Our Guru Tips On Dominating Your Local SEO

Until cannabis has been legalized nationwide, business owners in the marijuana industry must be mindful of where they place their focus. Until you can legally ship your products from Colorado to Texas, your marketing philosophy should never stray too far from your home base.

But even in hyper-local markets, your customer’s journey still begins online. Recent studies suggest that 80% of customers look online before they decide to decide to buy from a business, and 77% of those customers use Google to begin their search. Most businesses know about using SEO (search engine optimization but far too few practice local SEO.

Local SEO is extremely important, especially for small to mid-sized business that don’t yet compete in the national market. Due to the legal constraints placed on the cannabis industry, your goal is to reach potential customers within your area of service. Local SEO is the best way to do this. Get on the path to search engine dominance by following these proven local SEO strategies.

How To Dominate Local SEO In Your Area

Step 1: Optimize Your Website

Optimizing your website properly will ensure that it will appear high up on Google’s SERP (search engine results page) for searches done within your area of service. The following are a few tips for optimizing your site properly:

Include both the name of your business and its location in your domain name. For example, if your company name is The Cannabis Store and you operate out of Boulder, Colorado then consider thecannabisstoreboulder.com as your domain name.

Use keywords that are relevant to both your business and to the community it serves. For instance, instead of using “cannabis products” as a keyword, use “cannabis products in Boulder.” This helps to narrow your audience down to those that are performing searches in the Boulder area, which in turn draws higher-quality leads to your site. Keywords should be used in your titles, content, anchor text, ALT image text and meta descriptions.

Add your NAP (name, address and phone number) to each page of your website, including your homepage and contact page.

2. Create Locally Focused Content

Create a blog and write content that is based on local news or topics relevant to your specific community. Publishing local content is a good way to boost local SEO. For example, publish a blog post on Fourth of July events being held in or around the neighborhood your store is located in. Then, when someone searches for Fourth of July events in that area, your site is more likely to come up.

3. Submit Your Contact Information to Local Directories

Submit your contact information, including name, address, and phone number to various online directories, including Yelp and Yellowbook to Facebook and Google. Make absolutely sure that the information you submit is correct. If the information differs from listing to listing, it can actually hurt your ranking. When submitting your info to local directories, make sure that you list your business in the appropriate category and that you use relevant keywords to optimize your description. Consider making your listings more informative by adding links to your site, photos, videos and more when possible.

4. Encourage Online Reviews

Ask your customers and followers to review your business online. The more positive reviews you have on sites like Yelp, Facebook and Google, the stronger your local SEO will be. Be sure to respond to various reviews as well. Address the problems raised in negative reviews and thank customers for positive reviews.

Need Help Getting Started? Ask the Gurus!

Completing a successful local SEO strategy is a complicated, time-consuming process. Don’t go it alone. At Marijuana Marketing Gurus, we provide a steady hand to guide you through your digital marketing journey. Combining our deep knowledge of your industry with cutting-edge marketing tactics, we lead growing cannabusinesses towards their full market potential. Ready to elevate your business to new heights? Consult the Gurus and begin the journey.

How to Boost Local SEO

shutterstock_395497651One of the most important components of SEO (search engine optimization) is local SEO – especially if you’re running a small to mid-sized business that doesn’t have national exposure. As a smaller company, your goal is to reach consumers within your area of service. The best way to do this is by boosting your local SEO efforts in order to attract visitors within your area. The following are a few local SEO tactics that you should be sure to employ:

1. Optimize your website

Optimizing your website properly will ensure that it will appear high up on Google’s SERP (search engine results page) for searches done within your area of service. The following are a few tips for optimizing your site properly:

  • Include the name of your business and the location in your domain name. For example, if your company name is The Cannabis Store and you operate out of Los Angeles, then consider thecannabisstorela.com as your domain name.
  • Use keywords that are not only relevant to your business and to the content they appear in, but that also use your location. So instead of using “cannabis products” as a keyword, use “cannabis products in LA.” This helps to narrow your audience down to those that are performing searches in the L.A. area, which in turn draws higher quality leads to your site. Keywords should be used in your titles, content, anchor text, ALT image text and meta descriptions.
  • Add your NAP (name, address and phone number) to each page of your website, including your homepage and contact page.

