As a business owner, you know that one of the most important things you can do to bring in new customers is to have a website that ranks high in search engine results. But what you might not know is that the key to achieving this is good SEO writing.
SEO is the process of making your website more visible to potential customers by improving your ranking in search engine results. And a big part of that is creating well-written, keyword-rich content that will provide value to the reader and help you attract attention from the right people. If you’re not a natural-born writer, don’t worry — we’ve got you covered with these tips on how to write SEO-friendly content for your website.
What is SEO Writing?
Before we jump into specific tips on writing SEO content, let’s take a step back and answer the question: what is SEO writing?
In short, SEO writing is creating informative and keyword-rich content so that your website will rank higher in search engine results pages (SERPs). However, it’s essential to strike a balance between the two, as too much focus on keywords can result in lower-quality content that’s difficult to read, while too little emphasis on keywords will make it hard for your website to rank at all.
The goal is to create a personable, informative, and thoughtful website that appeals to potential customers and helps you rank higher in SERPs. Here are a few tips on how to do just that.
How to Write SEO-Friendly Content
In the cannabis space, content has a lot of potential! There are so many fun and exciting topics to write about, from product reviews to educational pieces on the various uses of cannabis. But no matter what type of content you’re creating, there are a few key things to keep in mind to ensure it’s SEO-friendly.
1. Do your research
Before you start writing, it’s important to do your research and determine which keywords you want to target. These are the words or phrases potential customers will be searching for when they’re looking for businesses like yours. This can be a simple keyword like “cannabis dispensary” or a more specific key phrase like “recreational cannabis dispensary in California.” The difference between the two is that keyphrases are more likely to result in higher-quality traffic because they’re more specific.
Keywords, Keyphrases, and Related Keywords
To find the right keywords for your business, start by brainstorming a list of potential terms and phrases that your target audience might use when searching for businesses like yours. Once you have a list, use the best tool you have, Google! Just type in some relevant keywords and see what comes up. The concept behind this is to get an idea of the language people use to search for businesses like yours and then use that same language in your content. It’s also to understand the intent behind each keyword.
For example, someone who searches for a “dispensary” is likely looking for a place to buy cannabis, while someone who searches for “cannabis legislation” is probably looking for information on the subject. To further help your research, use keyword research tools like Google Keyword Planner and Moz Keyword Explorer to find popular keywords in your industry.
Once you’ve determined which keywords to target, sprinkle them throughout your content — but don’t go overboard. Stuffing your content full of keywords will not only make it difficult to read, but it will also get you penalized by Google. A good rule of thumb is to use your keyword(s) 2-5% of the time.
Cannabis Keywords and Phrases
In the cannabis industry, keywords aren’t just about the product you’re selling. They have to do with the questions people are asking and the pain points they’re trying to solve. For example, a potential customer might search for “best cannabis products for pain” or “how to get a medical marijuana card.” By including these keywords in your content, you can attract attention from people ready to buy what you’re selling.
The same goes for using cannabis cultivar/strain names as keywords — for example, “Blue Dream” or “Girl Scout Cookies.” These terms are often used in searches by people looking to buy specific types of cannabis. So, when writing topics like “X Best Strains for Sleep,” be sure to include the names of popular cultivars in your content to attract attention from people who are specifically looking for those strains. It’s a great way to get in front of potential customers who are ready to buy.
2. Choose a Proven Topic
Once you have your keywords, the next step is to choose a topic for your content. Here’s where researching what’s already out there can be helpful. Look at what topics are popular in the cannabis industry and see if there’s an angle that hasn’t been explored yet. For example, instead of writing another article about the health benefits of cannabis, you could write a piece on how cannabis can be used to help with stress. Or, instead of writing yet another guide on the legal aspects of cannabis use in your state, write an article about the challenges dispensaries face when getting insurance.
The key here is to think outside the box and explore topics that haven’t been covered yet. This will help you stand out from the competition and get your content noticed.
