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Understanding the importance of SEO in Japan

May 11, 2023

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) has emerged as a crucial component of any effective digital marketing plan in the competitive Japanese industry. With it, businesses can significantly improve website traffic, online exposure, lead generation, and conversion rates. 

Since it might be difficult for companies to adopt efficient SEO Japan techniques to address distinct language, cultural differences, and complex writing systems, this guide can help you learn more about Japanese SEO. This also includes the descriptions of SEO terms, the basics of keyword research, and even link-building techniques geared towards learning about the Japanese market. 

As online gambling continuously grows in popularity in Japan, SEO has become crucial for online casinos to draw in and reach out to customers. These sites can increase their online performance by using the techniques properly. If you haven’t delved deeper into this, here is a comprehensive SEO guide Japan. 

The importance of Japanese SEO for your casino website 

Over the years, the Japanese market has become fond of online casinos as it has a large population of potential customers who have grown interested in online gambling. In line with that, Japan has provided a significant opportunity for casino sites to expand their reach and earn more revenue. However, these sites must have an effective Japanese SEO strategy to succeed. 

SEO in Japan involves optimising your web content for Japanese search engines, such as Yahoo! Japan and Google Japan, to improve your website's visibility, web traffic, and reputation. These may be done by including relevant keywords and phrases, improving website performance, and positioning your website as a trusted and relevant source of information. In the long run, this can help attract more visitors to your website and increase your chances of converting them into loyal customers.

Japanese clients appreciate it when they feel inclusion and trust from their preferred site’s SEO, including online casinos. As crucial components of Japanese SEO, an online casino can boost its position in search engine results pages and improve its chances of success online, especially since there are several other competitors. Among the ways this can be achieved is by ensuring that the content is optimised, has relevance, is factual, and engaging. 

Search engines in Japan

Search engines play a vital role in the online experience of Japanese internet users. While Google dominates the search engine market worldwide, it faces tight competition with local search engines such as Yahoo! Japan and Rakuten. 

Visibility and search engine ranking are among the critical factors to consider when focusing on digital marketing in Japan. The higher a website ranks on Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs), the more likely it is to attract organic traffic and generate leads and conversions. 

To determine page ranking, search engines in Japan use complex search algorithms that consider various factors such as popularity and technical performance. Understanding these algorithms and implementing effective SEO strategies can help businesses improve their website's ranking and visibility in Japanese search engines. 

There are several popular search engines you need to take into consideration when tapping into the Japanese SEO scene. These are: 

  1. Google → A widely used search engine in the country. Despite its worldwide popularity, its market share looks a little different compared to other countries that use it. 
  2. Yahoo! Japan → Yahoo! Remains a popular search engine in Japan despite it not being that commonly used in several other countries.

Aside from the two aforementioned, two other popular search engines in Japan are Bing and Rakuten. 

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Best SEO practices for Japan: Effective optimisation of your casino website

When working on an online casino site, pay attention to your SEO practices and ensure your tactics align with consumers' interests. By using tools like Google Analytics for marketing research, you’ll find it easier to work on planning a strategic management style that can help boost your brand. 

To provide your potential players with a fantastic experience, watch tutorials on how you can give them personalisation that will tailor to their key interests. If you haven’t tried exerting effort on online casinos in Japan with SEO, here are some things to remember: 

Local SEO strategies in Japan 

Local SEO in Japan is crucial for you to focus on since it increases local visibility. This gives you a better chance to connect with your site's localisation. This might also help you be more relatable with their language or culture. 

To learn more about the best techniques you can use, refer to local citations, review sites, or even directories. These will give you an idea of what approaches to take for your digital marketing arm. You can also use a tool like Google My Business to improve your presence on SERPs. 

Japanese keyword research 

Japanese keyword research requires a specialised approach due to the country’s unique language and writing system. Using a keyword research tool is crucial to accurately identify relevant keywords and search trends specific to Japan. It's also important to consider the competition and cultural nuances affecting keyword usage. 

Long-tail keywords can also be effective in targeting specific audiences. With the right Japanese keyword research strategy, businesses can improve online visibility and increase site traffic. It's crucial to understand the language and culture of Japan to develop a successful Japanese keyword research plan.

On-page optimisation techniques 

On-page optimisation techniques are crucial for improving site rankings and attracting more visitors or, in the case of online casinos, players. Content creation is at the heart of on-page optimisation, and businesses should focus on creating valuable, localised content that engages with their target audience. Using headers, title tags, and meta descriptions is also essential for optimising content for search engines. 

User experience and website design are also key factors in on-page optimisation as they are needed to ensure a site is easy to navigate and visually appealing. Images should also be optimised with alt text providing context for search engines. Thus, the translation of content can also help businesses reach a wider audience and improve their search rankings.

