China Market Expert Expert, Senior Partner
Author of Sell Online To China
(Your Opportunity in China’s Booming Cross-border eCommerce Market) andHow to Build A Right Chinese Website That Works In China
Cheng Chao has extensive expertise in China market entry, global translation & localization, cross-border business development, and global digital marketing.
Chao founded ChineseTrans
, where he led a team of senior linguists to establish ChineseTrans as the market leader in professional Chinese translation services.
Since 2011, Chao has served as the managing director of SinoStep, a consulting agency helping foreign investment enter into the China market. Backed up with a strong team of China business consultants experienced in different sectors, Chao has successfully introduced dozens of overseas brands into the China market, established their operations in China on early stage and adapted their businesses to the China market.
see Chao's Bio
Latest posts by Chao Cheng (see all)
Writing Killer Chinese Web Copy That Sells More
Before you prepare the first Chinese character of your web copy,
you must first
- Know your goal
- Know where to post
- Know your target audience
- Know your product or service
- Know who will write or translate
Here are some fundamental rules:
Rule 10: Use the Right Chinese Language
Avoid simple mistakes of wrong languages first.
Many online sellers use traditional Chinese to sell to customers in mainland China.
If you are using a wrong language, how could you believe Chinese customer would trust you that you are serious with the business?
Rule 9: Write for your Chinese Customers, Not Yourself.
Never make your website only an ad.
To make your website effective, you should always put your Chinese visitors first.
Provide the information visitors seek and present it in an interesting, organized fashion.
Let the customer see the real you, that is how you can build trust.
Rule 8: Provide All the Information Your Chinese Customers Care
Your potential Chinese customers come to find answers, show them the facts and proof what they need.
- Case Study, Testimonial
- Returns & Guarantee
If they can not find the information they want, your competitors win.
And, it is very important to provide the correct and relevant information.
Chinese customers won’t trust you if you list wrong facts or examples.
Rule 7: Straightforward and Conversational
Chinese customers want to know everything before they buy, but nobody want to read cliches.
Organize your content to be easy to navigate and read.
- Making your text easy to read by using skills in keywords, paragraphs, short texts, etc.
- Use links in the right places.
- Straight to the point and be objective.
- Use the active voice.
- Use easy to understand words or phrases, avoid industry jargon.
Rule 6: Provide Benefits and Unique Propositions
Why Chinese customers would buy from you, instead from others?
Products are different? Price is lower?
Find out your USP (Unique Selling Proposition) before selling to China.
Think it over and speak it out loud. See my latest blog: When Would a Chinese Consumer Buy from Your Web Store?
Rule 5: Use Real Pictures
Real photos always work best in online selling.
Because it will win your trust.
Try to improve your photography skill if possible, or hire a good photographer.
Rule 4: Capture the Leads
Put contact forms, opt-in forms, registration in multiple places to make it easy for visitors to contact you.
Offer some freebies if you can to encourage potential Chinese customers to leave their email address.
Chinese customers are happy to see online chat functions. Make use of it if you can offer it.
Rule 3: Keep Your Content Fresh
Update your content all the time.
Add new content and remove anything that is no longer relevant.
Do not bury good articles.
Rule 2: Search Engine Friendly
Make your content friendly to Chinese search engines like Baidu.
Baidu is the top choice for Chinese customers to search anything.
Rule 1: Localize Your Web Copy to Adapt to the China Market
Before we point out the Rule of Thumb, let’s see a real case.
Case Study: My Diagnosis on Web Copies of a Medical Tourism Company
One medical tourism company came to me for a China market entry consulting, also asking me for a diagnosis of their Chinese web copies as well brochures.
- They made their website and launched a big Baidu PPC campaign, but there is no single lead coming in.
- They printed thousands of brochures and handed half of them in the shows, but the feedback is almost zero.
- They launched Chinese Email Marketing and sent mass emails, but it did not work at all.
- They plan to start Chinese social media marketing, but need a right strategy.
I looked into their business, found out there are several strategy problems need to be corrected. I am not covering this part in this article.
After I checked their web copies and their brochures. I told them to stop the PPC campaign and stop sending out the brochures.
Obviously they made a big mistake to translate their English text directly into Chinese, and they used a poor Chinese translator, or a poor Chinese proofreader, or a poor Chinese editor, or nobody actually checked the copies before it was officially published.
What was said in their web copy, then?
- The business is to send Chinese patient to Israelf for medical treatments. However, the Chinese copy says that Israeli institutions are overcrowded with overseas patients. If it is true, why should Chinese patients come over? They are scared away upon seeing this.
Cheng Chao: improper term used, obviously it is a wrong translation, and the original text intends to say the Israeli clinics are very welcome by foreign patients.
2. “There is no language barrier”, but Chinese was not mentioned in the whole paragraph. “Many physicians can speak very good English and some other European languages”
Cheng Chao: You are writing copies to Chinese customers, but you don’t write for them.
OK, Chinese customers got it, you do not speak Chinese at all 🙂 How could you say you solve the language problem? It is a lie or a joke?
This will be more interesting when see so many other typo, and mistakes of translation.
How could Chinese patients rest assured if they use your service?
3. The company compares their service with their counterparts in US and Europe.
However, if foreign patients go to US or Europe to get medical treatments, why they will arrive Israel?
Cheng Chao: If you want to sell, be serious to write.
People will only read when they are useful.
Don’t expect miracle happens if you are not a magician.
The Golden Rule
Customers only buy from companies they trust. Build the trust first for your business.
In the online world, writing is the first step. You must localize your web copies to adapt to the Chinese market. You need to understand the China market, do the right research.
A simple way is to use the best Chinese translator or Chinese copywriter you can find, they are your best salesperson.
Sometimes, it is not enough, you might need a China market entry consultant, like me:)