Part 2: Cannabis SEO
In our last installment, we discussed the dos and don’ts of cannabis content. This week, we’ll have a look at some tips for improving your cannabis SEO strategies. Again, the cannabis industry has very unique needs when it comes to online marketing. These need to be considered in order to improve your returns and more importantly, ensure your compliance with online regulations.
Cannabis SEO Dos and Don’ts: DO Define Your Audience Before Anything Else
This also applies to cannabis content, but it is extremely important that you define your audience before you begin SEO tuning. It’s the beginning point of SEO strategizing (and cannabis brand strategy in general). If you don’t know who you’re marketing for, you won’t know which keywords you need, which channels to use, and other important factors. Most of your important decisions hinge on your target persona.
For SEO purposes, it’s especially important to factor in geography, especially hyperlocal searches (more on this below). This is especially important for cannabis delivery services, whose business depends on the range and scope of their delivery territory. It may even be possible for you to draw up a keyword map (a literal geographic map with keywords outlined for the regions, not “keyword mapping” to your pages, though this is important too).
DO Choose Your Keywords Wisely
Keywords are supremely important for SEO purposes. It’s how Google knows what your page is about and what you’re trying to rank for. However, you want to be careful with your choice of keywords, as certain words can act as “triggers” that might get your site regulated or your post taken down (especially on social media).
These can include common words like pot, hash, ganja, or even marijuana (depending on the platform). Also, references to sales of marijuana products online will draw attention to your content and possibly have it removed.
A good workaround is to find different keywords for what you’re trying to say. These can include saying “flower” instead of “bud”, or words like “alternative medicine”. There are ways that you can indicate what you mean without saying it explicitly.
However, this makes the keyword game a bit more challenging for cannabis companies. You’ll need to exercise your synonym muscles a bit more, and you may need to delve more deeply into keyword research. If you’re still having difficulties, it may be time to work with a cannabis marketing agency for support.
Do you need help with your cannabis brand’s SEO and content? Get in touch with us today for custom marketing and branding campaigns that are tailored specifically for cannabis, hemp, and CBD entities.
DO Incorporate Hyperlocal Cannabis Marketing
Hyperlocal marketing targets the area directly surrounding a business. This includes the street it’s on, the next-door neighbor businesses, and anything within walkable distance. Hyperlocal marketing can provide businesses with a strong presence in their own community and neighborhood. This is especially important for brick and mortar businesses like dispensaries, cannabis retail shops, and cannabis gear and clothing boutiques.
You can utilize newer technologies like beacons and geofencing to help you capture the traffic that exists immediately surrounding your business. Utilize Google My Business to leverage maps and other online tools that are linked to geography.
DON’T Neglect Cannabis SEO for Mobile
Proper cannabis SEO should account for mobile searches, which can be different from searches from a desktop. A main difference with mobile searches is that people tend to use voice searches more than typing on their phones. As a result, we’re seeing more and more long tail and natural search queries.
People aren’t entering in short one or two word phrases, but are speaking out entire sentences in their searches, such as:
- “What is the best dispensary near me in Los Angeles?”
- “Where can I buy some Mendo Breath cartridges?”
- “What is the best edible gummies?”
Thus, your SEO efforts need to factor in these searches, and your keywords also need to reflect this. In this regard, it’s helpful to try out a few voice/long tail searches of your own and see what fits naturally.
Professional SEO & Content Services for Cannabusinesses
The cannabis industry has its own needs in terms of content and SEO. Strong cannabis SEO is needed to grow returns. It’s necessary to pay close attention to what you’re doing with your content and SEO efforts, (maybe more than usual compared with other industries).
SEO can be complex and it does take some time to build it out. For professional cannabis SEO and content services, connect with us today at 4Blooms for custom campaigns.