5
Dec

We had one website where it looked perfect in Firefox, Opera and Safari. Also if we checked it on a system with an English Windows OS is also looked fine. But it would only render a white screen in Internet Explorer on a system with a Japanese OS. When we checked the page source, the markup was there but only a white screen showed in the browser.

We originally has the markup like this:

< !DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD XHTML 1.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/xhtml1/DTD/xhtml1-transitional.dtd">
html xmlns="http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml"
head
title Our site title /title
meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=utf-8" />
meta name="keywords" content="widget 1, widget 2, local widgets” /?
meta name="description" content="Widgets by a local widget maker you can trust"/>

The page title was at the top. Again this rendered fine in firefox and opera but we had the white screen of death in IE.

We then changed the order of the head items:

PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD XHTML 1.0
"http://www.w3.org/TR/xhtml1/DTD/xhtml1-transitional.dtd">
html xmlns="http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml"
head
meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=utf-8" />
title>Our site title
meta name="keywords" content="widget 1, widget 2, local widgets” /?
meta name="description" content="Widgets by a local widget maker you can trust"/>

Vola! Japanese IE rendered fine after putting meta http-equiv=”Content-Type” content=”text/html; charset=utf-8″ /> before any other head content.

Category : Japan
27
Sep

There is a great little plugin for Firefox that makes the browser display sites as if it were a mobile browser. I have used user agent switchers to check Safari and IE in Firefox but this is the first time I have been able to do it for Japanese mobile phones.

The user agent switcher can be found here:

http://chrispederick.com/work/user-agent-switcher/

Here is a list of Japanese user agents can be found here (need to be added in the plugin’s preferences):

http://www.zytrax.com/tech/web/mobile_ids.html#domoco

Marco thank you for the information!

Category : Japan | Usability
17
Sep

Hokkaido surf and snowboard photographer (and friend) Yoshi Okada finally launched his photography website. Yoshi has traveled all over the world taking photos, surfing and making friends. He is especially gifted at surf and snowboarding photography has recently documented a snowboarding trip to Rishiri Island, off Hokkaido. He also shot photos for North Face and has documented most of the surf spots in Hokkaido, the rest of Japan, Hawaii, and California.

His site is mostly a blog setup and uses the Gallery software to keep all the photos organized.

If you have a chance to review his site, please give him some feedback to make his site better.

Okada Photography

Category : Japan
27
Jul

Business Trip to Hawaii

Posted by admin Comments Off

SEO JapanRecently I was able to make a trip to Hawaii and meet with Sergio from the PEK Interactive San Diego office. After two years in Japan it was good to see a team member I speak with on a daily basis but had not seen for awhile. We discussed the changes in the industry and how to help client receive more return in investment for their online campaigns. We were able to meet with two of our Japanese clients there and discuss their online plans over the next year.

Sergio and I were able to meet with Java programming guru Dave Thomas and discuss the latest developments on high performance content management systems. Dave is also an expert Unix administrator so it was great to discuss new database and server setups.

Sergio and I had the pleasure of meeting Mr. SEO Hawaii, Dave Zuls briefly and discuss the similarities and differences of the SEO and web design industry in Hawaii, the mainland and Japan. It was good to meet someone that I see often in the forums and respect. Hopefully we will meet again at one of the search engine or online advertising conferences.SEO Japan

Thank you Hawaii for the great business trip and the aloha spirit we enjoyed.

Category : SEO
17
Jun

Sapporo Office Opens

Posted by admin Comments Off

PEK Interactive Japan is pleased to announce our new office in Sapporo. The new office is located directly across from Sapporo’s Odori Park and one minute from the 11-Chome subway station. The new Sapporo office will provide easier access and more convenience to website development and search engine optimization clients located in the metropolitan Sapporo area. The Otaru office will continue to serve clients in the Otaru, Yoichi, Niseko and other Western Hokkaido areas.

The new office is located at:

4-11 Chome Nishi Odori, Chuo-ku, Hanada Building 7F
Sapporo City, Hokkaido 060-0042

Tel: 050-5536-3351
Fax: 011-261-6763

Category : Japan
13
Apr

Why Buy Lots of Domains?

Posted by admin Comments Off

We have a client with a great website but the firm keeps buying more domains for certain pages or themes from the main site. Here is an edited extract of my email to them:

One idea about the domain names. I think it is good to buy domain names related to the business. But as far as marketing in the search engines, I think it is a bad idea because it makes your online marketing a lot more difficult.

