If you’re promoting your products and services to Chinese consumers, landing pages are a must-have.
The backbone of any SEO or PPC campaign, they can be used to communicate your value proposition, increase brand awareness and loyalty, and position your business as an authority in your niche.
If they’re properly designed and well-optimised, they should also push visitors through your site’s sales funnel, dramatically increasing conversions and sales.
As a UK business, you’d be forgiven for thinking that your Chinese-language landing pages should be the same as your UK landing pages, albeit translated into Mandarin - but making these subtle tweaks can improve your user experience and increase conversions…
It sounds obvious that translation should be a priority when building landing pages for your Chinese audience, but you’d be surprised at how many companies cut corners when they enter into the market, copy and pasting their English-language content into Google Translate and hoping for the best.
Just as you wouldn’t trust a company using broken English, Chinese consumers aren’t going to have much faith in your brand if your content doesn’t make sense.
If you want your content to engage and convert, you must work with a professional translator or native Chinese copywriter who can not only ensure your content reads well, but that it’s localised, nuances aren’t misinterpreted, and your target market relates to your material.
Improve loading speeds
Chinese consumers are digital natives, and as such expect websites to load instantaneously.
We recommend building a brand new website for your Chinese venture and host it in Hong Kong, the country of choice for international businesses expanding into the region.
As Chinese web hosting is reserved for locally registered businesses, Hong Kong can serve as a “fast route” into the country and offer comparable loading speeds to Chinese web servers.
Once you’ve hosted your website on a Chinese or Hong Kong-based server, make sure it’s well optimised for smartphones and computers.
Add Chinese social media content on your landing page
The chances are that you’ve built a presence for your Chinese venture on sites like Weibo and WeChat, so make sure you integrate those platforms on your landing pages to add some interest and show that your business is active in the country.
Whether you embed your profile, add links to your handles or display your company’s QR code, you’ll be able to demonstrate that you have a presence in China and gain some new followers in the process.
If you want consumers to spread the word about your landing pages, then adding sharing buttons is another sensible idea, broadening the reach of your content. Make sure it has been optimised for WeChat and other channels with the appropriate metadata and markup.
Think about your contact form
Where in the West businesses ask for first and last names, Chinese businesses typically use one form field for both their surname and given name - and there are a few other differences to consider, too.
Analyse your form and look for ways to cut back on the number of fields to reduce friction and abandonment, taking into consideration how much information you need and the type of conversion (i.e. a sign-up form will be longer than a newsletter form).
Reducing the number of fields will also improve your user experience, not only because it will make it easier for consumers to fill in, but because it will display better on mobile.
Test your forms and make sure content can be easily inputted on all devices, and that your mail server accepts Chinese language content. If you’re not sure, speak to your web host.
Remove blocked websites
If you’re repurposing landing pages for China rather than building them from scratch, make sure you remove any links, code, and trackers from tools or social networking platforms that are blocked or inaccessible in China.
Not only will they slow loading speeds, but they could cause your content to be blocked, or reduce your chances of appearing organically on Baidu.
Google, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Wikipedia, Vimeo, WhatsApp, SlideShare and Flickr are just some of the blocked sites - click here for a comprehensive list courtesy of Wikipedia.
Think about mobile
More than 95% of China’s digital traffic comes from smartphones, so make sure that your landing pages are properly optimised.
Use a responsive, mobile-first design that displays the most important content (like videos, headlines, calls to action, buy now buttons) above the fold; in other words, users shouldn’t have to scroll on their phones to see the juicy stuff.
You should also take into consideration browsers, and remember that Chinese consumers spend the majority of their time in apps.
If you’re advertising your landing pages on WeChat, for example, make sure they flow as well as they would do on a mobile browser, and that the WeChat UI doesn’t distract from or block any important content from your landing pages.
Conduct user testing
Finally, be sure to conduct user testing to determine the effectiveness of your new landing pages, and remember that tools are never as effective as speaking to real people.
Consider hosting a focus group with a segment of your target market to gather feedback, conduct an online survey, or A/B test and use data to determine the best page designs.
Through analytics, you’ll also be able to monitor sticking points and drop-off where users exit your landing page without interacting with a form or sign-up button.
Use that data to further tweak your pages and improve your content to drive conversions and sales on your website.
There’s no one-size-fits-all landing page template that works for every business in China, so take your time and focus on creating relevant and engaging content that really speaks to your target market.
Experiment and remember that nothing is set in stone - improve, change, and overhaul landing pages until your conversion rates fall in line with industry averages.
If you’re looking to expand into China and need a digital marketing partner to help you make the leap, get in touch with Zudu China.
We’ve helped dozens of UK businesses develop a brand presence in the country and tap into a market of more than 1.4 billion consumers.