The market for CBD products is rapidly growing, showing up in industries such as cosmetics, food and beverages, and pharmaceuticals. Cannabidiol, better known as CBD, is one of over 100 chemical compounds known as cannabinoids found in the cannabis or marijuana plant, Cannabis sativa. Healthline
CBD products can come in a variety of styles, such as oils & tinctures, gummies, lotions, food, and more, making it a versatile product that appeals to a wide market.
If your company wants to increase your CBD brand’s e-commerce sales and grow your company to become reputable, trustworthy, and increase your profit margin, then focusing your efforts on SEO can be the best way to accomplish your goals.
Despite the various advertising restrictions that CBD e-commerce brands face, a strategic SEO strategy can still help bring traffic to your website and generate happy, returning customers.
Today, I introduce you to our definitive guide to using SEO for your CBD e-commerce brand!
1. Perform an SEO Audit & Plan Your Strategy
Want to know how to best create an SEO strategy for your CBD brand? You will need to perform an SEO audit to better understand what your strengths are and what can be improved.
How to Perform an SEO Audit
The first part of any great SEO strategy is to begin with an SEO audit.
If you have been selling your goods online for some time, you will need to do is crawl your entire website and make sure your site is registered for webmaster services. Next, the SEO audit begins.
An SEO audit analysis is broken down into 5 large factors:
- Accessibility – The process of testing how easy it is for search engines and users can access your site.
- Indexability – Where are you indexing on SERPs and if your pages are even indexed?
- On-Page Ranking Factors – The process of checking each individual page for its rankability, looking at items such as content, URLs, meta descriptions, and titles.
- Off-Page Ranking Factors – Here, we would evaluate your backlink profile, popularity, authority, and public trust.
- Competitive Analysis – Now, we create an analysis for your competitors to better understand where your CBD brand can sit within the market.
This was an extremely simplified version of an SEO audit. If your CBD brand still isn’t sure where to start or doesn’t have time to perform an audit, we would love to help your team out!
Understand Your Audience Search Intent
Do you ever ask yourself why you searched for something? Understanding the search intent of your users can help you optimize your SEO strategy by producing the type of content they will want to see listed after making a search query.
You want your CBD brand to produce the most relevant content for users, so it is important that you understand the four types of search intent, and then create around content around each intent.
- Informational – Users want to answer a question or seek information, for example:
- “Can CBD help with sleep?”
- “Is CBD safe for animals?”
- “Different kinds of CBD products”
- Navigational – Users want to find a specific website, such as:
- Transactional – Users are ready to spend their moneyyy and want to find where to buy from, so they might search:
- Where to buy CBD cookies
- Best priced CBD topical cream
- Best CBD gummies
- Commercial Investigation – Users want to buy a specific product but want to do more research before purchasing:
- Best CBD companies in Atlanta
- Best CBD tinctures for energy
By studying and understanding the consumer and what type of searches they will be conducting will inherently strengthen your SEO efforts if you produce content that answers these questions before they are even asked.
Get inside the mind of your target audience, produce content to answer their questions, and anticipate what they will search even before they open Google.
Use Analytics to Identify Your Metrics & KPIs
Once your strategy is in place, you will want to monitor your plan and tweak it as necessary. Your first strategy is not the end-all SEO strategy for your CBD brand, so watch and adjust as needed.
We always recommend the use of Google Analytics to track your KPIs, such as:
- Time spend on site
- Average pages per session for users
- Average bounce rate
Watching these KPIs can help you adjust your content and on-page SEO for continuous higher ranking.
2. Focus on Your Niche with Specific CBD Branded Content
Each CBD brand has something special that sets them apart from the competition, and so it is important for your CBD brand to recognize what you do different, and better, than the competition.
Find your niche, then plan your content around that specific niche.
If your brand is new to creating content, start first by hosting a blog on your website. Studies show that companies that host a blog produce higher marketing results than competitors that do not.
Thanks to HubSpot, we now know that businesses that blog regularly tend to:
- Attract 55% more traffic than those that don’t
- Receive 97% more inbound links
- Have 434% more indexed pages
Perform a Competitive Analysis
Not sure where to start for your content strategy? A great way to start would be for your brand to perform a competitive analysis.
Once your brand has performed a competitive analysis, you can gain a deeper understanding of what types of content are already being produced by competitors.
