A study reveals that an estimated 80% of consumers explore Google before making a purchase.
Since the legalization of cannabis, young entrepreneurs and medical professionals are making a beeline for the booming cannabusiness segment. This has created a competitive atmosphere in the landscape, where both online and offline stores are trying to capture and consolidate their share in the market.
This brings us to the context of this article- How do you grab your share in the cannabis market and expand your business?
Well, to be honest, the internet has empowered the users as well as made it easier for businesses to gain the customer’s attention.
Without any further ado, let us guide you about how you can grow your cannabusiness online and boost your revenue as well.
Before thinking about extending the reach of your cannabis business globally, are you sure that you are catering to your local market completely, or at least to a significant extent? Your local customer base will help you survive the tough road ahead, considering the humongous competition in the cannabis market. So, it is better that you consolidate your local market initially. Here are some measures that you can adopt for doing so.
When a user enters a search query such as “local dispensaries near me”, the very first results that pop up are Google Business Listings. So the first thing that you need to do is to sign up on Google Business listings. This would automatically index your business and bring you up in relevant searches. Local directories can be a great help for improving your ranking in these local listings. You should list your business in the reputed local directories such as Yelp and G2Crowd, which also act as supporting signals for your profile.
Online businesses can only succeed if they are able to establish a genuine presence. While this genuineness is important for the user, it is far more crucial for Google to recognize your business. Genuine user reviews on your local listings play a key role in this context. These reviews act as trust signals for your profile and propel it in search results. Moreover, prospective cannabis buyers are most likely to read the reviews and trust the opinions that the existing customers have about your products.
While reviews help you rank better, the feedback you receive enables you to improve your services and products as well. They provide a clear idea about where you lack and give you the right direction to improve in those areas. And if you deliver improved quality in services and products, you also move a step closer to receiving better reviews.
An important part of your marketing efforts is to engage with your customers. This does not refer to in-store engagement only, but online connections as well. Respond to the reviews you receive on your profile. While this effort to connect will impress the customers, it also builds the online authority and trust for your cannabis business.
Having a website is mandatory for any business that wants to sell online and cannabis business is no exception. Essentially, you need a website that showcases the complete range of products and variants you offer. But simply creating a website is not sufficient. There are some norms that you need to follow while creating a website that is good enough to achieve the desired results.
The very first thing which can improve the online visibility of your website is the domain name that you purchase. Of course, buying a top-level domain is significant, but the set of terms you use in its name should also be relevant to your industry. For example, you can choose a name such as goodqualitycannabis.com, clearly stating the quality you deliver as well as giving an idea that you deal in cannabis and its product variants including marijuana and CBD extracts.
Secondly, the design and layout of your website has a far reaching impact on its conversion rate. The visitors on your website may bounce back if your website does not appear attractive to them. A suitable theme, coupled with the use of balanced colors, visual imagery and CTA buttons, can make all the difference to your website’s design and ability to make the user stick.
The next thing you need to do is keep your audience engaged. Yes, you need to engage the users long enough to drive conversions. An intuitive navigation is the key. Including a chatbot and setting up interesting Call-to-Action buttons can enhance the user experience as well. And you already know, a customer who likes the experience on the website is more likely to convert, come back and stay loyal to your brand.
While designing your cannabis website, you cannot afford to miss out on the technical aspects. It is essential to make your website highly responsive so that it renders seamlessly across different devices and platforms. Responsiveness is vital from the ranking perspective as well because Google considers it as an important signal when ranking results for a search. There are many other technical signals that you should optimize your website for, such as SSL codes, meta tags and the list goes on.
And the real game begins here…
As far as SEO is concerned, there are many elements that you should be paying heed to for improving your search ranking. But somehow, content remains the most favored factor for Google and other leading search engines. Additionally, the content that you publish has the potential to convert visitors into customers for your business. So you should go the extra mile for creating compelling and value adding content for your cannabis website. Here are a few things that you need to bear in mind.
Creating a search-friendly piece of content is all about optimizing it for the possible search terms. Extensive keyword research is what you need to start with. Once you find the right keywords, incorporating them into your content seamlessly can make it relevant from the search perspective. Try to focus on conversational keywords because these are aligned with the voice search trend. For example, keywords such as buy marijuana, buy CBD products, or strains of cannabis are all relevant to your niche.
An in-depth, well-researched piece of content that delivers information to the user is likely to be prioritized by the search engines. At the same time, users also love in-depth content that answers all the questions that may have. However, you mustn’t stretch it just to make it lengthy. As a rule of thumb, you need to deliver something useful to your readers.
Google prioritizes only that content which benefits users in one way or the other. And to assist the webmasters, Google brings YMYL (Your Money or Your Life) guidelines for creating content. Since your business is related to medicinal and recreational marijuana products, your website comes under the YMYL category. Further, you need to follow EAT (Expertise, Authoritativeness, Trustworthiness), an additional set of guidelines that focus on ensuring page quality.
Apart from the elements of content and design on your cannabis website, you also need to pay attention to the off-page elements. A balance between On-Page SEO and Off-Page SEO is needed to get the best results from your marketing efforts. Here are some off-page elements that you need to work with.
One of the top signals that Google considers for ranking pages in search results is backlinks. These backlinks help Google identify the relevance of your content and also measure its authority. Moreover, quality backlinks bring in referral traffic to your website, which makes them act as silent votes for your content.
Another key element of your Off-Page optimization strategy should be a social media profile. Create a profile for your business on Facebook, Instagram, and other social media channels to gain higher authority. Tapping into these channels can improve your brand’s online visibility, scalably. Moreover, if you link your social media profiles with your website, you get to leverage a powerful source of potential buyers.
While you need high-quality backlinks for your website, it is not that easy to secure them organically. You may need blogger outreach and guest posting services to help you with your link-building exercise. In other words, leverage the connections of others, seeking help from influencers to gain the benefits of high-quality link juice.
Getting impressive results for your cannabis business within a minimal time span is all about commencing with online marketing right at the start. Taking the right approach is equally important. There’s just one more strategy that you can use to explore the potential to its fullest.
The concept of content marketing is not new, even though it has gained significant attention in recent times. Content marketing is basically promoting your brand or your business with the help of informative and promotional content that you publish across various digital platforms. Investing in this initiative is a great idea to get effective and sustainable results with your cannabis SEO strategy.
Establishing an online presence for your cannabis business is indispensable in the current scenario because this is one selling channel that you cannot afford to miss. And with the tremendous potential that this new marketing tool holds, you can rest assured about securing high returns on your investment and greater revenues for your cannabis business.