Japanese Website Design

In Japan, your corporate website is one of the most powerful marketing and sales tools that you can use to win new clients. Many companies design their website in Japan to match the same format as their global brand but, in reality, is vital to design your corporate website to match your Japanese clients.

To set up a business in Japan it will be easier  to obtain either a Business Manager Visa or Start-up Visa.

First Impressions Count

It is very important to have your Japanese website ready before reaching out to potential clients in Japan as they are sure to check your site prior to agreeing the initial meeting. Your website will be one of the first impressions that your company will give.

This article will discuss the elements that you will need to include in your website for the Japanese market without going into intricate detail.

Localizing your Website

While it is important to ensure that your Japanese website is in the natural Japanese language, the design of the website must also match the way the Japanese people think.

You must use the website to show that you understand how the Japanese market works. Also, you normally need to show case studies of the success of your product and add Japanese successes as soon as you have them.

Then it is important to show how your prospective clients can incorporate your products and services into their business before getting into the specific details of your products or services. Putting your product or service features towards the end will allow you to firstly establish who your company is.

Localizing Keywords

The Japanese market has its own keywords and understanding them is essential to ensure you appear at the top in Japanese search results.

The Japanese language uses four different scripts — the syllabic hiragana and katakana, the logographic kanji and the alphanumeric character set — and all can be used within the same sentence.

Hiragana, katakana and kanji can be laid out horizontally or vertically (such as in banners). These characteristics contribute to an overall chaotic impression for Westerners, but for Japanese people it is natural.

You will have more information on localizing keywords in a forthcoming article.

Case Studies

While e-books and blogs can be included in your marketing strategy, getting domestic customer case studies is very important for your digital marketing strategy in Japan.

Your Japanese clients will want to know how your product has been used in Japan by Japanese companies or Japanese people. The Japanese people are very risk adverse and want to use proven solutions, which makes case studies of Japanese companies’ an excellent way to show how your product or service works in Japan. 

Global case studies are also useful, but it is important to know that Japanese case studies should take precedence on your website.

Japanese Website Design Principles

You can still keep your sophisticated look website to maintain your brand image though you might want to adjust certain things to attract more Japanese audience.

The Importance of Detailed Information

Japanese people require a lot of information before reaching a purchasing decision. Your website should contain full technical or product details, the purpose of which is to reassure and convince buyers without scrolling or going through a series of steps.

The expansive use of text is due to the nature of the language itself. In contrast to the English alphabet, Japanese characters are logo graphic in nature. Thus, when they are combined, they create words that consume less space and give more meaning so a few sentences may be a complete paragraph.This may not always be the case in some design-oriented industries like apparel or luxury brands.

Smaller Graphics

The size of the images used on Japanese websites also makes them stand out from their Western versions. Western websites use large and high-resolution images which increases the impact of the website. This contrasts with Japanese websites which are the opposite and make use of small and low-resolution images. In some industries, such as the fashion industry, this may not always be the case.

Website Load Speed

The Japanese take website loading time even more seriously than their Western counterparts. Visitors are likely to leave a website if it does not open within 3 seconds, so maintaining a fast website crucial.

Use of Colour

Japanese websites often display a range of varying colours which include blue, red, pink, orange, and even yellow.

The purpose of this extensive use of bold and colours is to attract the attention of the website visitors. The contrasting and often clashing colours help draw attention to different areas on a web page, with bold colours often attracting the largest number of users. As mentioned earlier, this may not always the case in some industries.