Cannabis SEO or search engine optimization is the heartbeat of any successful digital marketing strategy. Without it, no one would find your website or stay on it for very long.
Although a long-term strategy, SEO is cost-effective and ultimately enhances visibility, increases organic traffic, and builds credibility. However, to harness its power effectively, timing is key.
There are so many crucial areas of SEO to focus on, especially as a cannabis business seeking to educate and inform your customers. Whether you’re plant-touching or not, investing in cannabis SEO at the right time is crucial.
With over 14 years of experience in digital marketing and SEO, our team here at Cannabis Creative is proud of our extensive expertise in this area. From audits and technical elements to content strategy and more, we’re diving into all of the foundational elements of your cannabis SEO and when you should invest in each step:
Keyword research is the cornerstone of any successful SEO strategy. It involves identifying and analyzing the specific words and phrases that users enter into search engines when looking for information, products, or services.
These keywords serve as the connective tissue between your content and your target audience, making them crucial for online visibility.
It should, therefore, be your starting point. We recommend that you conduct keyword research during the first week (or month) of investing in cannabis SEO. In fact, it is arguably the first initiative that should be prioritized.
When optimizing any part of your site or crafting ongoing content, referencing your keyword research ensures that you remain aligned with your audience’s interests and needs. It’s the roadmap that keeps your SEO efforts focused and effective, driving sustainable growth in the digital realm.
SEO Site Audit
An SEO site audit is the compass that sets your SEO journey in the right direction. Before launching a new website, it’s essential to conduct an initial audit to establish a baseline for performance and identify potential issues.
For this reason, the audit should happen during the first month. An audit will present all the opportunities for improvement from that point forward.
Even if you are not starting from scratch, an audit can help track progress, spot emerging problems, and ensure that your cannabis website remains optimized for search engines. We recommend doing this at least monthly.
A well-executed site audit relies on various tools and resources, including website crawlers, SEO analysis tools, and expert insights.
At Cannabis Creative, we use some of the best tools in the industry to automatically run site audits for urgent errors on a biweekly basis. Our team of expert SEO specialists also regularly monitor your site to ensure that you are on the right track with your cannabis SEO strategy.
By addressing your website’s strengths and weaknesses through a thorough audit, you’ll lay a solid foundation for all your future SEO efforts.
On-page SEO is the art of optimizing individual web pages to rank higher in search engine results. Timing is crucial here.
Our SEO team says, “This can happen immediately after the audit is completed, as early as in the first month. Month two is common to begin implementing changes that come from the audit.”
During website development or redesign, prioritize on-page SEO to ensure that every piece of content is search engine-friendly from the start. However, don’t stop there; on-page SEO is an ongoing process.
Regularly revisit and fine-tune your existing content to align with evolving search engine algorithms. This involves optimizing title tags, meta descriptions, headers, and keywords, as well as ensuring content quality and relevance.
By addressing on-page SEO at the right times, you’ll improve your website’s visibility and user experience, driving more organic traffic.
Blogging is a dynamic element of SEO strategy. This can happen at any time, and every month thereafter.
When starting a new website, consider launching a blog as part of your initial content strategy. In our signature Dispensary Launch Package, we help new dispensaries launch from the ground up with three relevant and rich pieces of content ready to go.
This helps build a foundation of quality content that addresses customer needs and interests to not only improve your SEO ranking but also build credibility and trust with your readers.
Typically, month two is a good time to start cannabis blogging since keyword research and a content audit are needed in month one to determine which topics should be targeted.
Whether you are starting a brand new site or investing in SEO for an existing one, fresh, relevant, and high-quality content can help establish your online presence and engage your audience.
As you invest time and effort into blogging, you’ll reap the long-term benefits of improved organic traffic, search result rankings, and a loyal readership.
Google My Business Optimization
Google My Business (GMB) is a powerful tool for local businesses seeking visibility in local search results. Timing matters when optimizing your GMB listing.
For businesses with brick-and-mortar locations (like dispensaries), maintaining an optimized GMB Profile should be done immediately, like the first week. It’s one of the biggest factors in ranking in Google’s local pack.
Ensure that your business information, photos, and reviews are accurate and compelling. Ongoing maintenance is crucial, as changes in your business details should be promptly updated.
Customer reviews and ratings also play a pivotal role in GMB optimization. Actively engage with your customers and encourage positive reviews to enhance your local SEO performance.
For online businesses, however, this tool isn’t as important and can therefore be deprioritized.
With a well-optimized GMB profile, you’ll increase your chances of appearing in local search results and attracting nearby customers.
Technical SEO is the backbone of your website’s search engine performance. Timing considerations come into play during website development and as part of regular audits for existing websites.
Begin by addressing technical aspects like website speed, mobile-friendliness, and schema markup (or structured data) during development to ensure a solid foundation.
Any technical issues that are preventing the website from being indexed appropriately should be handled as soon as the issues are identified (via the audit in the first month). Lower priority initiatives that are “nice to do” – but not critical – can be done in month two and beyond.
For existing websites, regular technical audits are necessary to identify and rectify issues that may hinder your SEO efforts.
Utilize tools and resources that provide in-depth analysis of your website’s technical health. By proactively managing technical SEO, you’ll create a smoother user experience, boost your search engine rankings, and lay the groundwork for a successful SEO strategy.
Start working on your cannabis SEO today
When it comes to your cannabis SEO, timing is everything.
Although there are various moving parts that are ongoing and long-term, some SEO tactics for your cannabis website need to be implemented sooner rather than later.
It’s all about understanding the unique needs of your website and business and aligning those with your goals and priorities.
To stay competitive, commit to continuous monitoring and adjust your SEO tactics accordingly. The key takeaway is that by strategically timing your SEO efforts, from the initial site audit to the ongoing optimization of your content and technical infrastructure, you can pave the way for sustained success in the digital realm.
Start your SEO journey now with Cannabis Creative and get month-to-month support so you can stay at the top of the rankings. Contact us to get started on an SEO project today.