or plugins.

Sogou Pinyin is maybe the most popular tool of Sogou that takes the first market share in China.

There is no doubt that Sogou plays a very important role in the search engine field in China. Therefore it can be a tool to consider for companies that want to increase their presence in China, especially in lower tier cities where Sogou has a good penetration.

The same as in Baidu, it is also necessary develop a SEO strategy on Sogou in order to increase your visibility in the search engine and reach a huge audience.


What do you need to know to do SEO on Sogou?

Content must be in mandarin:

Sogou as a Chinese local search engine favors websites that have content in simplified Chinese. Therefore, companies have to create a website in Chinese with the aim to improve their rank on Sogou.


Having a huge number of backlinks is very helpful to Sogou optimization. It seems that the quantity of links it is more important than their quality. Nonetheless, you should link your website with high quality web pages.

Hosting & Domain:

There is no doubt that it is better choose a local domain such as or .cn  because they transmit a major sense of trust to Chinese users.


Title tag:

One of the most important elements of on-site optimization is the title tag. The title tag describes the website content to users and search engines. Sogou gives a lot of importance to the title tag.

Despite Baidu is the largest search engine in China, companies have to consider others Chinese search engines like Sogou during their marketing strategy in order to reach a different audience.

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Firstly, it is important to understand that SEO in China is different compared to Western countries. As opposed to Europe or U.S.A, Baidu is the largest search engine in China and therefore the SEO rules are also distinct.

SEO is a vital tool to increase the sales of cosmetic brands.
SEO helps companies to get more exposure and improve their position on search engines. During their online searches, about 75 percent of Chinese only just visit the websites of the first Baidu page. That means if your website is not well ranked on Baidu, your chance to attract Chinese consumers will be drastically reduced.

estee lauder

In China many cosmetic brands are missing the benefits of attracting potential consumers who search for beauty products via online. About 6% of cosmetic brands are in the first search position on Baidu when their name is searched via mobile devices while 51% of them are in the first search position when their name is searched via desktop devices, according to a report by L2 Think Tank, a digital luxury marketing research firm.

Why SEO is very important for cosmetic brands?

The cosmetics industry in China has been growing at a fast pace becoming one of the most promising sectors of business in Middle Empire. In 2013, the transactions value of cosmetic products reached about USD54.32 billion in 2013 and in 2017 it is expected to increase the sales volume up to USD113.9 billion. via twitter

cosmetic shopper

Due to these encouraging data, many companies have decided to expand their business to China and take advantage of this profitable market. Nowadays, cosmetics sector in China is a very competitive market where a huge number of companies are fighting to attract Chinese consumers.

This is where companies have to develop marketing strategies to be the leader in the Chinese cosmetic market and SEO plays an important role in this undertaking.

Thanks to SEO, cosmetic brands have the opportunity to improve their website visibility on Chinese search engines and therefore reach a huge number of Chinese shoppers. Also through SEO strategies, companies will improve the brand awareness among Chinese consumers and as a result they will increase their sales. However cosmetic companies should not solely focus their SEO efforts  on their websites.

SEO is everywhere in a good digital marketing strategy

The reality is that Chinese consumers before making any purchase decision, search information about products and brands on social media platforms as well. They trust much more in comments and information they find on these social networks than in information directly provided by the brand.

Cosmetic companies have to increase their presence on Chinese social media platforms through the creation of official accounts to provide content about beauty world to their followers besides information about the brand and products. Also they must be present on beauty forums by providing beauty tips and include videos and photos in order to engage Chinese consumers.

For instance, Lancome launched its own forum called Rose Beauty where the company provides information about the brand, the products and events and also gives beauty tips to its followers. Rose Beauty has over 4 million users becoming one of the largest online communities in the cosmetics field in China.

It is very interesting to beauty companies incorporate a section of Q&A where consumers have the chance to ask questions about the brand products (benefits, ingredients, how apply the product…) or questions beauty-related that will be answered by the brand.

Therefore, cosmetic companies must also target their SEO strategies to these sites in order to improve their brand awareness and brand image, to ultimately reach more customers

Improved visibility means more sales

Online visibility is strongly correlated with brand sales and this is the main reason why beauty companies must have a SEO strategy in China.

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The board of your company have made the decision to enter the Chinese market. There’s a lot of people and businesses there becoming more prosperous, and your company is not in that market. The board assume you are missing opportunities and perhaps your competitors are already in China. So either through representation, market visits, setting up a local office or via a website, your company looks to do business in China.

