A quick topic that is really important for search terms and KWs.

As you many of you know, Japanese basically has 3 written languages. Kanji (the difficult one), and hiragana and katakana. Generally Katakana is used for “foreign” words. Like “McDonald’s”, “Manchester United”, and “bread”. The last of which is パン in Japanese, which isn’t English. “Pan” comes from the French, or maybe the Portuguese. I’m not sure, but that’s not important. What is important, is that it is a foreign word, whatever country it may have come from. Bit off topic, but “part time work” is アルバイト (arubaito), which comes from the German “Arbeit”. Loads of little examples like this, but not the topic of the tip at all…

What I wanted to say, is that the katakana is not so simple. Japanese LOVE to shorten it. It is this shortened version that is often the MAIN keyword, not the full word.

A really quick example.
“Smart Phone” is スマートフォン in Japanese. And returns 294,000,000 results in Google.
But the short version スマホ returns 334,000,000 results!
Way more.

A while back I was selling a toy related to a popular game. I knew the game well, but didn’t know the “cool” short katakana for it. I learnt about it through the search term report. Once I started using it, sales went up, and my ACOS went below 5%.

So you need to learn what the cool short katakana for your product or category is. There often is one. Look for words in the reports, or try asking a Japanese person!

*This post originated from a post in the Amazon Japan Facebook group, “Amazon Japan PL”. The information may well have changed by the time you read this. Please check the DATE of the post before you make any decisions based on this information!

The Japan Guy

The Japan Guy

The Japan Guy, Nick Katz, is a full time Amazon seller, consultant and speaker.

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