2. Create local content

Create a blog and write content that is based on local news or events nearby your business. Local content is a good way to boost local SEO. For example, publish a blog post on Fourth of July events being held in or around the neighborhood your store is located in. Then, when someone searches for Fourth of July events in that area, your site is more likely to come up.

3. Submit your NAP to local directories

Submit your NAP to various online directories, from Yelp and Yellowbook to Facebook and Google. Make absolutely sure that the information you submit is correct. If the information differs from listing to listing, it can actually hurt your ranking. When submitting your NAP to local directories, make sure that you list your business in the appropriate category and that you use relevant keywords to optimize your description. Consider making your listings more informative by adding links to your site, photos, videos and more when possible.

4. Encourage online reviews

Ask customers and followers to review your business online. The more positive reviews you have on sites like Yelp or Facebook, the stronger your local SEO will be. Be sure to respond to various reviews as well. Address the problems raised in negative reviews and thank customers for positive reviews.

Use these tips in order to boost local SEO so that you can increase your company’s exposure in your area of service.

An Insight Into Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Search engine optimization (SEO) is focused on the strategic use of keywords throughout a business’ online content. Yet stuffing a website, blog and other online content with industry-relevant keywords and/or geographic identifiers is not enough to send a website soaring up the search engine rankings. On-page optimization is just as important as the implementation of specific keywords and phrases.

An Explanation of On-Page Optimization in the Context of SEO

On-page optimization in the realm of SEO is a term that refers to all of the factors that play a role in a web page’s listing in search engine results. “Optimization” is the operative word in this term as the each important factor is completely under the control of those in charge of managing the website. A digital marketing service with a highly skilled approach to on-page optimization can tweak these factors in just the right manner to send the website/web page(s) shooting up the search engine rankings. Examples of important on-page factors that influence search engine ranking include HTML code, keyword density/placement, page titles, internal linking and meta tags.

Page Content

A page’s search engine result position is primarily determined by its content. The content is what the web surfer desires so it makes sense that this information determines if the page is worthy of a high, middle or low ranking in search engine results. The importance of solid, relevant and helpful content cannot be overstated. Furthermore, high-quality content is “linkable”, meaning people should be able to link to it. More importantly, the audience should feel compelled to link to the page based on the merit of its content. In the end, if people can’t link to the page, search engines probably won’t be able to rank it. A page that can’t be ranked will receive few visits. A page with few visits won’t convert prospects into paying customers.

Metadata

The use of metadata refers to meta descriptions, titles, headers and beyond. Compelling metadata tags must be applied for every web page in order to maximize SEO. If you don’t know what title tags and the other terms listed above actually mean, you aren’t alone. Metadata is one of the more complex components of SEO. It should be handled by those who are skilled in this niche. Digital marketing gurus know exactly how to create descriptive title tags with 60 characters or less that make a meaningful SEO impact. The key is to keep these descriptive tags limited to this character amount so they are not truncated within search engine results.

Meta descriptions are read by web sleuths who seek a better understanding of what a page contains. Meta descriptions also serve the purpose of functioning as a call to action for your website’s products/services. This description should be 160 characters or less and encourage readers to click on your website rather than those of your competitors.

Keyword Selection, Placement and Density

Digital marketing experts know all the ins and outs of keywords in the context of an SEO push. It is not enough to select industry buzz words and/or local identifiers and use them throughout your online content. Rather, the selection of these keywords should be researched in-depth. Digital marketing experts are quick to testify that keyword research is often the most important step in a SEO campaign. Once the proper keywords are identified, they must be placed in strategic places throughout the company’s online content. They must also be used at the appropriate density. There really is an artful element to the proper selection and implementation of keywords that only the best digital marketing services can provide.

Top Five Most Popular SEO Tools

shutterstock_315919763Every type of business needs an online presence to build credibility and grow its brand. The SEO tools used by successful companies today range from visual tools to help bring readers to your site to coding techniques to communicate with search engines.

Web Content

The content on the site itself is one of the most important SEO tools in your arsenal. The language that is used on your site should be varied, complex and long enough to impart a lot of information on each page. This engages both readers and search engines and helps your site to rank better.

Video

Many searchers use video to find out what they want to know quickly. Google and other search engines allow users to search videos to find the information they want. Having at least one video on your site that brings information to your site’s visitors can help your site’s SEO as well as provide an alternative way to impart information to your customer base.

