3 Key Questions for Planning Your 2021 SEO Budget

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We’re feeling reflective, now wrapping up our first year offering cannabis SEO services. We’ve been tuned in and focused on all things SEO, and we’re thrilled to be able to share our expertise with our clients. We want to share some tips about how you can effectively plan your SEO budget so you can head into 2021 confident that you’re on track to increased visibility for your cannabis business. Businesses across the cannabis industry each have their own unique needs, but one thing is certain. SEO is a fundamental part of your business strategy, so you need to decide: are you willing to put in the time and effort to run your own SEO — or are you looking for a dedicated cannabis SEO agency to take your online presence to the next level?

In order to start planning your SEO budget, ask yourself these key questions:

  • What results do you want from your SEO campaign? 
  • Which aspects of SEO are most important to you?
  • How much can you financially dedicate to SEO services?

Set your SEO goals

Before kick off, ask yourself: what do you want from your SEO campaign? In order to figure this out, start by jotting down your goals. Pro tip: Start small and SMART. Think realistically about what you want to achieve in 6 months. Then, mark down what successes you imagine your campaign could achieve in a year with the support of a cannabis SEO team. Improving SEO doesn’t happen overnight, so it’s important to start out with smaller, more achievable benchmarks and elevate your goals as your campaign advances. In order to plan out your budget effectively, you have to know what your goals are. When you’re working on developing a relationship with an SEO agency, be sure to let them know exactly what you dream of achieving and give them examples of what you’re aiming for. Remember, your goals can only be as big as your budget allows and all else falls within those parameters as well. 

Gain an understanding of the different SEO tactics

Next up in your budgeting strategy is evaluating which aspects of SEO are important to you. What exactly are you looking to optimize? There are a few different points that must be taken into consideration. First, are you specifically looking to improve on your content or is it something a little more? Let’s explore.

Content creation is often a vital element to SEO campaigns, and fortunately, there are multiple avenues to create and deliver content that heightens your visibility and makes your overall campaign a bit more creative. There are several areas of content creation that can set your cannabis company up for SEO success. Blogging is a common method that’s a simple, yet creative strategy that can help your business greatly in increasing traffic. By writing about relevant topics to your business, you’re able to boost your knowledge about diverse topics, whether it be CBD, the science behind extraction, or cannabis beauty products. Writing blogs can also help improve your keyword rankings, which can be quite helpful for your long term SEO planning. We’ve got a short and sweet article that goes over 3 Quick Tips to Improve Your Company’s Blog

Another great option for improving on SEO is ramping up your social media strategy, here are 5 Things You Can Do To Improve Your Company’s Social Presence Now. Thankfully, social media can often be relatively low cost to advertise and create relevant posts in order to strengthen your SEO campaign. We recommend a dedicated social media team, but this option can be relatively affordable for those who want to get acquainted with the game of SEO. Newsletter creation can be great for this same reason. In any case, recognizing the affordability of social media and newsletters should drive you to dedicate your resources to making your content engaging and unique to increase visibility and traffic. Don’t shy away from being creative. High quality content often yields high quality results. 

What’s the deal with on-site and off-site SEO? 

Now that you’ve considered content creation, it’s time to think about leaving room in your SEO budget for website optimization. Consider adding both on-site and off-site SEO into your budget next year. These SEO methods are fundamental aspects to your overall operation. While you’re searching for your ideal cannabis SEO agency, check in on their on-site and off-site SEO abilities. You want to be sure that your SEO team can put in the work it takes to make sure your website is optimized. On-site SEO entails ensuring that your website is operating efficiently. Did you know errors and other issues can actually hurt your search rankings? Furthermore, on-site SEO requires other housekeeping items, like keeping your meta tags up to date and enhancing your webpage with structural improvements. to heighten visibility. A good SEO budget should include room for copywriting, in which an SEO team tinkers with your website’s copy to drive traffic.

Off-site SEO should also be in the realm of considerations for your SEO budget. Off-site SEO focuses on strengthening your cannabis business’ visibility across other platforms. You can check out some of our list of Top Cannabis & CBD Directories To Get Your Business on the Map if you’re looking for a place to start. This involves keeping useful information consistent and up to date across the board. A key to success here is ensuring that there aren’t any potential errors that could be causing people to have issues even finding your site in the first place. 

Performance Indicators 

Decide if it’s in your interest to employ different web based services to check in on how your website is performing. For example, many businesses see an increase in traffic by adding Google My Business. However, this can only optimize your strategy to a point. It’s important to work with SEO tools like Moz or SEMrush. SEMrush can help with keyword tracking and monitoring backlinks, which can further boost your visibility. Backlinks are necessary to trach, as their quality can vary, which can strengthen or harm your ranking. Moz is an important tool for researching keywords and keeping tabs on potential wear and tear on your webpage. Other important services that can help cannabis businesses monitor effectively are Google Analytics and Search Console. Notably, Google Analytics and Search Console are free for basic use! Nonetheless, having a cannabis SEO agency behind managing these tools will only serve to strengthen their purposes. And they’re a great tool to access especially if you’re planning a more affordable budget. 

