Legal cannabis has produced cottage industries that include both plant-touching and ancillary businesses. Even though they have conventionally relied on strategies like email marketing, plant-touching SEO cannabis businesses need specialized marijuana marketing and SEO plans for various reasons.
Consumer packaged goods (CPG) are some well-known local cannabis brands. For them, the most significant marketing obstacle relates to creating brand visibility digitally and evaluating their success. For cannabis businesses, building a digital foothold can be a real struggle. It is especially true in the face of marijuana businesses being barred from conventional media, like television and radio.
It's also quite difficult to utilize Google Ads and increase your search engine rankings, as businesses in other domains do. Thus, a robust marijuana SEO plan is the need of the hour.
The cannabis industry is expanding quickly, and it needs a modern and flexible outreach plan to make its voice heard. As legalization continues, this industry has grown to be worth $61 billion. More demand is set to grow. Unsurprisingly, it has also become a domain of fierce competition. Businesses deploying various SEO tactics will always gain more exposure than those who don't. In such a scenario, it's necessary for any cannabis brand to leverage a robust online marketing strategy and allow their prospective customers to discover them.
How to Make Yourself Discoverable?
Search anything related to a cannabis product on Google. You will find yourself sifting through a plethora of competing cannabis brands. Among them, you'll find local and national physical stores and online shops. There are thousands of cannabis businesses in Canada. Naturally, it would help if you did everything to set yourself apart.
The first step in doing so is to identify your target audience. Find what they're searching for on search engines. Their search intent will be the core of your cannabis SEO strategy. Choosing the best keywords is the next step that will allow you to craft a great strategy. For example, for a dispensary, the keywords can be 'dispensary' or 'edibles.' But they are very broad terms, and you cannot possibly rank for them in the near future.
Keywords impart you various opportunities to go up in the search engine results pages. Your research process should begin with the following factors:
- Search volume – It implies the number of people who look for a specific term every month.
- Keyphrase difficulty – It means how challenging it is to capture a specific keyword. For instance, the keywords' marijuana dispensary' or 'edible cannabis' has a keyword difficulty that goes beyond 70. Thus, it will be very challenging for most brands to achieve a high rank on the search engine result pages.
- Domain authority – The domain authority score can make it very hard for brands to beat certain pages on the web. So, it's best to not target keywords with a greater keyword difficulty score than is your current domain authority score. To enhance your domain authority, concentrate on building backlinks. Find keywords that are less competitive by using tools like Ahrefs.
- Search intent – It means the level of fit between your CBD brand and the keyword. Even if you have a keyword with a low difficulty score, it won't yield you any result if it is not related to your business.
How to Plan Content for Ranking Your CBD Brand1
After choosing your target keyword cluster, you can begin to create a blueprint of your major article and secondary articles. Use tools like 'Answer The Public' to find suitable user queries that revolve around your topic. The tool also provides you with the search volume of the questions.
Secondary articles are also essential to your strategy. For instance, if your main article is about 'methods to cook using CBD oil,' then ways to create your own CBD oil can be an ideal supporting article. Pull relevant keywords for every article to ensure that they are discoverable on the search engine
Provide a Good User Experience
Providing a good user experience will transform how users engage with your content positively. Pay attention to the following for providing an excellent experience to your users.
- Make use of subheadings – Properly used subheadings will make it easier for both readers and the search engine to understand your text.
- Make your content visually appealing – Use videos, screenshots, and other images to help your reader better understand your content.
- Use whitespace – It enhances the comprehension of your reader and captures their attention.
Improve the Loading Speed
One of the best ways you can enhance your SERP ranking is by optimizing page speed. Use effective tools like Google Analytics and SEMrush to assess the speed and fix performance issues.
- Optimize favicons – Google shows favicons in a mobile search result. A high contrast favicon can boost the click-through rate. Use a thought-provoking favicon that indicates to users that they have found a suitable site.
- Use keywords in the URL – The URL structure should be simple and informative. Make it short and keyword-rich. Refrain from adding numbers, symbols, and stop words to it.
Pay Attention to User and Search Intent
Search behaviour and intent are under constant change. Search intent refers to the real motive of a search query. The main aim of Google is to comprehend and satisfy the user's search intent. Your content thus needs to provide valuable information to the user.
To make content that matches the user intent, you need to gain knowledge of the four types of search intent.
- Navigational searches – They are performed by those looking for particular apps or sites. For instance, 'Amazon Cart' or 'WordPress login.'
- Informational searches – They are carried by those looking for a piece of particular information, for instance, ' sunset today (your location).
- Commercial searches are done by those who want to purchase a specific product but haven't yet determined which one to buy, for instance' cannabis delivery (zip code).
- Transactional searches – In them, the user knows what they want to buy. For instance, 'buy cannabis online.'
Since Google implemented the BERT (Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformers) algorithm, it is getting better at comprehending users' intent. The BERT algorithm uses machine learning and natural language processing to understand searches and how they are associated with what users want to find. Suppose your CBD content doesn't satisfy the user. In that case, BERT will quickly discard it, even if it's very detailed and high-quality.
Final Words on Cannabis SEO
For CBD brands today, SEO is not just about getting more traffic. It also entails making the current traffic generate greater revenue. Thus, it would help if you created strategies that emphasize boosting customer lifetime value and retention. For Google, the search process begins with comprehending three things of a brand, who it is, what it sells, and the users it targets. Your goal should be to determine how your brand's properties interact with one another on the SERP and ensure that they tell a good narrative in unison.