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Best CBD SEO Advice to Sell CBD Oil and other Cannabis Products in 2020

February 19, 2020 | |

What is CBD SEO?

The book of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) for cannabidiol (CBD) has yet to be written, partially because the industry is still in its infancy. That being said, the same rules for SEO apply: create engaging, informative, and interactive content that keeps the user on the site. The longer a user stays on your site, the better ranked they will be in Google’s Search Engine Result Pages (SERPS) and the likelier you are to get organic traffic.

CBD Information to Educate Your Customer in an Uncertain Regulatory Climate

Most people know CBD as the part of the cannabis plant that doesn’t get you high – but what else does it do? Many websites extoll the health benefits of CBD. However, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has publicly stated that companies which claim health benefits for their CBD products are doing so fraudulently, as the FDA has not yet recognized official research into the subject. 

Courtesy of QZ.com

Yet still, the popularity of CBD persists. How do you write about a product with potential, yet unproven, health benefits when a powerful federal agency actively penalizes companies that do so? Companies have to broaden their language and recuse themselves from making specific claims. “Treating anxiety” becomes “providing mental relief” and “decreasing inflammation” becomes “soothing sensation”. This unfortunate sacrifice of specificity is the safest way to legally convey your CBD products’ tangible value until the FDA regulates CBD – which is in its 2021 budget.

Engendering Trust between CBD and the Common Consumer

CBD regulations have yet to be established by the FDA because the demand for CBD is outpacing the administration’s ability to use scientifically informed judgements for policy creation. CBD’s unregulated status combined with cannabis’ historically negative stigma create a considerable challenge for CBD retailers in engendering trust between their products and first-time consumers. So considerable effort must be made to prominently highlight each CBD product’s Certificate of Authenticity (COA) on any CBD ecommerce website.

COAs are laboratory reports outlining the percentage of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and other cannabinoids in cannabis harvests, extracts, and other related products. These COAs are federally required to determine the legality of every hemp yield because cannabis harvests with a THC concentration higher than .3% are considered “marijuana”, which is still a Schedule 1 controlled substance according to the United States’ Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). 

Courtesy of ForthCBD.com

CBD retailers must structure their marketing content around these COAs to reinforce the credibility of the product – not only to assure their customers that the products are free of harmful pesticides, but also to give customers proof that they will not be accidentally “dosed” with THC. Many jobs still enforce mandatory drug tests for their employees, who get fired for testing positive for THC.

SEO Best Practices for Educating CBD Consumers

Tetrahydrocannabinol, cannabidiol, phytocannabinoids… what are they really? There’s plenty of content on the internet to educate your consumers, but why would you let them look elsewhere? Your customers are on your site – that’s the hardest part! Don’t let your customers leave – farm reputable sources online for reliable information on these topics and create blog posts and static pages that keep those information-hungry customers on your site. 

You’ve already tailored content around your COAs to assure trust in your CBD oils, tinctures, and edibles, so the consumers know their ingredients. Now make your customers experts on those ingredients so that they can provide word-of-mouth marketing to their friends, co-workers, and neighbors.

“What is CBD?” and Other Common CBD Questions

“What is CBD?” is the most commonly asked CBD question on Google’s search engine, with 91,000 requests as of February 2020. Other common questions include:

  • What is CBD oil?
  • What does CBD stand for?
  • How to take CBD oil?
  • How long does CBD stay in your system?

Sure – they’re all the same questions that everyone asks about CBD – so why aren’t they answered on your site? 

Screenshot of websites ranking for “What is CBD Oil”, courtesy of IntuitSolutions

If you’re not answering the commonly asked questions about CBD on your site, consumers will find a source on the internet that does answer them – taking traffic away from your site, as well as your opportunity to sell.

Full Spectrum CBD v. Broad Spectrum CBD

What is the difference between full spectrum CBD oil and broad spectrum CBD oil? After you educate your consumers on CBD basics, take their CBD education to the next level by addressing which of your products contain full spectrum CBD and which contain broad spectrum CBD. A full spectrum product contains all of the cannabinoids that naturally occur in the cannabis plant, where as broad spectrum CBD is chemically isolated away from the other cannabinoids of the plant. 