Take this as an opportunity for your brand to diversify and differentiate your CBD brand’s content from the competition.
Plus, when conducting a competitive analysis, your brand will have an exciting opportunity to find holes in content produced, meaning pieces of content that are important to your niche but are lacking on the internet, and then you will get a leg up when planning your own pieces of content!
Think of the following reasons to perform a competitive analysis:
- An opportunity to grow traffic to your website exponentially with limited resources.
- Perform keyword research to target less popular long-tail keywords for your SEO strategy.
- Understanding what keywords your competitors use to return the highest ROI.
- Learning how to win against the competition for highly competitive keywords.
“Your competitors can be your greatest allies if you allow them” – Neil Patel
Having competitive intelligence could be a great way to boost your SEO efforts for your firm. By understanding what the competitors are doing can give you insight into their brand’s SEO strategy and what is working for the competition.
A Quick Guide to Performing an SEO Competitive Analysis
Now that you undertand the importance of performing a competitve analysiss, I wanted to take a quick minute to outline the process of performing an SEO competitve analysis.
While starting the competitve anaylsis might seem intimidating at first, in the end, it will bring your CBD brand nothing but a leg up on the competition.
Here is how to perform an SEO competitive analysis in 7 simple steps:
- Which CBD brands are ranking on the first page of SERPs? Identify your CBD SEO competition, and this could range from the direct competition that sells CBD products, to marketing agencies with the goal of helping CBD brands.
- Assess the difficulty of keywords used in your niche. Evaluate the domain strength of your competition and take this as a moment to find areas that the competition is lacking so that you can swoop in and take advantage of their weaknesses.
- Have a look at the popular keywords used by your competition. Doing this will help your CBD brand seek out opportunities to use unpopular or less competitive keywords in your content.
- Visit their website with a special eye for on-page SEO and on-site content. Doing this will allow your CBD brand to understand their content publish schedule, the keywords they have used on their homepage and throughout their content, and what types of content they create. Use this information to your advantage.
- Check out their backlink profile. Doing this will help your CBD brand see where they are being linked find opportunities for your CBD to gain reputable backlinks. We suggest using a platform such as Ahrefs to do this.
- What is the competition’s site structure and UX like? Look at their loading speed, if they are optimized for mobile and the overall crawlability of their website.
- Don’t forget to scope out their social media pages! See when they are posting, what they are posting, and how they are engaging with their community.
Perform CBD Keyword Research
Now that you know what your competition is doing, you can begin your keyword research.
During the keyword research and competitive analysis, your CBD brand can gain a deeper understanding of what types of questions, concerns, and products are being searched the most.
You can then focus your energy on thinking of what long tail keywords your CBD brand can use to rank each of your pages on SERPs.
If you are unfamiliar with long-tail keywords these are typically low volume and highly-focused search queries, and these long-tail keywords typically convert really well.
These long tail keywords will be very specific to the product you are selling and reflect the type of searches your users will conduct.
Possible long tail keywords could be:
- What’s the best CBD tea for anxiety?
- Should I consume CBD in a solid or liquid?
- Can CBD help me sleep?
From there, your CBD brand adopts these strategies, makes them better, and begins to race up the ranking in SERPs.
Now, we aren’t just talking about the basic keywords you can think of, such as:
- CBD tincture
- CBD gummies
- Best CBD brands
Of course, these types of keywords should be taken into consideration, but what we want are
High ROI Keywords, say it with me!
The Newest Content Trends Your CBD Brand Needs to Follow
In 2020, we are noticing some emerging content trends coming into play, so here are some ideas of how to create CBD content for your website that will bring more traffic to your website and turn those that are “simply” browsing into happy customers.
Here are the content trends your CBD brand can take advantage of in 2020:
- Make the shift to user-generated content
- Invest in video content
- Long-form content that is high quality and driven by facts and data
- Personal content that is specific to each user’s needs and wants
- Voice content that is optimized for voice searches that users will ask their smart devices
3. Focus on Strong Schema Mark-Up
You can use schema mark-up to rank higher on SERPs, which can greatly help bring meaningful traffic to your CBD brand’s website.
Schema mark-up is a type of code that you put on your website to help the search engines return more informative results for users.