Instead of having one main site that ranks well and all our marketing effort goes into improving the quality and search engine ranking of that one site, we have to worry about marketing five [this client's] sites (or more). It becomes much more difficult, time consuming and expensive. Also Google and Yahoo punish sites with duplicate content, so we would need to remove most of the [product A] info (for example) from the main site and move it to the new [product A] site. Then I need to rank the new [product A] site for all the related keywords, to compete against other competitor sites and also against our other [this client's] sites that have same related keywords.

I have one client here in Japan that has 15 sites for their main business. They originally called me wondering why all the sites are ranked poorly and they have trouble finding leads through their sites. The 15 sites are competing against each other for the same keywords and phrases so they cannot get any traction against their real competitors. We are working with them to combine all those sites into one site under one domain name. Then they can focus on making that one site the best in their market.

The only time I would recommend having multiple sites is if you have a new product or service or business that is very different from your core business, for example if you offered [product A] for pro baseball players. Then the marketing copy, images, look and feel, etc. would be very different. We have a customer that is a successful retailer of hunting, fishing and camping products. They also sell law enforcement equipment to the local police, CHP, FBI, etc. The law enforcement marketing message is so different from their camping and fishing pitch that it warranted a different site which we built in a sub-domain of the main site.

Another company that has done this successfully is Pfizer. They have a separate site for each drug but since the marketing for those sites is different, (viagra vs. migraine drugs) and they have the budget to do it, it makes sense. In contrast, Honda has all their USA marketing under one domain name but they do use sub-domains for models: civic.honda.com , accord.honda.com, racing.honda.com, etc. They do not use a lot of different domain names to market online.

…Sorry for giving this as unsolicited advice but I think it is a mistake to built these mini sites. We can always buy domain names then point them to the main site but in my experience building these mini sites will dilute your power online to build [your] brand.

I think there are good specific reasons to buy domains and set up mini sites for side businesses, but I think there is an idea that it is a good practice to build sites to compete against your other site, which I disagree with. The only exception is if you have a huge marketing budget to pull off top ranking for many sites.

Category : SEO
3
Apr

I sent this email to one of our web design clients. The site was a bilingual English and Japanese site. It wasn’t the best email I have ever written but I thought it summarized my feelings about the importance of good content and increasing conversions….

Thank you for your mail. There are two things I try to keep in mind is that the company’s material is very familiar to someone in the company, but for the outsider they might understand quickly what you mean. If you meet them face to face you can see they do not understand by their body language, but online you will never know. People will quit the site, if they do not understand within about 8 seconds. Marketing online is very brutal, it has to be very very good just to have a chance to have them contact you.

With our PEK site, everything is very familiar to us. All the terminology in the site, we use everyday but sometimes site visitors do not understand what we are talking about because they are not familiar with these terms (SEO, SEM, PPC, RSS, etc). So we had a non PEK person that is a proofreader go through it and made changes and recommendation so that an ordinary person would understand our text as well as a web professional. I think it is easier to read now and people can see the benefit immediately on each page. Our site needs a lot more work but we are trying to improve it each week (just like our competitors do). My mother is a property manager and manages huge budgets, tens of millions of dollars. I often call her and ask her to read a new page on our site and tell me what it means. If she can’t answer quickly, I know other business mangers won’t understand it either and we need to rewrite it if we have any chance to sell that product or service.

There are a lot of terms on [your] website, which I have no idea what it means, which is ok if there is another place on the site for me to read about some benefits and features for non [this kind of products] engineers. But now there is no place for that. The home is more of a history of the [product] and the company rather than a benefits statement telling me about the ROI of the product, how I will save money, save the Earth, etc. I think it would be wise to have a good proofreader, that not only understands engineering but can explain it to non engineers, go through the site.

Also some of my Japanese friends read the Japanese site and said it was hard to read or a little boring. So it might need a proofread by a non [company] member in Japan too to make it easier to read for non engineers, for example business buyers. I am not sure if [the boss] has someone he is working with for marketing advise in [the city], maybe they can recommend someone with experience or success writing online. The reason is again that most web users will only give a site 8 seconds before deciding to stay or go, so the text needs to be really good.

There is a really good book about writing for the websites, called Net Words: Creating High-Impact Online Copy by Nick Usborne. You might want to pick it up and give it a read as you travel. Then just keep practicing rewriting content the homepage. As the content improves, you will see that the time spend on the site will increase (Google analytics has that stat) as people become more interested in the product. I know you are very busy so it might be a lot of investment of time but marketing online requires it.

I hope this is helpful.

Thank you,

Jeff

Category : SEO