Since CBD is generally considered more effective when used with its sister compounds, full spectrum CBD is generally more desirable. However broad spectrum CBD, which is usually in the form of a CBD isolate, is unlikely to test positive for THC – which makes it more desirable for consumers who are regularly drug tested for their jobs. With that being said, delineating the difference between full and broad spectrums on your products is not just good SEO – it’s good business!

CBD Oil v. CBD Vape Juice – Which is the Best SEO term?

Well – what’s your intended demographic? CBD Vape juice sounds cheaper than CBD extract, both in price and quality. Make sure your product descriptions on your e-commerce Product Pages match what your demographic would search for in Google. Also, don’t be afraid to use colloquial or regional terms for your products in blog posts.

“Other companies might use isolate in their CBD vape juice, but our CBD oil extract is comprised of full-spectrum CBD – adding quality to value…”

Cleverly injecting your competitors’ terms into your own original content steals keyword traffic, giving your CBD products opportunities to rank in other demographics’ SERPS. 

See Bee Dee, AKA Exploiting Spelling Mistakes

Spelling mistakes are common in Google searches – especially when confused customers are searching for products they’ve only heard by word of mouth. Creatively written blog posts, product descriptions, and category call-to-actions on an emerging CBD BigCommerce site can be injected with misspelled versions of actual, popular companies in order to reach an audience looking for mainstream CBD. For instance, a hypothetical CBD company I’m naming “NuEarth CBD” would almost certainly be searched as “New Earth CBD”.

Creatively inject the phrase “new earth CBD” in your content to avoid calling out your competitors while also capitalizing on their clever – yet often misspelled – company names by taking some of their organic search traffic. Remember: this type of “cheap trick” should compliment your quality content written for your demographic, not replace it.

The CBD Gold Rush

Expect many new “cleverly-named” CBD companies to come to market – the CBD industry is expected to grow to $20 billion in revenue by 2024. As CBD becomes less controversial and more ubiquitous, US regulatory restrictions will loosen in order to facilitate better business – such as the recently released CBD guidelines to banks issued in December 2019. Now that banks are no longer required to file a Suspicious Activity Report (SAR) on hemp transactions, more payment processors are offering CBD-friendly payment solutions for a wider variety of products. 

BigCommerce Has Your CBD Payment Processor Solution

Unlike other popular e-commerce platforms, BigCommerce is payment processor agnostic – meaning you can use whichever of the 65+ payment processors they offer to make financial transactions – which is very important with regard to CBD. Certain payment processors only process transactions with CBD lotions and CBD tincture drops. Other payment processors will process transactions for ingestibles too – like CBD gummies or CBD beverages. However, all products sold must include COAs.

All payment processors charge variable rates for each transaction. Keep the freedom to shop around for your best payment solution by choosing BigCommerce.

BigCommerce is the Future of Canadian Cannabis 2.0 and the U.S. Hemp Industry

On the whole, if it’s legal, BigCommerce will let you sell it on their e-commerce platform. Historically speaking, they won’t suddenly close your store with little explanation – as some other e-commerce platforms have been known to do. Future cannabis businesses will rely on BigCommerce’s consistency and transparency of policy when considering e-commerce solutions. 

Cannabis beverages, edibles – including those with CBD or THC – will soon find their place on the BigCommerce e-commerce platform since Canada’s new “Cannabis 2.0” laws have been enacted. 

Make IntuitSolutions Your Partner for CBD & Cannabis SEO 

IntuitSolutions is an Elite Level BigCommerce Partner who develops exclusively on the BigCommerce e-commerce platform. Not only will we help you figure out the strategy that will keep you at the top of Google, but we’ll do so in a way that adheres to the best practices of BigCommerce – keeping your site fast, fresh, and important!

Zak, aka Ziggy, is a Senior Project Manager for IntuitSolutions, providing high-touch project management for VIP clients, most notably those in the vape industry. His interest in coding originated from his discovery of a 1980's robot named the Omnibot 2000, which Zak is now trying to resurrect for a new life in the 21st Century. When he's not hard-wired to the Matrix, you can find him performing improv and sketch comedy in and around Philadelphia and New York City.

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