PPC (Search Advertising) in Japan and how to do it

Anna Wildman

The Benefits of PPC in Japan (Search Advertising)

Search advertising is a great way to begin expanding your business into overseas markets, especially Japan. Search ads can help to quickly drive traffic to your website, regardless of your SEO rankings. Thus, it’s a great way for companies that are new to the market to efficiently get their foot in the door. 

First and foremost, it’s important to note that PPC in Japan also looks a bit different than in other markets due to its search engine market share. As of September 2021, search engine market share in Japan is approximately 75% for Google and 20% for Yahoo! Japan.

Below are the five steps you should take in order to successfully create and manage PPC search ads in Japan. 

(1) Identify your target audience

Each country or region has its own language and culture. This is no different in Japan, so you need to think hard about your strategy. This is defined by your audience. Who is buying your goods or services? 

(2) Ideate and select keywords 

Once you’ve identified your audience, the next step is to decide upon what queries to create. The key here is in the selection of keywords. We advise having an ideation session with your agency during the selection process. It is also a good idea to get input from real customers. Once you have your list, scrutinise it! Make sure it meets the needs of your audience, utilising bilingual marketers with knowledge of the Japanese market. 

(3) Research the competition

Once you're done combing through your keywords, it's time to examine your competition's search performance. Find out which competitors show up beside your ad for your query, or what kind of competition will show up in the search results. Analyse the intent of each advertisement and use the resulting insights when writing your company's advertisements.

(4) Create the advertisements 

It is critical to have an experienced, bilingual SEO marketer create the ads. There are a few reasons for this. First, an SEO professional will write eye-catching, creative copy. Second, a bilingual speaker will avoid translating word for word and so will retain the meaning of the original copy while considering the local context (transcreation). As previously mentioned, if the market is different, your targeting will also be different. Finally, an SEO professional will know how to create multiple options and test what works. 

(5) Optimise and budget

Optimising listings in both Japanese and English work the same way, but you should still test each campaign. If the market is young, you'll need to accumulate a lot of data to see what works. This takes time. Refine and adjust your creatives and budget accordingly.

TAMLO's bilingual (Japanese and English) team members can assist you in Japanese PPC marketing. Please feel free to contact us to learn how we can help you.


Anna Wildman

Content Strategist


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