Off-page optimisation and link building 

This aspect has something to do with link building that can be done by contacting local directories, contacting influencers, and forming partnerships with internet forums and communities. You can also try using infographics and guest blogging, both powerful link-building strategies that raise site credibility, search engine rankings, and brand recognition. 

To increase a website's exposure and SEO, it's critical to maintain a strong site structure and top-level domain. One of the tools that can be used to improve this aspect is using a useful tool like Google Search Console, which tracks backlinks and ensures that all URLs are correctly indexed. 

Social media marketing strategies 

Using social media sites like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Line to sell a company or brand is called social media marketing. This approach involves making engaging content that will help grow your social media following. 

Another well-liked strategy is influencer marketing which involves teaming up with popular Japanese social media influencers to promote your online casino or brand. You can also extend the reach of your content through paid social media promotion with the help of the ad placements each social media platform allows. 

Learning more about these is essential to keep up with new trends in social media marketing and find new ways to adapt. With the right social media marketing approach, you’ll find it easier to efficiently reach your target audience and raise brand awareness.

Content marketing tactics 

This pertains to how you should use strategic approaches with the content you’ve created. Aside from working hard to make it appealing, make sure that everything you put out has the right information to avoid misleading your target market. 

Regardless of what business you may be running, take some time to work on blog posts, articles, videos, and podcasts. Aside from angling your posts towards the localised interest of your audience, have a content calendar and distribution plan to organise everything. 

When planning content marketing strategies, bear in mind that you should be mindful of the translation and localisation of the terms you use. You might also consider working with a native speaker to ensure that whatever you produce respects cultural differences. 

Mobile optimisation and responsive design 

Both mobile optimisation and responsive design are crucial SEO techniques that can help your online casino to work smoothly on mobile devices, regardless of screen size. A responsive design makes it easier for players to navigate the site. When targeting Japanese audiences, it is also best to incorporate striking visuals. 

For best results, include specific features like live chat to make the web page more user-friendly. Since many sites already embrace the ease of voice search, you may also opt to optimise your online casino. 

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Common SEO mistakes to avoid for your casino targeting the Japanese market 

Aside from learning more about the right Japanese SEO approaches, you should also be more cautious about the common SEO mistakes to maintain the value of your site. By acquiring the right skills to produce better content and achieve great site optimisation, you can avoid producing duplicate content for your online casino. If you’re unsure what to avoid when working on your online casino, here are some errors to avoid and reasons why they are considered wrong. 

Keyword stuffing 

Keyword stuffing is a black hat SEO method that overuses keywords to manipulate search engine rankings. Some do this to deceive search engines into giving their site a higher score. This technique involves stuffing content with pointless or excessive amounts of keywords, including those that are included in keyword rankings Japan. 

What some people don’t know is that search engines are smart enough to detect too many keywords. As a result, search engines may impose penalties on sites that do this. 

Low-quality content 

Pieces of poorly written and not informative content deliver no value to the readers, and it also severely affects a site’s search engine rankings. An example of this involves using the cloaking technique, another black hat SEO strategy. This involves misleading readers into thinking that a page is about a certain topic when it’s not. 

Some do this to deceive search engines into ranking their sites higher than they should be. Like keyword stuffing, this act can also be penalised. 

Ignoring mobile optimisation 

Ignoring mobile optimisation is an SEO mistake that can have a massive influence on a site's search engine rankings. As stated earlier, an online casino must be optimised for seamless mobile use because most online users browse on their mobile devices. 

Mobile optimisation entails building a responsive design that automatically changes to multiple screen sizes and improving mobile device loading times and user interfaces. Failing to do this can result in high bounce rates and less user engagement, ultimately dropping search engine ranks. Making sure that a website is mobile-friendly is vital for having a strong online presence.

Neglecting local SEO 

Neglecting local SEO is a typical error that some do. If you didn’t know, local SEO focuses on optimising a website for local searches, such as ‘online casinos available in Japan’. This strategy is particularly crucial for businesses that rely on local clients. 

Neglecting this can affect a business's authority and reputation among its target audience. More so, it also lowers visibility for local searches. 

By optimising a website for local SEO, businesses can enhance their search engine ranks for local searches and attract more relevant traffic to their website. This can help a site reach its target audience successfully.

Using non-localised keywords 

Using non-localised keywords is another SEO mistake some make while targeting local consumers. Instead of selecting appropriate keywords that reflect local user intent, companies tend to use generic terms that do not reflect the target audience's search activity. 

This strategy can harm a company's search engine rankings and hinder its ability to efficiently reach its target audience. Using localised keywords that represent the target population's user intent and search behaviour is crucial. 

