Everything You Wanted to Know About SEO for the Cannabis Industry
When it comes to selling cannabis, not many farmers and dispensary owners think of Cannabis Marketing and Cannabis SEO. The fact is, marketing can do wonders for your business.
In this comprehensive guide, we’ll take you through everything you need to know about why you need to use SEO to sell cannabis and how working with a cannabis SEO agency can help you tremendously.
What Does Marketing for a Medical Marijuana Dispensary or Cannabis Product Look Like?
Marketing a dispensary or cannabis product online can occur in different forms. You can –
- Write blog posts explaining medical marijuana, CBD, THC and other cannabis-related facts.
- Create social media pages showcasing your business, products and behind-the-scenes operations.
- Share statistics, infographics and presentation slides about the benefits of CBD in emailers and newsletters.
- Host a podcast or live video (on YouTube or Instagram) and have interviews with people who make CBD products and those who have benefitted from using CBD products.
When trying to promote cannabis businesses, companies can create content that people are eager to know about; such as –
- What is cannabis and how is it grown?
- Benefits of buying from a dispensary.
- Overview of your dispensary or company.
- Types of cannabis products available in your dispensary.
- Health benefits of medical marijuana and recreational cannabis.
- What ways to consume cannabis products.
- Proper dosages.
- Dependence/addiction-related concerns and how to address them.
- Laws regarding cannabis usage in your country/state/city.
- How to make your own homemade foods & beverages using cannabis products.
- Other FAQs about cannabis.
In any type of cannabis marketing, you’ll see that different SEO components play a vital role. In short, Cannabis SEO is the lifeblood of cannabis marketing.
What Exactly is Cannabis SEO?
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. It refers to a group of elements and strategies that are used to increase your website visibility and ranking on search engines like Bing, Yahoo, Google etc.
Smartly implemented cannabis SEO can help you –
- Attract prospective customers to your brand.
- Increase engagement with your content across social media channels and online portals.
- Drive up sales and increase revenues.
How Can SEO Benefit Medical Marijuana Dispensaries?
Let’s say you are touring London and you want to purchase aspirin. You type in Google, “pharmacy near Big Ben London”. Or, you might type in “aspirin tablets near London big ben”.
In either of these searches, a list of pharmacies will crop up on your search results – all of which are located just a few minutes away from you.
How did you Google know that these very pharmacies were near Big Ben in London? Well, the answer lies in SEO.
The reason you found all these websites which answered your questions and doubts so exactly, was that they were designed to be picked up by the search engine for the queries you typed in.
In short, SEO was responsible in –
- Helping you gain knowledge about the product.
- Figure out if the product was a perfect fit for your lifestyle & preferences or not.
- Find a trusted seller to purchase your product from.
Cannabis is a product just like any other. It’s exactly like a smartphone. It has a particular use that people find helpful. There is a large market for it around the world.
And with the right Cannabis SEO strategy, you’ll be able to attract and develop a loyal clientele.
If you are a cannabis company or medical marijuana dispensary, you’ll be able to get help from Cannabis SEO experts to advertise your dispensary to cannabis consumers in your region. You’ll be able to –
- Let them know what types of cannabis you have.
- Show the cannabis products in photo or video form.
- Publish previous/existing customer testimonials to vouch for your product quality.
- Share any discount codes or offers you’re running.
- Tell customers how and where they can purchase cannabis from your dispensary, and at what cost.
- Announce any new cannabis products that you will be launching soon.
- Explain the farm-to-table process you follow, to showcase your product’s eco-friendliness and brand localization.
All of this will help you-
- Increase the total number of buyers
- Grow order size
- Deliver high profits
It’s Not Just About the Rankings
One of the biggest benefits of SEO is that it helps websites rank very high on search engines.
Crawlers on engines like Google and Yahoo will look very specifically for certain types of SEO, such as keywords and meta data, to find a website that is most aligned to the user’s search query.
When your SEO is smartly done, your business website and social media platforms will be picked by these crawlers, specifically because they checked all the boxes the crawlers were evaluating websites against.
If your SEO is spot-on, your site will have the opportunity to be featured on the first few pages of the search engine – which is where you want to be.
But here’s the thing. Cannabis agencies can help you with more than just site ranking. Let’s explore how.
