How to Find Cannabis Keywords for SEO

Cannabis SEO keyword research can be challenging. In this guide, we show how we overcome these hurdles.

Written by
Cameron Gallacher
Co-Founder and CMO

November 16, 2022

Last Updated:

November 16, 2022

Despite the ever-changing laws and regulations globally, the cannabis industry is growing quickly. It provides a massive opportunity for all kinds of cannabis businesses, not just cannabis dispensaries in particular.

Getting people to visit your website is the best way to improve your cannabis business. If you are already familiar with search engine optimization (SEO), you are on the right blog. Below, we will tackle how to do cannabis keyword research to help make your online presence more visible to your target audience.

Why Is It Essential to Use Cannabis SEO Keywords?

Keywords are used to describe your website, allowing the search engines to include your site in the search engine results pages or SERPs. You can get your websites to the top of these results using keyword phrases with SEO and marketing strategies.

Implementing an SEO strategy seems easy. But this is not always the case, especially if you own a website that sells CBD products or any other platform that has anything to do with cannabis. If the right keywords are researched and used, cannabis businesses will get the following benefits:

  • There will be an increase in sales and promotion of the cannabis brand.
  • The website will appear for all organic search queries the brand is targeting.
  • It will be easier for the search engines to work out the site's structure
  • It will be easier for the website to rank at the top of the SERP and drive traffic

The Basics of Cannabis SEO Strategy

There is so much competition in the cannabis industry. Not to mention that sponsored ads for medical or recreational cannabis use are not allowed on search engines and social networks. Thus, the best way to achieve the top spots on organic search results is to have a solid cannabis SEO strategy.

The way things are going now in the cannabis products suggests it will become much easier to advertise in the cannabis industry soon. For now, you need to have a good cannabis SEO strategy to play the game and ensure long-term success.

Before we discuss choosing and using cannabis SEO keywords, we will talk about a few SEO best practices that you should use to make your web pages more visible to potential clients. Then we will discuss the keywords and phrases you should focus on to bring people to your cannabis website.

Establish digital presence

In addition to having a website, you can improve the SEO of your cannabis website by having multiple social media channels. We pointed out that paid advertising on search engines and social media platforms is limited in some ways. But this does not mean you can't have a social media profile or page that links to your website.

Moreover, Google is by far the most popular search engine. Thus, you want Google to know about your business by creating a Google My Business profile. This will make your profile appear in SERP for search terms like "marijuana dispensary" or "cannabis product."

By including your contact information and location, your business will also be indexed in hyper-local searches, which will help your local SEO ranking. Doing so will allow cannabis consumers searching for marijuana websites or cannabis companies to see a pop-up with your contact information.

Also, ensure that your Google My Business profile, website, and social media profiles are linked.

Maintain a mobile-friendly website

Make sure your website works well on mobile devices since this is where most local searches are done. You also need to make your website faster and easier to use. Working on these small changes will tip the scale in your favor.

Publish social media posts and blog content

You should also encourage your customers to share and engage with your content. Use social media to get your clients to spread the word about your business. Having the right target keywords can only get you so far. List your business in well-known online directories and gather reviews. The more people talk about your business, the better your company's SEO will be.

Blog posts

A blog will help you a lot when you need to develop content for your business and improve your cannabis SEO. You can also share blogs on social media. Then, the people who follow you will share them, creating a domino effect. A blog for your business will help build credibility, relevance, and authority. As a result, search engines will see you as an expert in your niche.

For on-site search engine optimization, the most successful marijuana websites know how important it is to use keywords in their title, header, and image tags. In addition, you want to use words in your article that are related to cannabis. Moreover, you should make sure that your work has links to other sites that are trustworthy.

Social media posts

Social media is an excellent way to connect with your target audience and get more people to know about your business. Google and other search engines like websites that are very active on social media and have a lot of followers. You should work hard to make your content engaging so that other websites will want to link to it.

Other media

The most successful cannabis websites know how to write high-quality content and strategically place cannabis keywords throughout. But aside from the blog and social media posts, you can also add videos on your website to keep your prospects attention for longer.

The videos do not have to be expensive to produce. They can just show what your company is all about and include essential information.

Use cannabis SEO keywords

The best SEO strategies we have discussed won't help you if you don't use the right cannabis SEO keywords. You should start by looking at the SEO strategy and the keywords that are already working well for your business.

You should not start compiling cannabis and CBD terms right away because some of these words might not be relevant to your website. Instead, start looking at the traffic coming from your users right now. Find out how many people find your business through organic search, which pages are doing the best, and what terms people use to find your business.

Most of the time, you won't have to throw out your current SEO strategy but rather improve it. If you are having trouble finding your target keywords, there are a lot of valuable tools that can help you. Some of the best keyword research tools are SEMrush, Moz Keyword Explorer, and Google AdWords Keyword Planner.

Tracking for organic traffic

How to Do Keyword Research for Cannabis Websites

Most of the time, researching and identifying keywords comes down to using a keyword research tool and looking at Google Trends for possible topics people are interested in. But this can be tricky when it comes to finding cannabis SEO keywords.

There is fierce competition in the cannabis market. There are also many legal things to think about when making a website and figuring out how to promote it so that you do not break the terms of service of search engines or the national and local cannabis laws.

