Best Practices for SEM Landing Pages in Japan

The most important component to building a conversion-oriented landing page for any country is localization. If a landing page is easy to navigate, users are more likely to feel comfortable and safe. Therefore, having a page that meets user demand is a necessity to attain a longer visit time and lower bounce rate.

To construct a conversion-oriented Japanese landing page for Google AdWords or Yahoo! Promotional Ads, you should have a good understanding of content, UX designs, and other characteristics that are commonly used on a webpage in Japan.

By following some of our best practices, you’ll be able to enhance user experience and see growth in your overall performance. In this article, we’ll compare Japanese and U.S.-centric SEM landing pages to guide you through some of the localization strategies that will help you strengthen your SEM campaign in Japan.

1. Differences between U.S.-Centric SEM Landing Page vs Japanese SEM Landing Page

Let’s start by comparing 2 types of landing pages to better understand the localization techniques specifically used in the Japanese market.

1.1 Mass Information

Just having a quick glance at both types of landing page, you can easily distinguish the difference between the amount of information written on each page.

Japanese landing pages tend to provide more content (around twice as much) for users to get the full scope of a product.

U.S.-centric landing pages are straight to the point, only showing major selling points that highlight a product.

Japanese SEM Landing Page Example (eSales)eSales (sales management platform) – Japanese SEM landing page

1.2 CTA (call to action)

1.2a Scrolling CTA

Call to action buttons are the most important part of your landing page as they direct users to take a desired action (product demo, whitepaper downloads, contact, etc.). Using a CTA button that follows users as they scroll may improve conversion rates on your landing page.

Since Japanese SEM landing pages consist of long detailed information, having a CTA button visible at all times will help ensure users don’t miss out on any conversions.

24/7 English (course) - Scrolling CTA

24/7 English (language course) – Scrolling CTA

1.2b Multiple CTAs

As you may know, U.S.-centric landing pages typically have a CTA button above the fold and at the end of the contentDue to the mass of information on Japanese landing pages, call to action buttons should also be distributed at the center of a page for Japanese sites. Like the scrolling CTAs, this will prevent users from missing out on conversion opportunities.

Shinoken (Consultant) - Multiple CTAs

Shinoken Group (consultant) – Multiple CTAs

1.3 Phone Numbers

Japanese landing pages include phone numbers (in large font) for potential customers to easily connect with the organization. The reason has to do with user behavior: It’s quite common for workers in Japan to have a quick call for instant answers rather than long polite email that could last several weeks.

Putting your local phone number on your landing page will help customers connect with the sales team more efficiently.

Gaba (language course) - Phone Number

Gaba (language course) – Phone Number

1.4 People

Using models or customers from another ethnicity may cause users to feel intimidated. Some studies conclude that, “individuals are attracted to what is familiar because we consider them to be safe and unlikely to cause harm.

This indicates that it’s in our nature to feel comfortable when a person with the same ethnicity is displayed on a landing page. As such, it might be prudent to use Japanese imagery on your sites.

Medonicx (medical institution) - People

Medonicx (medical institution) – people

Marsh (CXM platform) - People

Marsh (CXM platform) – people

1.5 Hint Text

Japanese registration forms typically include hint texts to make it easier for users to submit the form. In some cases, the form requires users to type a phone number with a dash in between each necessary section or a formal company name that includes the term “株式会社” (corporation). Implementing the following hint texts will enhance user experience and keep the data more consistent on the backend: 

Just System (BI tool) - Hint Text

Just System (BI tool) – Hint Text

1.6 Form Localization

Especially in tech industries, it’s common for global companies to use the same department structure as the U.S. on the drop-down menu of a form. Adjusting departments to match Japanese organizations will help improve form accuracy for user information.

JFE Systems (BI tool) - Department Structure

JFE Systems (BI tool) – Department Structure

2. Similarities between U.S.-Centric SEM Landing Page vs Japanese SEM Landing Page

Despite many differences between both types of landing page, there are critical components that Japanese SEM landing pages should align with U.S.-centric SEM landing pages. It’s important to consider some of these basics to create aeffective landing page for your lead generation. 

2.1 Content Details

Highlighting major selling points of a product can be seen on both Japanese and U.S.-centric SEM landing pages. Since these pages are created specifically to persuade customers to take a desired action (product demo, whitepaper downloads, etc.), it’s important to include the following elements:

  • How your product can help
  • Your client list
  • Client success stories

Japanese SEM landing pages - Content Details

Japanese SEM landing page – Content Details

Case studies are often implemented on an SEM landing page to show users that a product can be used in different industries or by various types of people. If you’re working at a B2B company, adjusting your customer list and stories to be familiar to Japanese users may help enhance UX. 

2.2 Images

First impressions are always important. Having high-quality images and modern-looking designs on your SEM landing page will help entice your customers.

Both types of landing page use this visual strategy to provide information within seconds. Here are some must-have visuals:

  • Top-of-page image
  • CTA
  • Iconography
  • Stats and ratings

Japanese SEM landing pages - Images

Japanese SEM landing page – Images

As shown on the screenshots above, visual aids make the landing page more structured and easier to understand.

3. Conclusion

If you’re familiar with constructing global (U.S.-centric) SEM landing pages for native English-speaking countries, some UX components may be an easy fix to localize for a Japanese audience. On the other hand, content localization may be difficult as you’d need help with Japanese translations. It’s important to include some of the U.S.-centric elements on your landing page but on some areas, localization is needed to maximize conversions for your SEM campaign in Japan.

We can help you localize your SEM page for Japan. Get in touch!

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