Meta Tags

Meta tags are part of the framework of your website. These small pieces of code communicate directly with search engines to tell them what your site is about. Each page should have meta tags to boost your site’s rankings and to help your targeted audience find you when they conduct searches.

Blogging

Blogs are a crucial part of SEO today. Once used as a sideline or a complement to a website, blogs are now seen as a powerful force in SEO. Regular blogging builds the size of your website and allows for more keywords to be used. With more pages to your site, you have a higher chance of readers finding it when they conduct a search.

Social Media Marketing

Like blogging, social media was once a marketing novelty. Today, however, it is one of the largest forces in digital marketing. Having a frequent presence on sites like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram can help your business to build a following. It also directs them to your website. With social media posts, you can cross-promote your marketing by posting each time your blog is updated or you add a new video to your site.

4 Secrets For Better Ranking

shutterstock_421744534As a local outlet, you need to promote your business through the best means possible. You likely do not have the kind of marketing budget a larger, national or international corporation has, so you must make sure to stretch every single marketing dollar possible. This means taking advantage of the different free elements made available to you. Search engine optimization, or SEO, makes your website more attractive to search engines, which in turn brings in more traffic and, potentially, more business. No matter what your role is within the cannabis industry, you need to take advantage of SEO to generate this additional income. Here are four secrets for boosting your ranking, all of which you may be able to do on your own.

Creative Writing

As a small business, whether you are a local dispensary or producer, you need to have a blog and showcase creative writing. Now, this doesn’t mean to create short stories or other works of fiction (although if you wan’t to go right ahead). Creating a blog for your website boosts SEO, but integrating a creative element to is can really help your business website on search engines. A blog keeps your website continually scoured by search engines, which does help boost your ranking. In terms of actual writing content, you can write about cannabis, from the different kinds of strains, to growing techniques, how to care for the product after purchase and so forth. Add personal insights if you like, just avoid generic material. The creative, quality content goes a long way in boosting SEO.

Link Building

Backlinks, or links sending visitors back to your website, play a dramatic role in the overall rating of your website. These links perform two key tasks. First, the links send organic traffic from the third party websites to yours. The second is search engines see links leading to your page and recognize it as a thumbs up for your content, which means it is helpful to the account creating the backlink. As search engines want to reward helpful website, backlinks can boost your SEO. However, you need to have high quality backlinks. Links from other blogs, industry specializes and other professionals leading back to your site or blog are seen as desirable. Links you create yourself, such as from social media or from your personal accounts generally do not help all that much (if any) in boosting optimization. This leads back to creating quality, creative work. Outside sources will want to link to it if the quality is there.

Localized SEO

Unless you are an online only retailer selling memorabilia, chances are you have a brick and mortar location. When this is the case, you need to take advantage of localized SEO. This means you push your content specifically towards the location you are in. You do not need to do too much different to boost Internet search rankings for local searches, but these little alterations make all the difference. first, take include your storefront address on the footer of your pages. This makes it easier for Google to source the location information. Also, have an “About Us” or “Contact Us” page with not only your address, but your addressed connected to Google Maps. This instantly tells Google and other search engines your location, which helps boost local search results.

Use Media

Taking advantage of both images and video helps boost your SEO in several different ways. Not only does it give you the opportunity to tag added keywords to your pages, but it helps source your website in image and video based searches, expanding your visibility range.

3 SEO Strategies To Increase Your Traffic

shutterstock_150192734As the cannabis industry continues to grow, more and more regulations will be imposed on those trying to make a living in the marketplace. Many states have imposed strict regulations when is comes to advertising. This has forced many in the business to rely almost exclusively on organic search traffic to grow their business. To that end, search engine optimization (SEO) has become the cornerstone of their digital marketing strategy.

The SEO landscape is constantly changing and you need to keep abreast of what techniques work and which ones are now out of favor. The following three SEO strategies will help you drive more traffic to your website and, in turn, help you make more sales.

Site Speed

This is possibly the most overlooked areas when it comes to driving traffic to your site. If you site takes too long to load a visitor will simply leave and go on to the next one. This could cost you dearly if you are not careful.

In a recent study by KISSmetrics, they found that a mere one-second delay in loading time can cost a business 7% in conversions. And it makes sense. If customers are not hanging around for your site to load they certainly will not buy anything.

