In 2022, essentially every business in every industry needs to have a functional and well-put-together digital presence. In the Canadian cannabis industry, where promotions and advertising are severely limited, the importance of SEO-optimized websites is even more exaggerated. If consumers are searching for your brand or searching for products that you sell, you need to rank highly on search engines including Google, Bing, Yahoo, and more. This article will detail how to build a website as a cannabis brand, content and page suggestions, and SEO considerations.
The Benefits of Investing in Your Website
Investing in your website is an investment in your relationships with both your consumers and your retail partners. Discerning cannabis connoisseurs will frequently research the brands and products they intend on purchasing before they purchase them. You want to answer all of your consumers’ potential questions and give them a brand story to attach to via your website. The same thing applies to your retail partners and the budtenders that they employ. Your sales representatives and marketing team will do the best they can to reach out to and communicate product descriptions to retail stores – but that doesn’t always cut it.
If a budtender wants to do their own research about your brand and/or products so that they can make better, more well-informed suggestions to consumers, all of that information should be readily available to them on your website. Past that, you want to start ranking on search engines for terms related to your business. Investing in your website, your e-commerce store and your search engine optimization will pay nearly immediate dividends.
Cannabis Brand Website Content Guide
There are some basic pages and content that every cannabis brand should consider when creating its website.
The home page is the first landing page that consumers and retail partners will stumble upon when they first discover or look up your brand. You want to make an impression with this home page content – succinctly describe your brand, your value proposition and prompt them to learn more. This can be a difficult task to accomplish all on one page, but successful brands are able to keep their audience on their website and minimize their bounce rate. Use compelling imagery and brand language to keep visitors on your website. Feature Call To Actions including product and merchandise carousels with links to buy.
There are a few reasons that creating product pages for each one of your strains or SKUs is important. These are the pages that will rank in search engines when consumers or retail partners search about your products to learn more. Your product pages need to include product descriptions, statistics, and additional content. On a strain page, for example, include strain name, lineage, description, aroma/flavour, cannabinoid, and terpene content. On an edible page, for example, include THC mg, flavour/taste, prominent ingredients, and infusion processes. Include all of the information that budtenders would use to help sell this product including where it’s grown, who it’s grown by, the history of the cultivar, what it tastes like, smells like, smokes like, and feels like.
Brand Story + Facts Page
Past your products, you want your brand story and values to resonate deeply with your chosen target consumer and your retail partners. This page or set of pages will allow you to express the history of your company, your brand’s mission and values, what sets you apart from the competition, and what causes/issues you care about. This gives more touch points for consumers and budtenders to relate to your company and gives more reasons for them to support you financially. If you are a craft grower, focus on your processes (trimming, curing, drying, growing mediums, etc). If you are a lifestyle brand, focus on your clothing, photoshoots, merchandise, and collaborations. Emphasize the parts of your brand that will resonate with your chosen consumer.
Your blog page will allow you to expand upon your brand in long-form written content, will allow you to engage, entertain and educate your audience, and will greatly assist with Search Engine Optimization. Blog content can be anything from expanding upon your processes and products to cannabis 101 educational articles to top 10 listicles of the best smoke spots in the provinces you sell products in. Blog content is essential for any comprehensive SEO strategy, as long-form content (that is linked within your website) signals to Google and other search engines that you have prominence and authority on certain subjects. This prominence and authority results in higher rankings and increased web traffic overall.
Best Website Builders for Cannabis Brands
WordPress has the largest user base and is known as the gold standard for website building. There is a large range of templates and custom plug-ins available for the software. It is more complicated than other website builder tools, but there are many online resources to help you learn. Any respectable marketing agency that builds websites will likely be able to build with WordPress. A developer may be needed.
Shopify is a user-friendly template website builder. Shopify also facilitates custom website building and HTML as well. Shopify is great if you plan to sell merchandise, accessories, or other non-cannabis products as you can seamlessly conduct sales through your main website. 24/7 customer service support. No developer is needed.
Squarespace is a very user-friendly website builder with beautiful, easy-to-use templates. 24/7 customer service support. No developer is needed.
SEO for Cannabis Cannabis Brands
While you are building your website it is wise to think about Search Engine Optimization. Search engine optimization, or SEO, is the practice of tweaking and fine-tuning your website to please a search engine’s algorithm. The more optimized your website is, the higher your chances are of ranking on the first page. SEO will allow you to bring in customers that are directly searching for your brand along with new consumers who are searching for similar brands/competitors or similar product types.
There are some rudimentary processes to follow to ensure search engine optimization. Ensuring that your H1 and H2 headers are set out properly (that you’ve selected the proper setting for your brand name and content headers) will help with ranking. Ensuring that your metadata titles and descriptions are properly filled out with SEO-friendly language will help with ranking. Ensuring that no pages or links are broken on your website and that your site functions quickly and properly will help with ranking. Doing competitive analysis and understanding what similar businesses are doing to pull in traffic and then creating relevant content around those keywords will help you “steal” eyeballs from your competitors to your owned platforms.
Your blog page will be a big part of Search Engine Optimization. Link your blogs to other pages within your website (for instance, link a blog post about trichomes to the mention of trichomes on your product page) for increased web prominence. This is where you can have some fun, expand upon your brand AND bring in more potential sales through increased web traffic via SEO.
Want to Learn More About how Cannabis Brands can use Search Engine Optimized Websites?
We’ve got more information about building SEO-friendly websites for cannabis brands in the Cannabis Brand Marketing Guide we’re releasing at the end of the summer. We’ll be sharing some best practices and types of SEO content for cannabis brands to use. The guide will be full of useful tips and tricks for navigating this highly-regulated and difficult-to-navigate industry.
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Last Updated on August 23, 2022 by ADCANN