Keyword research is the foundation of SEO. It all starts with what word your customer types into the search box. We must first analyze when, how, and what people are searching before we can optimize a website.
Keyword Research Tools
To get data on keyword targets, demand, and referrals, we suggest utilizing the following research platforms:
- Google AdWords Keyword Planner Tool
- Moz Keyword Explorer
- Google Trends
- Microsoft Bing Ads Intelligence
- Wordtracker’s Free Basic Keyword Demand
- Authority Labs
Google’s AdWords Keyword Planner is a great place to start. It provides search terms, estimated monthly search volume, advertising competition, and the cost of running a PPC campaign. While you can use this as a resource, cannabis dispensaries are not currently allowed to advertise using Google Adwords.
Moz Keyword Explorer also provides estimated monthly search volume, difficulty to rank, click-through rate estimates, and potential to rank. There are endless free and paid keyword research tools. We recommend trying both Google and Moz’s tools as a starting point, but feel free to test out the other platforms mentioned above.
How much is a keyword worth to you? Is the keyword relevant, accurate, and have potential financial value? If you answered yes to all three, then the keyword is a good fit for your dispensary. Do a few test searches to check out the competition. The competition will typically include directories such as Leafly and Weedmaps, as well as competing dispensaries for your city.
To determine the average monthly search volume, use Google AdWords Keyword Planner Tool, enter your keyword, and choose exact match. Since you’re a retail cannabis store, we can use the average customer value, or average sale to determine the keyword value. Examine the example below.
Estimated monthly searches: 100
Average sale value per customer: $24
Total revenue: $547.81 (((100 x 71.33%)*32%)*24)
Equation: (((estimated monthly searches x page one CTR) x #1 position CTR) x average sale value per customer)
Now, in full transparency, you should know that you will never receive all 100 clicks if you rank #1 for the keyword. According to a case study by MOZ, 71.33% of searches on the first page result in a click. The top five results account for 67.60% of all clicks. The #1 position receives 32%, #2 receives 14%, #3 receives 9%, #4 receives 7%, and #5 receives 6%. So, while you are not getting 100% of the clicks, being in position #1 receives an average of 5x the amount of clicks compared to links in position #5.
Now that you’re aware of the importance and ROI of keyword research let’s dive into brainstorming keywords for your dispensary.
Branded keywords are any search term with your business name. Branded keywords include your dispensary name plus search identifiers like address, hours, location, menu, prices, and reviews. Examples: dispensary name, dispensary name menu, and dispensary name hours.
City keywords are search terms that include the city of your retail store and a cannabis keyword. Examples: marijuana store in San Francisco, organic bud in San Francisco, and San Francisco cannabis.
Nearby keywords are geo-targeted keywords based on the user’s location. Mobile device users commonly use nearby keywords. Desktop users must enable their location services to access these search terms. Examples: cannabis clubs near me, pot near me, and dispensaries near me. For a complete list of nearby keywords, check out our spreadsheet with 37 mobile friendly nearby keywords every dispensary should target.
General keywords are cannabis related search terms that exclude your business name, location, and nearby. General keywords are the most competitive because you’re competing with large websites like Leafly, Weedmaps, and Yelp. Examples: cannabis club, dispensary, marijuana, and rec store.
Keyword research is the foundation of your marijuana SEO campaign. Spend time researching and analyzing the best keywords for your retail store. Need help setting up your SEO campaign? Hire experts, and do you what you’re best at, running your store!