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Local SEO for the cannabis industry requires a little more finesse than many other mainstream niches, but don’t let that stop you from trying to rank well. With a partner like SERPNinja, you can improve your local SEO presence, and drive clicks and calls from localized customers.
Google’s paid advertising platforms like pay-per-click aren’t available to cannabis-related products. Instead, many cannabis businesses focus on generating organic traffic by optimizing their online presence for search engine optimization (SEO).
SEO has been a game-changer for many cannabis companies since they’re better able to generate traffic their websites, which means more customers. Local advertising on platforms like Leaflytakes a huge chunk of money that could be directed toward your business, and leveraging organic traffic helps lessen that dependency.
Search Engine Optimization For Cannabis Companies
SEO is the practice of optimizing content for a search engine’s organic search results. When someone types a query into Google, the algorithm sorts through different metrics to include relevant results on the first page.
The goal of optimizing your website and content is appearing for those customers searching for your specific product or service. So if you’re a cannabis dispensary, you want to optimize your content, so anyone searching for nearby dispensaries or cannabis-related products will find your business. And this is accomplished through optimizing for local SEO.
For local SEO, cannabis businesses should be focused on attracting nearby customers that are using search to find a relevant service or content. For example, a customer in Los Angeles looking for a local dispensary will likely search “cannabis dispensary near me.”
Then, Google’s algorithm directs them to the most relevant search results. There are many different strategies for appearing in these search results, such as using Google My Business, optimizing for Google Local Packs, general SEO strategies, which we cover below.
Google My Business (GMB)
One of the essentials ways to optimize your business is by taking advantage of a free Google My Business (GMB) account. When potential customers search for your business, they’ll see what Google calls its Knowledge Panel. This lays out information like directions to your location, reviews, hours of operation, and more.
This is a free opportunity to take advantage of Google’s search algorithm, especially for local traffic. If someone in your area searches for nearby dispensaries, they’ll find your business listed with directions to get there and hours of operation.
Google Local Pack
The Google Local Pack is the pack of specific local GMB listings that appears in a relevant search results page.
Fortunately, this feature is reserved only for local businesses, since third party sites like reviews and web content can rank high even during local searches. If a customer is nearby and searches for your product, Google will make sure the customer finds your information in this widget.
Even more, the Local Pack widget appears more prominently on the results page than other organic traffic. Below are some quick ways you can optimize your business for Local Pack, as well as Google’s SEO algorithm.
Local SEO Tactics and Strategies for Cannabis Companies
Google judges relevance by the information publicly available on the web. Adding all the relevant information to your website, GMB account, and more will help Google bring more customers to your specific business.
Including relevant things like profile and cover images, your hours of operation, and the location of your business help business rank higher than those who ignore this.
Using tools like Google or Moz’s keyword planners will help you find the phrases people use when they’re searching for your products. By analyzing and choosing these keywords carefully, you can optimize your website’s content to help Google’s algorithm rank it higher.
To rank well in local search, it’s essential to include your keywords and the location of your business in the heading of your content, as well as the title tag, and description tag. This helps the algorithm organically rank your site, your GMB listing, and your content by knowing where to find that information.Other factors, such as your site being mobile-friendly, factor into this ranking. Today’s websites should feature a responsive design that has 2 seconds or less of load time, and that looks the same whether you’re using a phone, tablet, or computer.
A vital aspect of online business, positive reviews will show Google that other customers have found value in your products and services.Most customers these days trust online reviews like a personal recommendation. An effective way of taking advantage of reviews is to build business profiles on sites like Yelp and Yellow pages. Here, customers can easily leave positive reviews and help your business rank higher.
