SEO and SEM strategy in Japan

last update 2012-5-9


Tetsuya IMAMURA, Meiji Univ.




1. Methods to increase the number of visitors

2. SEO Strategy

3. Search engine marketing (SEM) (listing advertisement)

4. SEO & SEM




1. Methods to increase the number of visitors

(1) SEO (Search Engine Optimisationj

(2) SEM (Search Engine Marketing = Listing advertisementj


2. SEO Strategy

 SEO is the process of improving the access number of a website in search enginesf natural, or unpaid, search results. A search result always changes due to both usersf search trends and current web content. The contents of the site are especially important to optimise results.


<Share of search engines in Japan>

 There are two main search engine companies in Japan: Yahoo! Japan and Google. Ninety percent of the share is occupied by these two companies.


Search Engine Market Share in Japan

 Yahoo! Japan: about 50%

 Google Japan: about 40%

 Other: 10%


Yahoo! Japan adopted the same technology as that of Googlefs Internet search engine. Therefore, SEO measures prepared for Yahoo! Japan are also effective for Googlefs search engine.



<Advantages and disadvantages of SEO>


SEO is a cost-effective method. It is also a cheaper long-term solution. SEO requires costs for web content, but it does not require any cost for access, as opposed to the PPC (pay per click) strategy.



SEO takes time to acquire visible effects, so progress takes several months. Therefore, this strategy is recommended if you have a long-term vision.


Method of SEO strategy

EAnticipating and selecting keywords used by visitors to find the website

It is important to find relevant keywords to drive the targeted traffic to a website.

Consider who the website targets before selecting keywords.


ECreating SEO-friendly content

Offer easy, readable content for the average Internet user. It is also important to ensure words appear frequently within the text. Strive to include keywords and key phrases at least twice in every 400 words. It is better to have bold headings and subheadings featuring these keywords and phrases.


Three important factors for finding the most suitable keywords and key phrases

(1) Popularity of the word:  keywords should be popular

(2) Less competition:  keywords with fewer rivals

(3) Relevance to the website:  keywords should be related to the site itself


ESome types of linking

(1) Reciprocal linking

A mutual link between two websites to ensure mutual traffic is an important part of the search engine optimisation process because some search engine companies use link popularity algorithms to rank websites for relevancy.

(2) Resource linking

Resource links are a category of links referenced as resources or information. If the website produces beneficial, useful, and relevant content for third party websites, the operator would establish hyperlinks to this content.


3. Search engine marketing (SEM) (listing advertisement)

 SEM involves the promotion of websites by increasing their visibility in search engine results pages through optimisation as well as through advertising (paid placements, contextual advertising, and paid inclusions).


For example, if you want to display the advertisement of a website when a user searches ecopyrighti’˜μŒ jf, the advertising client needs to make a bid for the keyword ecopyrightf.


<Advantages and disadvantages of SEM>


 It is relatively easy for a specific website to achieve a good position on the search results pages. In the case of Yahoo! Japanfs SEM, 12 advertisements are displayed on the first page of the search results. If other clients have not bid for certain keywords, it is possible to occupy all ranks in the top positions.

 The cost is low because a client incurs costs only after a search user clicks the advertisement. The advertisement will be displayed within the limit of the payment in advance.



 The number of guided access is more unstable than the SEO strategy. The cost per one click depends on the conditions of other clients, and the position in the list will be determined by bid price and the nature of the advertisement. Therefore, if a stable number of guided visitors is required, the operator should always manage the conditions of advertisement.

 It may be effective to adopt an SEM strategy if you have a fixed budget and want to increase the number of visitors.


4. SEO & SEM

For the website owner who wants to increase the number of visitors from a long- term perspective, adopting some SEO strategies is recommended.

 It is recommended that he or she take SEM measures (listing advertisement) if the client has a fixed budget and wants to increase the number of visitors.

In both SEO and SEM, the display ranking and possible bidding keyword would change due to the content of the website, so it is required to improve those constantly.