Traffic blur cover photo for cannabis seo

How to Grow Marijuana Website Traffic & Boost Search Engine Rankings

It’s a common story: Your marijuana-related business launches a website, but then nothing else really changes.

You weren’t flooded with emails or calls. Your website didn’t shoot up to the front page of Google results… or the second page. Or the third.

Traffic blur cover photo for cannabis seo

It’s at this point that many entrepreneurs realize it’s not enough just to have a website. That website actually needs to have a strong online presence . It needs SEO!

Boosting SEO Rankings

Great SEO starts with an optimized website

Before you try to get more traffic with any SEO-related activity, you should make sure that your website has been optimized for search engines. This is step #1.

You can read more about SEO optimizing your cannabis website here. But as long as that’s being handled, you can start focusing on building consistent, high-quality traffic to get the attention of search engines.

Driving Website Traffic

Invite people to visit your cannabis business online

When it comes to growing your marijuana biz, the best kind of traffic is organic traffic.

Search Engine Query for Marijuana SEO

These are visitors that find you without the help of ads, social platforms, or other promotions. They type their query into a search engine, then click on your website from the list of results they were given.

In other words, they come to your website without you needing to do anything at all.

But of course, there’s a catch. In order to get organic traffic coming into your website, these searchers have to find you. And in order for them to find you, your marijuana website must have a great SEO ranking.

So first, you must attract a regular stream of visitors through other marketing avenues.

How to Attract More Visitors

There are a lot of ways that you can bring visitors into your website. But in the eyes of Google, Yahoo, and Bing, some ways are better than others. Here are some basic do’s and don’ts for growing traffic that boosts your website’s SEO:

DO Run Advertisements with Marijuana Friendly Networks

It might be obvious, but paying for targeted, visual advertisements works.

By running ads in industry publications like Dope Magazine, MG Retailer, or Marijuana Venture, you can hit the perfect market every time.

For digital ads, teaming up with cannabis-specific networks like Mantis and Adistry will ensure that your advertisements will only be served to legal, eligible viewers on marijuana-friendly websites.

NOTE: Always, always direct ads back to your website! Without a link or printed URL, how else will your fans become your visitors?

One Way Traffic Sign metaphor for marijuana seo

DO Keep Adding Content

Search engines are obsessed with content. They will judge your website based on what it says, how people react to it, and how often it gets updated.

For this reason, no website should be static. It should be a revolving door of information. At the very least, it should be well maintained.

Keep pages for testimonials or staff members, if you need a small involuntary reminder.

But if you can afford the time, creating new content is best. Do this by adding photos and video, keeping a blog, and/or adding information to your website pages.

DO Use Social Media

As I cover in Social Media for Cannabis: A How-To Guide, using social media can be tough for a marijuana-related business.

But that doesn’t mean you should stay away from it! If you want to attract new website visitors, go where your market is. People enjoy engaging with businesses on social media, so that’s perfect for getting them to your website!

Every social profile will let you list your website URL. Be sure it’s there, because that’s where people will go when they want to learn more about your business.

If you’re using a blog, you can drive more regular traffic by sharing articles on your social pages every time a new one is released.

Spreading Social Media Messages

DO Use Email Marketing

Email newsletters are a lot like social media, in the way that people willingly sign up. They want hear from you.

So if it’s done correctly, your email subscribers should end up visiting your website on a regular basis. You just have to give them a reason to.

Accept signups on your website, and make it easy for visitors to find & fill out.

Then figure out what your market responds to, and send more of that information out in your newsletters. It’s a great way to keep your business at the top of customers minds!

(Just be careful not to be too spammy with your content, or else that impression will be a bad one.)

DO NOT Over-Optimize

Overstuffed Suitcase metaphor for marijuana seo

When it comes to SEO, there is such a thing as too much SEO. It can be tempting to stuff as many keywords as you can into your website, or sign up for every tool you find.

But Google will penalize you if you go overboard, so be careful!

DO NOT Mislead Visitors

If the point is to get traffic to your website, then any traffic should work right?… No! Search engines know whether or not your visitors are actually interested, and that plays a big role in your SEO.

When traffic comes into your site and leaves right away, it increases your Bounce Rate. This is a signal to search engines that people expected to see something else when they visited.

If it happens too often, your rankings will drop.

Of course, the easiest ways to avoid a high bounce rate is to avoid using misleading advertising messages, and to only optimize your website for relevant keywords.

Sadly, many business owners don’t realize that signing up for a link farm will actually hurt their SEO. It seems like a cheap way to get a ranking boost, but can damage your ability to rank in Google searches for a long time after!

DO NOT Sign Up for “Free or Cheap Traffic”

Website traffic has always been one of the biggest SEO ranking factors. Because of this, websites called “link farms” exist solely to push out a bunch of traffic into their paying customers’ websites.

But several years ago, Google updated to start penalizing websites that used link farms, by identifying websites that had constant, poor-quality traffic.

Sadly, many business owners don’t realize that signing up for a link farm will actually hurt their SEO. It seems like a cheap way to get a ranking boost, but can damage your ability to rank in Google searches for a long time after!

DO NOT Believe in SEO Short Cuts

Sooner or later, you’ll need to accept that SEO is a long-game strategy. It’s much more important to be consistent than it is to be fast.

Be wary of the SEO professional that promises you the “first spot in Google within the first 90 days”. Search rankings are fluid, so if you want that first spot, you’re going to have to work hard for it!

Maze and Erasure metaphor for marijuana seo
Bridget Renee
bridget@kindtyme.com

As KindTyme's leading marketer, SEO strategist, and account representative, I juggle several roles every day. But the most important, and my personal favorite, is helping cannabusinesses find new ways to meet their goals and expand their market reach.

2 Comments
  • Aneesah Woolfolk
    Posted at 16:38h, 04 August Reply

    A tip I came to the hard way. All of the web hosts listed above do no have payment processors that support cannabis or hemp ecommerce

    • Bridget Renee
      Posted at 10:56h, 07 August Reply

      You’re right Aneesah, most of the popular web platforms do not currently have built-in payment processors that are compliant with cannabis regulations. But there are a handful of great options out there that will solve this problem! Many of these cannabis-friendly processors can be plugged into existing websites as well.

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