When you need to find statistics or research for your content, keywords come in handy. For example, if you’re writing an article about the health benefits of cannabis and want to back up your claims with reputable sources, search for relevant keywords like “cannabis and wellness” or “medical uses of cannabis.” This will help you surface reliable sources that have already done the research for you. Likewise, these search terms can even be your keywords if they fit into your content.
Keep in mind that SEO isn’t just about keywords — it’s also about creating quality content that people will actually want to read and engage with. So, don’t forget to add your voice and insights to your writing.
NLP and Topic Modeling
One of the best ways to ensure that your website ranks high in SERPs is by using keywords strategically throughout your content. Natural language processing (NLP) and topic modeling are two tools that can help you do just that.
NLP is a type of artificial intelligence (AI) that helps computers understand the natural language used by humans. It can be used to extract topics from large amounts of text and identify key phrases and terms for specific topics. This is helpful for SEO because it makes it easier to determine which keywords and phrases are relevant to your content — so you don’t have to do all the research yourself.
Topic modeling is another AI-based technique that can help you identify and focus on specific topics. It uses mathematical algorithms to automatically organize text by topic, which makes it easier to group relevant keywords together and find the right phrases for your content. This allows you to tailor your content to be more relevant to the topics people are searching for.
By leveraging NLP and topic modeling, you can ensure your cannabis website has the most up-to-date content with all the right keywords for maximum SEO success.
3. Create a Strategic Article Outline
The next step is to create an outline for your article. This will help you stay on track as you write and ensure that your content covers all the bases. A good outline will begin with the strategic importance of the article — why are you writing it? Is it to attract attention from a specific keyword? Is it to answer a common question that potential customers have? Once you’ve answered these questions, you can move on to the nitty-gritty of creating your outline.
Start by creating a list of all the points you want to cover in your article. Then, organize those points into an outline format, including:
- A catchy headline. Your headlines should grab the reader’s attention and accurately summarize the content of your article. You want this to be as specific as possible and should include the keyword you’re targeting.
- An introduction. The introduction is your chance to hook the reader and give them a flavor of what your article is about. You want to ensure you provide enough background information to draw them in and get them interested, but don’t overdo it. Be sure to include your keyword in the first 150 words.
- Subheadings for each point you want to cover. Every subheading section should outline what readers can expect to find and include the keyword you’re targeting. However, it’s important to use keyword variations here to ensure your content doesn’t sound repetitive. For example, instead of using “cannabis” in every subheading, you can use words like “weed” or “THC.”
- A conclusion with a call to action. The concluding paragraph is your chance to wrap up the article and provide a clear call to action. This could be as simple as telling readers to head to your menu selection page to check out the products you carry or providing a link to another related article. Whatever your end goal is, make sure it’s clear and straightforward.
For every subheading, you create, give a brief overview of what the section should cover. This can help keep you on track as you write and ensure that your content is relevant.
Finally, once you have the outline, it’s time to research and collect further information. Researching is crucial for SEO writing, as it helps you understand your topic better and supports any claims you make in your content. Without research, your article won’t be as authoritative and may even come across as underwhelming. Take the time to read industry news, relevant studies, and other sources related to your topic. This will help you write a comprehensive article that is authoritative and accurate.
Once you’ve got a good grip on all the necessary information, you’re ready to start writing!
4. Write for your (human) audience first — and search engines second.
It’s important to remember that although you’re writing for search engines, ultimately, you want real live human beings to read your content. So while it’s important to include keywords throughout your text, don’t sacrifice quality or clarity in an effort to shoehorn them in where they don’t belong.
Instead, focus on writing clear, helpful, and engaging content that appeals to your potential customers and search engines. If you keep your audience top of mind while writing, the keywords will take care of themselves.
Here are a few tips to keep in mind:
- Look up questions that people may be asking in your industry and answer them in the content.
- Avoid keyword stuffing — this is where you cram as many keywords into a sentence or paragraph as possible, sacrificing clarity and readability.
- Use synonyms to help vary your writing and make it more interesting for readers.
- Read through your content after you’ve finished ensuring that it flows naturally and that the keyword usage is appropriate.
- Write as if you’re talking to a friend or colleague (depending on your chosen tone of voice). This not only helps to keep your writing conversational and engaging, but it also helps you get into the right mindset. You want to connect to your audience, not just provide them with information.
