SEO is either requested flippantly when asking for a new website or feared and left scarred due to previous experiences. Personally, we feel a large chunk of SEO companies like to make the process of optimising your website harder than it sounds, when in fact, it isn’t rocket science.
To us, SEO is the process of building a solid business which inevitable takes time, just like any other success business built outside of the internet. We hope to make this as painless as possible and outline the two key areas of SEO and how best to understand and tackle them.
Keyword Research & Onsite SEO For Your CBD Website
What does it mean:
The optimisation of your physical website for keywords which users will search for your products and services using on search engines.
Search engines send out spiders to crawl your website and analyse the written content so it knows what your website is about. Once it has seen the written content, it then ranks your website for search terms that are matched with your written content.
Because of the mentioned above, you will want to do some keyword research to find out the competition and search volume for your chosen keywords. You can use a number of online tools to add search terms and view this data.
When building a new website, we do carry this work out, however when writing content, you should be naturally including these keywords regardless of your research. It does help you understand the search volume for your possible keywords and when you are looking to track your rankings on an ongoing process.
Optimising your written content:
Now you have done your research, you will need to start producing written content for your website. Below are the key areas which will need optimising for search engines.
This title appears in the top of the browser and also when your website appears on search results. This informs the search engine the title of the page.
The Meta Description describes what the page is about and you will likely see this on search results. This should be in a readable sentance or two and should include every keyword used in the Meta Title.
H1 and other H tags:
H tags are used throughout your website to outline key parts of each page. The most important tag is the H1 tag and is readable to the end user. A web page should only ever have one H1 tag per page. For best optimisation, the content should mimic the Meta Title and Description in some manner content wise.
The Main Content:
This is the main content written throughout your website. This should naturally include your keywords and not be over optimised or spammy.
Alt Tags (Alternative Text) are used to describe your images when they are unable to appear. Ensuring these are completed is SEO best practise.
Advice And Overiview For Onsite SEO
Probably our best advice is to not overcomplicate things. Optimising your your onsite SEO is rather straight forward, choose your keywords and then place them within your written content of your website. For WordPress we would recommend using the Yoast SEO plugin and for Shopify we would recommend ….
Building Backlinks And Improving Your Offsite SEO For Your CBD Oil Website
Offsite SEO is more time consuming and may require a professional agency if you are looking for results quicker. Often SEO Agencies will make this sound mythical and a lot harder to understand that it really is. Having been in this industry for 13 years and witness first hand some SEO Agencies conduct their business, we realise why there is such a level of distrust towards this industry.
What is offsite SEO?
Offsite SEO are the signals search engines use to measure how popular your website is. The main way search engines measure this is the amount of backlinks your website has from other websites and the quality of these backlinks.
For example: Before the internet, a business would place their add in a physical book called the Yellow Pages, outlining their contact information. This is the equivalent of a backlink now. A search engine would see a link to your website on a reputable website such as Yell.com and see this as a strong backlink. The more of these links you amass, the higher up the search engines your website will appear.
Now all backlinks are not as strong as one another. If you gain a backlink from a website which isn’t as reputable as Yell, then this will be lower in strength, meaning it will have less impact on your search ranking.
How do I get backlinks?
There is a whole host of ways you can build backlinks but eventually you will need to employ an agency if you are looking for additional support. Initially, you can do this work yourself:
As with any business, you should register your website with any business directory and association linked to your products and services. Google Local Business is a must, as well as any other major directory such as Yell, Thomson Local etc. You may have some issues due to the nature of the industry as we are receiving mixed results. Don’t forget to check out business directories related to CBD such as the Cannabis Trade Association.
Social Media Platforms:
Social media platforms are another easy way to build a backlink profile. When creating your account you should add your website address to your profile. While keeping these accounts up to date you can create more backlinks over time.
Another easy way to to contribute to websites such as Reddit or Quora, try to answer questions and provide good value rather than trying to sell your website or products. Over time, the aim would be to become an authority on CBD and build a trusted brand.
Guest blogging is likely the key area where you will require a professional service and has the most impact on your SEO campaign. An example of guest blogging is when an article will be on a website which is not your own, it will include an article and within the article there will be a link to your website. This is the best way to build a good backlink profile.
The pros of Guest Blogging is the fact that the written content is usually of a higher standard, the backlink is usually on a website which is somewhat relative and there is more chance of you receiving geniune traffic from this website.
With such positives comes with a price tag. Either you pay an agency to find websites to feature your CBD business which comes with a price tag or you have to spend a lot of time of learning this particular skill, approaching website owners and convince them of adding a link to your website.
Backlink Building: The Grey Area
Of course, Google frowns upon paid for services which add your link to their article, such as guest blogging/posting, however it is all part of the course of a succesful SEO campaign. Building backlinks can be done in a different manner of ways.
A grey area of backlink building is when an agency purchased a number of websites and then actively controls articles and backlinks on these websites. This is a grey area of SEO and while it does provide great results, there is an element of risk that you could be punished by Google if not done in the most incognito of manners.
The positives of this method is the price is often lower for a high amount of backlinks. If you choose the right partner, you will see good results. The negatives of using such a strategy is usually a lower level of written content and a backlink from a website which may not be very relevant to CBD. There is always the risk that you might flag Google for an unnatural link building strategy.
You should also note that with any link building strategy it takes time to see results. You should begin to see some improvements after 3 months but you will not see the true effects of your work for between 6 – 9 months of consistantly building backlinks.
How To Track Your Websites Search Ranking
Google Analytics & Webmaster Tools
Google Analytics and Webmaster Tools are used to monitor how website visitors use your website and how they found your CBD business. These can easily be installed by using the Yoast SEO plugin for WordPress. Both of these tools are free to set up and any website should have these integrated.
Ahrefs or SEORush
If you are more experienced in regards to SEO and online business, you may want to use one of the two tools if you have an ongoing SEO campaign. These two tools can help you research keywords to target as well as actively monitor your ranking and backlink profile. Both of these have a fee for their usage.