CBD has become an increasingly popular product in the last few years and it seems as if everyone is selling it now. From pet stores selling CBD for dogs to professional athletes endorsing CBD’s benefits, the product’s popularity is clearly evident. And because we work with a handful of up-and-coming CBD brands, I wanted to highlight how we achieve digital marketing results for our CBD clients.
Digital Marketing & CBD
Anyone planning to sell CBD either online or through a retail location in their city needs to have an online marketing plan. You need a website where you can showcase your products (even if they are only available for purchase in the store), a social media strategy to increase the visibility of the brand and a strategy to attract search engine traffic. However, due to the nature of the product itself, large companies like Google and Facebook do not allow CBD ads yet. Some brands have been creative to get around certain limitations by referring to CBD as Hemp, but even then ads are paused for policy violations. With social advertising on Facebook and Instagram out of the picture, as well as search-based ads on Google, what is a CBD business to do?
CBD SEO is a Must
The proven marketing strategy to be successful online with CBD is SEO. With this type of organic marketing, CBD storeowners can create content to rank keywords growing in search volume. The more content they create that covers the topic of CBD thoroughly, the more organic search visibility they will have.
Keyword Research is Key
Start your CBD SEO plan with proper keyword research. Get a strong understanding of what consumers are searching for in the CBD space and the difficulty level of the keywords. For example, while the most recognized name of the product is CBD, there are other types of the product like CBC, CBG and other THC-free variants searched by consumers every day. Be sure to also research popular questions asked by consumers of the product. Next, move on to creating content to support these keywords.
Create Content Users Will Appreciate
When building out your site’s content, create it for your users and not a search engine. Be cautious with keyword spamming in the content and make sure the topics and subtopics flow well. A logical structure will keep readers focused while answering the questions they have about the CBD product. If you’re operating an e-commerce store, make your product detail landing pages as user-friendly as possible. Also consider where to place your call-to-action messaging and add-to-cart buttons.
Internally Link to New Content
The way Google and other search engines will understand your content is if you link your content pieces together. Let’s say, for instance, you have a product page for a type of broad-spectrum CBD. From that product detail landing page, you can link to the product’s parent category, other products or other content you want users and Google to discover. If you need an example of how internal linking works, spend some time sifting through Wikipedia pages. Wikipedia authors do a great job of creating an internal web of links pointing to other references on Wikipedia. This allows Google to discover more pages and ultimately leads to ranking increases.
Build Links to Your Most Important Content
CBD is a very saturated market. As mentioned earlier, there are a number of people getting into CBD as retailers. This makes the online competition very strong and the best way to improve SEO efforts is by building high-quality and relevant links. Given that most retailers will be listed on the same CBD directories, think outside of the box of where you can build links to your site. For instance, with one of our CBD clients, we’re focused on developing links from sports-affiliated sites. Any athletic website that mentions CBD has been a great target site for us to reach out to and develop a relationship with.
CBD is also a popular topic through Help-A-Reporter-Out (HARO). Be sure to sign up for an account and respond to any CBD queries that come through.
Will Facebook or Google Ever Allow CBD Advertising?
Let’s face it, SEO is a long-term play. It takes a while to develop great content that is going to rank high on search engines. In other industries, signing up for a Facebook Ads or Google Ads account is the quickest way to start building traffic for brand. But it’s not a possibility with the CBD industry, yet. It’s only a matter of time before larger ad networks allow for CBD content, hopefully, sooner than later. In the meantime, develop a strong content strategy to make SEO work for your CBD business and consider testing other CBD marketing tactics.
If you need help setting up a CBD SEO plan or need someone to assess your current CBD SEO strategy, please reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.