So how do you know if your site is loading fast enough? Well, Google has a tool that can help. They have set up PageSpeed Insights to determine if you site is fast and will give you suggestions to make it faster. Most of the time the culprits are media files (photos or videos) that are too large and slow down your site.

Take some time to conduct a site speed test and make any changes that are necessary. When your site is fast you will get more visitors and will most likely help increase your search rankings.

Social Signals

Social signals are becoming a more important part of any SEO strategy. Both Google and Bing are now using data from social media sites to help determine how high to rank a website. The reasoning is clear. If many people are sharing content from a website then it must be popular and the search engines want to serve up popular, relevant search results to their users.

When determining the value of a social signal, the search engines look at a few factors.

– the number of tweets and shares that a particular URL (website) has

– the authority of the person tweeting and sharing the website’s content

Notice we are not talking about likes and followers. The sharing of content is far more important that the number of followers you have on social media.

This means that you must create fresh, relevant content that your customers are searching for. When conducting keyword research, look for those phrases that your customers are searching for.

Internal Linking Structure

While building backlinks is not as important for SEO as it once was, your internal link structure has become more important. By using anchor text to link to other pages of your site you are showing the search engines the depth of information your site has.

Proper internal linking will accomplish three things:

  1. Helps you visitors navigate your site easily
  2. Clearly defines the architecture of your site for the search engines
  3. Distributes page authority and ranking power throughout your website

This will help improve the SEO value of all the pages in your site. The more pages that you can rank, the more traffic you will drive to your site.

These three SEO tips can help drive more traffic to your site and increase your sales.

 

The Top 4 SEO Techniques To Incorporate In Your Digital Marketing …

shutterstock_245818666Today’s digital marketing is highly dependent on SEO, which is one of the most effective ways to get your brand noticed throughout the world. Unfortunately, things in the world of SEO are always changing. This is because new techniques are found that are more effective in giving your band’s presence a boost, while other techniques are introduced for the very first time.With this in mind here are the top four SEO techniques you’ll want to incorporate into your digital marketing.

Make Your Website Mobile Friendly

It’s important that your website is mobile friendly because mobile Internet use far exceeds computer use today. With this in mind, one of your top priorities must be to build a user-friendly mobile website. In doing so, you also want to make sure your website doesn’t have any issues that are annoying, thus harming your ranking. This includes things like content that won’t play, faulty redirects, and slow loading pages.

Place More Importance on ROI

You no longer need to place as much importance on keyword ranking. Instead, you want to pay more attention to your actual return on investment. So, if you have a one-page website focusing on a specific keyword, but people aren’t buying anything from the page, then you’re definitely not getting the best ROI from your digital marketing campaign. When this occurs you’ll want to improve your online marketing’s effectiveness. This will require you to adjust your analytics so you can follow your visitor’s path up to the point where they actually make a purchase.

Prioritize Better Social Engagement

Instead of wasting your time trying to find the latest and greatest ways of social media engagement, set your sights on connecting with people in real time instead of through software programs. Your customers, especially the loyal ones, want to hear from you when they mention your brand or ask you questions. They’re not only on social media to engage with their friends, but also to find solutions from the brands they follow too.

Consistently Fine-Tune Your Website’s Structure

It’s important to consistently fine-tune your website’s structure. Many digital marketing professionals recommend you improve any issues you have with your website instead of worrying about creating new content. This means doing things like shortening your URLs, fixing broken or 404 links, getting rid of any extra outbound links, simplifying your website’s design and rewriting your content so it meets your visitors’ expectations.

When you take the time to put these digital marketing strategies to work for your site, you’ll see improvement in traffic, which will reflect in your bottom line.

How to Get Your Cannabis Business Ranked on Google

images-1Cannabis: You have probably heard endless debates around this plant. Whether supporting the use of cannabis, popularly known as marijuana, or against it, all sides of the divide have brought forward some facts. Under the federal law, cannabis business has been classified as illegal despite the fact cannabis use has proven to be of benefit, medically.

Cannabis business is profitable and rakes in nearly 1 billion US dollars annually. This has been accelerated by the ever growing demand of its usage among the youth across the United States. A recent poll showed that 67% of all American voters support the legalization of marijuana. This shows that the demand will remain, if not shoot over the roof. The ongoing debates about its use are on the verge of establishing a federal law geared at making cannabis legal. This shows that the cannabis business is, in the long run, a worth gamble. A Factbook research shows that marijuana, by 2018, will be grossing 8 billion dollars per annum. That is 7 billion dollars potential growth in near period of forecast.