Using schema mark-up for your website will give meaning and value to search engines because search engines can interpret what the content actually means, instead of just crawling for keywords.
Adding Schema markup to your HTML improves the way your page displays in SERPs by enhancing the rich snippets that are displayed beneath the page title.
And having rich snippets can help display more relevant information to users resulting in more traffic to your website.
How can schema mark-up and rich snippets help your product page? Let’s have a look.
Reviews & Ratings
With the use of rich snippets, you can easily display your raving customer reviews on your page results.
Potential customers can see that your product received several 5-star reviews and take the third-party testimonial and will use it as an indicator that your product is of high quality and trustworthy.
CBD Product Information
Using rich snippets for your product pages on your website helps search engines understand that they are crawling a product page. Using rich snippets for your product page can ensure better placement on SERPs.
Rich snippets for your products can help display more information related to the product that wouldn’t appear with a standard snippet.
Including rich snippets for pricing information aids potential clients by making the cost of your good or service relatively easy to find.
Don’t wait until someone sees your CBD products on a SERP, thinks the price is good and reviews are great, only to come to your website and see that it is sold out! Using product availability schema markup.
Having the availability listed will help with your bounce rate, especially if your CBD brand suffers from ‘soft bounces’ meaning they are engaged with your site and content but never purchase the product.
If your CBD brand likes to make video content, you can use schema markup for these videos as well! Since search engines don’t watch videos, when you write schema markup for your videos, search engines can understand what your video is all about.
4. Create a Solid Link Building Strategy
There are two types of links you should be building, both within your website and on various other websites, and these are gaining reputable backlinks and strong internal links.
Let’s break down how to use both internal links and backlinks to help your CBD brand climb the ranks and gain more meaningful traffic to your website!
Create Strong CBD Content to Increase Backlinks
Help your CBD brand become a distinguished company and an industry leader by creating content that is consistently backlinked.
Backlinking is the process of receiving links to your content on other high authority websites, bringing in more traffic, and working as a great off-page SEO tactic. While you are resting at night, potential customers can still find backlinks and be lead to your website.
Gaining meaningful backlinks can help you rank higher on SERPs and help generate more customers to your website.
Your eCommerce CBD brand can gain
- Guest blogging for websites that are leaders in the industry, such as influencers blog or large players in the industry.
- Gaining mentions for your product reviews from big industry names.
- Fix broken links by sending your content to replace the broken content for a trustworthy site.
- Utilize your suppliers and competitors to gain backlinks from your content.
Practice Strong Internal Linking
Internal linking is the process of providing easy to use links for customers on web pages, and for your CBD e-commerce brand, the process of keeping them pursuing your website so that their end action is purchasing your products.
You can create content that is consistently interconnected through the use of internal links to keep your target audience engaged and educated. Then, you can gently guide them to your amazing CBD products!
Here are some strategies for strong internal linking for your website:
- Use keywords in each link you create.
- Use the relevant product page as a chance to an internal link.
- If you create educational content, link products to this content.
- Link your product to your category pages – types of tinctures, gummies, topicals, etc.
- Internal linking needs to benefit the customer’s process through the website, so internal link builds to boost that process and not just SEO.
5. Curating Product Page SEO
Each of your CBD product pages need to be fully optimized and enticing to the customer! Let’s learn how.
Related Products Sections
You did it, you hooked a potential customer, they have your CBD goodies in their cart. Now, here is your chance to improve your internal linking and sell additional products by creating a carousel at the bottom of the page for similar products.
“I see you’re buying a sleep tincture, great! Do you want an energy tincture for day time too?”
“People also liked the mango gummies to go along with their CBD strawberry dried fruit”
Practice strong internal linking by guiding customers to various pages on your website and, hopefully, enticing them to purchase more of your amazing CBD products.
Think of each product description as a chance to rank your page higher on SERPs.
If your product page is missing a keyword-rich description, then you have basically lost the chance of having this page ranked entirely.
Product descriptions are the chance to introduce your product to potential customers, so lean back on your SEO analysis and find which keywords can create a unique and strategically curated product description that inlines with your brand and makes customers crave your CBD goodies.
Remember to always use your own, uniquely crafted, and on-brand product descriptions and never use descriptions from the manufacturer (if you receive your CBD goods from a manufacturer).