If you are looking for a high quality SEO firm to work with, expect them to perform regular audits. SEO teams run audits, which are an in-depth analysis that demonstrates where your website could use improvement. Think of an audit kind of like a check up. Through the audit process, you uncover various problems that can be addressed and can put you on the right path toward achieving your goals, since you know exactly what you’re looking for. 

If you have some extra room in your company’s budget, consider adding PR into your cannabis or CBD SEO budgeting strategy. PR can make for an excellent addition to SEO services, by gaining visibility in ways SEO simply cannot manage by itself. PR can work in conjunction with your SEO strategy by intertwining keywords, your cannabis company’s messaging, and by potentially getting heightened traffic to your website through published pieces.

The Financial Aspect of Cannabis SEO

In order to develop a comprehensive budget, you must narrow your cannabis SEO price range. Knowing what you are willing to spend to achieve your goal can help to clarify your roadmap going forward. If you have the ability, your budget should match your objectives. Structuring your budget around your objectives can help you pinpoint exactly what you need to boost, effectively increasing efficiency and allowing you to find a competitive cannabis SEO firm to satisfy your needs. 

As mentioned, think about the distribution channels you’d like to utilize. This will help to inform how you spend your money. For example, you can focus your spending on increasing your organic content through social media, blogs, or newsletters. Or, you can turn your attention to Google Ads or social media advertising, if your industry niche allows. Knowing what you want to get out of your campaign can help you to start the process of developing a realistic budget. 

Now that we’ve discussed your goals, different tools, methods and ways to make your campaign successful, let’s discuss the importance of measurement. Metrics are vital to measure your SEO success. It is important to consider which metrics you would like to measure, as well as how you would like to measure your return on investment (ROI). Measurements must not be ambiguous as your whole marketing strategy will affect your ROI, not just one piece. It is critical to have measurable outcomes in order to achieve your goals. 

Metrics: Measuring Why SEO Makes it All Worth it 

Some key metrics include organic traffic, backlinks and engagement. Organic traffic measures how consumers find you naturally. Backlinks, which are links from one page to another, is another important metric as these links help to instill trust in consumers about your company. Engagement metrics are also quite useful as these show who is engaging with your content, the amount of time that people visit and stay on pages throughout your website and click through various pages. Note that while rankings and traffic are important to keep track of, it is also quite important to review how your revenue and conversions respond to your campaign’s progression. 

Conversely, tracking metrics helps you to have an idea of how SEO services are impacting your campaign long term. Keep in mind that metrics often change gradually; however, taking time to review them can benefit your decision making down the road. It can ensure that your cannabis SEO prices are matched to your results and offers the ability to structure future campaigns and objectives. 

Trust the Process 

Working with an SEO team relies on mutual trust. You must be able to trust in your SEO team’s capability, just as they must trust that you’ll provide them with the tools they need to help your business achieve success. The cannabis SEO company you work with needs your trust to access your website metrics, Search Console, Google Analytics and more in order to help you to the best of their ability. However, you need to feel able to collaborate with them and provide useful feedback whenever they need your input about where you want the campaign to go next. 

Speaking of teams, let’s talk about what you’re looking for in terms of scope or service. What does your ideal cannabis or CBD SEO team look like? If you’re looking for significant attention to your project, finding a dedicated SEO account manager could be a great option for you. However, if your budget is tight you can start on your own with our 4 SEO Tips for Cannabis Companies until you’re able to make room in your budget to take your SEO to a higher level with a dedicated team. If you’re looking for social media or newsletter content, hiring a hands on content creation team could be the move. Looking for a simple scope of services? Opt for a team that offers relatively broad metrics to get your visibility off the ground. In any case, be sure SEO reporting is a part of any SEO scope of work. SEO reports allow your business to see exactly what’s working and what needs to be improved upon. Many companies skip out on this vitally important step, meaning you’ll be ahead of the curve, generating new ideas to keep thriving.

Search for a cannabis SEO firm that wants to help you work toward your goals, however, note that not all can or will be achieved immediately. Committing to improving your company’s SEO is for the long haul. If you have any questions about SEO or NisonCo’s services, we’d be thrilled to chat. We look forward to hearing from you soon! 

Kelly specializes in writing and research. She hones in on her creative talents to curate high-quality content and bring a certain variety of vibrancy to the table.