PLACING MARIJUANA IN THE MARKET

In the cannabis business, you should invest in product placement of the product and informing the users of all the facts around it. This ensures you erase all the misconceptions and myths out there that might hinder the growth of the business. Medical marijuana can be used in treating vomiting, nausea, improving appetite in HIV/AIDS patients and during chemotherapy. This makes cannabis an essential commodity in the medicine world.

Internet marketing – Most cannabis businesses have fancy boastful internet marketing strategies that are not as effective in informing and placing the product in the target market. For your business, you should choose an effective internet marketing agency that has portrayed successes in other industries and markets. Cannabis success of the agency is essential to make your business captive on the internet. A good website with good graphics should be a core thing in the internet marketing.

Content – ?Marketing the business means providing the necessary content to the customers. A customer should be able to know about everything on cannabis by visiting your website. In medical marijuana, the content should include all the uses and the side effects of usage of marijuana. This gives satisfaction to the customer, and they develop interest towards your product.

Keeping up with market trends – Google has constantly revised its website listings and rankings of businesses based on various grounds such as social media ratings. Twitter, Instagram and Facebook have all affected the ranking of businesses on Google. However, recently sites such Instagram have pulled down all marijuana accounts that prove tricky for the industry. Keeping a good marketing agency for your business ensures they keep up with the latest trends to improve the ranks and at the same time avoid legal tussles.

As far as the marijuana business is concerned, the Internet is still a virgin. The internet sees a lot of cool, captivating sites every day and your site should be one of them. Marijuana business is a growing market that has a lot of potential in the near and long run. Our digital marketing services ensures that your business stands to be counted as the key player in this promising market.

4 Key Strategies Your Cannabis SEO Reseller Should Use

imgresSearch Engine Optimization is old enough that anyone promoting a product or service should be familiar with it. But not every SEO reseller is created equal. Some are good, some are not. You must hire a quality reseller who is familiar with marketing for cannabis retailers specifically- or one who is willing to do a lot of research before pitching their service to you.

Where many resellers go wrong is assuming that it SEO isn’t a full-time job. They may also assume that SEO tasks are nebulous and cannot be accurately appraised. A qualified and experienced reseller can make accurate predictions about the effect their efforts to promote your product will have.

Your reseller should have a thorough understanding of the nuances of promoting the specific products they promote. That means your SEO reseller should do research to become familiar with cannabis SEO.

Having dispensed with the basics, here are 4 tasks common to all SEO resale. You may consider these minimum qualifications when you’re vetting candidates for outsourcing your SEO tasks.
1. Social Media Leveraging
It’s no secret that social media is a major advertising venue. There are numerous social media sites for numerous types of networking. To be effective, you need your SEO targets present on several such sites, and each of them should generate crossover traffic to each of the others. If your social media accounts are your personal accounts, you will need to create business versions that your reseller can be authorized to manage.
2. Keyword Variety
Because the stakes are always being raised in the SEO arms race, the need for trending and original keywords is always growing. It’s not enough to have only a few. Your targets should sport no fewer than 7 to 10 trenchant keywords integrated into the body of your content. Your SEO reseller should test the potency of the keywords using Rank Tracker, or a similar service.
3. Mobile SEO
Over 80% of adults use smartphones for an average of two hours a day. Every online destination that you want to be optimized needs a mobile-friendly counterpart. The two main characteristics of a mobile-friendly site are the ability to fit on small screens and simplistic graphical content. You can test for this by shrinking your browser window to see if the visual content changes accordingly. This means that an SEO pro should have web design skills.
4. Public Relations Pairing
An essential aspect of SEO marketing is inbound links leading people back to your home site. These are critical for the promotion of both independent and referral traffic. To create these, your SEO reseller will have to be very motivated to promote your product. To monitor your competitor’s activity, they should be running searches relevant to your cannabis business like “top 10 cannabis delivery techniques” and “best new hemp products” …. When the target sites are found, your SEO reseller must write a pitch in order to convince these top sites to host links to your content.
These are just a short-list of qualifications your SEO reseller must have. These would be good to ask candidates about in early interviews when you’re looking for the right SEO outsourcing agent for your needs.