Optimization With Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)

How do you know that your online marketing efforts are going well? What areas of weakness and strength do your endeavors have? The answer lies in metrics, but some help you more than others. It’s essential to identify the right key performance indicators or KPIs.

Think in Terms of Macro Conversions

Your primary goal is to make a profit. Thus, only those metrics that directly assess revenue are key KPIs, and they’re called macro conversions. There are four: customer acquisition cost, conversion rate, revenue per visitor and lifetime value.

That’s it. All other metrics are micro conversions because their tie to revenue is indirect. For example, a business may have been putting a lot of weight on how long visitors browse its website. However, browsing alone doesn’t make the business money. In fact, it’s possible that visitors who spend more than a certain amount of minutes on the website are less likely to become customers. Similarly, a business could have been assessing click-through rates as a KPI, but where’s the money?

A Look at Each KPI

The lower your customer acquisition cost, the better. You want to keep time and expenditures low while maximizing profits. To measure this, take the money you spend on marketing for a certain period and divide it by how many customers you attracted in that time frame.

The conversion rate in many situations is the rate at which customers make purchases and for what amounts of money. It’s a critical KPI, because it shows the marketing efforts that are working best and those that may need changing.

Given marijuana laws, though, your website might not sell products. You can still measure conversion rate in other ways. For example, say you wrote two blog posts. Each offers the same coupon. At what rates did each post get customers in the store?

Revenue per visitor is how much money your business makes per website visitor. It gives a much fuller picture than other metrics such as average order value or transaction rate.

Finally, lifetime value is the estimated net profit each customer brings to your business. After all, some customers spend a lot more than others and frequent your business for longer periods of time, and it makes sense to focus on them. LTV also helps you determine how long it will take for a customer to become profitable.

Stay tuned to Marijuana Marketing Gurus for more insider tips and tricks.

How Your Cannabis Business Can Leverage SEO

Word-of-mouth recommendations can only take your cannabis business so far. You need to incorporate a range of tactics into your marijuana marketing strategy, including search engine optimization (SEO).
SEO encompasses methods that can move your website up in search results. For example, when someone searches for a marijuana dispensary on Google, the pages higher up in the listings are those that have more favorable SEO characteristics than pages on other sites.

The Benefits of SEO

Your cannabis website brings in more organic visitors when it reaches the top of the search results. These people already have some interest in the topic you cover, since they found you by searching for a related keyword or phrase. Another SEO benefit is increased brand awareness. You won’t get 100 percent of the clicks when you hit the top of the search results, but everyone will see your cannabis company’s name as they look through the list.

On-Page SEO

SEO techniques fall under two broad categories: on-page and off-site. The on-page category includes tweaks you make to your website to create an experience that’s attractive to search engines.
The ways that you can improve your on-page SEO include removing broken links, putting intuitive navigation in place, using keyword phrases in your text and creating an SEO-friendly marijuana website design.

Off-Site SEO

Off-site SEO includes optimization methods done on external channels. For example, another marijuana website linking to your site creates a backlink. Search engines like to see relevant links to your site, as these often indicate that your information is trusted in your niche. You can reach out to relevant site owners to see whether they would like to use your content as a resource, or you can pursue guest blogging opportunities.
Social networks also play a part in off-site SEO. Search engines can look at how many people follow your page and link to your content to determine your authority in the cannabis business.
Marijuana SEO might sound overwhelming at first, but your business will gain many benefits from putting it in place. Starting with the on-page elements is an easy way to begin this process. Next, you can move to off-site methods.
Posted in SEO

Content Marketing Vs. SEO: What Is the Difference?

It’s easy to confuse SEO and content marketing as people often speak about them as if they are interchangeable. While they are distinct online marketing techniques, they do complement each other. Here is how they are different and how, together, they can produce the best marketing results.

What Is SEO?

SEO means search engine optimization. It refers to the process of getting organic traffic from ranking well in the search engine results pages, or SERP. You need to optimize your content or website in a way that will make the search engines rank them well in the SERPs. The main ways to rank well in the SERPs are having a good keyword strategy and many backlinks from relevant websites.

Keywords refer to the words people type into search engines to find information on various topics. So if someone types in “medical marijuana dispensary” in the search engine, “medical marijuana dispensary” is the keyword and the sites that pop up are those that rank well for the red widget keyword.

Backlinks refer to a link to a website from another website. So Site A links to Site B, the link on Site A is a backlink for site B. The more relevant backlinks you have, the higher you will rank in the search engines. The combination of excellent keywords and relevant backlinks help websites rank high in the SERPs.

What Is Content Marketing?

Content marketing is an inbound marketing technique that involves producing content that is then distributed across the web promoting the original business to a sea of potential customers. It is one of the most effective online marketing techniques and can yield excellent results over the long term.

The content created can take on many forms. Blog posts, ebooks, infographic, videos, and whitepapers are all content types that work with content marketing. The distribution channels can be anything from social media platforms, forums, email to other blogs and websites. The more content you create, and the better you promote it, the better your results from content marketing.

How SEO and Content Marketing Work Together

SEO is the foundation for great content marketing. You don’t have to optimize the content you create for your content marketing strategy for the search engines, but the question is, why wouldn’t you? As you promote the content via various channels, organic traffic from search engines still delivers the best ROI of all traffic generators except for email marketing. Highly optimized content also performs better on social networks, as many of them act as search engines as well. The better your SEO, the more successful your content marketing efforts.

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.