Manufacture descriptions could be used on a variety of product pages for competitors and from the manufacturer as well, so always create your own or risk being dumped for the competitor on SERPs.
Optimized Your Product Pages
When you are optimizing your product pages, such as your title, product description, and headlines, always write them by asking yourself
“what is the user searching for to get to this page”
You need to utilize keywords and optimize each page for SEO or else you run the risk of creating a page that, frankly, no one will search for.
Always optimize for specificity and brevity instead of generic writing in the H1 headings and product description.
Here are some tips for great page optimization:
- Ensure consistent branding on the title page and H1 heading
- Don’t forget to write your image alt tag information
- Avoid keyword stuffing and opting for more strategic placement and strong writing
Remove All Duplicate Content
You don’t want to have various pages of duplicate content indexed on SERPs.
If you have similar content for your CBD brand scattered throughout your website, make sure you take these necessary steps to make sure that the original, intended page is what’s being indexed.
- Use the robots.txt to block duplicate content
- Define a canonical page for similar or duplicate pages
- Add a nofollow attribute to indicate points of potential duplicated content
6. Improve Your On-page SEO
On-page SEO is the practice of optimizing individual web pages in order to rank higher and earn more relevant traffic in search engines. On-page refers to both the content and HTML source code of a page that can be optimized.
So, what can your CBD brand do to improve your on-page SEO?
Proper CBD Heading Tags Based on Keyword Research
Make sure titles are unique and focus on key phrases from your keyword research findings.
For e-commerce websites, this can often be a step that is often overlooked and, ultimately, can generate a lot of duplications of keywords within product heading tags.
When consumers are searching for products, they often search with long-tail keywords rather than a single word, so make your heading tags reflect the search habits of your target audience.
Ensure Site Security with SSL
Secured sites are a must in 2020, so it’s no surprise that Google has indicated page security as a ranking factor.
To be frank, your consumers are smart, but can totally fall subject to hackers. Your website possesses sensitive information, especially since your clients will be using their credit/debit cards, putting in their addresses and giving their names when placing an order.
Help ease their mind and help you rank higher by receiving your SSL Certificate and protect your company and your customers.
Add a Frequently Asked Questions Page
Frequently asked questions can save your customer service team the hassle of answering the same questions, day in and day out, all while maximizing your SEO strategy.
Want to know how to create a strong FAQ page that is fully optimized for SEO?
- Conduct research and keep recordings of the true FAQs to best serve your clients.
- Implementing structured data to become more visually appealing in SERP, get a higher average click-through rate, and pull ahead of your CBD competition.
- Utilize videos on your FAQ page! These videos can represent your CBD brand well and inform customers about your products.
- Focus on navigation and the user’s experience when creating an FAQ section.
Improve Your Meta Tags for an Even Better SEO Ranking
What are meta tags and how can they help SEO? Great questions!
Meta tags are snippets of code that provide necessary information to search engines about the type of content that is most important on your web pages, indicating how it should be displayed in search results.
There are 6 important meta tags your CBD brand needs to focus on to help climb the ranks, they are:
- Meta title – The page title that appears on a SERP.
- Meta description – The description that appears under the title on a SERP.
- Meta robots – The tag that indicates to search engines if and how to crawl the webpage.
- Meta charset – This tag tells browsers how the text should be displayed on each web page.
- Meta viewport – Used to tell search engines how to render each page for different size screens.
- Meta refresh redirect – This tag will help the browser redirect the search to an indicated page.
7. Using Local SEO
If you own a local cannabis shop and you also sell your CBD products online, investing into local SEO could be a great way to generate local business.
Not only can using local SEO generate actual foot traffic to your shop but website traffic as well for those who want to purchase your CBD goodies online!
Google My Business
I will say it once, I will say it 100000000 times – your business needs a Google My Business page!!
This is also a great chance for you to display your raving product reviews for easy customer access.
Please note – this is only applicable if you always sell your goods at a storefront. If you own a shop but you also practice eCommerce for your products, definitely take the time to set up your listing so that you can display your address, phone number, and name.
I apologize if you are an online retailer and cannot set up a GMB account, but don’t fret, we have other options for you.
Register Your CBD Brand on as many Local Directories as Possible
Consistency is key for consumers and having your website listed on a variety of local directories not only promotes healthy backlinks to your website but it also generates a higher amount of traffic.