- Break down complex topics into smaller chunks and explain them in an easy-to-understand manner.
- Try to provide value to the reader in your content by talking about how they can save money, save time, improve safety, improve health, etc. Google can tell if your content is trying to help the (human) reader!
Everyone visiting your website should understand what you’re trying to say, regardless of their experience or knowledge level.
5. Understand Google’s Algorithm
While this may seem complicated, there are some basics that you should have a firm grasp on.
Google’s algorithm is constantly changing, so it’s best to stay up to date with the latest changes and best practices. Understanding what Google looks for when ranking content will help ensure that your article ranks higher in search results. Pay attention to signals like meta descriptions, headers, backlinks, titles, and other elements that can affect your rankings. Another concept to familiarize yourself with is EAT (Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness). This is Google’s way of determining which content should be given higher rankings by assessing the author’s credibility.
- Expertise: Is the author qualified to talk about this subject?
- Authoritativeness: Does the content back up its claims with sources and other evidence?
- Trustworthiness: Is the source reliable and accurate?
By understanding how Google works, you can create optimized content for search engines while providing valuable information to your readers.
Finally, take advantage of tools like Google Analytics and Google Search Console to track how successful your content is in terms of SEO. You can determine what keywords are working for you by monitoring traffic data and tweaking your article accordingly. This will help ensure your content remains relevant and visible to potential customers.
6. Cover the Topic in Full & Make it Unique
Nowadays, it’s not enough to simply write about the same topics as everyone else. To stand out from the competition, you must ensure that your content is comprehensive and unique. So take time to research each topic thoroughly and ensure that you cover every aspect in detail.
You should also strive to provide a fresh perspective or original take on the topic. Don’t be afraid to get creative and think outside the box — this will help make your content more memorable and engaging for readers. Again, you want to think of your content as a conversation rather than an encyclopedia — inject your own personality and style into it and make sure it’s interesting to read.
While you’re outlining your topic, take note of what other websites are saying about it and make sure your content goes one step further. You don’t want to copy what everyone else is doing — focus on creating something that will stand out in the crowd and give readers an incentive to visit your website. This means looking out for:
- Specific questions that haven’t been answered.
- New ideas or insights that haven’t been explored yet.
- Answering questions you have been asked by customers.
- In-depth research into the topic that hasn’t been done before.
While you don’t need to write a 4,000-word article every time, strive to provide your readers with as much knowledge and valuable information as possible. As you do this, sprinkle in aspects of your brand and culture to give your content a unique flavor.
Likewise, look for opportunities to add internal links to your website’s pages using keywords or “anchor text”. This will help signal to Google what the linking page is about, boost the visibility of those pages, and encourage readers to click through and explore more content related to the original topic. For example, if you’re writing about the benefits of a certain strain of cannabis, link to pages where customers can buy that particular strain from your dispensary.
7. Structure your posts for easy reading (and scanning).
No one likes reading big blocks of text — least of all, Google’s web crawlers scan your page for relevant keywords and information about your post. Breaking up your text into smaller paragraphs with headlines makes it more user-friendly and helps Google understand each section so they can index accordingly.
Additionally, bullet points or numbered lists make it easier for readers (and web crawlers) to digest information quickly without getting lost in a sea of text. A good rule of thumb is to keep your paragraphs between 5 to 7 sentences, each with no more than 3 to 4 paragraphs per section.
Note: Generally, content should be anywhere from 700 to 1,200 words to ensure that it’s comprehensive enough to rank well in search results. However, not every piece has to be this long — shorter posts (300-500 words) can still be effective for topics that don’t need as much depth.
Use plenty of subheadings and images.
As we said before, subheadings can help break up text sections and make it easier to read while providing the necessary information and keywords for SEO purposes. Additionally, adding relevant images can enhance your content in terms of aesthetics and SEO — just remember to include Alt tags with keywords as well.
Using these techniques, you can ensure that your content is as user- and search-engine-friendly as possible.
