Marketing and SEO for Cannabis Companies
Introduction to the legal cannabis Industry
In 2018 the Canadian government passed legislation which legalized the consumption of marijuana recreationally. June 2018 was when the legislation was passed and October was when it came into effect. From then on the government has been legalizing different cannabis products. Most recently the government has legalized edible cannabis products.
Since legalization, the government has been granting different shops the licenses to sell this drug in retail. But with so many different options for buyers to choose from, how can you ensure that they choose your location? Well with the internet being the main place people go to look up locations, it is important to maximize your presence online. One of the best ways to do this is with search engine optimization or SEO for short.
What is Cannabis and Marijuana SEO?
With there being so many stores in populus areas selling marijuana, the number at which you rank on google can make or break whether people visit your shop or a competitor. SEO as suggested by the name, aims to optimize listings on search engines. This means when someone searches for the keywords cannabis, or marijuana in your city, you will rank higher than the competition.
SEO for a cannabis store or company is much different than say a restaurant. Because the introduction and legality of the product is so new, instead of focusing on mere keywords, the focus is shifted to developing reliability and trustworthiness. Developing trustworthiness and authority on the internet is not an easy task. There are 8 steps that can be taken in order to increase online authority and boost ranking in local listings.
1) Create a my business google page
2) Gather reviews
Once your google my business account is public, customers will be able to review the experiences that they have had with your establishment. Once reviews come flooding in they will show potential new customers that you are a good business. That isn’t the only thing google reviews are good for though, the many Google reviews will show the Google algorithms that people are interested in your location and will recommend it more often to users.
To learn more about what reviews can do for your cannabis business, check out this other article. (link to local view)
3) Social media
Social media is one of the largest search engines. While that may not seem the case, with billions of reachable users business reach is vast. You can use your facebook page as a way to attract new customers and direct them back to your website. Social media allows for another angle as well, advertising. You can advertise on facebook’s platform in an extremely targeted way. Check out what you can do with facebook ads here.
4) List your address and phone number on your website
Listing your address and phone number on your site opens so many doors. Sharing information so consumers don’t have to search far will benefit you in the long run. Additionally, with your information posted, google will use it to recommend your business to searchers.
5) Add your business to local directory listings
6) Have a blog
7) Onsite SEO
With blog writing of any kind, onsite seo is necessary. It can be as small as inserting a few key words or managing for snippet optimization. Regardless of the scale, SEO is essential to promoting your business online. As a business who relies on local traffic, local SEO is where you should be focusing most of your time; ensuring that you show up in keyword searches followed by the city. So what does good SEO look like?
- Effective Keywords
- Proper Title Tags (the tags that show up on window tabs)
- Structured Header Tags
- Contextual Information for Pictures and Images
- Clean Content Layout and Structure
- Named URL
- Error Pages
- Quality Webpages
8) Google analytics
Components of Cannabis SEO
Keywords in online content are what search engines use to match articles to search queries. Remain focused on a few select keywords rather than trying to cover as many keywords as you can.
Pro tip: SEO does not benefit from an overload of keywords. Focus on quality content rather than using your keyword as much as you can.
To couple with website layout, there is user experience. You need to provide content that is legible and readable. These two aspects include font style, size, colour, along with the colour of the page itself. If you want tips on enhancing user experience, take a look at this article.
Why do you need SEO for a marijuana Company?
Before Getting Started
Now I know you’re excited to get going, however there are a few things to know before the process begins. Before we even begin to look at what we can do to improve the website discoverability, we need to gauge what we are working with. This is where a website SEO audit comes into play. At 23e2, we will survey the positives and negatives about your site and then determine what needs to be altered. What we are specifically looking for during the audit is where we can provide you a better idea of why certain aspects on your site are not performing the way that they should be. During the audit we start with the foundation of your site working through all the way to surveying competitors.
After we complete the audit we can go ahead with the best course of action plan for you! Want to find out more? Contact 23e2 digital marketing agency with the form, phone number or email at the bottom of the site.
How Long does SEO for a Cannabis Company Take?
SEO is not a one and done process. A very important component of SEO is consistency, consistently keeping your website up to date and adding new and editing old content. Social posting and monthly reporting are also two areas of SEO that have no determined time length. For these reasons, a full SEO process can take months. With that being said your results will reflect the amount of effort that you put into the website.
What can you expect?
To expand more on what was briefly touched on in the last section, the results you are able to achieve from SEO are directly related to the work effort you put into the site. If you focus only on keywords, you may see a spike initially, but after the initial google ranking, results will drop off due to the fact that the rest of your site isn’t optimized. The true fantastic SEO results can come months after the process begins. The first thing you can expect to see is a higher ranking on google. This higher ranking is known as the initial ranking after something is published. How well does it match what searchers are looking for? How much domain authority do you have? After your site has been up for a few weeks or a month or two, your new more permanent ranking will appear. This newer ranking is based on more than just matching content, and domain authority. It is based on how users have interacted with your site. Do they share the site? Do they leave a review? Do they visit your site multiple times? All of these and more will affect the more permanent ranking. After this is the time you will really see the impact of SEO kick in. Using Google analytics and watching ecommerce sales, you will be able to monitor what is working and how it is working in relation to your website and business.
Additionally you can expect to be ranking higher in google maps searches if you have a retail store. More popularity and commotion regarding your company will send a message to googles team that people actually want to visit your store. In response Google may in turn rank you higher in maps searches.