Mastering Japanese SEO: 10 Key Strategies for Success in Japan

Published on: October 16, 2023

Mastering Japanese SEO- 10 Key Strategies for Success in Japan

Looking to captivate the Japanese audience with your website? Well, diving deep into Japanese SEO (search engine optimisation) is key to boosting your site’s visibility.

Japan’s market is distinct, with its own set of nuances. In this guide, we’ll unravel the critical elements of Japanese SEO to elevate your website’s performance.

Top 10 Japanese SEO strategies:

1. Leverage Google SEO for Yahoo Japan

In Japan, Google and Yahoo are the dominant search engines.

Yahoo Japan utilises Google’s algorithm. By optimising for Google, you effectively cover 95% of the market share. Just remember, while the organic SEO strategies are consistent for both, their pay-per-click (PPC) advertising methods aren’t the same.

2. Use local Japanese domains

When selecting a top-level domain (TLD), consider opting for a .jp or .co.jp domain.

These domains are perceived as authentic and trustworthy, primarily because they are typically reserved for companies registered in Japan, instilling trust within the Japanese audience.

3. Use Latin alphabet in URL slugs

Ever thought of using Japanese characters in your URLs? It sounds fitting, especially for a Japanese audience. However, there’s a quirky thing: when you slot Japanese characters into a URL, they turn into a jumble of numbers and symbols.

For instance, if you go with a slug like /blog/seo解析ツール (which translates to “SEO analysis tool”), the actual URL will end up looking like /blog/seo%e8%a7%a3%e6%9e%90%e3%83%84%e3%83%bc%e3%83%ab.

This happens because URLs are designed to only have alphanumeric symbols and a few special characters. Anything outside this set gets encoded.

A smarter move? Consider using English or romaji (that’s the Romanised version of Japanese) for your slugs. It not only looks cleaner but also makes sharing links in emails or on social platforms a breeze.

4. Optimize titles and meta descriptions in Japanese

Google looks at pixel width, not just character count.

Since each Japanese character is about 20 pixels wide, try to keep your title under 28 characters. For meta descriptions, stick to about 50 characters if you’re using full-width Japanese characters. Keep it concise and on point.

5. Prioritize Japanese-friendly UI and UX

Designing a website tailored to your Japanese audience is essential. Japanese users have specific expectations, such as an extensive FAQ section.

Google prioritises performance over aesthetics, so focus on elements that enhance your search engine ranking. Always view your website through the lens of a Japanese user to climb those ranking ladders effectively.

6. Ensure authentic Japanese translations

Avoid the common pitfall of machine-translated content on foreign-run websites in Japan. Trust is paramount in Japanese business culture, and grammar errors can erode credibility.

7. Effectively target Japanese keywords

The Japanese language is a unique blend of three writing systems: Hiragana, Katakana, and Kanji. To nail your keyword strategy, it’s crucial to weave all three character sets into your content. Remember, many words can be expressed in multiple systems, so in-depth keyword exploration is a must.

While popular keyword tools like SEMrush can handle Japanese, they don’t fully grasp its nuances. That’s why many Japanese firms lean towards locally developed SEO tools for their insights. Japanese SEO tools such as GMO Rank Checker and Mieruca have the edge — they pinpoint the exact keyword variations and synonyms that Japanese users type in when they’re on the hunt for your products, services, or brand.

8. Build Japanese backlinks

Kick off your SEO game in Japan by securing backlinks from local Japanese sites, boosting your credibility in the region.

Consider using press releases as a tool for visibility, especially if you have an intriguing product or narrative to showcase. They can also land you valuable backlinks from top news platforms. However, keep in mind that Japan has a unique approach to press releases. Mere translations of your English content won’t make the mark. Adapting both the content and format to resonate with the Japanese market is crucial.

9. Optimize website loading speed for Japanese users

In an era of short user attention spans, swift website loading times are non-negotiable.

Eliminate slow-loading elements and pay attention to mobile loading times, as many Japanese users browse on mobile devices. Japanese e-commerce sites tend to opt for smaller images for performance reasons.

10. Tailor content for the Japanese audience

When creating articles and content, ensure it resonates with a Japanese audience.

Sharing valuable knowledge and practical tips is highly appreciated in the Japanese market. As a foreign company, crafting unique content can set you apart and help you rank for distinctive keywords.

Get content like this in your inbox.

More trending articles

Award - Tmall 5 Star Partner
Award - Tmall Global 2021 TP100 Silver
Award - CCBC 2022 Gold