Level Up Your Canna Website’s SEO Game
You’ve built a great cannabis business and you’ve created a dank website, now you can sit back and wait for the crowds of cannabis enthusiasts to rush to your website right? If only it was that simple or easy. Although your work doesn’t stop at having a great site, you (or your marketing team or SEO agency) can do your site a major service by tackling some key SEO strategies for small businesses. There are a number of factors that Google and other search engines consider when determining website rankings. When you fine-tune these cogs in the machine, the algorithm works in your favor. Try these 6 simple but impactful small business SEO strategies to level up your cannabis biz SEO game.
1. NAP Consistency
Major search engines look for accurate and consistent information across all platforms to prove that your dispensary or other location-based business is legitimate and worthy of ranking. “NAP” in NAP Consistency stands for Name, Address, Phone number. Ensuring this information is accurate across all business listings, local directories, social media profiles and websites will improve your website’s ability to rank higher in local search results. This act of aligning your online business information may seem like a simple step, but it’s one of a few impactful SEO strategies for small businesses that build a solid foundation.
2. Keyword Mapping
SEO is not just about throwing keywords at your website, and it’s no longer about ranking No. 1 in search results. Your rank isn’t all that important if your website is getting quality organic traffic. Understanding your customer’s pain points, needs, questions, hurdles, desires and their common queries allows you to dial into not only the keyword “seed” terms but the long-tail keyword phrases you should incorporate in your website content. If you can afford an SEO agency, this may be the fastest and most effective route for establishing an SEO keyword strategy.
If you’re working on a limited budget, you can start with your own keyword research. This process can be done yourself and with the help of some online tools like Ahrefs Keyword Explorer or Semrush keyword research toolbox (or these free keyword research tools), and some interviews with your inner circle with a prompt like “If you were looking for [fill in the blank] service, what would you search?” Don’t make the mistake of focusing on vanity keywords. Instead, try to understand the reasons why someone might stumble upon your website with genuine questions or problems. Keyword strategy can be much more complex, but this is a great place to begin if you’re starting from scratch.
Once you have an initial list of target keywords, you can begin the process of keyword mapping, or assigning keywords to specific pages on a website based on your keyword research. Once you have a keyword map, you can make intentional changes to titles, content, meta descriptions and alt tags to reflect the strategy for each page.
Another way to dial into your SEO strategy is to understand your competitors and analyze their organic traffic and potential strategies. This Ahrefs Site Explorer tool (and similar products) allows you to see backlinks and site traffic from any other website, which is extremely useful as you analyze your competitors (or other successful brands in your industry or niche). The goal isn’t simply to copy your competitors — rather, to find their strengths, weaknesses, missed opportunities and threats, commonly referred to as a SWOT analysis. The goal is to utilize your newfound knowledge to position your cannabis brand better and drive more quality traffic.
4. Local Citations
Think of the last time you needed to find a local business online. You likely went to one of the major search engines like Google or Bing and entered in the service type or keywords. What came up next were businesses that matched your keywords and had local citations specifying they are local to your area. Having the right basic citations can ensure your business appears accurately on Google Maps and improve your domain authority, which in turn, improves your rankings and helps potential customers find your business quickly and easily. When your business is listed in trusted online local directories, it sends signals to Google to boost its degree of certainty that your business exists.
5. Page Speed
6. Structured Data
Google and other major search engines reward websites built with easy to crawl pages, blog posts and products. Structured data is a way to organize your data so that it’s clean and not muddied with unnecessary or sloppy data. In the most basic terms, structured data is simply data that is machine-readable.
Think of structured data similar to the five W’s — who, what, when, where and why — in search engine terms. Structured data makes it easier for Google to understand what your website is about, especially when it comes to serving your website in the search engine results pages (SERPs). Using structured data in the form of code snippets gives Google the information it needs to present your website to potential visitors.
Do you need an SEO agency?
Are you curious about other SEO strategies for small businesses you can implement without hiring an SEO agency? We’ve got you covered. Download our Ultimate Post-Launch Checklist to get all the small business SEO strategies you need to increase your online presence and traffic. And of course, if the thought of DIY SEO is a major buzzkill, let us get technical for you! Send us a smoke signal and let’s talk about your website!