SEO Services for Natural Wellness Businesses

Problems We Solve

“I want to grow my e-commerce revenue, but paid ads aren’t an option”

Many cannabis and CBD companies come to us because they’re having trouble increasing their online sales, but can’t use paid ads due to the many hoops that Meta and Google make them jump through. Doing this requires an SEO strategy that focuses on ranking for lucrative search terms, rather than capturing any traffic you can get and hoping some of it will convert.

“I want to drive consistent foot traffic to my dispensary or CBD store”

Dispensary and CBD store owners come to us struggling to find a way to get people into their brick-and-mortar location. They’ve tried social media, local events, and local media placements, but have had very little success making people aware that their store exists.

“I don’t have time to do SEO or fix the content on my site”

Many of our clients understand the value of SEO for their business and know the basics (or are willing to learn), but are too busy running a store, managing a team, and working on other marketing initiatives to give SEO the attention is needs to become a revenue-driving channel.

“I’m being outranked on Google by brands selling questionable products”

New clients have complained that they’re losing sales to companies selling bottom-shelf flower and dubious CBD products because they’re being outranked on key search terms. They’re providing superior products, but they’re getting beaten because they haven’t invested in optimizing their site for search.

“I hired an agency, but they didn’t do anything”

Clients come to us after hiring agencies or freelancers in the past, but having to discontinue their engagements after seeing no business results from the SEO work. They need an agency partner that drives revenue, reports on their results, is transparent about what they’re doing, and understands the cannabis industry.

Why SEO for Natural Products Brands?

SEO isn’t the most intuitive channel for many natural products founders. And starting out, it’s not the most important. 

Paid acquisition offers a faster feedback loop, allowing you to iterate on your message (and in some cases, product or service) more quickly. 

Email marketing is a no-brainer because it allows you to continuously drive sales from the customers you already have.

And the less-scalable (or in some cases, non-scalable) marketing strategies like in-person events, brick-and-mortar sales, and giveaways for testimonials are far better than SEO at getting things kickstarted in the short run. 

But once your business reaches a certain stage, SEO becomes a much more attractive investment:

  • It drives sustainable growth in revenue and email signups once you have a proven product or service and existing customer base (even if fairly small)
  • It offers an alternative to paid ads for natural wellness brands in restricted spaces – cannabis, mushrooms, and the like
  • By design, it builds more trust with potential buyers than paid ads – this is particularly important for B2C/D2C businesses selling products around which there are many misconceptions and outright lies (CBD, THC, functional mushrooms, the list goes on)
  • It drives nonlinear returns; when done right, you make more each month without investing a greater amount proportional to the return you’re getting. 

We go deeper below. 

SEO drives sustainable growth in organic revenue and email signups

Put simply: when done right, SEO drives revenue. And lots of it. Like paid ads, it’s one of those channels that frequently accounts for a huge chunk of a business’ revenue. 

  • For B2C online brands, SEO can be hugely profitable if you rank your “money pages” – category and product pages – for high-value keywords, then bolster that with blog content and high-quality backlinks. 
  • For B2C brick-and-mortar brands, SEO can open the online acquisition channel and allow you to do business nationally, not just locally. 
  • For B2C brands (and B2B; but mostly B2C), SEO can help you build a giant email list. And if you own or operate a B2C brand like this, you know that email marketing is non-negotiable because of how damn effective it is. 
  • For B2B natural wellness brands – wholesalers, manufacturers, and others – SEO can drive leads from interested contacts (SEO is hugely effective for B2B businesses with very large average deal sizes – 1 new customer acquisition per month can pay for your monthly SEO retainer several times over). 

Our point here is that SEO strategies can drive growth and customer acquisition for a variety of different natural wellness businesses – not just e-commerce companies. 

SEO offers a robust alternative to paid ads

(This applies mostly to B2C natural wellness businesses, but it can apply to B2B, too.)

When founders start D2C consumer brands, paid ads are usually the place they turn. Google Ads. Meta (Facebook and Instagram) Ads. YouTube Ads. The whole nine. It’s easy to see why; these channels are hugely effective for e-commerce brands. 

They offer a way to get your product in front of lots of people, fast, which means brands can make early sales and get feedback to improve their website design, copy, and sometimes, product. 

But there are two issues with paid ads for natural wellness brands:

  1. If you’re like most of our clients, you sell products containing cannabis or functional mushroom ingredients. You can’t advertise that stuff on Facebook or Instagram unless it’s a topical, doesn’t say CBD, or your ad isn’t promotional in nature. Or unless you have $10k or more a month to spend on an agency that has access to direct support from Meta. Similar rules apply to Google and YouTube. Hell, Google won’t even let you see CBD keyword data. Advertising is possible, but it’s a big headache and requires a lot of money. It’s also not very profitable unless you have existing traffic (hmm..). 
  2. Over time, it doesn’t make sense to use paid ads in isolation to scale – not when SEO exists. You can grow your revenue with paid ads, but to a degree, the amount you make will always be proportionate to the amount you spend (even if your agency/freelancer or in-house person/team is really good). This isn’t the case with SEO, where we have clients spending the same amount with us as they were when we began working together 2 years ago, but are now making 6x as much revenue from organic search. 

Paid ads have their place – assuming you’re able to run them for your business – but in the long run, they should be supplemented with SEO. 

