Cannabis Industry SEO. How To Run SEO for Cannabis Content?

Cannabis Industry SEO. How To Run SEO for Cannabis Content?

The cannabis industry has been perceived as well-developed for many years now, especially in the US and Canada. Yet, it started gaining popularity in other countries as well, mostly due to the legalization of medical marijuana. It’s essential to be aware of what products are legal in a given country, and whether you can promote them. Here’s whether optimizing your site with cannabis products is worth the effort.

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Cannabis Industry Around The World – Overview

Because of the long-awaited legalization of marijuana in Canada, the industry itself became much more popular. Increasingly more companies, including global giants, got interested in cannabis products. As a result, the shares of some of the manufacturers have risen as well, even by several hundred percents. Given these numbers, it might be worth analyzing whether the industry holds the potential for long-term activities, or is it all just temporary.

According to Arcview Market Research and BDS Analytics, the market that consists of both recreational and medical marijuana already reached 9,5 billion USD in 2018. In 2024, it’s expected to exceed even 89,1 billion dollars. The main factors that influence it are definitely the medicinal properties of cannabis, progressive legalization of marijuana, as well as the improvements made in the field of genetic engineering of the plant. Still, there are certain restrictions when it comes to the cannabis industry – such as high competition with the conventional treatment, social taboo, and illegality of it in many countries.

In fact, medical marijuana still represents a bigger market share. The situation seems to be rapidly changing only in North America, where cannabis is being legalised the fastest, also for recreational purposes.

Cannabis market in the world

Marijuana or Hemp? What’s the Difference?

SEO for Cannabis - hemp of marihuana? What is the difference

The legality of marijuana differs from country to country, which is why it’s necessary to understand the local law. To make it easier, let’s focus on the difference between hemp (that doesn’t contain THC), and marijuana.

There’s a considerable difference between CBD and THC. THC is a psychoactive substance, which is responsible for the actual feeling of “intoxication”. It’s what makes you feel relaxed and more hungry than usual, with heightened senses on top of that (especially sight, smell, and hearing).

Nonetheless, the medical use of THC is that:

  • It helps with multiple sclerosis treatment, relieving pain and spasms,
  • It minimizes the side effects of chemotherapy, including vomiting, and stimulates appetite,
  • It alleviates AIDS symptoms,
  • It lowers intraocular pressure.

CBD, on the other hand, has no psychoactive substances. As a result, it has a high potential to be widely used in the medical industry and physiotherapy. Above all, it has a good impact on chronic pains.

  • It alleviates depression and its signs,
  • It has an anti-inflammatory effect and improves detoxification of the organism,
  • It’s an anticonvulsant, which helps with the treatment of diabetes and epilepsy,
  • It relaxes the muscles.

Search Engine Optimization For The Cannabis Industry

The cannabis industry is one of the most “fluctuating” markets in recent years. The restrictions change almost every day. Unfortunately, paid campaigns are almost impossible to run for the majority of cannabis products so it makes it difficult to promote it on the search engine and around the web. It’s mostly due to the terms & conditions of many advertising platforms, that can easily block such content. Therefore, SEO and organic traffic generated by it will be your allies here. Increasing your rank and making it to the top of Google search engine will soon be crucial, as it forms a solid foundation for future activities (especially once SEO in the industry becomes more competitive). That’s precisely why now is the moment to invest in SEO-related activities.

What is important when creating an SEO strategy in the cannabis field?

  1. Check the terms & conditions of your platform and hosting

Make sure that there’s room for growth in that area for your company – choose the providers whose terms & conditions allow publishing such content. It also applies to payment providers, that might have their own requirements when it comes to cannabis orientated industry.

  1. Get familiar with the opportunities given by SEO

Detailed keyword research will give you an idea of what people search for the most, and what phrases do they type into Google once they’re at it. Being aware of that is actually a great advantage. You will have a lot more opportunities, including the use of the most searched keywords on your website and thus, increasing the visibility of it in search results.

