We so often focus on wide scale marketing, reaching out to everyone possible, however if you run a brick and mortar then local SEO will be a much greater tactic to deliver a hyper targeted audience. As a shop selling CBD products, you can enhance both your online sales and footfall through the door, helping you to become the main seller in your city. Seriously, you can quite easily beat the big guns with a little bit of work! So read on for my top local SEO tips for CBD shops and brands.

Creating Your Google My Business Account

This should be one of your first thoughts. Go to https://accounts.google.com/servicelogin, setup an account and add your business. They will require verification that you’re actually based at this address, so they will send out a postcard with a verification code on it. They state it arrives in just a few days, but I’ve had it weeks later and sometimes it hasn’t ever arrived, at which point you just request it again and they will send it out. You don’t need to speak to anyone, this is dead easy and quick to sort out.

Try to add as many details as possible, including a rich description, any special offers you have in place and pictures of your shop, but most importantly, pick the right category that matches your brand.

Add Your Address To Your Website

You need to ensure your address is listed on your website. This could be both in the footer, meaning it will be present on every page, while it should also be on your contact page. You should also add a local phone number where people can reach out to you.

Local Pages

This is a great trick if you cover a few areas where you want to rank for. If I use my area as an example, I could have a page on CBD Oil in Brighton, where I talk about the shop, about the interest for CBD in the area, whether delivery is possible etc, including around 600-1,000 words. I could then also have a page on CBD oil in Hove, the area which is right next door, as people who live in Hove would probably be more than happy to walk 10 minutes over to Brighton to visit the store.

This is a common trick for the construction industry, where they might service a number of areas and want to rank for more than one location.

NAP

This stands for Name, Address and Phone Number. Basically, you want to get your business listed in a number of locations, from local directories (yep, these local ones aren’t perceived as spammy) to government sites or your local council. The most important thing is that the name, address and phone number is consistent. You might have changed number over time, if so, you need to reach out to all those sites to get the phone number updated.

Internal Linking

We often talk about the power of backlinks, however internal links are one of the most undervalued tactics in SEO. You should try to add local keyword rich internal links to the site. You could be pointing from your contact page to your localised page with the internal link ‘Brighton CBD shop’.

Google Reviews

There have been multiple studies to show gaining positive Google reviews can significantly help your rankings on the local pack on Google. So many small businesses aim to get reviews on sites like Tripadvisor or on their own platform, but they would be much better off getting a review on Google (or both if possible). This will also show up on branded search results, so it is important you have negative ones. I have found sites who have been struggling and I’ve pointed out they have two reviews, both 1 stars, showing up every time their brand is searched for. How do you think that will affect your conversions when you look like a ‘pirate company’.

You should also make sure to respond to all reviews, whether positive or negative, but it is definitely more important if they are negative to respond.

Mobile Optimisation

You might be a store, but your site is still pivotal to people finding your business and learning more about you. However, the majority of search takes place on mobile, while Google is ‘mobile first’ highlighting the importance of showing up properly and having a quick page speed. Check what your site looks like on multiple mobile devices and make any necessary changes, it will be worth the time and money.

Local Business Markup

If you haven’t heard about Schema, you need to! You should add local business markup to your site, while you should test it’s all working with the structured data testing tool. If you’re on WordPress then you should be able to find a number of free plugins that will instantly apply this for you.

Link Building

I’ve covered this subject in more details elsewhere, so I recommend you have a read of my article on link building for CBD brands. Unlike link building for national brands, you can lower your targets a bit with a local business. You should think local first, you will see much greater improvements from a local bakery linking to you than a more powerful site that isn’t in your city. See whether you can arrange a link partnership with shops near you. You could also turn up to local events or sponsor them. Beyond this, I’ve also created a list of CBD bloggers who could be worth getting in contact with.

Local Publications

I could include this one under ‘link building’, but many local papers don’t link anymore, or the link is no-follow, so I wanted to put this under a different section. You will find it much easier to get featured in your local paper than you would a national publication, they’re screaming out for content, you just need to provide something of value. You could be doing something for charity as a firm or have a bizarre customer story.

Build A Blog

You can create contact around a mix of subjects. Firstly, you can look into terms your competitors are bringing in traffic for and write your own version, but longer and better. But you can also write about local focused subjects and local events.

Optimise The Meta

You will know the main local terms you should be ranking for, or you can use the Google Keyword Planner to find that out, well you should ensure each page is targeting an individual category/term. This should be included in the title and H1, as well as within the content on the page. You should also look to include synonyms of these terms. While you’re there, try to ensure your meta description is a good sales pitch to increase the click through rate through to your site.

HTTPS

Smaller the brand, more unlikely they have setup the HTTPS site migration. SSL is actually the old version of the protocol, but still the commonly used term, but now it’s actually TLS. You need to ensure you have HTTPS in place, while the HTTP version has to 301 redirect to the equivalent HTTPS page on your site. This should be treated as a site migration, therefore you should apply the ‘change of address’ in Search Console.

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