The cannabis industry in the United States has been thriving over the past few years, especially with progressive legislation on state and federal levels, in light of various marijuana laws and the Farm Bill 2018. Along with this development comes the huge market for cannabis and products infused with cannabinoids such as cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).
To date, there is a demand for flowers, THC and CBD products, but cannabidiol is more widely accepted. In fact, some interpret the Farm Bill 2018 to mean that this cannabinoid is now legal as long as it is derived from hemp. Moreover, cannabidiol can be sold and bought in states where adequate marijuana laws are in place. Of course, cannabis enthusiasts with an entrepreneurial mind have worked to fulfill the demand coming from such a market.
If you are running one such business, you want to make sure that you market it properly with the right tools and practices. This allows you to improve your brand and sales, while boosting your business’ success. One of the most important aspects of CBD marketing is your website’s search engine ranking position (SERP).
What’s the Big Deal About Rankings?
Think about the times when you looked to the internet for a reputable roofer or plumber, for example. You probably went to Google and keyed in words that can help you get in touch with a service provider with the conditions you are looking for. You might have searched for one in your area or if you want, say, a roofer of a plumber that offers cheap services, you probably included that word in your query, as well. When the results come in, you visited the pages at the top of the results page.
The same mechanism works with your CBD company. A customer wanting to buy high-quality cannabidiol products near them will use search engines to connect them to a business that can give them the exact product or services they are looking for. You can bet that they will only peruse the top websites in the results page.
That’s the thing about digital marketing; users are likely to consider only those who appear at the top spots of the first page. This is because of two things. One is that the internet has given people enough resources to make quick decisions and looking farther than the top-ranking results means that they would have to spend more time and effort.
The other thing is that Google has shaped its search engine to churn out results that are more reliable, reputable and authoritative. It has designed its algorithm to crawl relevant and top-notch contents for keywords related to the user’s queries. Pages with such content make it to the top ranks through organic results.
You might be thinking of digital marketing strategies done by companies in other industries. The common practice is that upon launching the website and while taking steps to rank on Google, businesses use pay-per-click services such as Google Ads to drive visits for the time being. This gives them a needed boost as they work to strengthen their site and get organic results.
However, businesses in the cannabis industry do not have such leverage. To get the answer to this question, we need to better understand the federal laws regarding marijuana and CBD. In the US, the federal government still considers the plant, along with its cannabinoids, as a Schedule I drug under the Controlled Substances Act. This means that cannabis is on the same level as heroin, LSD and ecstasy, at least in the federal government’s book.
Keep in mind that Google in the US operates under federal laws, which means that it considers cannabinoids as illegal. If you refer to the company’s Advertising Policies in the health and medicines section, you will see cannabidiol listed under unapproved pharmaceuticals and supplements.
Suffice to say that Google does not provide pay-per-click advertising for companies, websites, pages, and products or services related to CBD, even if you have operations in states where weed is legal.
While this means that you cannot avail of Google Ads to jumpstart your website’s success, you still have a valuable tool in your arsenal to get good rankings on search results. This is where search engine optimization (SEO) comes in. Read on to know more about this strategy.
The Case for Cannabis SEO
Any business worth it’s salt should have a website. Along with the maintenance of such a site comes digital marketing strategies that can drive visits and increase sales. SEO plays a huge part in such campaigns. This practice intends to boost the number of traffic to your site, while also raising the quality of such visits. This can be done with the use of keywords, meta-tags and other elements to generate organic results.
Now, let’s talk about quality and quantity when it comes to traffic. When people say that the traffic your website receives is high-quality, it means that you are receiving visits from individuals who are actually interested in your products or services. High-quantity means that more users and visiting those pages as it appeared on search engine results pages.
The way to make your pages appear at the top spots of the first result page is to create relevant content peppered with the right keywords. Of course, you want to make sure that your website is strong enough to be considered an authority in the area, in this case, cannabidiol products. A combination of high-quality content and a strong website helps you generate organic results.
Best SEO Practices for CBD Keywords Ranking
Now that you know more about marijuana SEO, you might want to incorporate this practice into your strategy. To help you make the most out of your campaign, here’s what you should do to get you started.
Always Check Google’s Policies
Google is the largest search engine on the internet. The company has a set of standards that can help you get higher rankings. Because of this, you want to make sure that you know Google’s policies so that you can build or rebuild your website and create content that complies with the company’s rules, especially when it comes to the use of keywords.
Say, you have created a website and filled it with content based on Google’s standards. You still need to keep yourself on top of the game by always checking for updates. Remember, the internet has allowed the world to move fast, which means that the company is bound to make changes to their policies to keep up with the pace. Instead, focus more on related words or phrases such as “cannabidiol,” “CBD oil,” and “CBD gummies.”
Use the Right Keywords
The most important aspect of making your keywords rank lies in the keywords itself. Your key word or phrase should say exactly what your business is about. For example, if you are dealing solely with CBD, then you might not want to use words such as “cannabis” or “THC” as it can misdirect Google’s crawlers and, in turn, your users.
Research is your friend if you want to know what key word or phrase to use. There are free and useful keyword research tools that give you other words related to the one you keyed in. This will also give you an insight into how many searches these keywords get. The best ones are those with just the right search volume. This means that it should have a search volume that is not too low but also not too high.
Scope Out Your Competitors
Researching through various tools can definitely give you an advantage. However, you can bet that your competitors are using such tools, as well. You want to make sure that your site and content stand out. The best thing to do is to check out your competitors. This will give you an idea as to what words and phrases they use and how they use them.
You might find that aside from using “CBD,” your competitor also uses “CBD for pain” and “cannabidiol for arthritis.” With such knowledge, you know how to make your website and content unique by thinking of more original keywords that target your market better. If you sell products for pets, you can use “CBD for dogs” and other similar ideas. However, remember not to use obscure ones as these tend to have lower search volumes.
Make The Most Out of Your Page
Many people think that SEO applies only to written content, but did you know that there are invisible places on your page in which you can place a well-researched keyword? You can place these words in meta-tags, meta-descriptions, page title and URL. It can also help to use elements such as videos and images with file names containing the keyword.
Just make sure to take it easy on using your words or phrases. Google suggests avoiding unnecessary keyword stuffing in title tags, using keywords alone as meta descriptions and excessive use of keywords.
The Bottom Line
Your business can definitely benefit from the right marketing campaign. With SEO in your arsenal, you can make your keywords rank higher in search engine results, increase your traffic and chances of sales. To implement the right strategies, you might want to work with a cannabis marketing agency.