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Gemma Houghton

Japanese SEO: A look ahead to the International Search Summit with Rakuten

There are many SEO tactics and techniques that apply whether you’re targeting one country or 50. However, for every market, there are unique challenges and opportunities which require understanding and adaptation.

This is particularly true for Japan, which has a very particular culture and distinctive language which sets it apart from all other countries. It’s also a global powerhouse and forward-thinking nation, which offers huge opportunities for businesses willing to make the effort to get to know it.

The upcoming International Search Summit Barcelona will feature a session on Japanese SEO, presented by Brad Lucido and Akihiro Miyata who are part of the SEO team at Rakuten in Japan and will share first-hand experiences and insights on how to achieve success in Japanese search.

Ahead of the event, I asked them a few questions about the market and their talk, and Google’s Gary Illyes (who’ll be moderating the talk) added his insights about why it’s such a valuable addition to the agenda.

What is an overview of differences between Japan and other countries when it comes to search?

Japan uses a character-based language instead of a letter-based language. The way that these characters are used in the Japanese language in general is quite different from most other languages, including other character-based languages, and this in turn influences how keywords are used in search. Our presentation will explain exactly how Japanese characters are used in search.

Why is Japan an attractive market for international businesses?

Japan has the world’s third largest economy, with an estimated 93% of the population connected to the internet. The population is highly literate and the e-commerce sector is also expanding. It is expected for there to be more room for innovative and new internet-based products and services.

What will attendees at the International Search Summit learn from your session?

How to plan Japanese keyword targeting and content marketing for the Japanese market.

Gary Illyes adds: “Japan is undoubtedly my favourite country. It’s beautiful, organised and modern yet also ancient, with traditions dating back to the 12th century! Japan is very welcoming, but for most people, the cultural and social differences are scary; especially when it comes to business. It doesn’t have to be that way and this talk will show you why, as well as how you can propel your business into potential Japanese customers’ attention.”

Tickets are still on sale for the 3-track International Search Summit on 14 November 2019, where topics on international SEO, international SEM, localisation, analytics and global content marketing will feature. Book your place!

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Gemma Houghton

Gemma Houghton

Director of Marketing at Webcertain
Gemma has worked in international search marketing for over ten years and is Director of Marketing at Webcertain, overseeing all marketing activities for the Group. She also organises and programs Webcertain's International Search Summit, a search marketing conference focusing on international and multilingual online marketing which runs across Europe and the US. Gemma holds a Professional Diploma in Marketing from the Chartered Institute of Marketing, a Diploma in Management and Leadership from the Chartered Management Institute, and a BA joint honours degree in French and German.

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