Baidu Tongji (Analytics) launched some cool new tools this year that provide some functionality not available in Google Analytics: Heat Maps, Site Speed Test and Baidu Index Checker. Let’s take a look!
Baidu Index Checker
This is a great tool for monitoring how many of your website’s pages have been indexed by Baidu. It not only shows you current data but shows you historical data as well.
I used this tool to test out an idea. I’ve often heard that running a Baidu pay-per-click campaign is the fastest way to get a website indexed by Baidu. I doubted this was true, so I tested it out to see what would happen.
Below is a screenshot of a client account. We activated a pay-per-click campaign on November 1st and the number of indexed pages immediately went up. At this time, we were not doing any other marketing activities for this client. This is only one site, but the effects are quite pronounced. It seems likely that running a Baidu pay-per-click campaign really gets pages indexed.
Baidu Heat Map
A heat map is used to display the areas of a web page that are clicked most. Baidu provides heat maps along with its Analytics platforms. Although there are English-language options to view heat maps, they still aren’t included in Google Analytics.
If you hover your mouse over an area, you can see how many clicks there were, the traffic source and keywords. You can also see the geographic location of visitors and the browsers they use.
A major drawback is that this data is only available for the past seven days.
Google’s In-Page Analytics report does have some similarities to this. The major difference is that Google’s tool checks the links clicked but does not record the location of the click. For example, in the image below, if 45 people click the “Tours” link up top and 15 people click the “Tours” link in the footer, Google will display 60 clicks for each link. On the plus side, Google’s In-Page Analytics tool will show additional data such as bounce rate and time on site.
Baidu Site Speed Test
As most of our clients are not Chinese companies and many of their websites are hosted in other countries, site performance is often an issue of concern. After all, Chinese Internet users have to be able to load the pages of your website quickly if you want them to convert.
Baidu’s site speed test doesn’t only show you the speed for one page, it actually gives you data for all pages that have Baidu Analytics code installed.
Baidu provides a summary report for all pages.
It also provides a more detailed report for the speed of one page, like Google’s Page Speed Online.
It gives you tips on how to improve your page load time too.
Finally, it even shows you the performance of different regions of China.
Google Analytics, Google Webmaster Tools and Google’s Page Speed Online do provide similar functionality. Baidu Analytic’s page speed function has two clear advantages:
- It works for all pages. Google Analytics samples only some page loads, so the data isn’t always available and isn’t always reliable.
- It’s organized in one place rather than being split apart into separate tools as is the case with Google.
To use these tools, you need to first install Baidu Tongji. You don’t need a Baidu pay-per-click account. The interface is only available in Chinese though.
One more thing: Although this article is about new Baidu Tongji features, it’s important to remember that Baidu Tongji gets along with Baidu Tuiguang (pay per click) very well, similar to how Google AdWords and Google Analytics link up.