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Top 10 Things to Know: SEO and Marijuana

— March 27, 2020

Before any cannabis brand spends a dime on advertising, there are several improvements a marijuana product site can make to establish trust with the audience searching for their business or service. 

As recreational and medical marijuana expands nationwide, so does the competition in marketplaces. And, as the benefits of CBD are being discovered more and more, people are investing in starting their own marijuana stores. 

This increased usage of marijuana is because of the various health benefits it offers, particularly to women. It’s just not seen as a means of recreation anymore. 

Today, we’re going to break down the ten most essential things to consider for your cannabis marketing strategy.

#1: Analyze Your Existing Organic Search Traffic Before Considering Any Cannabis SEO Strategy

Analyzing the existing organic search traffic of your marijuana website will help to identify key user behavior metrics.

You can get this SEO data from the Google Analytics account of your website and start analyzing the popular pages on your website.

Find your top articles that educate visitors on the origins of the hemp plant, the health benefits of your CBD products, how to detox when absolutely necessary, or the various types of cannabis strains you offer, and determine what they all have in common.

To utilize this data, create new posts, make sure they are relevant and not time-consuming, and update them in regards to back-end metadata and on-page content.

#2: List Your Phone Number & Address on Your Cannabis Site

When people click on your website they should also find all necessary information besides how to pass a drug test. You must create a website with great design and high-quality content to stay relevant and competitive.

But, your website should at least list your phone number, address, city, and state in text. This way, Google will be able to suggest your cannabis business to searches coming from your specific location.

#3: Understand How Users Perform Their Searches

Cannabis SEO has always incorporated keyword research. You can find a bunch of keyword research tools out there that will help you understand how users search when they are actively looking for cannabis products online.

Person holding silver iPhone 6 with black case; image by Jamie Street, via
Person holding silver iPhone 6 with black case; image by Jamie Street, via

SEO has changed dramatically over the past few years. And, cannabis SEO is more focused on determining the customer’s search intent these days.

Measure how your audience uses search engines and implement a solid keyword optimization strategy.

#4: Add Your Cannabis Business to Reputable Directory Listings

Websites like YellowPages, Local, and Yelp not only increase the odds of someone finding your business, but also provide high-quality links going to your site.

Many marijuana-related directories, such as Weedmaps, THCBiz, and Leafly exist for the same obvious reason, but whatever you do, ensure only to utilize popular directories and start with just a few. Otherwise, you risk hurting your cannabis SEO rather than helping it.

#5: Mobile Optimization

Your cannabis SEO must include a mobile adaptive website.

CBD consumers, in particular, spend a lot of time searching for tips and products online on their phones. Therefore, a new SEO strategy should include topnotch mobile optimization.

To check if your site is mobile-friendly, use Google’s free Mobile-Friendly Test tool; simply copy-paste your site URL, and it will show you if your website is optimized for mobile viewing.

#6: Gather Reviews

When you have listings up on Google and a couple of directories, consider asking your clients to leave reviews on them be it good or bad. However, both good and bad reviews are needed as too many positive reviews can seem fake to many shoppers.

It’s always good for businesses when potential clients see positive reviews, but it is also a robust signal to Google that your marijuana business is worth recommending to others.

#7: Fix Your 404s

Let’s assume you have a job interview next week, and you’re required to pass a drug testing procedure. You start looking online for tutorials. But, as you find a promising website, it shows you a 404 error saying, “The page does not exist,” or something like that. Now that’s disappointing, right?

You DON’T want a potential client to click on a page on your website only to end up receiving a 404 error. It can hurt your cannabis business and potentially increase your bounce rate.

#8: Social Media Enhances Cannabis SEO

Social media plays a vital roll in the cannabis business, as people often search for a weed detox kit here. As people use social media as a searching method, it can play a vital role in your SEO as well.

Google prefers sites with a higher number of shares and other social media engagements. That alone proves that Google uses all that information as a crucial ranking factor. 

#9: Your Site Speed Matters

Whether you’re on a laptop or smartphone, most users expect a website to load immediately, if not in three seconds at the most.

According to research, it takes about 22 seconds to load an average mobile landing page. However, it’s also proven that 53% of users will leave a page if it takes longer than 3-4 seconds to load. It’s the era of 4G and 5G Internet, after all.

Having a good speed helps to reduce the bounce rate and ultimately enhances the SEO.

#10: Optimize On-Site SEO Strategies

Unless you’re tech-savvy, you may need some help from a cannabis SEO expert for this step. However, as one of the most crucial parts of SEO, it should not be overlooked!

 A solid SEO strategy should have the following points:

  • Keyword strategy
  • Title tags
  • Image alt tags
  • Header tags
  • URLs
  • Content structure
  • 301 Redirects

Wrapping Up

Before any cannabis brand spends a dime on advertising, there are several improvements a marijuana product site can make to establish trust with the audience searching for their business or service. 

We hope you liked our list of cannabis SEO strategies to help you dominate the online marijuana market and earn more revenue. Consider testing out each technique mentioned in this post to strengthen your website optimization strategy.

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