Cannabis market - keywords

  1. Choose the right keywords

It’s worth taking advantage of dedicated keyword research tools and keyword rankings. When you’re choosing the keywords for your site to optimize for in the search engine, it’s important to take into account:

  • Average monthly searches and trends changing in time,
  • The purpose of the search – whether a given keyword match the service or product,
  • The domain and authority of the websites,
  • The difficulty and complexity of the keyword.

To analyze keywords, you can use dedicated tools, such as Ahrefs, Senuto, Semstorm, etc.

  1. Create a blog and publish supporting articles

Writing valuable content makes it easy to link internally to the main product while educating your customers. If you sell cannabis products, you can, for example, write an article on how to prepare a cannabis infusion. We will address both our target audience and those who prefer “DIY solutions” rather than making purchases.

SEO for Cannabis Market - blogposts

Ideally, you should create 3-5 supporting articles that help describe the topic better and/or are related to the chosen keyword category. It will allow you to create your own content pillar and make the texts more relevant. Also, it will become a great backup for external backlinks.

  1. Start writing SEO oriented content

Thanks to creating unique product descriptions and maintaining a blog on the subject, you’ll have everything that’s needed to create well-optimized texts for Search Engine Optimization purposes, based on:

  • Carefully selected keywords,
  • Relevant insights,
  • Unique content.
  1. Keep updating the content on your website

The cannabis market changes rapidly, which is why it’s essential to stay on top of the updates and make improvements on your website accordingly. Plus, it’s worth keeping in mind that visitors often check when the website was updated to have the most recent insights. We wrote about content update importance in one of our previous blogposts: To Update Or Not to Update – What to Do with Old Content on Your Website?

Conclusion

In the last few years, the cannabis business has been one of the fastest developing industries that also generate a lot of income.  Now it’s the best moment to take care of SEO since the companies that build trust over the years, will eventually become opinion-makers in the industry. Start paying attention to the SEO-related activities right now, including:

  1. Checking the terms & conditions of your platform and hosting
  2. Understanding the opportunities given by SEO
  3. Choosing the right keywords
  4. Creating a blog and publish supporting articles
  5. Writing SEO oriented content for the
  6. Keeping the content of your website updated

FAQ

Each industry has its own specifics and it’s no different for cannabis. SEO, being a very complex process, requires taking into account all characteristics that makes given website valuable. That’s why when doing Search Engine Optimization you need to check social media rules for a given industry, the audience preferences, any specific vocabulary used around the products, and so on.

Another reason why optimizing a cannabis-related website for a search engine can be tricky and therefore should be treated differently are the legal regulations. The product itself is quite specific and some may say controversial with different regulations that ban some advertising channels. It also makes the search engine optimization process quite a different one!

Well, it depends. Agencies experienced in a certain industry will have vast knowledge about best practices that pay off in this business, will have access to great link sources as they already built a contact base and will be fluent in industry keywords. Many people are afraid of their agency being involved with competitors from the same field – sure it may be the case. However, it’s highly unlikely that it will hurt your business as each website is different and will focus on different products to promote – that’s why it’s almost impossible that you’ll end up optimizing for the same keywords.

If you choose an SEO agency not familiar with the cannabis industry, you should pay close attention to the way they explore this market for you. Being the first client of a kind means that your cooperation will depend strongly on information flow – give the agency as many details about your business as possible. Make them really understand it!

A little recommendation – you have your right to know your options, so you can always ask two agencies to prepare a Search Engine optimization plan for you. Take one experienced in cannabis SEO and one that will start fresh in this industry and review the offers 🙂

The first results are visible in the first 3-4 months since the beginning of doing SEO – usually, it’s the increase in the website’s visibility in search engines. It’s hard to be precise tho – each website will require a different strategy and different amount of work to become fully optimized. Generally speaking, the process getting results of implementing SEO to your site will look like this:

seo-effects

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Author
Junior SEO Specialist - Kasia

Junior SEO Specialist

In Delante from December 2018. She took her first professional steps in organizing large events. Student of journalism and social communication. She is passionate about dance, music and good cinema. She loves listening to people and discussing with people of opposite views.

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