Search Engine Optimization & Cannabis Marketing
In our opinion, Search Engine Optimization always has been and always will be the cornerstone of any marketing campaign. SEO is the process of getting your brand/website on the first page of Google without using their paid ad network (those Ads you see at the very top and bottom of the pages). These results are referred to as “organic results”. SEO is the meat and potatoes of Google pages. Google is absolutely focusing more efforts on promoting their paid positions (They make billions of dollars off of cost per clicks on these ads), as well as their Google Local results (the box usually at the top listing out all the relevant companies, a brief description, a link to their phone number, website and address). That said, SEO results are still the majority of what folks click on.
The Future of Cannabis Marketing
We have no doubt that SEO, paid advertising (when it opens up more for cannabis) and direct promotion is the future of cannabis marketing. Weedmaps, Leafly and other huge industry sites are currently the only game in town, which will transition over time. People use Google, they search for what they want on Google. Period. If you get ahead of this now, you’re setting yourself up for online marketing success in the future.
Not many cannabis cultivators have marketing backgrounds. You may have heard of Search Engine Optimization (SEO), it’s an evolving process with powerful aftereffects. Lets look a little more into the process.
Step 1: Keyword Focused Websites
First of all you need a clean, well built & coded website that’s keyword focused. When we say keyword focused we mean the relevant descriptions of your business boiled down to a few words. For example, if you are a hash company you would focus your content on what you make and the area you make it. I.E. Maine hash, live rosin Maine, THCA diamonds Maine, Live Resin Maine etc… If you are a service company or lab you’re going after marijuana processing lab Maine, cannabis concentrates Maine, hash lab Maine and so on. Your website’s architecture, how people navigate through your site, needs to be crafted around these keywords. An example of this is headings and subheadings.
- Big Smooth
- Leon Phelps
- Live Resin
- THCA Diamonds
- Live Rosin
As you can see, this architecture is keyword focused. You’re going after a broad term like “Cannabis Cultivars” as well as rifling down to specific strains. A good example of a website executing this would be www.zerogravitycannabis.com (see how we slipped an inbound link in here).
Next you want to build your “spiderweb” of inbound links and promoting your brand on other industry specific websites and social media outlets. Google judges you and decides if you’re worthy of first page ranking for Its users, based on these combined criteria. The low hanging fruit of inbound links from powerful websites is Instagram, Facebook, Leafly, Weedmaps and any other large social media outlets you’re customer based is used to using. The real work begins in hunting for smaller relevant websites that require a profile of your business and have an approval process. A long and arduous process. I.E. all of the members on the membership page of this site have a link back to their websites.
Google also judges the worthiness of your website on any paid search you’re doing. This shows them you’re a legit brand that cares about traffic focused on your business. As of now we are very limited on what we can do here, but there are third party websites allowing banner ads, as well as local newspaper and trade rag website’s, which link back to your website through paid ads. When doing all of this analytics plays a HUGE role in the success of your spend. If you don’t know how to execute SEO, then you should pay a professional. If you are spending money on paid advertising and SEO, you need to know if it’s working.
Drive > Convert > Measure
Understanding if any marketing campaign “works” is accomplished with detailed analytics, which is a topic for another post. In short, analytics is a birds eye view of all traffic, its source, what you pay for that source, measuring the conversion (purchasing on the site, submitting a contact form, calling your shop) and if/how much money you made on that conversion. Now, it’s a way more detailed process than this, but it’s the only way to calculate your return on investment. We like to describe this as DRIVE > CONVERT > MEASURE. Drive quality traffic to your website. Convert this traffic into loyal customers. Measure the results of all spending through detailed analytics.
In conclusion, SEO is simply growing the quality and quantity of traffic to your website. With quantity there’s quality. Getting to that quality user efficiently is the name of the game. SEO is unpaid visibility on Google, unless you are paying someone to execute the campaign, which most due. But, you’ll waste a lot of money not working with a firm with experience, proven results with affordable pricing.
To learn more about Scarlet Fire, visit https://scarletfire.io/.