SEO + Content Case Study

Cannabis Company Sees 685% Spike in Keyword Visibility

Marijuana legalization presented a tight timeline for cannabis client’s desired results. Our aggressive on-site SEO strategy resulted in a dramatic boost in the client’s keyword rankings, increased traffic, and visibility.

Results

  • 685%

    increase in top 3 keywords

  • 66%

    increase in organic traffic

  • 51%

    increase in conversions

About the client:

The client is a marijuana dispensary specializing in both recreational and medical cannabis with locations in five states.

Goals:

When we started our engagement in June 2019, the client was looking to outpace competitors in an increasingly crowded marketplace. At the time, we were under a tight deadline to achieve results before two key markets updated their marijuana laws.-Increase equity as websites merged -Increase rankings for key terms: marijuana, dispensary, medical marijuana -Increase visibility of physical locations

Challenges:

Tricky keyword field: The seemingly obvious keywords to pursue for the cannabis industry don’t necessarily indicate buyer intent, we needed to navigate the field strategically to go after customer searches that would lead to sales.Structural website issues: Their website was, at it’s core, not SEO friendly. Due to legal requirements for age and location verification, the site was siloed and plagued by duplicate content.

Strategy:

Prioritize projects to meet deadline: We had just under six months to complete on-site SEO work before two states, in which the client operates, updated their marijuana laws. We anticipated organic traffic for marijuana keywords to surge at that time, and prioritized projects that would assure that their website be more visible and able to perform at its peak.

Address underlying website issues: To make their website SEO friendly, we had to first optimize its underlying structure. After our initial site audit revealed their Drupal CMS had URLs with incorrect state labels and dozens of duplicate URLs, we corrected the errors and mapped keywords to URLs to clearly designate locations.

To remedy the issues resulting from a siloed site structure we created global pages and redirected overlapping content to them, we then consolidated information, and eliminated keyword cannibalization.

Optimize local pages & listings: As a B2C company, the client’s local pages had to be optimized to the smoothest customer experience. We audited their Google My Business (GMB) profiles and Apple Maps listings for dispensary locations and optimized them for, (1) accurate location names, services, hours, and (2) added “marijuana dispensary” to increase their visibility in organic searches. 

Keyword Ranking Results

Between June 2019 and the end of December 2019, the client experienced dramatic boosts in their keyword rankings.

They saw a 685% increase in the number of keywords in which they ranked in the top 3 positions in Google — a key indicator of improved visibility.

Similarly, they saw a 618% increase in their rankings for top 4-10 positioned keywords, and a 690% boost in the number of top 11-20 keywords.

Organic Traffic Results

The client experienced a 65.7% increase in organic traffic and a 51% increase in form completions between August 2019 and December 2019.

We also recognize the end of 2019, ahead of the legalization of recreational marijuana in the state of Illinois, was the beginning of peaked interest in marijuana dispensaries in the region, and contributed to some of the organic traffic increases.

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“My point of contact is extremely responsive, and Digital Third Coast is partnered with our web agency. We have calls between the three of us weekly to review action items and to address any challenges or opportunities we’ve identified.

I’ve been very pleased with the work they’ve done and the partnership we’ve formed over the last several months.”

Director of Marketing, Marijuana Dispensary Client

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Lyndsey Maddox

Director of Business Development
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