Optimizing Page Titles for Baidu SEO

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Creating the ideal page title for Chinese websites on Baidu requires a nuanced understanding of Baidu’s unique handling of title tag lengths and the importance of keyword placement. This blog will guide you through the best practices for optimizing your page titles to enhance your site’s visibility on Baidu.

Understanding Title Length on Baidu

Title Length Measurement

Baidu’s approach to title tag length differs significantly from Google’s. While Google limits titles to approximately 600 pixels, which results in variable character counts due to the differing widths of characters, Baidu uses a more straightforward method suitable for Chinese characters. Each Chinese character has the same width, allowing Baidu to count characters based on memory usage rather than pixel width.

all Chinese title tages are displayed with up to 28 Chinese Characters
This title on Baidu search resuts is displaying 27 Chinese Characters followed by “…” symbolizing that the title is longer. If it was exactly 28 Chinese Characters, the full title would be displayed
English results on Baidu (low quality as you can see) show 54 Non-Chinese characters in the displayed title tag
English results on Baidu (low quality as you can see) show 54 Non-Chinese characters in the displayed title tag followed by “…” symbolizing that the original title tag is longer. If the title tag would be exactly 56 Western characters long, all 56 characters would be displayed.

So basically Baidu does not pay attention to title length in pixels or title length bases on number or characters, but they solely look at the length in form of Chinese Characters (and Chinese punctuation), but instead of really counting the characters, Baidu pays attentio to how many bytes they need to be stored: 112 Bytes in total per title.

  • Chinese Characters: need 4 bytes each
  • Western Characters: need 2 bytes each

Therefor as long your title tag is not larger than 112 bytes, Baidu will display it in their search results – not paying attention to line breaks that this might cause.

The problem with this approach from Baidu is, that not all letters of the alphabet (or other non-chinese characters) have the same width. Some or more narrow like i,j.I::'”… and others are wider like asow-_ or even more wider like W. If too many too wide Non-Chinese characters are used, the title tags will break the line in Baidu’s search results:

too wide 2-byte characters will cause the title tag to break into the next line when displayed in Baidu search results.
Too wide 2-byte characters will cause the title tag to break into the next line when displayed in Baidu search results. That looks like an error, not well designed, not helping to attract clicks.

This means that a mix of Chinese and Western characters can lead to titles that are too long, causing them to break onto a second line. To avoid this, you can follow these three recommendations:

  1. Safest Option: Limit titles to a maximum of 28 characters (both Chinese and Western). Use the LEN() function in Excel to count the total number of characters.
  2. Medium Option: Consider the average width of Western characters (approximately 50% of a Chinese character’s width). Use the LENB() function in Excel to ensure the title does not exceed 112 bytes.
  3. Educated Option: Aim for titles between 24 to 28 Chinese characters, based on our Baidu SEO Ranking Factors Study showing this range performs best. Use the LEN() function in Excel to ensure your titles fall within this range.

Keyword Placement and Density

Importance of Keyword Placement

Including your most important keyword near the beginning of the title tag is crucial for SEO. This placement helps Baidu quickly identify the relevance of your page to the search query.

Limiting Keywords

While optimizing for multiple keywords is beneficial, overstuffing the title tag can be detrimental. Avoid chaining multiple keywords directly after one another. Instead, create natural, readable titles that incorporate keywords effectively. For example, if your keywords are “ab,” “abcd,” and “dce,” consider using a title like “abcde,” which inherently includes all three keywords without repetition.

Crafting Effective Titles: Best Practices

  1. Conciseness and Clarity: Ensure your title clearly conveys the content of the page. Aim for 24-28 Chinese characters or equivalent byte length if mixing with Western characters.
  2. Keyword Integration: Place the primary keyword at the beginning, followed by secondary keywords integrated naturally into the title.
  3. Avoid Keyword Stuffing: Focus on readability and relevance over stuffing multiple keywords.
  4. Test and Adapt: Use tools like Excel’s LEN() and LENB() functions to test title lengths and ensure they meet Baidu’s requirements.

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