When doing keyword research for cannabis, here are a few details you need to pay close attention to:

  • User intent

Search intent is one of the most vital things to look at when choosing cannabis keywords. Users will leave a website immediately if the word used in the content does not match the information they are trying to find. As a result, the search engine will realize that your website has nothing to do with the content's keywords, decreasing your platform's ranking.

Let's say you have a blog and want to get more people to read it and get those readers to become paying customers. So, you should focus on the key terms showing users are ready to buy. Here are some examples of them:

  • People who want to find the best CBD oil use the phrase "best CBD oil," so this user is likely interested in buying CBD oils.
  • The question, "What is CBD oil?" shows that the user does not know much about the product. So, this user is interested in CBD oil, but there is no way they are ready to buy it right now. These kinds of users may end up becoming customers.
  • When someone asks, "How long does cannabis stay in the body?" it means that they have already used cannabis products elsewhere and are looking for details about it. There is a chance that this customer will not want to buy products in the near future. Although it is not a good keyword for a business page, it may work well on a blog.

It is essential to have informative blog pages if you want to get high-quality backlinks, which will help your domain rating. If your website has a higher domain authority, it will be more beneficial to your audience. So, always keep the search intent in mind when you look for cannabis keywords.

  • Search volume

Search volume is a parameter based on how many times specific keywords have been searched for. You should pick the most effective cannabis keywords that get a lot of searches and use them in the content of your website.

If you have decided to look for high-volume cannabis-related keywords, it is important to remember that these are also the phrases with the most competition. So, using the most popular and competitive keywords won't get you the results you want since you will be going up against industry giants with years of experience.

On the other hand, choosing long-tail keywords as your primary focus is a better idea because there is not as much competition for them. If you really care about the success of your business, you should hire cannabis SEO professionals instead of trying to do SEO on your own. An experienced professional in technical SEO can figure out the right keywords and content marketing strategy to increase search traffic.

  • Keyword difficulty

Experts in the cannabis industry know how to choose cannabis-related SEO keywords even if they do not follow the standard rules for optimization. There are search terms that have been used a lot by cannabis customers but have a low keyword-difficulty parameter. These phrases are not used very often, but using them will make it easier for you to find qualified leads.

Types of keywords to focus on

A keyword research tool will help you see what target keyword works well on your website and where you can make changes. When choosing keywords, it is crucial to consider the different groups they could fit into. You should diversify keyword research and ensure that each category has search terms related to cannabis.

  • Branded keywords

Branded keywords are words and phrases that have something to do with the name of your business. As your company's name gets better known, more and more clients will use it to look for products and services. You can take it a step further to improve your SEO by adding more information like your address, operating hours, and the products and services you offer.

  • Location keywords

Keywords that have to do with location put the focus on where your business is and how close it is to potential clients. If you do business in a particular state, city, or neighborhood, you should make sure to include those places on your list of cannabis SEO keywords. Also, location and nearby keywords will help people find your business when they are close by.

  • General keywords

The trickiest keywords to identify are general keywords. These cannabis terms, which are also the most-searched terms, can be used in the cannabis business as a whole. For the keywords "cannabis" and "CBD," you will be competing with small to large websites and businesses.

Still, just because you should use some general keywords does not mean you should use all of them. You should try to improve the quality of conversions by using digital marketing in a smart and well-planned way. Users will find your brand irrelevant if your website starts showing up in search results for terms that have nothing to do with your business.

Thus, it is vital to figure out what your customers' search intent is. Look at your own business and decide which terms for cannabis make the most sense for you to use.

Top cannabis keywords

The top cannabis websites are constantly working to improve their lists of keywords. If you want your brand to stay relevant in the market, you also need to check and change your phrases at least twice a month. As soon as you have decided on your final keywords, you can start adding them to your cannabis or marijuana SEO strategy.

The cannabis keyword list that will work for cannabis companies will vary. Here are some terms that are important for your website's ranking:

  • Brand name: Getting your brand out there is very important. Even if a user searches for your website, there is a chance that one of your competitors' websites will show up higher on the SERP. Thus, you should not just focus on a cannabis target keyword and forget about your brand. It is important to come up with a name that is easy to remember and links to your niche.
  • Cheapest or best: Many customers look for goods that have been rated the best or can be bought for the least amount of money. Ranking for the keyphrases "the best product" and "cheap product" is a good way to get some visitors. You should think about doing this if you sell any cannabis product online.
  • Buy: If the user's question includes the word "buy," it is clear that they are potential customers. So, if you want your cannabis website to rank well, you must include "buy + product" or "order + service" in your list of target keywords.
  • Near me: The term "near me" is especially important for stores and dispensaries. If you sell cannabis products, you can include the term "near me," which will help you find customers in your area.


Consumers search the internet every day for CBD and cannabis-derived products. The most important tools for doing this are search engines. If you own an online cannabis business, people are more likely to visit your website if it ranks higher in SERP. Getting good backlinks and the domain age, user behavior, traffic, and other factors affect your SERP.

SEO for cannabis marketing is not that different from the best practices for SEO in general. But because the cannabis industry is still young, new competitors are always coming in.

Finding keywords related to cannabis and choosing the best ones takes more than just SEO knowledge. To be successful, it is highly recommended that you give this job to people who know what they are doing, such as a cannabis SEO agency.

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