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Reaching Potential Customers using the Right Keywords in Japan

The Importance of Keywords

Global companies desire to bring in a suitable market when doing business expansion in Japan. Localizing keywords is an efficient strategy that aims to target potential customers and improve the website’s position in search engines. It helps make business more accessible to Japanese customers. Choosing the right keywords is essential to creating the basis for content marketing and future content generation.

Japanese keywords tend to have different search volumes, depending on the character used. For example, the word “price” can be written in several Kanji characters, such as 価格 (kakaku) or 値段 (nedan), and in direct Katakana, プライス (puraisu). Even with the same meaning, each translation has distinct search volumes. Therefore, considering preferred Japanese characters and abbreviations as chosen keywords will affect your business performance in search engines.

There are four steps to consider when selecting suitable keywords for your business. The main idea of keyword localization is to target the most relevant keywords and get a reasonable amount of monthly internet searches in Japan.

Steps for Creating Effective Keywords

1. Research Your Keywords

There are benefits of keyword research at the forefront of a digital marketing campaign. Here are five reasons why:

  • Keywords help get to know your brand and business. What are you selling? What are your services? Identifying your keywords enables you to understand your business.
  • Keywords research informs vital information, such as your keyword’s rank position, common keywords people use, competitor’s chosen keyword, and rank position.
  • Keyword research can tell you what people are searching for rather than what you think they do.
  • Search engines can only rank your website if they know your business. Google can rank you by targeting keywords on different website pages.
  • Identifying keywords to use in blogs and outreach can drive traffic to your website.

Keyword research in Japanese is different compared to translating English words into Japanese, considering the dynamics of the Japanese language. The usual English search strategy has different nuances in Japan as well. Hence, it is critical to research which keywords are commonly used and feel natural in Japanese with higher traffic to grab the right potential customers.

Using a tool to get better research is advisable. Keyword Planner provided by Google can help you understand more about the keyword dynamic in Japan and support your analysis. When researching, add your targeted keywords to the Organic Keywords page to receive the top 10 organic search terms. Consider using keywords with enough monthly searches, mid-low competition, and mid-low top-of-page bids. Use variations of your primary keyword to grab a wider audience.

2. Choose the Right Keywords

With the marketing objectives and campaign goals in mind, knowing the intent of choosing specific keywords is essential. It is beneficial for marketers and businesses to select suitable keywords for their campaigns in Japan. There are three general purposes for searching:

Determine keyword search objectives in advance of deciding which keywords to target. Choosing the right keywords helps businesses stay aligned to marketing campaign objectives and understand suitable material to fulfill the customer search intent.

3. Expand the Reach of Existing Keywords

Extend keywords in a search ad campaign to boost campaign reach, efficiency, or both. It aids new and prospective clients. Use the Google Ads feature to expand your keyword reach with a mix of Broad-match, Smart Bidding, and Responsive Search Ads.

Google Ads uses Ad-Rank to determine a campaign’s ad position. Acquiring a high Ad-Rank for your campaign by expanding the keyword reach is necessary to compete well against competitors. 

The Ad-Rank value is cost-per-click (CPC) bid times by Quality Score. Consider improving the Quality Score to increase the Ad-Rank, allowing lower bids, and saving the budget. Optimizing the clickthrough rate (CTR), landing page experience, and ad relevance can be applied to get a better Quality Score.

4. Refine Your Keywords

Regularly checking a campaign’s search terms is essential to observe the preferred keywords in Japanese and their effectiveness. Utilize the Google Keyword Planner to evaluate your chosen keywords and select keywords advantageous to your business.

Another consideration is adding irrelevant generated search terms to the marketing campaign in negative keywords. It will allow you to exclude search keywords from your campaigns and focus on those critical to your potential customers. These features help improve campaigns’ performance, especially those with “leads” as an objective.

Challenge of Reaching Potential Customers in Japan

General keywords can have tons of monthly searches, and competitors will likely use identical terms. Thus, competing for the Ad-rank position is challenging. Instead of relying only on organic search, use paid keywords to boost ranking by choosing the right keywords to bid on to get the most clicks, traffic, and conversions. Optimizing both organic and paid keywords to dominate the website traffic, hence helps boost Ad-rank position.

Search engines will make your content with selected keywords appear on their top page when someone is looking for information and charge a fee per click— target the right audience by advertising the right Japanese keywords, and help stand out among the same content.

Japanese word order and pronouns differ from English, creating a more complex situation when localizing keywords. While direct translation may be tempting, there is a high risk of mistranslation, leading to confusion and failure to reach the intended audience. It is critical to consider using a local partner who understands the Japanese market to help you determine the right keywords for your business.

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