By using the right keywords, businesses may boost their search engine ranks for local queries and ensure they are successfully targeting their audiences.

Consumer behaviour insights for online casinos in Japan 

Consumer behaviour analytics are vital for Japanese online casinos to understand their target audience better, use emerging trends, and identify potential possibilities. Understanding consumer demographics and behaviour can also help you adjust your services and offers t fit your players' needs and preferences. 

You may also use the social media landscape to detect new trends, find ways to improve customer satisfaction and leverage marketing efforts for your online casino. By using social media to your advantage, you can be a step ahead in the competition as it gives you opportunities to understand the areas you can improve. The reason behind this is that using social media as a tool helps you get the insights of your players on certain things. 

If you’re wondering what aspects you should be looking into to boost the potential of your site, here are some factors you can consider: 

Gambling habits of Japanese consumers 

In Japan, gambling interest and aversion often coexist, making it a complex concept to grasp. It is important that one may take note of the massive popularity of Pachinko in the country. This is a pinball-like game that gives players some exciting prizes. Despite its massive reach, some people are hesitant to give online casinos and sports betting. 

The reluctance may be caused by several factors, including superstition about luck and the country’s strict gambling laws. Note that despite the hesitation, online betting is already legal in the country, and it has, in some way, already gained traction among bettors who like convenience. 

Preferences in online casino gaming 

It is important to note how Japanese culture strongly emphasises superstition, luck, and chance, which affects players' choices of online casino games. Most of the time, Japanese players are drawn to easy games and slot machines since they prefer games that are simple to understand and require a little strategy. This is because it is believed that Japanese players prioritise enjoyment over competition. 

Baccarat is another popular game among Japanese consumers, as it is considered a game of chance and is associated with good luck. The game's simplicity, fast-paced nature, and low house edge make it an attractive option for many players. Some are also drawn to games that feature Japanese themes or characters as they provide a sense of familiarity and cultural connection.

Superstition also plays a significant role in Japanese consumers' gaming preferences. Since most Japanese people believe in lucky numbers, colours, and symbols, some may avoid games with the number four, as it is associated with bad luck in their culture.

Expectations from online casino sites 

Japanese people are known for their high standards for quality, and they expect these elements to be present in all aspects of their online casino experience. Navigation is one of the essential elements of any online casino site. This means that Japanese players expect a user-friendly interface that allows them to easily find the games they want to play and the features they wish to access.

High-quality gaming is extremely vital for Japanese consumers. They expect responsiveness, engaging visuals, smooth animations, and high-quality game visuals. They expect the games to be fair and transparent, with correct odds and a high payout.

Aside from those, they also value privacy and security.  They want their personal information to be kept secret and secure, with comprehensive data security mechanisms to prevent unauthorised access. They also expect online casinos to offer secure and reliable payment options that protect their financial information.

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As the online casino industry experiences significant growth, implementing effective SEO strategies becomes more crucial. By prioritising user-friendly navigation, high-quality gaming, privacy, and security, online casino sites can build trust with Japanese consumers and establish a strong presence in this rapidly growing market. 

Providing excellent customer service and personalised recommendations can help increase engagement and retention rates among Japanese players. As the online casino industry is expected to expand in the near future, online casino operators should stay up-to-date with the latest trends and technologies to remain competitive. They may also include call-to-action prompts to make more engaging content for Japanese audiences.

Therefore, it is a great suggestion that each site considers SEO aspects with utmost importance for the improvement of their site performance in Japan. By doing so, they can capitalise on the rapidly growing market and achieve long-term success while providing their players a great experience.

See impressive results in Japan SEO with QWERTYLABS!

Looking to target Japan for your casino brand? From content creation and translation to organic link building on reputable Japanese sites, QWERTYLABS services can help your business get into the region seamlessly. Reach out to us and let us know how we can start working together.


How does Japanese consumer behaviour differ from other markets when it comes to online casinos?

Japanese consumer behaviour tends to be more cautious than other markets regarding online casinos. They also prefer easier casino games.

What are the legal regulations and restrictions for online casinos in Japan?

Online casinos are legal in Japan since no legislation officially prohibits Japanese players from accessing online betting sites. 

How can online casinos target specific demographics or regions within Japan?

Online casinos can target specific demographics or regions within Japan through targeted advertising, promotions, and partnerships with local businesses. They may also learn more about their target markets with the help of social media platforms.

What is the potential growth of the online casino market in Japan?

Throughout the years, more and more Japanese players have tended to embrace the thrill of online casinos. With that, the industry is seen to thrive more in the coming years. 

How can online casinos stay up-to-date with emerging trends in online casino SEO in Japan?

Online casinos can stay up-to-date with emerging online casino SEO trends in online casinos by monitoring social media trends and analysing search engine data.

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