Search Engine Optimization has been around since the late 90s when brands like Google, Yahoo! and AOL were first building their tools for skimming the rapidly growing internet. Now synonymous with “look it up,” the biggest search engine, Google, has developed some pretty sophisticated ways to determine how to serve up the best website match to the keywords you type into the little box at the top of your screen.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the practice of fine-tuning your website’s content in order to float higher up on the results returned by Google, Bing, Yahoo! and others. There’s a number of different things that factor in, like:
- How well your website’s address matches the search phrase
- How old your website is / how many years it’s been online consistently
- How much written content you have (ex. pages or blog articles), and what percentage of that content matches the keyword or phrase (important!)
- How many people or other websites subscribe to or link to your website
- How much social media traffic you have
- Pay-for-click ads that give you a boost when people find you using certain keywords
For cannabis and hemp businesses, SEO practices are a bit more restricted. One of the biggest issues for cannabis is that most major search engines and ad networks still will not sell pay-per-click ads for cannabis keywords. Saturation becomes another problem. Because there are a smaller amount of sites all cranking out similar content for keywords recognized as contraband, Google is still working on ways to reduce “search engine overload,” or the problem you get when you can’t find what you’re searching for even though you know what keywords to type.
For that reason, practices like “organic” SEO have become far more successful for the current marijuana industry. Organic SEO is the concept of writing genuine content for your site consistently while simultaneously being conscious of your audience, your message and your keywords for search results. Organic SEO can be a bit trickier since it requires a bit of writing skill, patience, and a knack for tracking stats. Hemp and cannabis business benefit from organic SEO the most for a variety of reasons. Cannabis customers in particular value a brand’s integrity and its commitment to the community – this is a perfect opportunity to generate content that shows off your industry expertise and your interactions with your customers.
Also, while social media is a prominent way to gain traction in the hemp and cannabis realm, they are just a small piece of the puzzle when it comes to creating a quality online sales funnel. A properly tuned, search engine optimized website being fed by active social media channels can be the monster lead generator you never know you could have; and it can all be automated for simplicity!
Overall, cannabis & hemp businesses should pay attention to their web presence. The vast majority of customers will Google a business before making any decisions about it, and it’s a race to the top of the results. The right team, smart goals, and consistent effort could mean the difference between your sale and a competitor’s.
Looking to learn how to boost your SEO and/or improve your cannabis or hemp business website? Contact Colorado 420 Websites today for expert hemp & cannabis marketing and search engine optimization consultation!