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SEO in Japan: The Definitive Guide to SEO and Inbound Marketing Webinar


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We’re kicking off our webinars this year with a focus on International SEO. 2012 is the year that many of our customers are focusing on taking their brands and ecommerce businesses global.

This webinar was presented by Shawn Finn, Associate Director of Search, at Outrider Japan and Ray Grieselhuber, CEO and Co-Founder of Ginzametrics.

Published in: Technology, Design
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SEO in Japan: The Definitive Guide to SEO and Inbound Marketing Webinar

  1. 1. Your Presenters: Andy Radovic Shawn Finn Managing Director, Outrider Japan Associate Director, Outrider Japan• 10+ years in Digital with 6 focused • 5+ years in Search & Social on Search & Social across Japan planning, execution and and Korea markets management in Japan and Korea• Born and educated in the US and • A native Bostonian who loves now enjoys traveling throughout Mexican food, oil painting, Japan and Asia photography and the Red Sox
  2. 2. Strategy Search Marketing & SEO SEMConsumer Driven Solutions An Experienced Team 21 dedicated search marketers in Japan with a thorough command of the search medium and over 10 years of experience globally with industry vertical experience Proprietary Technology LPO Analytics Decide DNA is our proprietary double-byte compatible search and ROI technology helping clients manage complex search campaigns across the region/globe Results Driven Experience Delivering strong ROI for our clients is at the heart of what we do as a group, and all the search programs we build focus on delivering these results Local, Regional, & Global Leverage Social Performance With offices in all the major regions of the world, and now in Japan, we can leverage our network experience to provide added value to our clients Outrider is part of:
  3. 3. TODAY’s AGENDA1. Why Japan?2. Search Landscape in Japan3. SEO Best Practices: How to Be An SEO Ninja4. Who is Doing Well5. Final Thoughts
  4. 4. Why Japan?
  5. 5. #2[current global ranking for internet penetration]
  6. 6. 13.2%[estimated growth of `12 search spend]
  7. 7. 31%[estimated growth of `12 mobile search spend]
  8. 8. 15%[current smartphone penetration rate]
  9. 9. 34%[estimated smart phone penetration rate by end of 2012]
  10. 10. 307%[total growth in # of Facebook users within 2011]
  11. 11. Still #3 global Strongeconomy = Massive infrastructure and purchasing power very networkedPopulation that is Very concentrated very digitally & trend-focused switched on consumer mindset
  12. 12. All this equates to aOpportunity for those who are in or soon to enter Japan
  13. 13. The search landscape in Japan +
  14. 14. Similar to other markets, Japan has a proliferation of search engines…
  15. 15. …However, 2 search engines control over 92% of the market shareOver 10 billion searches per month in Japan with Google recentlyoverpowering Yahoo as the dominate search engine
  16. 16. And Mobile search is taking over…Breakdown of Beauty SearchTrends (Desktop vs. Mobile) Source: Google Internal - averages based on a sample of available industry-related Google data. Future results may differ from provided. Please use as a directional guide.
  17. 17. Introducing…Mr. Google Mrs. Yahoo
  18. 18. “Call to Search” Concept The majority of both television & train advertisements in Japan have a keyword in a search box as the primary user action, often with no URLA Recent Goo Research SurveyFound that: › More than 60% of consumers surveyed indicated they had seen a television advertisement that asked them to search for a key word › More than 32% of those that had seen the ad, had then actually used that keyword in a search.