SEO for Cannabis Companies Can Increase Your Top Line
Not many people like to go through pages-upon-pages on Google to find the site they need.
As your website is ranked in the top 3-5 positions of the Google search, you’ll get the heaviest traffic because your site is very easily found. And since you are found so early in the search, you’ll also get the most clicks and the most views.
If your SEO is done correctly, you’ll also get the most conversions and grow your sales. Here, the Cannabis SEO experts can help you –
- Create the most compelling site content to attract and retain prospects.
- Draw visitor attention to areas of content which will be relevant to their search.
- Offer an easily accessible mode to take a closer look at medical marijuana.
Cannabis SEO can help site visitors by –
- Getting their questions answered by a qualified team of experts.
- Taking advantage of discounts and offers to buy Cannabis at affordable prices.
- Tracking shipping and delivery seamlessly on-site.
- Having an easy time using your business website.
Don’t you want your website to be one of the first ones that customers see and explore?
Won’t it be incredible if your medical marijuana dispensary site became the most visited and most popular and perhaps even the most bought-from, online? All of this can be done through Cannabis SEO.
Let’s Talk SEO: On-Page, Off-Page, & Technical SEO
When it comes to Cannabis SEO, it isn’t just about keywords – although that’s a very powerful component. Your SEO will include multiple elements that fall under three categories –
- On-page SEO
On-page SEO refers to the set of SEO elements that you’ll see on the web page. This is the SEO which increases your E-A-T; i.e., Expertise, Authority, Trustworthiness. It includes SEO elements like –
- Informative & engaging content
- Meta titles, meta descriptions
- Alt tags and canonical tags
- Site URL structure
- Internal links structure
- Image and video optimization
- Off-page SEO
Off-page SEO refers to SEO elements that are used/located in places outside of your main websites. Off-Page SEO relates to gaining high-quality and relevant backlinks and mentions from third-party websites.
In the eyes of Google, backlinks are considered a vote of confidence in your brand. Off-page SEO supplements on-page SEO by helping drive traffic to your web pages by increasing your Domain Authority and Page Authority through supplemental SEO marketing.
It includes SEO elements such as –
- Backlinks from different websites and social media platforms.
- Your company’s social media channels/accounts.
- Customer reviews & testimonials on places other than your website.
- HARO – Help A Reporter Out
- Press releases about your company
- Guest posts
- Technical SEO
Technical SEO refers to core aspects of your site, such as website accessibility, crawling and indexation. For a website to perform exceptionally well in search, it needs to tick as many boxes as Google requires. These boxes normally include –
- Site load speed
- Site privacy and security settings
- XML and HTML sitemaps
- Content structure (and any duplicated content blocks)
- Page crawling & indexing
- Hreflang tags
- Structured data and schema markup
While the cannabis SEO experts you hire will help you with all of these SEO facets, the major cannabis SEO elements that immediately impact your content marketing success, are the ones we’ve discussed below.
These are the ones that you and your cannabis SEO agency must focus on priority –
Meta Titles and Meta Descriptions
Both meta titles and meta descriptions are HTML codes that appear in the web page as a header.
They describe the contents of the page and help the search engine identify and pick up the page when a search is made.
If you search for something on Google, the headline that you see in blue is the meta title. The meta description is the small black paragraph of text that appears just below the meta title.
Your cannabis SEO agency will create understandable and eye-grabbing meta titles and meta descriptions for you.
Keywords & Keyword Research
Keyword research is a very important part of cannabis SEO strategy. The keywords are basically words that are included in the content, the meta and the tags, to help your websites be found when a user makes a search query.
The SEO experts will study what search terms users normally use when looking for cannabis products. These words and phrases then become the keywords that are included in the site to increase its visibility.
Page Load Time and Device Compatibility
Did you know that people tend to exit a site that takes more than 3 seconds to load? In fact, a good page load speed is anything under 1 second.
Usually, heavy graphics, site server inefficiencies, incorrect coding, broken links, an excessive number of widgets/plugins etc. are all responsible for slow page load time.
Cannabis SEO experts will work to remove any problems on your site, which is slowing down your page load speed.
Similarly, a site that isn’t device optimized and which doesn’t load on the mobile can be very cumbersome to use.
This usability problem also affects how many people prefer to use your site and how many would rather abandon your site. SEO can help address this issue.
