The demand for cannabis-based products is on the rise. As cannabis becomes recognized as a legal marketable product among legislators and the general population, the cannabis industry can finally make safe use of the advertising opportunities available to all mainstream businesses.
However, limitations are still present in the open marketability of cannabis products. For instance, Canadian law stipulates that cannabis marketing is exempt from showing any depiction of characters, real or fictional, consuming cannabis products. Likewise, certain emotions and the ways of life associated with them, such as excitement, vitality, and temerity, can’t be depicted in advertising created for cannabis-based commodities (source).
While the rest of the world gets up to speed on the nature of cannabis-based products, the online sphere provides a wealth of opportunities to reach and satisfy cannabis product enthusiasts. This SEO guide for marijuana includes useful information for any cannabis entrepreneur looking to digitally transform their business’s marketing efforts.
What is marijuana SEO?
Marijuana Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the practice of improving the online presence of cannabis businesses. Cannabis SEO marketing’s goal is to increase traffic from search engines to a particular vendor’s website and social media.
When relying on organic traffic for marketing, adopters of SEO strategies do not need to pay for ads. When SEO is properly implemented, search engines become a free advertisement tool for businesses.
Why is SEO important for cannabis companies?
Cannabis companies running SEO campaigns benefit from an enhanced digital marketing ecosystem. Properly implemented SEO services can lead to a marijuana business ranking higher on Google and other search engines, thereby improving its visibility and profits.
How cannabis SEO works
SEO for the cannabis industry mainly consists of the use of a series of keywords and phrases designed to attract organic traffic from cannabis enthusiasts. The target keywords are recognized as relevant by search engines, placing cannabis brands that implement an SEO strategy higher on online search results.
How to market a cannabis product
The best marketing approach for any business that is based on the sale of cannabis-based products is to adopt an SEO strategy. Due to the many difficulties of offering cannabis on the market, the best way to show cannabis products to customers is to make your online presence more noticeable.
Cannabis SEO services offer an organic approach to customer acquisition. By attracting traffic to your website, a SEO strategy makes it so you don’t have to spend time and resources looking for customers, as they will be able to find you first.
5 cannabis SEO tips to improve your website ranking
1. Let Google know who you are
The first step towards successful Cannabis SEO is being under Google’s radar. This rings especially true for dispensary SEO and cannabis companies that have a physical location. Thankfully, the process of registering a business with Google is simpler than one would think.
Any cannabis industry player who wishes to appear online can do so by registering with Google My Business. Registration is a free and seamless process, which is as simple as creating a social media account. When registering with Google, a cannabis product business has the chance to distinguish itself thanks to the category “cannabis store. Dispensaries and cannabis e-commerce businesses can also include “delivery service” as a sub-category.
Not only will registering improve cannabis SEO search, but registered cannabis businesses are given a special feature by Google. Registered cannabis brands appear at the top right of the search results whenever a customer searches their name. Information about the business’s website, address, opening hours, logo, and more can also be shown by Google if a cannabis SEO agency or vendor provides it.
2. Understand what your customers are searching for
The first step towards a good target keyword strategy is to anticipate which search terms are used by potential customers. While the word “cannabis” might be the most accurate term to describe the source of marijuana-based commodities, when used as a search term it may provide results related to news articles and research before information about dispensaries. The word “weed”, however, may drive more traffic to a dispensary.
In the field of SEO, the quality of keywords trumps their quantity or popularity. Many consumers use the exact term for the product they’re looking for, and it is most likely a term they use in their daily speech. Instead of “cannabis” or “cannabis products”, search terms like weed, pot, edibles, CDB, vape pens, or medical marijuana tend to be better retained by customers, and therefore are used more often in online searches.
In the same vein, relevant phrases can also be used as key terms. Key search terms like “how to buy weed online”, “weed dispensaries in my city”, “weed dispensaries near me”, or simply “weed near me” are often used. A focus on answering customers’ questions can drastically improve SEO efforts. Even a small brainstorming session may allow entrepreneurs to pick up certain terms that will increase their ranking.
3. Implement local SEO services
Location-based searches are extremely valuable for SEO campaigns. The search term “near me” has exponentially grown in popularity in the last years (source), as more and more customers rely on their smart devices to know where to acquire products, including their marijuana.
Improving local cannabis SEO search can bring many benefits to businesses. Beyond improving brand visibility and attracting more relevant online traffic, a good local SEO marketing strategy can help build trust between a business and the community it belongs to.
Local SEO practices bring you closer to your community. When businesses and consumers share the same set of values, they can build mutual bonds that help local economies thrive. Increasing local online presence improves the chances of acquiring return customers that will spend at your store more often, while also being inclined to spend more with each purchase.
4. Improve your social media presence
Global statistics show that more than half of people worldwide use social media (source). If Facebook was a country, it would be the largest on earth by population. Social media has become prevalent in many people’s daily lives, and they use it for all kinds of intents and purposes, including acquiring their favorite products.
Social media is an indispensable tool if you wish to stay in contact with your customers. By being part of your client’s news feed, you will have an easy way to let them know about special offers, giveaways, and more. Many customers create bonds of trust with brands over social media, making it an effective tool for increasing customer loyalty.
As many people use social media to search for products and services, it is important for cannabis businesses to keep their social media constantly updated. Good cannabis SEO marketing requires a social media page to have up-to-date information about a business’s address and opening hours, contact details, and a link to its website. Likewise, photos and other visual content offer a huge positioning advantage.
What is social media advertising?
5. Use mobile-friendly cannabis SEO services
If customers are going to access information about your products or your website, they’ll most likely do so from their smartphone or tablet. Research shows that a whopping 92.6% of people who use the Internet access it using a mobile device (source). Since July 1, 2019, Google stopped using desktop versions of websites for their indexing standard, choosing to take a mobile-first approach (source).
In the current market, mobile-friendly web design is indispensable for a successful SEO strategy. Mobile-friendliness is a competency of web design, so a company must include a mobile-friendly design on their shopping list when hiring the services of a web designer. However, hiring the services of a Cannabis SEO agency might help a business adopt the best mobile-first practices while improving its overall keyword strategy.
Content marketing for cannabis companies
The development of creative content is extremely effective to achieve successful SEO results. Writing blog content on a website is a great way to implement target keywords and link building. It also provides potential customers with engaging and informative material to enjoy, thereby adding extra value to visits to your website. Other sources of creative content can be videos, social media posts, and podcasts.
Content created for cannabis SEO marketing purposes must contain information relevant to cannabis enthusiasts. For instance, topics that people interested in cannabis might find interesting include the proper growth and cultivation of the plant, the therapeutic effects of marijuana consumption, and snippets of the culture that has grown around the consumption of cannabis.
Content marketing can be useful to increase the effectiveness of local SEO services. By producing content that is relevant to a cannabis business’s geographic location, the chances that online searches about the location also show the business increase. An example of locally-relevant content could be a list of all outdoor public spaces in the business’s town that allow for visitors to consume cannabis products there.
Cannabis SEO services
Proper SEO implementation can be a complicated subject. Nonetheless, the cost-effectiveness and the vast amounts of benefits it brings brands in all types of industries make the acquisition of SEO services indispensable over other forms of marketing.
By outsourcing your cannabis SEO agency needs to Leadsier, you can have the best SEO deployment. With a focus on every key aspect that makes your business special, cannabis SEO experts can help you develop your brand’s image across the web. Contact Leadsier to schedule an appointment to begin your cannabis business’s digital transformation!