An off-page SEO strategy, link building, is when other sites link to yours, telling their readers and customers that they trust you and your products and services. When it comes to SEO, links works in a similar way to votes. When more and more sites link to yours, Google’s algorithm sees that you’re relevant for search results and will begin directing more traffic to your site.By taking advantage of these free local SEO strategies, any cannabis industry will begin to build organic traffic, rank higher on Google, and find more customers. Cannabis companies can now stop haemorrhaging cash for local advertising and focus on actually providing their products and services. If you’re ready to trust the professionals with your local SEO, call us today!
How to do keyword research for Cannabis/Marijuana Businesses
So, you have a cannabis business and want to increase your online presence and attract more customers from organic search? Well, to do that, you will need to understand search engine optimization (SEO) and keyword research strategies specifically for Cannabis-related businesses.
A clear understanding of how to incorporate your keyword research into your content will help you to rank better for more terms, and allow you to create a better connection to your customers.
First, let’s cover the basics, then we’ll get into the specifics of researching and developing a keyword list to promote your cannabis business.
SEO is the practice of trying to increase the quantity and quality of traffic coming to your website from organic search.
When you search the web, what you’re really doing is searching through huge indexes built by website crawlers. Crawlers visit your site and download the content there to a massive database on a server. Now, when people search the internet, you receive the results based on all of the website information saved in the search engine’s database. For your site to be found online, it must be available to crawlers, or bots, to index your site and save it to their search engine’s database.
What Are Keywords and How Do They Play Into My Strategy?
Keywords are essentially the foundation for any online marketing strategy. They are the words and phrases that people type into search engines to get what they are looking for. Keywords play an important role in describing what a website is about, and hence are crucial when it comes to your site’s ability to rank among competitors.
There are different types of keywords with different characteristics:
Branded Keywords –any search term that includes your business name (ex. Dispensary name, dispensary name hours, etc.)
Localized Keywords – search terms that include your store’s city and a cannabis keyword (dispensary in San Diego, San Diego cannabis, etc.)
ProximityKeywords – geo-targeted keywords based on user’s location (ex. Cannabis dispensaries near me)
General Keywords – generic search terms related to your business (ex. dispensary, marijuana, cannabis, etc.)
Now that we have a basic understanding of how organic SEO and keywords work.let’s look at some keyword research tips to help bolster your cannabis business.
Conduct Keyword Research
Step One: Inventory Your Site
Complete a high-level inventory of the cannabis products, and cannabis-related content you are offering on your site. One way to do this is by building a list of every page on your site, each page’s intent, and each possible way someone could search for that page.
For example, for a cannabis dispensary, your keywords might include words such as cannabis, weed, marijuana, pot, Indica, Sativa, etc. You want an exhaustive list of search terms that could bring up your site. This is the start of your seed keyword list.
Step Two: Research Your Keywords
Once you have your exhaustive keyword list for your site, it’s time to find relevant keyword variations. For this step, it’s helpful to use SEO tools, like AHREFs.
Some quick ways to generate keywords are to use competitor’s URLs and URLs to similar sites to your own. One interesting tactic is to prioritize high-volume keywords that your competitors are not ranking for. By going after these, you can be the leading cannabis business in that keyword search.
Step Three: Filter Out Keywords
Now that you have an exhaustive list of keywords describing your site, filter out the keywords that have a high difficulty rating. To do this, go to Moz, and click Keyword Research. Select your created list and view the metrics of your keyword list. Using the Toggle features, filter out the keywords with a difficulty rating above 20. Keywords with higher difficulty ratings are harder to rank for. By filtering these tougher keywords out, this should leave you with a list of competitive keywords for your cannabis business.
Step Four: Analyze Your Data
SEO tools are available for you to analyze the traffic to your site. By utilizing sites, like Moz, you can get an idea of what keywords are performing and which ones don’t do as well. This can give you an idea of how to tailor the content on your site to drive more search traffic to it.
Leave Your Keyword Research To The Pros
Keyword research can be complex and challenging for cannabis business owners or marketing teams. Let our team of experts utilize our keyword research knowledge to build you a comprehensive SEO strategy that attracts more clicks and calls!