Your recreational cannabis and medical marijuana website should be for everyone. But an inaccessible web design or a poorly designed site can turn people away very quickly.
Cannabis SEO experts will correct web design errors and use best-in-class practices which will make your site more user-friendly and accessible for all types of visitors.
Social Media Platforms
Your SEO team will take over social media management for you. They’ll help in the creation, publishing and engagement monitoring of different social media channels, which help increase your brand’s credibility and reach.
Localization of SEO
Localization is of the utmost importance these days. More cannabis users are choosing to support local farmers and dispensaries, by buying local strains.
By including your location in your SEO strategy, the agency will ensure that your website is found by the right people, at the right time, on search engines.
You can also update your Google My Business listing as well. Some ways to make your GMB listing SEO-optimized are:
- Enter thorough address
- Mention all locations served
- Add photos of your facility
- Verify phone number & email
- Add reviews
- Enable map
Top SEO Strategies and Tactics To Use For Cannabis Companies
Now that we’ve taken a look at the various components of Cannabis SEO, let’s consider some key SEO strategies and tactics that can help you market your company or dispensary –
- Creating content that cannabis users want to read
This will ensure people voluntarily peruse your website and explore your products.
- Adding geotagged locations of country/state/city to each product description or page
It will encourage customers local to your area, to find your store and purchase from you, instead of going elsewhere.
- Designing the site to elevate user experience
Adding resizable font, sitemaps for easy navigation, disabling auto-play on videos, making the site device-optimized etc. are some ways to make the user experience better.
- Writing in a human voice
Some brands sometimes have the tendency to stuff content with keywords to ensure the website gets picked up by search engines.
But this practice of keyword stuffing can make the content sound robotic and inauthentic. A good cannabis SEO company will know how to write for people in a real voice.
- Using a smart combination of targeted keywords across the site and off it
A great cannabis SEO strategy will be consistent across platforms. This includes using keywords that target a niche audience and ensuring these keywords are used across the board.
That way, the entire SEO campaign will look cohesive. Additionally, meta titles and descriptions and alt tags will be optimized by keywords too.
- Increasing the site’s DA and PA
The site’s domain authority and page authority will be increased, with smart link building to reputable websites. Relevant informative content about medical marijuana and cannabis will be provided.
The site’s load time, appearance and functionality will all be improved tremendously.
- Structuring the content to get featured snippets
Featured snippets are powered by using structured data or schema markup, which is a core part of a technical SEO strategy. They refer to the answers that appear in the highlighted boxes at the very top of search engine pages.
These are essentially chunks of content taken out of the website and displayed, because of their high degree of relevance to the search.
A reputed cannabis SEO agency will create and structure your content in such a way that the crawlers on the search engine will find and feature your content in featured snippets.
An Example of How Cannabis SEO Works
Before we wrap up, let’s take a look at how cannabis SEO looks like and works –
Imagine you are a Manchester-based manufacturer of cannabis edibles like gummies.
You create a blog post titled, “Why cannabis edibles make a healthy snack.” In that, you write about cannabis edibles as a category and you describe cannabis gummies in detail while linking out to your gummy product packs for purchase.
Your keywords here are “Cannabis edibles”, “Cannabis gummies”, “Manchester cannabis dispensary”.
Now, anyone searching for any of the above keywords or any variations like – “cannabis edibles in Manchester”, “chewable cannabis”, “cannabis gummies Manchester”, “cannabis in gummy form”, or “Cannabis dispensary Manchester”, will be directed to your site.
Or let’s say you are a medical marijuana dispensary.
To promote your products, you have your experts publish opinion pieces and articles talking about the health effects of medical marijuana and get them published on other leading websites like Healthline, Elemental, Everyday Health, Psychology Today etc.
Then you insert links to your medical marijuana dispensary where you have more research and a product listing.
These are just some of the ways in which cannabis SEO works. At The Converted Click, we are a reputed cannabis SEO agency, with years of experience helping cannabis companies and medical marijuana dispensaries, gain visibility and traction.
Our cannabis SEO experts can SEO optimize your website and help you increase viewership, engagement and conversions. We will also conduct regular SEO audits to fine-tune your cannabis SEO campaign to ensure you get the desired results in the long term.
Contact our cannabis SEO experts today for more information.