An SEO Introspective: What We Can Learn from Japanese Websites

March 4, 2019


When it comes to search engine optimization, it doesn’t matter where you come from or what industry you are in. All websites can use SEO strategies. SEO helps websites provide a seamless online experience to find and buy products.

In November 2018, I had the privilege of taking an extended trip to Japan. It was a blast! But half the fun was planning, which involved hours of online searching.

During my deep dives on Google I was trying to find things to do or places to stay. I saw some SEO strategies were consistent whether it was on English or Japanese websites.

As part of a two-part blog series, I will compare Japanese tourism websites to insurance agency websites. We will see what kind of SEO strategies they used, and how they are not as different as you think.

Implementing some of these strategies on your website can help improve your search visibility, regardless of your vertical.

Straightforward Website Structure

When it comes to your website, an important detail to consider is site structure. That is, how different pages linked to one another. A website’s most important pages need to be accessible to users within a couple of clicks.

If users cannot find what they are looking for fast, they will likely leave unsatisfied. A great website structure can not only prevent a bounce but can lead to a great user experience. It also makes it easier for Google bots to crawl , or analyze, your pages.

When I researched hotels, I searched for  information on pricing, availability, and amenities. A great example of clear website structure was the website for the First Cabin hotel that I stayed at in Osaka. Not only did they have a website in English, but they featured the most important links I could click on.

First Cabin Website

Even for insurance websites, a clear structure can really make the difference between users staying and bouncing off the website. A good example of an insurance agent’s website is Galvez Insurance.

Alan Galvez Insurance website

The links are easily seen on their home page and part of the navigation. These links direct users to important pages, such as product pages. The layout even gives the user a good first impression of what the agency can provide.


Clear Calls to Action

When businesses build a website, it is often to sell a product or service. This is where a call to action comes into play. Book Now, Get A Quote, or Call Us Today are a few examples. These statements help users take an action the business wants them to perform.

In insurance, it is important to have a primary call to action for users to perform. If it is difficult for the user to find what to do next, they will not stick around. Instead of trying to figure out what you want them to do, they will leave.

A great example of a call to action would be this page from Klook. It is for a cruising restaurant tour I found while looking for things to do in Tokyo.

The main call to action on this page is the orange Book button on the right-hand side. This is visually striking in comparison to the images and text on the rest of this page.

Klook website

Insurance websites can also benefit from having a call to action on their pages. A good example of this is ACF Insurance. They also have an orange accent. Their home page entices users to buy with a button to Get Started with filling out an auto quote.

ACF insurance services website


Quality Content

One of the top ranking factors for SEO today is quality content. According to CrazyEgg, “Quality content is anything that Google decides is worth sharing. It’s real answers to real people’s questions.”

Quality content provides answers to people’s questions at every stage of the sales cycle. This takes time and effort. You must research what your target customers search for. Then, you must add this content to the website in a meaningful way. Within insurance, the content that caters to each audience varies. Having content for that target audience is very important to your brand in the online space. It sets you apart from your competitors.

A website with great quality content is this kimono rental called Uruwasiki in Kyoto. They provided a value proposition as to why you should consider their services. These images show a kimono set and different services they could provide clients.

uruwasiki kimono rental website

uruwasiki kimonos website

Even with an industry like insurance, there are ways of creating engaging content. This content should answer questions and provide value to users looking for information. A good example is Svendsen Insurance. Their website has content that provides a unique value proposition on the homepage. They also manage a blog with information on topics like insurance and their local community.

Svendsen Insurance

Svendsen Insurance


For as different as other industries are, even in other countries, I would argue that basic SEO strategies stay consistent. You can even learn some things from industries that are not your own. This blog is part of a two-part series, so stay connected with ITC to get updated on when the second part will come out.


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