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Best Buds: The Relationship Between SEO and the Cannabis Industry

Elijah-Blue Vieau
Written By
Elijah-Blue Vieau
Published On
Jun 12, 2023
A marijuana leaf against a pink background

As Canada celebrated the legalization of cannabis, the culture began to shift; consumers transitioned from their typical, under-the-table means of acquiring cannabis to visiting their local, legal dispensary to get their hands on trusted, high-quality products. They built relationships with different retailers, finding loyalties within certain brands, and soon their cannabis purchasing became like clockwork, with convenience and quality at the core.

In order to stand out in an overly saturated market, cannabis retailers and licensed producers alike must prioritize being present where their potential customers are to build an authentic relationship that can yield loyalty.

Let’s dig a little deeper into the real opportunity at hand.

Search engine performance tools such as Ahrefs indicate that Canada makes up 7% of global traffic looking for “cannabis”, positioning them as the third country behind only the United States and Germany. Canada having such a large stake in total global search traffic should tell you one thing: there is an abundance of opportunity to capture consumers’ attention and direct it onto your brand.

Consumers are taking to search engines to privately discover cannabis, find local retailers, find new and alternative products, and educate themselves on cannabis consumption. If you play your digital cards right, they’ll choose your brand to start their cannabis journey with.

Cannabis written at the top of a page

The Top SEO Tactics

The Influence Agency employs quite a few different search engine optimization (SEO) tactics that ensure our clients greet curious cannabis consumers with a warm welcome. Let’s look at a couple:

On-Page SEO

Ever wondered how you can get your brand to the first page of Google’s search results? On-page SEO is your tried and true answer! When building your website it is essential to have a logical flow that users enjoy navigating, keeping them on your website for as long as possible. It’s just as important to have the right keywords populated within the text on your homepage and subpages – this helps ensure you appear in search results for those keywords and associate your brand with the right things.

First, you’ll want to identify what those keywords are, then once established plug them into your website where they naturally fit. (Or contact us to do that for you!) Google crawls websites on a daily basis in an effort to produce the most relevant results for a user’s query, and so executing keyword research for those relevant queries and optimizing your website with them verbatim can be the driving force behind standing out in the cannabis industry.

Off-Page SEO

How your brand is represented beyond your website is just as important as how it’s represented on it. What are others saying about your brand? Who are those others? Are they a trustworthy source helping your brand, or are they tarnishing it?

A key element to successful off-page SEO strategies is acquiring paid or organic backlinks, which typically come in the form of a hyperlink within a relevant article driving traffic to your site from another. By manually doing this you can control the narrative, increase your relevancy for certain keywords deemed important to your business, and achieve “referral traffic” from “high domain authority” websites: two things search engines simply love!

Local SEO

Location. Location. Location. If you are a cannabis retailer, odds are you have spent countless hours determining where to establish your business. Why wouldn’t you put the same, if not more, effort into making sure your location was easy to find and accurate at all times online?

Local SEO ensures that your address is correct EVERYWHERE online so that consumers can find you with a click of a button. It also ensures that your name and phone number are completely consistent wherever your business is found online, which satisfies Google in so many ways. Ensuring all the screws are tight on your online properties can prove to be a key in ranking high on Google’s search engine results page.

Google’s homepage on a tablet

Cannabis Industry SEO Campaigns by The Influence Agency

We’re just scratching the surface when it comes to getting quality, organic traffic to your website through search engine optimization strategies. While the SEO tactics for a cannabis brand don’t necessarily look too different than other industries, the space itself is new and nuanced. This means we can get creative with our SEO campaigns, and you can too.

Contact The Influence Agency, a leading digital marketing agency in North America, to get started on boosting your cannabis brand’s SEO performance!

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