Find Quality Marijuana SEO Services for Cannabis SEO
Selecting a High Quality Marijuana SEO Service
With a potential federal crackdown looming and confusion over what is considered legal, the cannabis industry can be intimidating to be involved in. Many traditional advertisers and marketing agencies hesitate to partner with cannabis companies due to the confusing legalities. Since advertising options are limited, search engine optimization (SEO) becomes crucial in order to expand a cannabis company’s customer base.
Search Engine Optimization help improve the visibility of a company’s website in unpaid listings in search engines. Although this may seem overwhelming, numerous SEO consultants and agencies can assist you. However, it is essential to choose genuine SEOs instead of subpar ones, also known as “black hat” SEOs, that do not follow Google’s rules and use bad tactics. These poor tactics may get your website penalized or blocked by Google.
Fortunately, knowing the red flags to steer clear of can help you find a quality SEO service to successfully grow your cannabis business. Read on to learn the signs to be aware of when choosing an SEO agency or consultant.
Unclear or Bold Claims
Some SEO services boast that they can land your company on Google’s first page. Along with being unrealistic, this also fails to outline any strategy. Google’s local SEO algorithm prioritizes localization and personalization, meaning that a phrase or word searched in Las Vegas, Nevada can bring up entirely different search results as the same word or phrase searched in Phoenix, Arizona. Simply put, what ranks #1 for an individual varies greatly according to several factors, so this claim may not be as valuable as it may seem.
Another red flag to watch out for is a dispensary SEO firm promising long-term or permanent ranking for your company. Google’s algorithm updates and changes over time and new companies vying for visibility enter the game. This makes the promise of permanent or long-term visibility a complete lie.
Some unprofessional SEO companies are even so bold as to claim to know a Google employee or have internal algorithm information. The truth? Considering Google purposely keeps their algorithm information under lock and key to maintain authentic results, no one has insider info. Genuine SEOs study data and plan a specific strategy to try and predict the intended outcome.
Questionable Business Strategy or Tactics
Numerous factors play into Google’s algorithm based on several facts and elements that may shift in priority or become irrelevant. Certain tactics run the risk of hurting your company’s rankings or preventing it from showing up in the results at all. Here are several factors to consider when reviewing your potential SEO service candidates:
Meta Data or Meta Keywords
Although meta data’s importance has decreased over time, it remains an important tactic that many cannabis businesses fail to take advantage of. Meta data can certainly help boost your company’s website visibility, but any SEO provider listing meta data as one of their top strategies is either behind on the times or trying to scam you. If they mention meta keywords (aside from stating that Google ignores them and Bing penalizes their abuse), run the other direction!
Questionable Link Building
A link from a quality website serves as a sort of metaphorical popularity vote that lets Google know it can trust your company. Good links can only be earned through providing something especially useful for your audience, a well thought out promotion plan, and quality content.
If Google recognizes a link as unnatural — better known as ‘bought’ — your website faces penalties, along with any websites linked to you. Link building is not necessarily bad, but it is wise to proceed cautiously. Any marijuana SEO provider that promises a certain number of links to your site is most likely buying them or ignoring relevant, quality links.
Submissions to Search Engines
If an SEO consultant claims they will submit your site to a large number of search engines or the most important ones, this is another red flag. Submitting websites to search engines is pointless. Numerous free, simple options allow your company to submit pages of your site to search engines, so having to pay for this service is unnecessary. Companies, particularly small businesses, do not have money to waste on a scam like this.
Although it is free, submitting sites to search engines still falls pretty low on the priority scale. Major search engines actually admit that submitting your website too much can actually harm its visibility.
Any Business Practices Deemed ‘Secret’ or ‘Quick-Fixes’
Knowledgeable SEO experts follow and understand the industry-wide practices. If your potential SEO consultant is unwilling to share their methods, they are most likely using black hat tactics such as cloaking content, poor link building methods, or other questionable practices.
It is also important to ensure that the cannabis SEO consultants you are talking with has a retainer or maintenance option you can choose. If not, you may be stuck using their once-and-done optimizations that will be outdated after the next significant update to Google’s algorithms. Organic SEO is an ongoing, ever-changing process, not a one-time deal.
Confusing or Poor Quality Website
A huge portion of Search Engine Optimization is having a website full of relevant, quality content that your users find helpful. If an SEO consultant’s website cannot even do this, it is doubtful they will know how to make your website successful.
Another red flag? If the company’s website is packed with vague, lackluster content. SEO can be a confusing industry, meaning some companies take advantage of a client’s lack of understanding of search engine optimization.
Be sure the SEO provider can explain their tactics in simple, understandable language. “By ramping up keyword density and building links to the page, link juice will be boosted and consequently up your Google PageRank” is not simple or understandable to the average client searching for an SEO provider.
Certain SEO providers choose to use fancy jargon on their website that leaves potential clients overwhelmed and confused. If you cannot understand an SEO company’s website because it is crammed with unrecognizable industry phrases and terms, it is unlikely they will be a good match for your company’s marketing needs. Look for a website that is well-organized, simple, but informative, and easy to understand.
Finally, consider if the SEO provider’s website looks professional or not. Does it look dated, scattered, and unorganized? Does it lack visual appeal and structure? Are you worried you will infect your computer with malware if you submit your email? If their website is unprofessional and unappealing, you are most likely dealing with an amateur SEO provider.
Dream Come True Pricing
When researching the rates of potential SEO providers, it is important to compare several providers. A good rule of thumb? If the pricing is too good to be true, it most likely is. If a provider charges a fee that is noticeably lower than other SEO consultants, it is probably a good reflection of how much their services are worth. Sites like Elance or Fiverr may seem appealing, but the SEO approach you receive will probably be more quantity instead of quality.
One of the biggest red flags of all when it comes to choosing an SEO consultant? Free trial periods. Although it is possible to proceed cautiously, you must remember that you’ve given them access to your information and data. It is unknown what they might do with it. Since you did not pay them, you have no ties to them, making this scenario incredibly risky.
How to Find a Genuine SEO Service
The extensive list of red flags may have you feeling overly cautious. Fortunately, excellent, genuine SEO providers do exist. Here’s what to watch for to find a quality SEO service:
- They communicate clearly with you – Good SEO providers will want to know about your target audience, company goals, competitors, and your field. The more they understand your business, the better they can use their expertise to help you.
- They have a concise, easy-to-understand website – A website that uses layman’s terms is a good sign. At a minimum, an SEO glossary should be provided to help you understand any technical terms.
- They are trustworthy – Check their website for client testimonials, mentions in the media, information about employees, companies they have worked with, and accolades.
- They have a solid reputation – Do some basic Google searches of the company or the person’s name to ensure they are not flagged by the Better Business Bureau (BBB). Also, check for angry customer reviews.
Consider using this list to help you determine the best SEO partner for growing your cannabis company. Although there are countless scams out there and unethical SEO providers, there are also a host of genuine, high-quality SEO providers waiting to help you grow your cannabis business if you know what to look for. Likewise Reefferr is known as the world’s first Marijuana SEO agency so maybe give us a shout to see if we are a good fit for your brand.