In 2013 e-tourism held a 7.7% share of the global expenses made in the tourism market in China. This percentage represented 2850 milliards de yuan and is supposed to reach 13.2% in 2016 according to iResearch. Last year there were over 98 million Chinese outbound tourists, 80% of them used the Internet before traveling abroad to look for information and plan their trip.
This is why tourism actors willing to attract Chinese tourists in their destinations should seriously consider launching their website on the Chinese Internet.
Here is how they can make their website stand out on the Chinese Internet:
To succeed, the actors of e-tourism in China have an interest in being on Baidu and in vogue Chinese social networks. Working on your Baidu SEO and get closer to opinion leaders so that they promote their products on social networks is vital.
Baidu, THE Chinese search engine
Chinese e-tourism market has a lot of tourism websites and booking platforms which are ultra-present on the Chinese internet and longer established. In order to stand out a tourism website should have an efficient SEO strategy tailored to Baidu.
It is indeed the leading Chinese search engine with a market share that reached 81.7% in the second quarter of 2014.
Have a Chinese website
Baidu will give priority to websites written in Chinese since a very little part of the population would actually understand a website written in English. The website should therefore be in mandarin in order to reach a greater amount of tourists.
Hosted in China
The Chinese leading search engine will also take into account the place where the website is registered. If it is hosted abroad, Baidu will give it a strong penalty and pages will be slowly uploading or not uploading at all.
However when the website is hosted in China it will be better positioned in the page rank of the search results.
Chinese tourists are booking their trips online to save time and money. So that it is important to provide them with a website with a clear content. Essential information such as the price should be put forward.
Quality pictures and videos will also help the Chinese tourists to imagine their trip and help them in their buying process. Baidu cannot read Flash and Java items so your Chinese website should only use html content to display the illustrations.
Baidu Advertising is a service of Baidu that provides Pay Per Click to companies who want to get in the highest ranks of the search results. However, there are a lot of Chinese websites paying to appear at the top results.
The first and sometimes even the second page will therefore be monopolized by companies who paid for their websites to be that high in the page rank. So that it is essential to analyze on which request there are less websites advertised by Baidu.
The longer are keywords, the better they will work. Chinese online tourists indeed tend to form phrases and not actual words while looking for information. This is a fact a tourism player should take into account before determining a list of the best keywords for their tourism website. Repeat those keywords in the titles and descriptions will help Baidu to spot the keywords and bring the website a higher page rank.
Baidu is promotes the websites owned by the company itself. Qunar, a leading e-tourism platform that is owned by Baidu at 55% arrives at the top of the search results at each request about tourism for example. To compete your website should only use Chinese backlinks coming from trusted websites.
Chinese online tourists want to be able to trust the website they will be buying their trip or hotel and flight reservations from. In order to be trusted the website should let the tourist know what their past customers thought of the company. Customer reviews are essential to help the tourists decide whether or not they will be buying from one website or another.
Submitting your website to Baidu, means you have to avoid publishing content that is considered illegal in China. Respecting the censure is another step to be trusted by the leading search engine in China.
A complete website
To appeal Chinese tourists a tourism website in China should be a reliable source of information that offers reviews of previous customers. The website should offer multiple services such as reservation services, online booking assistance services, travel blogs. The website should finally be easy to use and have both good web and mobile platforms.
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