Japanese SEO: How to segment your audience with user personas

Anna Wildman

Japanese differs depending on the region 

For companies thinking of doing business in Japan, it is essential to make their websites available in Japanese. However, simply creating a translated version of your English website is not enough for your content marketing to be successful. As the language varies depending on the region, is important to decide in advance which region of the country you want to target and what kind of people you want to reach.

Let’s explore the regional differences of the Japanese language. The dialect spoken in the Kansai region (e.g Osaka and Kyoto) is completely different from that in the Kanto region (e.g. Tokyo and Chiba). There are many words that have the same meaning but are said differently. Let’s take the word for ‘wrong’. In Tokyo, this word is ‘chigau’, but in Osaka, you will often see ‘chau’. Given that the language and culture as well as the size of the market varies depending on the region, it’s important to have a region-specific strategy for Japanese SEO content. The first step in this process is to design audience personas.

Make good use of Google Analytics data

So, how should you create user personas for SEO? First, if you already have a website in Japanese, take advantage of Google Analytics. Using this data, you can infer to some extent which regions people are visiting the site from. We recommend that you pull out the top 5 or so regions. If there are common characteristics in those areas, lump them together and create personas. If there are no common features, create separate personas.

In addition to this, use any other data that may be available online. For example, if you are a tourism company like a hotel, you can browse reviews on TripAdvisor and Booking.com. You can see what kind of comments are being made about your services, and what kind of people are highly engaged. This information will further help you create user personas.

Gather information from relevant departments within your company

In order to improve the accuracy of the personas, it is also helpful to listen carefully to the voices around you. There is a lot of data to refer to like customer information held by the sales team, performance data held by the marketing team, online reservation data, and so on.

At TAMLO, we can gather the information mentioned above and provide workshops so that those in relevant teams can create personas together. We will also of course take into account data obtained from the internet. Only then can we design personas based on these various elements. 

Since the culture and language can vary depending on the region, it may be difficult to determine which regions have the highest potential for customer acquisition. For this reason, it is best to start with about three user personas. From there, you can gradually fine-tune your content to optimise it for SEO.

Creating targeted personas is a very important part of any successful SEO project. We at TAMLO can help you get started on your SEO journey in Japan. Please feel free to contact us to see how we can help.


Anna Wildman

Content Strategist


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