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Promoting a CBD Website
It's really not difficult to promote a traditional business online. If a business wants to encourage more website traffic, they just create an advert and put it on Google AdWords, or Facebook. Easy. And that's probably what you thought, too, when it came to promoting your CBD website…
You're probably here because you now know that advertising and promoting your CBD website or shop, whether online or off, is going to be a bit different from the norm. Your business is classed as either 'high risk' (mainly with payment processing and merchant account suppliers); or as with Facebook, you're business is classed as illicit. Well strictly speaking, Facebook doesn't mention CBD directly. The only policies that it would come under would be 'illegal products or services' or 'drugs & drug-related products', they don't have a clear CBD policy.
So, not to waste any more time trying to figure out these policies – let's get cracking with how we ARE going to start promoting your CBD website or shop.
SEO for CBD
The number one promotion technique for CBD websites and shops is search engine optimisation (SEO). Creating a dedicated SEO strategy for your website is vital, without one it will be hard to keep a track of performance.
Your SEO strategy should always start with a period of onsite optimisation, getting your website in tip-top condition for productive SEO. Things like load speed, meta data, structured data and page length are all very important for your ranking. And of course, your researched keywords are placed in a natural way throughout your site. Gone are the days of creating one page focused on one keyword.
Keeping up with Google's ranking algorithm changes is futile, they make hundreds of changes throughout the year, not including the major changes, like Penguin and Hummingbird. What has remained consistent throughout each algorithm is the importance of content and links, regardless of the changes in ways Google will rank them. You can check to see if any Google algorithm change has affected your site by using the Google Penalty Checker.
To understand what your website’s SEO should be targeting, a good deal of time should be spent on keyword research, and preferably before you build your website. This allows you to build it with SEO incorporated from the ground up. Saving time, and a great deal of cost if you are paying a developer for this work.
New websites will naturally have a low ‘Domain Authority’ (the strength of a domain), with few or no backlinks and a young age, meaning that Google and other search engines will not see your site as very authoritative, and will prefer older sites with more backlinks and content over a newer site. The more authoritative websites are able to target the more attractive keywords as they’re more likely going to appear in searches for them.
So, you will need to go for the low-hanging fruit and target long-tail keywords, i.e. the more specific searches. Using a long-tail keyword like 'Buy peppermint CBD oil uk', will mean that your site will likely have better chances of ranking on the first page, than if you targeted ‘CBD oil UK’.
Content is King
If you haven't already created a blog page for your website yet, do. And update it regularly. A blog is a great way of using all those long-tail keywords from your research. Write engaging blog content for your visitors and focus on addressing the article's topic thoroughly.
What to write?
It should be easy to find topics to write about. There will be questions that you get asked every day by your customers… 'How do I work out the percentage of CBD', or 'are your products organic?'. Write down all the questions you get asked regularly and use these topics as blog content or an FAQ page.
Another approach is looking at your website's searches in Google Search Console, or another SEO ranking provider like WEB CEO, and see what keywords you are already raking well for. Boost those keywords by providing informational content in your blog.
The only real downside of content marketing is that it won't usually result in immediate sales. But, this isn't what we are looking for with content marketing, it's a long term strategy that will provide great results.
Google's view of content
Google's emphasis on understanding search intent, topics and content has grown in recent years. Its primary goal is to match user intent and query with the best solution for them. If Google thinks that your content has a higher chance of answering the user's query, your website page will rank higher.
The old way of search engine optimisation were to create website pages for each keyword. But Google's Hummingbird update means that you can just create one page and you'll rank for many keywords on that page. You'll also be ranked down by Google for 'keyword stuffing' your pages.
For quality content you need to do the following:
- Get high-quality links to your site. Authoritative backlinks are a must for Google to see you as having an 'authority' in a subject.
- Build articles that thoroughly answer any queries that a user may have about that subject. Ensure that your articles are over 1000 words.
- Create many articles (topic clusters) around one subject (pillar content). Use your long-tail keywords as a base to start from.
Benefits of content marketing for CBD websites:
- Newer CBD websites can increase traffic quickly.
- Establishes your CBD brand and website as an authority.
- Brand awareness. As long as your CBD brand design is professional and consistent your brand will be noticed for the right things.
- Generating social media traffic.
- Capturing leads.
Lead Capture for CBD Shops:
We already know that your general CBD content isn't likely to result in sales, so capturing your visitor's contact information is a great way to sell to them in the future. Building a mailing list is your first thing to do here. Using third party providers like MailChimp or Sendinblue are by sure the best place to start, and with free options to get you started you don't have much to lose!
With plugin integrations to your website and CRM, your email lists can grow without you realising. Creating website pop-ups to capture data in return for discount codes is a fast way of growing your email lists. Other incentives could be a giveaway, or some more content in the form of monthly newsletters.
Extra 'Local' SEO for CBD Shops
If you are a local CBD business or have physical store locations, you'll need to do a few more things with your SEO. Local Google search queries bring up the 'map pack' and you'll want to make the most of this feature. Promoting a CBD website to a local audience will give you an advantage as you will have much lower competition.
- Set Up your Google My Business Page
- Citations and links – create citations in all the big directories, like Yelp, Yell.com etc. Find out what citations your competitors have and list here, too.
- Audit existing citations – ensuring consistency throughout each listing.
- Local optimisation for content – write content that occasionally mentions the location your store is in, like 'CBD oil shop in xxx'
- Create Structured Data – give search engines your information. Embedding data you're your website such as business name, address and contact details gives search engines extra information that they can display to their users. Using schema, too, to set your business hours is a good idea. There are many WordPress plugins that can do this for you.
Measure Your Success
Firstly your expectations must be realistic. You're not going to rank for your #1 keyword overnight. CBD SEO is a long-term strategy that can take a few months before you start seeing results. Measuring the success of your SEO efforts is vital to understanding what works and what doesn't. What's converting, by who, when, and where did they come from. We advise using keyword ranking and traffic reports from your Google Analytics account, SEMrush or WebCEO.
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