It was only a few months ago, in December, that CBD and hemp products were legalized in the United States, exciting merchants in the $22 billion industry. Even with such a successful industry, advertising and optimization can be difficult because the opportunities are very limited.
The FDA puts serious regulations on hemp and CBD products, and large platforms like Google and Facebook do not allow CBD advertising, which means that there are limited avenues for CBD advertising.
Despite the challenges, there is a path to success in the CBD industry with your marketing. We’ll look at the different ways you can improve your SEO for success and show examples of a successful SEO campaign for a CBD client of ours that has experienced early success as a foundation for building a brand and reputation.
Marketing Channels to Explore
Search Engine Optimization – Making it onto the first page of Google is imperative for success, especially in the cannabis industry. Did you know that 75 percent of people who search for terms related to CBD do not go past the first page? If you aren’t one of the results on the top page of search terms, you likely won’t have the success you desire. Achieving that success requires having a smart content marketing strategy that utilizes the most relevant keywords for CBD and acquiring legitimate backlinks that help increase your authority. It can be a difficult process, but it is the foundation for your success.
Affiliate Ad Networks – Using ad networks is a great way to gain exposure and drive relevant traffic to your website. Affiliate ad networks are different from marketplaces like Google and Facebook because those platforms are paid per visitor, not by commission like the affiliate networks. With each ad network, you want to make sure you are displaying on websites that draw in relevant and interested customers, and you want to make sure your product has the potential to sell and sell quickly so the publisher gets the commission since many other businesses in various industries will be competing for the same space.
Influencer Marketing – You may not be able to advertise CBD on Facebook, but you can certainly create social media posts about it, which can open the door for partnerships with both brands and influencers who can get you in front of larger audiences that are relevant to your business. While it can be time-consuming to create posts and try to work with influencers to get the added exposure, there are services that can help make the discovery process for influencers a lot easier and more efficient.
Understanding CBD and Its Laws – Hemp was made industry legal in December, but that means the THC levels still need to remain below 0.3 percent in any hemp or CBD products. CBD that is extracted from marijuana will be north of the 0.3 percent that is legal. It is important to know the product you are selling and the laws around it. There are regulations across different states as well. Before you can market the product, you need to have a complete understanding and knowledge of the product in compliance with the laws around it.
Tips to a Successful CBD SEO Campaign
There are three things you need to remember as you start a campaign for a CBD brand. It will be a grind and will require a lot of time, energy and passion put into your product. You need to know all of the benefits of your product and what helps you stand out, and you need to have a plan.
As we mentioned earlier, avenues for exposure are not always easy, so being persistent and having a constant presence is good for being picked up on the internet. You need to know what your strengths are and how you best get your message across to your audience.
There are several tactics that you can take to achieve success and implement a solid strategy. Here are five that can have a lot of success in the cannabis and CBD industry.
Content Marketing – Content comes in all forms from blogs and articles to podcasts, videos, photos, graphics and so much more. Ultimately, the content you produce can bring two things. One, it makes you more credible in the industry, adding value to your customers with the information you can provide. Second, it makes you more trusted with search engines by constantly producing content. The more you produce, the more you grow. It’s as simple as that.
SEO Campaigns – Targeting the right keywords and phrases that get your website recognized by search engines like Google can take some time, but with a continued content marketing plan and regular use of these keywords on your website, you can build the foundation for a great SEO campaign. The more terms you can match for, knowing your brand, location and target audience, the better chance you will have to succeed.
Influencer Marketing – As mentioned above, work with influencers who can help expose you to a larger audience. There is so much potential behind influencer marketing because it is people marketing for people. Customers would much rather purchase or follow a call to action from an actual person. The best way to identify a potential influencer for your industry is not in the numbers but in the interaction. Who are they interacting with? How do they interact so that it relates to people? All of this can help identify influencers who will get you in front of your target audience.
Affiliate Marketing – We also mentioned affiliate ad programs above and much like influencer marketing, it isn’t about quantity but quality. You want to find affiliate ad networks that will put you where you want to be to achieve success and that reach your target audience or actual potential customers.
Email Marketing – Using email can still be very effective, even if more people are dismissing emails than in years past. In a business setting though, email remains an effective form of communication, so building an email list or subscribers list should be on your to-do list. The reason email marketing can be so effective is the risk you take in promoting on social media.
CBD content is not always going to be smiled upon by social media, so you run the risk of having posts deleted or your account terminated altogether. If that happens, there is no way to go back and get those contacts you have built up back. With email, you always have a contact list so that if all else fails, you can still send content and information through email and reach people who have come to trust you throughout your marketing efforts.
An eCommerce CBD SEO Story
As we have mentioned, there is a lot to consider when marketing products like CBD. One CBD client we have recently begun working with came to us requesting help with SEO. His approach to selling CBD and Hemp products online stand out, but his online store was not ranking for any CBD-related keywords.
At the beginning of the campaign, we came up with a list of keywords to target. We started on-site optimization and content writing. However, less than one month in, we started to experience re-direct issues. The client had changed his website’s domain name without keeping the team at 1Digital informed. Once this change took place, we started to see that none of his web pages (other than the home page) were being redirected properly. This set back the SEO campaign immensely.
After the 2nd month – and with the help of the 1Digital team, these redirect issues were resolved. We then began to focus on content production. We started to see some of the target keywords rise in rankings. From previously not ranking in the top 100 for any of the CBD keywords, we suddenly achieved a page 2 ranking. We also began to see a sizable increase in organic traffic – up 200% from the previous month. The average rank position of keywords has also increased from 101 to 88 in the last month.
It is still early in the campaign, so with more content over time, the rankings should continue to rise and deliver a boost in organic traffic. With continued activity and content, the possibilities are endless for eCommerce CBD clients to achieve success on search engines like they never have before. Through various forms of marketing from content to search engine optimization to email and influencer marketing plans, it can take a lot of work and energy to reach the results, but the results are there to be had.
Choose 1Digital Agency and let our process do the heavy lifting in your SEO efforts. With our extensive process from keyword research to constant content production, the results will start to see improvement over time as you work with us on the details of your campaign. Contact us today by calling 215-809-1567 or sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Kevin Durso
- April 25, 2019
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