Sanka Insights

Mastering SEO in Japan: Boost Your Business with Tips and Tricks


Last Update: June 15, 2023


Japanese SEO is a unique landscape that requires a tailored approach to ensure success.

Are you wondering why Japan require a unique approach to SEO? The answer lies in the country's language, culture, and technological preferences.

Japanese language features different character sets, and Japanese users prefer local search engines like Yahoo! JAPAN.

In this blog post, we will explore some valuable tips and tricks to help you boost your business in Japan by harnessing the power of SEO.

Understanding the Japanese Market

Before diving into specific SEO strategies, it's essential to understand the Japanese market and its unique characteristics. Japan has a high internet penetration rate, with over 82% of the population having access to the internet.

Additionally, the Japanese language is ranked 8th as the most used language on the internet, making it a lucrative market for businesses looking to expand globally.

Search Engines in Japan

While Google dominates the search engine market globally, it's important to note that Yahoo! Japan is the most popular search engine in Japan, with a market share of around 45%.

Google comes in at a close second, with a market share of approximately 40%. Therefore, it's crucial to optimize your website for both search engines to maximize your visibility in Japan.

Tips and Tricks for SEO in Japan

Localizing Content for a Japanese Audience

The first step to achieving SEO success in Japan is to create content that is both relevant and engaging for the Japanese audience.

This includes translating your website into Japanese and adapting your content to cater to Japanese culture and preferences.

Ensure that the content, including product descriptions, blog posts, and metadata, is accurately translated and culturally appropriate.

Additionally, consider using a Japanese domain name (e.g., .jp) and hosting your website on a server in Japan to improve local search rankings.

Mastering Keywords and Search Engines

When conducting keyword research, focus on Japanese keywords and phrases that are relevant to your business.

Keyword research in Japanese demands an understanding of the language's intricacies - such as using essential kanji, hiragana, and katakana characters.

Additionally, it's essential to understand the differences between the two main types of Japanese writing systems: Kanji and Kana.

Kanji is the more complex system, while Kana is simpler and more commonly used in everyday communication. Make sure to incorporate both types of keywords in your content.

Additionally, Japanese users tend to genuinely trust their local search engines like Yahoo! JAPAN and To maximize your visibility, optimize your content for both Google and Yahoo Japan.

Focus on Local SEO

Local SEO is crucial for businesses targeting the Japanese market. Make sure to claim your Google My Business listing and optimize it with relevant information, such as your business address, phone number, and business hours.

Additionally, submit your website to Japanese local directories and review sites to improve your local search visibility.

Leveraging Sanka for SEO Automation

Sanka is a powerful automation tool specifically designed to execute SEO in Japan efficiently.

It understands the complexities of the Japanese market and offers valuable insights to optimize your website.

This tool ensures that your content is localized, keywords are effective, and all aspects of SEO are aligned to meet the expectations of your Japanese audience.

Mobile Optimization

Mobile usage is extremely high in Japan, with over 94% of the population using smartphones.

Hence, it is imperative that your website is mobile-friendly and responsive to cater to this large audience.

Ensure that your website loads quickly on mobile devices, as a slow site, can hurt your search engine rankings and cause users to leave your page.

Embracing Local Link Building

Backlinks are a crucial factor in SEO, and this remains true for the Japanese market. Focus on building high-quality backlinks from authoritative Japanese websites to improve your website's credibility and search engine ranking.

Be proactive in pursuing opportunities to have your content featured on relevant local websites and blogs.

Engage in guest blogging, influencer collaborations, and social media outreach to generate relevant backlinks.

Building relationships with local influencers and industry experts can also be valuable in acquiring quality backlinks.

This approach sends a strong signal to search engines that your content is relevant and valuable, which can positively impact your rankings.

Analyzing Competitor SEO Strategies

Keep an eye on your competitors' SEO strategies to understand their strong and weak points.

By analyzing their techniques and comparing them with your own, you can build stronger and more effective SEO campaigns.

Tools like Sanka come in handy to automate this process, allowing you to focus your efforts on strategy and execution.

Utilizing Japanese Social Media Platforms

Social media platforms are powerful drivers for increasing online visibility. In Japan, local platforms such as LINE, Twitter, and Instagram are widely used.

Make sure to integrate your social media profiles with your website to encourage users to share your content and improve your online visibility.

Additionally, develop and maintain an active presence on these platforms by sharing localized content, promotions, and updates regularly to build brand awareness and improve your overall SEO performance.

Monitoring and Optimizing Your SEO Strategy

SEO is an ongoing process, and it's crucial to regularly monitor your website's performance.

Use analytics tools like Google Analytics, Yahoo! Japan Web Analytics, or a credible third-party tool like Sanka to track progress and identify areas where improvements can be made.

Stay updated with the latest search engine algorithm changes and industry trends to maintain a competitive edge.

The Role of International SEO

International SEO, also known as global SEO, is the process of optimizing a website's content to make it more visible and relevant to users in different countries and languages.

It is vital for businesses that aim to expand their footprint not only in Japan but also around the world.

To reach a global audience, create a diverse SEO strategy that caters to multiple regions and languages.

Understand the cultural differences and user habits of each specific market to craft customized approaches.


Conquering SEO in Japan requires continuous learning and adaptation. By understanding the unique characteristics of the Japanese market and implementing these tips and tricks, you can effectively optimize your website for search engines in Japan and boost your business's online visibility.

Armed with powerful tools like Sanka and a dedicated approach, your business will be primed for success in Japan.

Remember that SEO is an ongoing process that requires continuous effort and adaptation to stay ahead of the competition.


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