SEO, which stands for Search Engine Optimization, is extremely valuable for your brand. If you have a website, you should always check that users find it easily and how they can find it. You will see benefits both on the short and long term and increase online traffic.
Why Is SEO Important in Japan
To earn customer trust, the first step is to get positive reviews and be well ranked on the main search engines. According to the 2019 Edelman Trust Barometer, they are the most trusted source of information in Japan.
Japanese Internet users want to know what others think about your company and if you are reliable. They pay great attention to the number of stars your product has (even though many sellers pay to have positive reviews), they are looking for quality, convenience and value.
Info Cubic also observed that half of their Japanese site traffic was due to organic searches.
How to Improve Your SEO
First, use the right domain for your website. The main ones in Japan are .co.jp and .jp. Your website will rank higher for Japanese users, so you will have more visibility. If your traffic is already very good to your .com domain, keep it and add a /jp. Hosting your site in Japan or offering a Japanese version will attract more people and help you earn trust.
Second, because there are many ways to write in Japanese (in kanji, hiragana, katakana or romaji), check beforehand if the keywords used are the most popular. It is the same with hashtags, if you use the wrong characters you will reach out to fewer people. To know which script you should use, check on Google how many results you find. For example, if you choose Japan in the region setting, you find 14.7 billion results for ‘body’ in kanji (体 karada), 197 million in hiragana (からだ), 91 million in katakana (カラダ) and 4.8 million in romaji (karada). The first one is therefore the most used by Japanese when searching on the Internet. However, it is better to avoid using characters other than romaji for URLs, for the sake of the aesthetic. Encoding issues occur easily when sharing a link with Japanese characters.
Also, few Japanese are fluent in English, so it is better to adapt to them rather than waiting for them to adapt. You must know how to speak Japanese or hire people who do – but not only. Understanding the cultural background is essential. If you don’t, you might use the numbers 4 and 9 while they have the same pronunciation as ‘death’ and ‘agony’, you might structure your site as you would have done for Westerners (clean, whitespace filled, while Japanese prefer a compact and full of information design, which is less ‘sad’ to them), etc.
Finally, use the good search engines to check your website popularity. Unlike in Europe, Yahoo! (Japan) is among the most used platforms, almost as popular as Google. Besides, when users visit your website, they should feel as if they were on a Japanese one. Structure it as other companies do in Japan (don’t copy paste what they do, but draw your inspiration from them) and use a mascot or cartoon material such as anime or manga characters. According to Manga Plus and WordBank, it:
- ‘Increases the average visit duration by 1 minute 12 seconds.’
- ‘Decreases bounce rates from 78% to 62%.’
- ‘Increases conversion rates from 0.36% to 0.87%.’
Don’t neglect the impact of SEO on your business, read as much as you can about it and you’ll earn success! If you need help to enter the Japanese market, you can also contact us. We will be glad to help you for your product launch!
Reference: www.wordbank.com/us/blog/international-marketing/japanese-seo/ www.infocubic.co.jp/en/blog/seo/japanese-seo-2019/ www.manga-plus.net