8. Keep it Evergreen
Your content should be evergreen — meaning it should stay relevant at least two years. Focus on writing high-quality posts that are timeless in their information and can stand the test of time. This means avoiding content likely to become outdated or irrelevant quickly, such as news stories and industry trends. This is important for SEO as web crawlers tend to prioritize evergreen content when ranking websites. It’s also beneficial for your readers as they can be sure that the information you’re providing is up-to-date and accurate.
However, there is a time and place for timely content, such as blog posts that discuss new products or promotions — just make sure it’s something your readers will be interested in for more than a few days.
9. Make it Personal
Make sure your content is personal and reflects the unique personality of your dispensary. For example, include stories or anecdotes that give readers a better understanding of who you are as a brand and why they should choose to visit your dispensary over any other.
For example, if you’re discussing cannabis strains, include a personal story about why a particular strain was your favorite or how it helped improve the quality of life for one of your customers. This will help make your content more interesting and also give readers an incentive to revisit your site in the future.
People want to connect and relate to the brands they follow; your content should reflect that.
10. Use Varied Content Types
When writing content for your dispensary website, don’t be afraid to use different media types, such as videos, infographics and images. These types of content can help break up long blocks of text and keep readers engaged. Additionally, web crawlers can identify the different types of content on your page and index it accordingly.
Moreover, videos or images that help explain, demonstrate or promote products can give customers an idea of what they’re buying and provide added incentive to purchase from you. Make sure to include descriptive titles, captions and tags when adding images or videos so that search engines know what they’re looking at.
11. Link to High-Domain Authority Sites
As you’re writing content, make sure to link out to high-domain authority websites when appropriate. This will help establish credibility and add weight to your content, which is valuable for SEO purposes. Additionally, linking to relevant sources can provide readers with further information on a particular topic if they’re interested in learning more.
Remember that when linking to external sites, you should still focus on providing valuable content that your readers will find helpful. So don’t link out just to get a backlink; try and find sources that offer real value. Stick to 3 or 4, but if you need to back up a statement or fact, link to your source accordingly.
Examples of high-domain authority sites include major news outlets, large companies and well-known industry blogs. However, ensure you’re not linking to a competitor’s website — you don’t want to send potential customers away from your site.
12. Make Sure Your Content is Accessible
Last, but certainly not least, your content should be accessible to all readers. This means using clear, concise language and avoiding jargon or complex terminology. Additionally, ensure your font is easy to read and that you’re breaking up long paragraphs into shorter chunks, so it’s not overwhelming for readers.
Other accessibility features to consider include:
- Using subtitles on videos.
- Adding image descriptions for blind users.
- Having an easy-to-navigate website structure.
All of these features will help ensure that your content is accessible to all visitors, regardless of their abilities or technical knowledge.
Ensuring your content is accessible will benefit both people with disabilities and those without. It will also give web crawlers an easier time indexing your site, which can help boost your search engine rankings in the long run.
SEO Tools to Use
While we outlined some tips to help you write better SEO content for your dispensary website, there are also a few tools that can make the process easier.
Keyword and Topic Research
While these tools can help you craft better content and identify valuable keywords, remember that SEO success is ultimately determined by the quality of your content and human touch. The key is to find a balance between the two.
Create Cannabis Content that Ranks!
Writing SEO-friendly cannabis content can seem intimidating, but with the right approach, it doesn’t have to be. Keep these tips in mind when crafting your dispensary’s website copy — they’ll help ensure your content is optimized for searches while still being engaging and informative for readers.
Rank and Spank!
- What is SEO Writing?
- How to Write SEO-Friendly Content
- 2. Choose a Proven Topic
- 3. Create a Strategic Article Outline
- 4. Write for your (human) audience first — and search engines second.
- 5. Understand Google’s Algorithm
- 6. Cover the Topic in Full & Make it Unique
- 7. Structure your posts for easy reading (and scanning).
- 8. Keep it Evergreen
- 9. Make it Personal
- 10. Use Varied Content Types
- 11. Link to High-Domain Authority Sites
- 12. Make Sure Your Content is Accessible
- SEO Tools to Use
- Create Cannabis Content that Ranks!