How to handle SEO in Japanese and content production

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SEO in Japanese -Titles and Descriptions

SEO strategy is crucial when localising digital campaigns in Japan. As Japanese is a unique language grammatically, structurally, and visually, content marketers need to be aware of how to localise their messages effectively.

For example, when compared with English, the difference is clear simply by looking at the SERPs result.

English

  • Title: 50-70 words

  • Meta description: 150-160 words

Japanese

  • Title: 25-35 words

  • Meta description: 120-130 words

Optimising titles, descriptions and their length are key for successful SEO both for grabbing the reader's' attention but also in gaining high CTRs.


Knowing Japanese Features - Writing and Extraction of Japanese Keywords

Japanese has three writing systems: hiragana, katakana and kanji. There are several ways to express a word. For example, sake (Japanese rice wine) can be written as さけ (hiragana), サケ (katakana), or 酒 (kanji). However, many Japanese people actually take katakana サケ as the meaning of salmon. It is clear from these examples that you need a native speakers perspective when localising your content.

In terms of optimizing keywords for the Japanese market, it is essential to know the writing system.

Japanese-On-page optimization such as headings and Alt tags

Page strategy can vary greatly in different areas of Japan. Headings should contain keywords that help readers to understand the description clearly and Alt Tags and captions should be chosen with the appropriate keywords. Shorter sentences will also require transcreation skills.


Search Engine Market Share in Japan

As of May 2018, search engine market share in Japan was approximately 75% for Google and 20% for Yahoo! Japan. Yahoo! Japan uses Google's search system, so virtually speaking we only need to focus on Google in terms of SEO.


As in other parts of the world, Google does not localise Japanese content automatically. Google's search algorithm is built on the "user first" philosophy. Therefore, it is important to design content production and distribution from the user's standpoint. For localisation, you will need to know the cultural context of the target country in depth.

Reference: https://about.google/


How to make SEO content and how to make a strategy

Creating SEO content means implementing strategies to capture organic inflows aiming at the top rank. As mentioned, Google has stated that it is displaying with the user first algorithm, so it is important to understand the user needs and to create the content that matches them.

First, define your needs. Then list the keywords that are relevant to those needs. Once you've decided on the keywords, monitor which performs better. Identify the sites that are already top searches and clarify the points that your content should aim for.

Once you’re happy, make a plan of execution and drop it into the composition of the content, and finally, produce it. Be bold! Consider multiple formats like video. Careful use of infographics has resulted in high uplifts in CTR in recent year. Avoid long titles and descriptions! The information contained in the content should always be accurate and easy to read. But this is not the end. Gather data! Read and interpret responses from readers and periodically rewrite. But above all, you must be familiar with the local market and tailor the language and strategy to cater to their localized needs.

YUICHI ISHINO