Marijuana, Cannabis, or Weed? 3 Tips for Rolling Stigmatized Terms Into Your SEO Strategy

Editor’s be aware: This editorial was contributed by Tony Ham, the SEO Account Manager for NisonCo, a top-rated hashish, CBD, and hemp {industry} PR agency.

The hashish {industry} is an enchanting market. Cannabis has at all times been related mainly with counterculture, however in recent times, the United States {industry} hit $12.4 billion in 2021 and is poised to proceed rising. However, the language customers use to go looking for and join with hashish manufacturers stays firmly countercultural, regardless of the hashish {industry}’s makes an attempt to undertake extra skilled phrases.

This discrepancy leaves hashish SEO (SEO) professionals with some fascinating issues. Do we keep skilled and use politically-correct phrases like “hashish?” Or can we use stigmatized however commonly-searched phrases like “pot” and “weed” to truly present up on high-traffic SERPs (Search Engine Result Pages)? How can we steadiness professionalism, model voice, and client accessibility whereas navigating SEO requirements?

As an account supervisor at a hashish SEO and PR agency, I’ve realized just a few issues about successfully utilizing stigmatized, taboo key phrases in a search engine technique. Read on for my three greatest hashish SEO ideas and tips on how to implement them.

1. Organic visitors is a hashish SEO strategist’s finest good friend

It’s (*3*) for a cannabis-centric enterprise. You danger having your promoting skills revoked in case your website contains hashish key phrases or content material. Though some corporations take an all-or-nothing method and buy paid adverts till they get flagged, it’s often extra dependable to capitalize on organic traffic. In stigmatized industries like hashish, maximizing natural visitors is extra simple and fewer dangerous than different strategies.

To entice as a lot natural visitors as attainable, you’ll wish to do your analysis and tailor your key phrases to match what customers are looking out for usually. Feel free to incorporate different key phrases elsewhere in your web site content material, however essentially the most impactful sections ought to concentrate on conversational, real-life search phrases.

Optimizing your web site with different SEO methods can also be important — making certain your website is fast-loading and simple to navigate will go a great distance towards retaining potential clients.

2. Know which hashish key phrases your viewers is looking out for

Studies have proven that totally different age brackets check with hashish utilizing disparate terms. Millennials are probably to make use of phrases like “weed,” whereas Gen-Xers use words like “pot” and “marijuana.” Industry professionals often attempt to keep away from slang phrases and default to “hashish,” so the prevalence of stigmatized key phrases like these places SEO professionals in a tough state of affairs.

When most customers search for hashish merchandise, they use phrases the hashish {industry} tries to keep away from. The most commonly-searched term for the cannabis plant within the U.S. is “weed,” adopted by “marijuana.” The industry-preferred time period, “hashish,” trails behind in third place, and there are numerous different phrases that totally different teams or customers want to make use of. SEO professionals should execute a difficult equation: entice clients utilizing stigmatized however efficient key phrases whereas remaining aligned with model id and professionalism within the hashish {industry}.

The equation will get much more sophisticated after we contemplate generational shopping for energy. Generation X consumes the second-most cannabis, simply after millennials. Gen Xers usually have extra shopping for energy and a higher curiosity in additional refined hashish experiences, however they use the least industry-accepted terminology. Despite this, most high-end luxurious hashish manufacturers use key phrases like “hashish” that customers with essentially the most disposable earnings are unfamiliar with.

However, this doesn’t imply that top-of-the-line vaporizers retailing for a whole lot of {dollars} ought to start referring to themselves as “marijuana bongs” for the sake of SEO. It all will depend on the SEO technique of the precise model, its target market, and the way comfortably they use stigmatized key phrases. It’s important to think about which teams you’re focusing on and the language they use to check with hashish in conversational searches.

3. Don’t be afraid of utilizing the “fallacious” hashish key phrase

Usually, hashish {industry} professionals attempt to steer clear of phrases like “weed” and “marijuana” for a great motive. Terms like “marijuana” have been traditionally weaponized and slang phrases like “weed,” “pot,” and even “ganja” undercut the professionalism of the hashish {industry}. No matter how we really feel about these phrases as hashish professionals, they’re nonetheless invaluable key phrases in our SEO arsenals.

Successful SEO is about assembly your target market the place they’re. Most hashish customers use phrases like “weed” and “marijuana,” so efficient SEO methods additionally want to make use of these key phrases. Don’t really feel like it’s a must to use these phrases completely, although. Consider utilizing higher-value however less-professional key phrases like “pot” and “marijuana” in titles and headers and defaulting to the {industry} commonplace “hashish” within the physique textual content of your optimized internet pages.

If you’re nonetheless uncomfortable utilizing these key phrases, keep in mind most different hashish professionals share your emotions on the subject. Generally talking, stigmatized hashish key phrases get extra impressions. These stigmatized key phrases are additionally often barely simpler to rank for as a result of most hashish professionals are cautious about incorporating them into technique.

Engage customers first, then present training

Ultimately, connecting with customers is vital to enabling, destigmatizing, and legitimizing work within the hashish {industry}. You’ll doubtless have to make use of stigmatized key phrases to be a magnet for these customers. Once you’ve captured customers, there’ll at all times be room for training and activism. To change the narrative, it’s a must to be a part of that narrative. To be part of that narrative, you might need to make the most of a few of the hashish SEO key phrases the {industry} would reasonably go away behind.

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