  19. 19. Impact of TVCM on Mobile Search Queries… Mobile Search Query
  20. 20. Where is Search Headed…Survey: What are the top digital channelswhere you see opportunity in 2012? #1: Mobile #2: SEO #3: Social Source: Japan Marketing and Creativity magazine Jan 2008 * Questions directed at marketers across 74 companies• We see a shift in client mindset • The key challenge is how to make a with a skew towards SEO and less more local experience, while retain reliance on pure media your efficiencies of scale• There is a realization that the • We see a more continual shift to fundamentals of SEO are not mobile SEO and ways to properly currently in place address that channel
  21. 21. How to be an SEO Ninja
  22. 22. What it Takes to Succeed in JP1. Domain & Hosting Considerations2. To Localize or Not to Localize3. Keyword Strategy4. On-Page Fundamentals5. Content6. Social7. Linking
  23. 23. 1 Domain hosting is best served locally
  24. 24. Domain & Hosting Considerations Format Example Hosted Local Search* Bonus Overseas none Roman .com Locally minimal Overseas minimal Roman .jp/ .net, etc. Locally moderate Overseas moderate Japanese .com 転職.com Locally potentially strong Overseas moderate Japanese .jp/ , etc. 転職 Locally potentially strong *in Google/Yahoo JP from a Japanese IP address Key Takeaways • Local domains (.jp, see ranking benefits • IDNs can and do rank well The power of IDNs: ranks 4th for 香港ホテル for domain name terms (Hong Kong hotel)
  25. 25. 2 To localize or not to localize…
  26. 26. Let’s Get Emotional Successful localization in Japan relies on two overarching themes: Emotion Relevancy &
  27. 27. Emotion and Relevancy through Localization +
  28. 28. Emotion and Relevancy through Localization =
  29. 29. Emotion and Relevancy through Collaboration +
  30. 30. Emotion and Relevancy through Localization =
  31. 31. Emotion and Relevancy through Localization +
  32. 32. Emotion and Relevancy through Localization =
  33. 33. Breaking the Mold, and the Template Exbear – Expedia’s very Japanese mascot – has helped connect the brand with Japanese users in both a relevant and emotional way Key Takeaways • Localize your templates whenever possible, even ifSuccessful localization also involves adapting global it’s just the top page • Look to connect with userstemplates to Japanese visual aesthetics and UI through emotion andpreferences . . . a site that looks especially “foreign” relevancywill likely not do as well as a properly localized site!
  34. 34. 3 Keyword Strategy 輸入くるま ゆにゅうくるま 輸入車 ユニュウクル マ 輸入 車 yunyu kuruma ユニュウ クル ゆにゅう くるま マ 輸入 車 Yunyuu Kuruma ゆにゅう く るま ユニュウ クル マ ゆにゅう車
  35. 35. Keyword StrategyKeyword Type Searches* Key Takeaways輸入車 kanji, no spaces 480,000 • 4 different character sets to輸入 車 kanji, single byte space 240,000 optimize for: kanji, hiragana, katakana, romaji輸入 車 kanji, double byte space 560,000 • Watch your spacing – singleゆにゅうくるま hiragana, no spaces 3,900 byte vs. double byte influences Yahoo rankingsユニュウクルマ katakana, no spaces ~100 • Japanese tend to search in輸入くるま mixed kanji/hiragana 47,000 the infinitive, which can be hard to naturally work in toyunyu kuruma romaji 2,200 copyimport car English 15,600*Combined Google/Yahoo Japan, February 2012 Four Character Sets to Optimize for….• Kanji: Chinese characters used for everything 車 売る• Hiragana: phonetic alphabet used for conjugation and Japanese grammar rarely matches how spelling out words searches are formatted – the above• Katakana: phonetic alphabet used to spell loan words (literally “car to sell”) sees 40,000 and brands searches a month, but cannot be• Romaji: Roman characters naturally rolled in to copy.
