The cannabis business is booming. Recently liberated from decades of prohibition, the sudden availability of recreational cannabis throughout certain areas in North America has created a multi-billion dollar industry slated to continue expanding as the wave of cannabis legalization spreads.
Although cannabis as a business has been legitimized across all of Canada and in 11 US states (as of this writing,) cannabis based businesses still face some very unique challenges.
One of the biggest challenges is cannabis marketing.
Even in areas where cannabis is legal to produce and sell, cannabis businesses are still heavily restricted in the forms of advertising they can use to promote their business.
In 2020, online marketing is king. Yet cannabis products and businesses are barred from using many of the most lucrative forms of online advertising, such as Pay Per Click (PPC) advertising on most major web platforms.
Similarly, traditional advertising mediums like print, radio, television, and out of home also feature restrictions which prevent advertising cannabis in many locations.
Fortunately, there is a method of online marketing which can circumvent all of these issues. It all begins with Search Engine Optimization (SEO.)
The cannabis industry is only getting bigger. What began with dispensaries has expanded into a whole ecosystem of businesses with an emphasis on cannabis. Legalization created thousands of business opportunities, including smoking equipment, packaging, agriculture, hobby growing, merchandising accessories, and far more.
Everyday, consumers and people somehow involved in the cannabis industry are performing thousands of web searches to find information, products, and services related to the cannabis industry in one way or another.
Regardless of what sort of cannabis business you are involved in, you can leverage this massive search traffic to bring in new leads to your business.
Even though cannabis related businesses are prevented from advertising directly on most search engines through their paid advertising programs, cannabis websites are not excluded from search results.
This gives businesses in the cannabis industry access to one of the most powerful and highly targeted internet marketing devices available today.
Let’s look at how it works.
We won’t get too far into the weeds with the technical details of SEO in this article. However, it is important to have a basic understanding of what SEO is and a few details on how it works so that you can help understand how to leverage it for your business.
The goal of any search engine is to provide a user with information. That could mean answering their questions, directing them to a store or service, helping them find contact information, or hundreds of other possibilities.
Implementing an effective SEO campaign is all about having the information a user is searching for and providing it to them when they need it most.
When a user lands on your website after performing a search, you’ve attracted a highly targeted form of traffic. Since the search should be relevant to your business, we can safely assume that they have some level of interest in your products or services. And now they’ve found their way to your web page. That’s half the battle!
Broadly speaking, any SEO campaign can be broken down into two parts.
The first is a technical part. This is about making sure your website can actually show up in the search results and get good placements. We refer to this as on-site optimization and it is mostly about formatting and the under-the-hood details of your website.
The second part is all about creating content.
Web content can take many forms. It could be a blog, an image gallery, a video, or some combination of multimedia.
When this content is closely related to your business, it can be used as a promotional tool. It can help attract web traffic while simultaneously informing users about your business.
Not only that, it can educate users about cannabis and the industry in general.
Even though it has rapidly blossomed, the cannabis industry still has a lot of growing to do. The key to continuing its growth is through educating consumers and those involved in the industry.
SEO provides the perfect outlet for doing so.
Any good SEO campaign starts with keywords. Keywords are what users type into a search engine when they’re looking for information. Through analysis of keywords and carefully selecting the right ones, SEO experts can hone in on the sorts of search terms which potential clients and customers are likely to be typing into search engines like Google.
By creating informative and entertaining content centered around these keywords, websites have the opportunity to appear in these search results — and potentially get the attention of new clients and customers.
With so many questions still surrounding cannabis itself and the cannabis industry at large, this is a perfect opportunity for cannabis businesses to attract the attention they need most.
Curious web users are searching for everything from the details on the best ways to consume cannabis, to questions about cannabis related businesses and stocks, to ways to break into the cannabis industry whether they want to cultivate a cannabis farm, open a dispensary, or get involved with the logistical side of the industry.
As a brand new industry, the cannabis world is in need of educational resources. There are many questions to be answered, and few traditional resources which are able to answer them. Hungry for knowledge, cannabis aficionados and entrepreneurs turn to their web browsers to find these details which aren’t available anywhere else.
For the businesses with the SEO savvy to create content which answers these questions, the results are sure to be exceptionally lucrative.
So what does educational, quality cannabis content look like in 2020 and the coming decade?
It could take all sorts of forms. Here are just a few ideas:
The sky’s the limit! Any of these topics can be covered in the form of news articles, informative blog posts, explainer videos, even infographics!
All of which can be leveraged for use in an SEO campaign.
Modern SEO is all about these forms of useful content. After all, if you don’t have content to “optimize,” there is nothing to be found by search engine users in the first place.
While old school SEO techniques were largely focused on the technical details of how to make a web page appeal to automated search engine robots — the web crawlers which collect and rank websites — modern SEO methodology is all about appealing to users by giving them what they want the most: quality information!
Not only can this content rank well in the search engines, it is also likely to be spread by the users who enjoy and learn from it across social media and other platforms.
In order for the cannabis industry to continue its exceptional growth, it is just as vital for cannabis businesses to network with each other as it is for new consumers to come into the market. Once again, this is a task best handled by SEO. Creating informative content which doesn’t target the end consumer, but rather engages with cannabis business owners is another highly lucrative and largely underutilized tactic
With the industry still in its infancy, there are many business opportunities which cannabis business owners are unlikely to be aware of. Connecting cannabis businesses together to create new products, services, and further propel the cannabis industry into the new decade should be an essential goal of everyone in the industry.
This sort of cannabis business social network can be bolstered through the same type of informative web content used to attract customers. And it can be created through the same channel: search engine traffic.
SEO tactics are every bit as applicable in the B2B space as they are at marketing to consumers. By creating informative and educational content with keywords geared towards businesses, you have the opportunity to unlock a wealth of business opportunities which might otherwise remain hidden.
While there is great potential in SEO, it is also a highly competitive field. Getting to the top of the search results doesn’t come easy. Between keyword research, content creation, and on-site optimization, the process of creating and managing an effective SEO campaign can be a full time job in itself. Thankfully, you don’t have to go it alone.
MSS is devoted to getting our clients the best SEO results anywhere. Our company has successfully propelled our clients from obscurity to popularity dozens of times. You could be next.
With a special interest in the cannabis industry, we know the ins and outs of online marketing in this space. We can say for sure that SEO is the dominating force in cannabis marketing, and for good reason.
Want to see what the view looks like from the top of the search results?
Get in contact with us today to begin seeing the results your business deserves.