Hemp Industry Insights: Organic Google Traffic for Keyword "CBD"
Organic Search Traffic and the CBD/Hemp Industry:
This will be the first of many installments into my blog reviewing various insights regarding organic search engine traffic and different elements of the hemp/CBD industry. I feel that this information will be helpful to new eCommerce business owners looking to push their site to the next level as organic traffic is not something that a lot of people are familiar with. While there are a million articles out there to learn these types of things, I am going to do my best to make these segments beginner-friendly as readers gain a better grasp on the technical aspects and terminology. While my experience is quite diverse, one thing I am not is a writer so please forgive my imperfections.
What we mean when we say "organic traffic" is when people find a website by just blindly searching it in Google. This is the modern day equivalent of walking through a shopping mall and stumbling upon what you want to buy. I will start by showing a quick snapshot of the data for the keyword "CBD". This is important because this will provide insight of how many people are searching for CBD, what sites they're going to first, their habits on these sites, and of course, what the top sites are doing to stay at the top of their competition. At first I am only going to provide examples of target keywords so readers can have a scope of these industries as a whole before I go over the methods that site owners will employ to improve their ranking.
So, what are we looking at?
The first thing you will probably see is "Super Hard," because as you probably guessed, it will be extremely difficult to land your site on page 1 of Google for something as non-specific as "CBD." The score of 91 is based on a scale of 0 to 100 and tells you how many websites are fighting to for that keyword. The search volumes are based off of monthly searched. So on average just over a half million Americans search "CBD" every month and total we have just shy of 1 million searches globally every month.
Imagine 1 million people seeing a link for your site every single month and you can see how much more traffic/sales you would get. Of course, getting to that #1 spot is for the most part unrealistic for a new website so what many will do is focus on less competitive search terms. So instead of targeting a 91 out of 100 difficulty keyword with 1 million monthly searches, perhaps it might be wise to aim a bit lower and shoot for a less competitive search. Lower difficulty keywords typically mean they are less frequently searched, for example something that is a 1 out of 100 might only get 200 people searching it a month. Every website owner can have a different strategy, but a common strategy for beginners focuses on the easy low hanging fruit like this. You can set up your website to target a handful of these searches so you get exposure from some searches that may only get 200 people a month, then 500 on another keyword, etc. If all goes well you are going to have opportunities for dozens of people clicking your site every day that you otherwise never would have had a chance to do business with. While you slowly have potential customers trickling in from these other terms, you can still focus on a lower difficulty keyword that will bring in several thousand. For example, I've provided a quick overview of the search for "hemp flower" in the image below:
That's about 7,000 searches a month in the US (for shipping reasons I'm going to assume we're not going to worry about international traffic) and the "keyword difficulty" (KD) is 35. That's still considered hard but this may be more of an intermediate goal for your site.
One important caveat here is you only want to target the keywords that actually pertain to the products you are selling. We have all experienced a situation where you search for a product you want to buy and something completely unrelated pops up. Obviously if you are searching "hemp flower" and the website brings you to a link selling tincture, you're going to immediately hit backspace and go to somewhere that's not wasting your time. This is called "bounce" and it's where people click and leave your site within about 1 second and search engines like Google will take notice if everyone is doing this when they get to your website because it tells them that you are clearly not the search result that the user is looking for. I will go into more detail later on about small tweaks that can be made to reduce bounce for other reasons but at the end of the day it's important that you optimize your site in such a way that you are presenting yourself to users that actually want to find you. Anything less than that is spam and its going to actually penalize your site in the long run.
Let's look at some even easier targets:
This has now gotten more specific which means two things. First, the search traffic is obviously extremely low. 70 searches a month, what a waste of time? Well, that is not always true. The second part of this is that more specific search queries can actually be higher qualities clicks. What I mean by that is that yes CBD gets a million searches, but are those people looking to buy CBD? Do they want a tincture, a vape cartridge, hemp flower? Do they want CBD for their dog? Or did they just read "CBD" on a label at a gas station and they just want to know what it is? The problem with non-specific "parent" search terms is just that: they could be searching for anything. On the other hand, if someone searches "Lifter Hemp" and you happen to sell some nice Lifter CBD hemp buds, then maybe this is something you want to go after. Sure, it might only result in a few people clicking your site a day, but that's just one of your products. Maybe you also sell Suver Haze flower:
TThe idea here is that you optimize all of your site's pages to target different keywords. Some may be easy, like the more specific ones like different products, strains, delivery methods, etc. while others may be more broad searches like "CBD flower."
As many of you have probably heard, 99% of the people using Google will make their choice based off of the sites that show up on page 1 of the search results.