  36. 36. 4 On Page Fundamentals On-page best practices for Japan do not vary from standard best practices:  On-page HTML Elements Links (H1s, Alts, Anchor Text, etc.)  Page Speed / Load Times Social  Keyword-rich Title Tags  Fresh Content On-Page Content  Quality Copy  Use HTML Content
  37. 37. 5 Content: more is better
  38. 38. Content Best Practices• More Is Better: Japanese users expect • Localize Forms: Remember, date to see lots of information. The Western formatting, credit card input fields, meme of “less is more” doesn’t work in name fields etc. are all formatted Japan, so don’t be afraid to load up on differently in Japan text-heavy details • About Us Pages (について) are often• Write content specifically for the among the most viewed pages on Japanese user, don’t just translate brand sites, especially foreign brands. existing English content – it won’t Put some love in to these pages! resonate with the user as well, and you’ll miss keyword density • Stock Images: Avoid the typical multi- opportunities racial corporate imagery common in the West – this is Japan, show Japanese• Highlight Local Management: Trust is a people with your brand and products huge part of the online experience in Japan, and demonstrating commitment Above all else, do not just use Google to the market by highlighting Japanese Translate! Users will know. User will management can go a long way in disapprove. cementing that trust
  39. 39. 6 Social Tea still on for tomorrow afternoon? Moved to Sunday, didn’t you see my FB update? She’s still stuck on mixi…
  40. 40. Link Building Social media in Japan is both highly developed and highly stratified
  41. 41. Social Key Takeaways It’s a stereotype, but: Japanese social media users are a lot more polite than you might be • Facebook, Twitter and mixi should used to – Japanese FB brand Pages tend not to all be part of any brand’s social see the negative comments and brand attacks that can be so frustratingly common in other strategy – but remember that mixi markets is a closed system and offers zero SEO value A Nation of Bloggers: With over a million blog entries a month, the Japanese are the world’s • Yahoo!知恵袋 (Q&A) is a great most active bloggers place to engage users; create a “brand ambassador” who mixi is slowly dying: For almost a decade, mixi had been Japan’s biggest SNS by a wide transparently answers product, margin, but the past few years have seen service and brand questions – great Facebook and Twitter catch up and eclipse the for backlinking too! homegrown network: • Social gaming on services like Glee and Mobage are massively popular; if your company can swing it, think about creating a branded social game to drive traffic and build awareness
  42. 42. 7 Linking #1: Go Native #2: PPP is OK With #3: Don’t Expect Me TransparencyWhen looking to build Pay Per Post backlinking A hard pill to swallow for mostbacklinks, remember that programs are popular in Japan digital marketers, link buildingengines value links and can be reasonably effective programs in Japan rarely reportoriginating from Japanese IP at boosting rankings for a low more than a sample of alladdresses and surrounded by investment. sourced backlinks – around 10%Japanese content – overseas is the building is less effective. PPP programs also drive solid traffic, especially those that run Tip: If you want to fullyJapanese anchor text is on top blog networks like undertake a complete SEOessential as well; large Ameblo. program in Japan, accept that linkvolumes of backlinks with building providers will notEnglish anchor text won’t cut Japanese users are not turned off provide the level of transparencyit. to sponsored blogging in the way you’re likely used to seeing in that North Americans tend to be. other markets. Shoganai yo ne.Tip: Place links with JP anchortext in the footers of other Tip: PPP programs work greatPoS sites with limited-time campaigns
  43. 43. Best-in-ClassSEO in Japan
  44. 44. Light and fast loading Editable content Localized domain Great title & header tags Localized site template
  45. 45. Great keyword targeting Localized domain Lengthy content Great title & header tags Localized site template
  46. 46. High quality of content Social signal integration Great interlinking Targeted keywords Clean & light pages
  47. 47. Final ThoughtsFinal Thoughts Go Local Whenever Possible: whether domain hosting, localizing templates and other assets, researching keywords, developing content or building links, look for a Japanese solution Trust Your Guys on the Ground: who better to help provide a local solution than your Japanese team? We’ve seen many foreign companies fail in their digital endeavors because Global refused to listen to Local Know Your Audience: you may have a clear idea in your head about your target audience in Japan, but understand that there will be cultural differences in user tendencies and expectations; speak to your Japanese audience One last time: Do not use Google Translate!