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Why SEO Matters for Japan B2B Marketers

Sixty-eight percent of all online activities start with a search engine. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) ensures potential customers find websites in relevant searches, and attracts customers to marketer websites rather than interrupting the customer’s natural journey with pushy sales tactics.

Japan, like other countries, has its own approach to SEO. The nature of local language and cultural preferences impacts search intent and SEO in Japan, posing a challenge for global B2B marketers in executing marketing tactics.

Search intent mismatch leads to confusion and failure to reach intended audiences. Knowing how SEO in Japan works benefits B2B marketers in organically syndicating their content to specific audiences in targeted purchasing processes.

Current Internet & Search Engine Preferences in Japan

  • Ninety-four percent of Japanese access the internet daily.
    According to the Japan Digital 2022 report by We Are Social, more than 118 million internet users in Japan access the internet daily to find information.
  • Search engines are the primary source of brand and product discovery, well ahead of TV ads.
    More than 43 percent of Japanese internet users utilize search engines as a primary source of new brands and product discovery, well ahead of advertising on TV, according to a Global Web Index survey in 2021. Japanese people tend to visit brand websites after performing a query on a search engine
  • Google dominates Japan’s search engine market, but Yahoo! Japan is noteworthy
    Google dominates Japan’s search engine market share at around 76 percent, although somewhat less when compared to Google in global markets.
    Although it is the most used search engine in Japan, Yahoo! Japan is still the nation’s largest web portal, with 78 billion monthly page views, and is the number one visited news site in Japan.

Japanese Preferences Boost Website Traffic

The increasing trend of Japanese searching for product information on search engines before purchasing in Japan prompts marketers to assess which search engine is most suited to Japan.

As Japan is Google-centric, B2B companies targeting Japan should implement SEO initiatives with Google’s strategic practices in mind. Marketers may also consider the Yahoo! Japan search portal as well to target a wider audience.

Moreover, if you want Japanese people to find you online, simply creating a Japan website and going ” online” is not enough. Understanding Japan SEO will ensure your site is search engine friendly, has content that matches search queries, and is attractive to your target audience, Japan.

There is also distinctiveness in the Japan SERPs compared to other countries. For example, Yahoo! Japan visuals are information-dense and have less white space, which is preferable to Japanese, while Google Japan appears similar to Google worldwide. Understanding the position, visibility, and traffic for SERP layouts is essential to targeting Japanese.

Target B2B customers using Japan SEO by appropriately considering Japanese search engine intent and preferences.



Focus on Japan SEO Supports Long-Term Business Growth

Where paid ads drive immediate and short-term traffic, organic SEO can bring a steady stream of high-quality traffic to your site even after implementing a B2B campaign.

As a result, SEO makes it possible for your website to rank for conversion-specific keywords, like “provider,” “services,” and “buy,” which should be localized to target the Japanese market. If Japanese internet users, who are searching with keywords queries, end up on your website, there is a better chance they will register, subscribe, or buy from your website.

Furthermore, SEO implementation improves search ranking, generating conversion, return on investment (ROI), and overall business growth in Japan.

Marketers can continue current campaigns while opening up a new consistent stream of new leads in Japan by taking a multichannel approach and considering SEO alongside existing traffic channels. Leads from SEO are eight times more likely to become paying customers than those generated through traditional ad campaigns.

Sixty-six percent of B2B marketers use SEO. B2B brands have seen better ROI from inbound marketing and SEO (Hubspot State of Inbound Marketing Trends 2022)



Important Note: SEO Should Match the Japan Market Search Intent

Japanese culture heavily influences how users perceive and understand the content of your website. Marketers need to communicate from a Japanese perspective. Basic wording, language use, sentence structures, word nuance, and common expressions are unique to Japan’s market.

Similar to many language pairs, Japanese words do not have a direct English equivalent in many cases. As certain characters for keywords tend to have distinct search volumes, rather than translating all categories, products, etc. into katakana, marketers may also consider search volume, competitor use, media use, and develop strategy regarding vocabulary and characters in keywords.

When promoting to the Japanese, it is critical to understand what the Japanese believe and desire using natural language and comfortable visuals. An effective SEO strategy builds a website’s online presence sustainably and supports marketers in achieving their marketing goals in Japan.

Creating powerful SEO in Japan is challenging for global companies. Assistance from Japanese locals and professionals benefits marketers when implementing SEO strategies in Japan.

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