To do business, you need customers. To get customers, you need to let them know you exist, what you do and how your services or products will benefit them. You need to engage in some marketing in China. Marketing is a numbers game, right? Or at least that’s what many say.

A common strategy adopted by companies – and this applies equally to very large corporates as well as SMEs – is to consider the activities undertaken in the home market and attempt to replicate these in China. There’s a predisposition amongst Western-managed firms to simply replicate a Western strategy in Chinese – the same is often true even when the firm has already established it’s own local office with Chinese staff. Marketing activities decided upon by the board, both business-to-business and consumer focused, often include some form of email marketing. It’s a known quantity, with the right amount and right quality of data, surely it’s a members game? The percentages of the domestic campaigns are good.

Internet usage differences

As far as email marketing is concerned, the results in China are usually very poor and companies are disappointed, sometimes deciding that there’s no interest in what they do in China. So why is this?

“Kai Fu Lee, formally of Microsoft, Google and Apple, now heading his own China-based company Innovation Works, states that it’s important to be aware of cultural differences between China and the West. “There is a general false assumption that the whole world uses the Internet in the same way”, he says, but this is not the case where China is concerned. This is especially true for email marketing.

Email is not used to the same degree in China as the West, with chat being a far more popular medium. This is not just amongst friends, but B2C and B2B as well. Business via email doesn’t happen in the same way. Many Western boardrooms are totally unaware of the predominance of chat and the different usage patterns with email, and simply rely on what they know of the home market, even of other export markets, to make their decisions.

In addition, “trust” is everything on the internet in China. “Can I trust you?” “Can I trust what you say and claim?” “Once I’ve bought, will your after-sales service be non-existent?” People, including business people, feel so much more secure dealing with businesses that are well known, who’s track record is well known or with those they have already had some significant contact with. Cold emails are just not to be trusted and certainly not to be acted on. Whether the aim of the sender is to sell, generate enquiries or simply to create branding awareness email opening rates are extremely minimal.

That’s not to say that email doesn’t have it’s place. E-commerce, for example, uses email marketing well. In a scenario not too dissimilar from Amazon in the West, campaign including offers, new products and enticements to buy work well. But there’s a fundamental difference here – these are targeted at people who have already engaged with the company, who have already signed up or otherwise been in touch. There’s already a trust which has been developed.

One of our roles is to give our clients an understanding of the local market and adopt the appropriate strategy for their business in China. For us, the moral of the story is don’t consider wasting time or money on data for email campaigns of any kind, unless directed at those who have already had some contact with your firm.

How to start?

So in that case, how best to start? Benchmarking market research is hugely beneficial. There will be some companies in the market already presenting themselves very effectively from whom you can learn. There will be others who you can steal a march on, as you have the capacity to exceed their offerings or market approach. But your company will need firstly to be aware of this in order to take advantage. Getting to know the local market in this is an excellent way to begin. Or if your budget allows, using a marketing company with an excellent track record and genuine proof of success can help fast track your entry into the market.

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Western European engineering is prized in China for its quality and innovation, but despite increasing levels of demand many firms remain unable to access this potentially lucrative market. How should specialist engineering companies go about selling their products and services to China? What are the best, most cost-effective routes into the market?

Understanding the Market
China is a very different market from those found in Europe or America, and assuming that things will be the same or similar is a common pitfall. Organisations such as the UKTI and the China-Britain Business Council (CBBC) can provide initial assistance, e.g. help with research, facilitate meetings and identify potential partners. With a basic understanding of the landscape, you and your partners can then plan a strategy for reaching customers and winning contracts.

Online Market Entry
Websites can work well as a relatively fast, low-cost way to gain market visibility, but it isn’t as simple as putting up a Chinese-language version of your main site and watching the enquiries flood in. For an online presence to be effective it needs to be properly localised for Chinese cultural norms and may be very different from your English-language website (grants are available for this).

You will also need to give proper consideration to website promotion, just as you would in your domestic market – if a site isn’t being found by users then it doesn’t matter how good it is. Optimising for popular Chinese search engines such as Baidu and Sogou can bring you visitor traffic, but it is important to carry out research into which keywords Chinese surfers are actually using – bear in mind that translations are not always literal.

On the Ground
Unless you set up your own office in China, you will likely need to work with local partners to make direct contact with customers. Business in China is still very much based on trusted connections; a partner who knows and is known by the major players can open doors for you.
Also, consider how you will service any enquiries you generate – your customers will need a point of contact, ideally in the same time zone and fluent in Chinese. Contact services / virtual offices are available to meet this need. 
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