Contributor: Eric Bloom
When it comes to running a business, especially a successful cannabis company in the beautiful Chicago area, you’ll need to know exactly what to do, in order to keep your company above and beyond the ever-expanding field of competitors. One of the best ways to do that is by enhancing your company’s visibility to new and potential customers on various search engines. This can be done through proper Cannabis SEM practices in Chicago, or you could use the more cost-effective approach through local or organic SEO.
To break this down a little further, let’s take a closer look at these two useful business tactics. When one chooses a local cannabis SEM route in Chicago, they will likely see an increase in business, but they’ll have to pay for it. This is typically done through what is known as a PPC deal. PPC is short for “Pay Per Click.” This is basically exactly what it sounds like. Companies will pay search engines, like Google, for sponsored ads.
To get even more specific, these advertising companies would essentially bid on certain search engine “trigger” words/phrases that their desired clientele would use in a search. In this instance, it would likely be something cannabis-related. Although, to get even more detailed, certain words are searched for more than others, even if it’s a synonym.
For example, if you are trying to come up with a solid trigger word for your PPC advertisements and sponsored links, you’ll need to take a look at what words are being searched for most. In this case, it would have to deal with some form of cannabis, right? Well, it may shock some of you to learn that people usually use the term “weed” when searching for this kind of goods and services online.
This term is usually frowned upon in the cannabis community, because it harkens back memories of anti-cannabis constituents, commercials, and politicians using it as a negative way to refer to this naturally-growing medicine that helps millions of people live more comfortable, peaceful lives.
But, seeing as how the term “weed” is more colloquially used in the zeitgeist, that’s why it’s ranked higher in search engine trigger words. In short, more people are logging onto Google to find “good weed in their area” not “good cannabis in their area.” So, the use of the proper trigger word will effectively make whatever PPC deal you make with Google that much more valuable. However, the more clicks you attain, the more you will have to pay.
Now, let’s look at the more cost-effective search engine methodologies of local and organic SEO. These two vary in a number of different ways, but at the end of the day, they both work together to help burgeoning businesses get seen by hoards of potential new customers. The likes of which may have never even heard of these establishments, had it not been for these valuable search engine techniques.
First, let’s take a gander at local SEO. This, in my opinion, is a critical step for any brick-and-mortar cannabis establishment. Sure, online-only companies are becoming very popular, but there are still a healthy amount of actual storefronts opening up in this climate, and they need to do everything they can to keep up with the constantly-growing field of competing businesses. And, with that in mind, one of the best ways to do that is through local SEO, which helps companies show up on Google Map applications and searches.
This is tremendously valuable, especially when you consider the wants and needs of a typical cannabis consumer. If a marijuana enthusiast is curious about places in their area that they could potentially buy product from, they will likely head to Google to see what is in their vicinity. And, when a company registers with Google My Business on a local SEO level, they will instantly pop up in those map search results.
Potential customers will be able to clearly see where they are, and make a decision at that point whether or not to investigate them further, with a click into their website. Which, more often than not, is the typical next step for any curious cannabis customer wondering what is in their neck of the woods. This, as you can clearly see, is a very efficient, free way to attract more customers to your cannabis storefront.
But, for the sake of conversation, let’s just say that you don’t have an actual establishment for customers to visit. The majority of your efforts are based online, which is totally fine. However, with that being your only way to beckon new customers, you’ll need to know exactly how to organize your website, in order to not only attract new clients, but maintain relationships and good-standing with your current customer base. This is traditionally known as organic SEO practices.
This method is also free, but it utilizes a bunch of the same strategies found in PPC, only it relies on the strength of its own content to be strong enough to boost them through the SEO rankings. The goal is to be on the first page, if not in the very first slot of search results. Doing so establishes instant credibility and trust with your customer, especially if they can see that this search result is organic, and not just paid for by some desperate company.
To properly practice organic SEO tactics, you’ll need to learn a lot about the SEO methodologies. The likes of which are changing all the time. These SEO preferences are always evolving to sort out the non-quality, super-fabricated sites that use sneaky, untrustworthy tactics to rise through the SEO ranks.
These companies are routinely found out to be frauds, and thus, new requirements and restrictions, along with punishments, are put in place. In turn, it makes the “threading of the needle” incredibly difficult, as far as SEO is concerned. But, that said, if you know how to properly execute organic SEO material, the chances of your company succeeding are multiplied tenfold (if not more so). It’s all about content, and the words you choose to use throughout. Write blog posts and articles filled with trigger words and buzzwords that your demographic routinely searches for. And, if you organize and present it in an SEO-friendly way, the likelihood of your website showing up on the first page of a search is very, very high.
It’s all about knowing your audience, in addition to considering how you want to go about marketing your site. If you feel like you’d rather fork over some of your hard-earned money to get a PPC deal with Google, by all means, go ahead, but that won’t guarantee you any lasting businesses, and it’ll just continue to leak your company of potential revenue.
That’s why we always suggest companies go the more cost-effective, natural route through local and organic SEO. Feel free to utilize the expertise of SEO companies, especially ones in the Chicago area, to help you stand tall amongst the sea of similarly-looking businesses. This will enhance the quality of your company’s website, launch you to the top of search engine results, and it won’t cost you nearly as much as a PPC deal would.
And, I don’t know about you, but anything that keeps money in my pocket, is “A-OK” in my book. But, again, it all comes down to what works best for you. So, if you’re curious about Cannabis SEM in Chicago, or how local Cannabis SEM works in Chicago, hit up the experts. They’ll know exactly what path to lead you down, and they all lead to success!