Japanese SEO

Most website owners who target visitors from Japan know that Japanese SEO (search engine optimization) is an important element to bring website traffic. SEO should be coupled with your other marketing techniques to enable success. Japan is a very unique market and some techniques are particular to this attractive and large market.

What every Japanese SEO strategy must have

In this article we will introduce some key points about Japanese SEO, helping you achieve better SEO results.

1. Focus on Google SEO techniques to target Yahoo Japan

The most popular search engines in Japan are Google and Yahoo. If you are used to Google SEO techniques, the good news is that Yahoo JAPAN uses Google’s algorithm, which means that optimising for Google will cover 95% of the market share.

2. Use a local Japanese domains such as .jp or co.jp

Having a .jp .co.jp domain is a good choice of TLD (top-level domain) domain, as it can be seen as legitimate and trustworthy. These domains are usually only given to companies registered in Japan, which is why they are seen as trustworthy to the Japanese audience.

3. Use Latin characters for your URLs rather than Japanese characters.

You might think it’s best to use Japanese characters such as kanji and katakana in Japanese URLs, but this is usually not the case. Japanese language URLs often get converted to numbers. We suggest using roman alphabets, using the English spelling of Japanese words. It’s easier to share this link via email or social media. URLs that use Japanese characters can make things confusing when they are copied and shared.

5. Use Japanese Titles and Meta Descriptions

Google counts pixel length, not number of characters. For Japanese characters, it’s helpful to note that they are all 20 pixels, so the maximum title length is 28 characters. For meta descriptions, it is 49.5 characters if you are using full-width Japanese characters. In addition to the word limit, coming up with titles that can grab people’s attention is important as it helps increase your click-through rates (CTR)

6. Make sure your website is Japanese UI and UX friendly 

Having a website that is made for your Japanese audience is a good idea. Japanese people come to expect certain things on websites such as an extensive FAQ section. Google also prioritises performance over how good a website looks, so it’s better to focus on what enables you to rank higher in the search engine. Looking at a website from the point of view of Japanese users is important and will help you rank higher.

7. Use Japanese compatible SEO tools to monitor website performance

Regularly monitoring your website’s results is significant when you are running a website, as the algorithm and the competitors keep changing. You can use Google Search Console, a free option which allows you to see an overview of your website’s performance and the points for improvement. If you have more media budget, you can also the Japanese SEO tool mieru-ca, the cheapest plan is around $1,000 monthly. English language SEO tools such as SEMrush are also available in Japanese, we have used them and can confirm they are effective.

8. Make sure your Japanese translations are authentic

Often foreign run websites in Japan contain machine translated content that does not sound authentic. If you use Google translate it’s best to have it checked by a Japanese translator for any errors. Japanese business is all about trust and when there are many grammar errors on a website it does not come across as trustworthy. 

9. Use effective Japanese keyword targeting

The Japanese language has three systems for writing Hiragana, katakana, and kanji. It’s important to use a spread of these when writing content so that you don’t miss keywords. Sometimes the same word can be translated using 2 or more of the character sets,

10. Focus on Japanese backlinks

When you start your SEO strategy in Japan, focus on getting backlinks from Japanese sites to boost your local authority. You can use tools such as SEMRUSH to check which backlinks your competitors have.

11. Make your Japanese website load quickly

These days user attention is very short, so fast load times are a must. Remove any unnecessary slow loading items. Also consider that many users in Japan are using mobile, so pay attention to mobile loading times.

12. Tailor content for the Japanese market

When writing articles and content for your website, be sure to write things that resonate with a Japanese audience. Articles that have high levels of knowledge sharing and tips are popular in this market. If you are a foreign company it’s possible to create content that is harder for local Japanese companies to make, this can make you stand out from the crowd and rank on more unique keywords.

Making your Japanese SEO strategy a success

Although entering into a unique market like Japan poses challenges for many foreign companies in terms of SEO, with some guidance it can be easy to see results. We have found that after a few months of focused work you can see an increase in Japanese traffic..

At JapanBuzz we offer Japanese SEO services to many of our clients, if you would like some help then please get in touch

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