It can also proves you are a trustworthy company, and customers love to trust in brands they monitarily support.
And isn’t trust a key component for your CBD brand?
Make sure you ask yourself these questions before you register your company on local directories:
- Is this directory high authority or spammy and a little sketchy? If the answer is suspicious, don’t list your site.
- What is the likely audience that will visit this directory?
A few examples of directories that could be great to register with are:
- Bing Place
- Blogarama to gain backlinks to your blogs
- Yellow Pages
- Chamber of Commerce
Remember, you want to make sure you are consistent across all directories. Double-check your NAP (name, address, and place) is all correct, as well as your phone number.
The more harmonious your information is, the more trust you will build with your audience.
For a full list of relevant local directories, check out the complete list from Search Engine Journal.
8. Focus on Amazing UX/UI Design
SEO will always be a losing game if you do not think about your audience first.
Your website is often the first impression that consumers will have of your CBD brand. Knowing that, your website needs to be built for maximum usability and ease.
Your CBD brand’s SEO strategy and countless hours of work will be lost if your website is not built with the users in mind.
Okay, that was a bit melodramatic, but the sentiment has various layers of truth behind it.
Basically, focus on UX and UI for your website. 🙂
Have Your Call to Action Stand Out
Having a strong call to action on your website can easily help guide those who are simply ‘just looking’ into happy customers.
Some things to keep in mind when creating a healthy CTA are:
- Keep the language short and sweet, such as ‘shop now’ or ‘view product details.’
- Above the fold or below the fold is best, meaning above or below an image or text.
- Think about brand and aesthetics when choosing a color scheme.
- Use strong, branded SEO phrases for your CTA.
- Use a subscriber CTA to grow your database.
Web Page Speed Will Always Be an Important Ranking Factor
I am going to keep this brief because I am sure you already know, but as a simple reminder, it’s crucial that each of your web pages load in under 3 seconds.
There are so many benefits to faster page speed, such as a lower bounce rate and higher ranking on SERPs. A decreased wait time is correlated to a higher conversion rate and we know you want your CBD goods to be everyone’s go-to brand.
If you are wondering how to check your page speed, you can utilize these free tools to check you page speed:
Took a speed check and saw your website still has a slow loading time?
Let us help you get your page speed optimized in no time! Imagen Media prides itself on being experts in page speed since we know how important it is for your CBD brand’s conversion rate.
Create a Mobile-Friendly & Responsive Website
Last year, in July of 2019, Google made the switch to mobile-first indexing.
Meaning, if you register a new page, these pages will now be crawled first by Google’s smartphone Googlebots, and mobile-friendly pages will be indexed.
Your e-commerce CBD website HAS to be optimized for mobile. Seriously, we are 10 months into mobile-first indexing, so let’s get at it.
Here is your mobile-friendly checklist:
- All content fits onto mobile screens, meaning no scrolling from side to side to view product
- Redirects are optimized for mobile
- Page loading speed is fast
- Spacing optimized for mobile for touch elements
- None of your files are blocked
- You can properly see images
Want to know if your website passes the mobile-friendly test? Take the Google Mobile-Friendly Test
9. What are the limitations of your CBD brand?
I first wanted to provide you with a quick breakdown of the restrictions, both marketing and branding, your company could face when starting to create your SEO strategy.
CBD Claims for Medical and Health
Despite the many claims and positive affirmations for CBD brands, stating that your CBD brand can help a customer fight anxiety, chronic pain, cancer, arthritis, or any other medical grade issue a customer could be facing is not approved by the FDA.
Unfortunately, if your brand uses deceptive marketing as a means to sell your product, you risk having your campaign be shut down. Even if you personally have experienced miracle benefits from CBD brands, don’t use these claims to sell your products.
Beware of Advertising Restrictions for CBD Products
Due to the various restrictions on CBD there are still various social media platforms that CBD companies cannot run or advertise their products on, these platforms include:
- Google Ads
To Wrap It Up
It is never too late to implement a strong SEO strategy for your CBD brand, and I would go say it is even pivotal due to the marketing restrictions within the industry. We covered a lot of great SEO strategies your CBD e-commerce brand can utilize to gain more traffic to your website and to generate more happy clients!
Did we miss anything? Let us know in the comments as we would love to hear from you!