SEO builds more trust than paid ads

Due to the very nature of SEO, it builds trust with potential buyers when done right. This is both in comparison to paid ads, and in general:

  • Since visibility in organic search is “earned” and not directly purchased, it’s far stronger of a trust signal than visibility from paid ads is
  • Organic search involves giving people information and products when they want it, not shoving it in their social feed arbitrarily
  • Good SEO is about elevating the visibility of your website. Since you control your website, you control the experience you give the users you acquire from SEO; you can deliver social proof, high-quality educational material, and other trust- and affinity-building content in spades

With SEO, CPA drops over time and your margins rise

We’ve already mentioned this, and it’s more of a general benefit of SEO than a specific benefit of SEO for natural wellness brands. 

But it’s the biggest upside of SEO (in our opinion): the returns are nonlinear. Even if you are doing the same amount of SEO work each month, or investing in an agency like us to get it done for you, your returns will continue to grow. You’ll see more sales and leads each month without needing to spend more.

The Most Common SEO Mistakes We See

With the benefits of SEO for your brand in mind, the logical next step would be for us to discuss our service. But doing so is impossible without first discussing the SEO mistakes we see natural wellness brands make – the mistakes we aim to avoid while driving growth for your brand:

Problem 1: Quantity at the expense of quality

SEO can take a while to work, so some brands try to expedite the process by publishing lots of pages very quickly. The most common form of this is publishing many blog posts, though we’ve seen it done with landing pages and category pages, too.

This isn’t a problem — unless it’s done at the expense of quality. In that case, you’re met with two problems:

  1. Short term, the traffic you get won’t convert as well as it could. And if you’re a B2B business with stakeholders reading your site, sh*tty content could destroy trust with your prospects forever.
  2. Long term, your rankings, traffic, and conversions will erode. Over time, Google will learn that your content isn’t really that good – primarily through user signals (e.g. people don’t spend very long on your pages, and they frequently go back to Google to perform another search) – so they will reduce your rankings, oftentimes eventually taking your site to nothing. 

This is a real issue in the natural wellness space.

I (Wells) can’t tell you how many times I’ve examined a SERP (search engine result page) while doing research for a client, then checked that same query later and noticed that the brands and websites that used to dominate have slipped down the page or disappeared altogether. With time, Google ascertained that their content just wasn’t all that good.

Churn-and-burn isn’t a way to build a company, so it’s no way to build an SEO strategy, either. Hence, quality is crucial. 

Problem 2: Ignoring content

Some brands do basic SEO, and they even optimize their transactional pages — but they stop there. They treat their blog as a dumping ground for announcements and short content written for sharing social media, instead of investing time and effort into consistently publishing high-quality, search-optimized content. This creates five problems:

  1. They’re unable to rank for and capture traffic from lots of buying-intent keywords, because many of these queries (e.g. best [industry] companies) are better served by blog posts than landing pages or other post types.
  2. By neglecting to create high-quality content, they fail to build topical authority. Topical authority – which is earned by publishing lots of high-quality content on a topic – which makes it easier to rank for any keyword related to that topic. Yes, including the valuable “money” keywords.
  3. By neglecting the creation of informational content, they’re leaving tons of email signups on the table from users who aren’t quite ready to buy, but might in the future (if you’ve done email marketing to non-purchasers, you know how important it is).
  4. Even if they don’t need blog posts to rank for all the relevant buying-intent keywords, growth from SEO plateaus once they’re getting all the buying-intent traffic there is to get (this traffic pool may grow or shrink as the marketing grows or shrinks, but you’re not in control of it).
  5. It means they’re competing for the same search terms as everyone else in their industry who is doing SEO. A bad strategy if your competitors suddenly decide to invest more in SEO.

Generally, if a natural wellness brand isn’t investing in blogging, their strategy is bad or they aren’t in a stage of growth where SEO makes sense as a major acquisition channel. 

Problem 3: Starting with keyword research instead of customers

Many brands (or their agencies) base the keywords they target completely on what an SEO tool says about the search volume and levels of competition, rather than on what they know their customers are interested in. The result? They waste a lot of time and money ranking for keywords that produce mediocre revenue returns. 

Keyword research has its place, but we recommend starting with customers instead. Figure out what topics they’re interested in, then use keyword research tools to validate these topics. The result? Easier rankings and higher conversion rates.

This isn’t just a marketing platitude; it actually does work. If getting 1,000 clicks per month from keywords that are only supposed to get 200 searches a month sounds good to you, this strategy is what you’re looking for. 

Our Approache to SEO

The exact strategy we use varies depending on what type of business you have and what your goals are – it is highly customized. Nonetheless, every client strategy involves a three key components:

Conversion-focused strategy

We choose keywords (or rather, topics) to target based on buying intent. Not volume, not difficulty (though these do matter), intent to buy a product or engage a service like the one your business provides:

  • For eCommerce brands, this means focusing on ranking your product category and product pages for their corresponding keywords
  • For B2B brands, this means focusing on ranking blog posts, landing pages, and category/product pages for their corresponding keywords

This ensures that SEO is a revenue-driving channel, not just one that drives “website traffic” but drives no business growth. 

High-quality, compliant, user-first content

First and foremost, every page we build or optimize is designed to provide a great user experience. Typically, this entails providing a prospective buyer with information they are looking for while also delivering a visually appealing experience.

We build for users, then optimize for SEO. Not the other way around. Every page we publish is also edited for compliance (typically to ensure we’re not making medical claims). 

We don’t just use the word “content” to refer to blog posts, although we do produce a lot of them. Content means any page that we build or contribute to:

  • Blog posts
  • Category pages
  • Product pages
  • Landing pages
  • Your home page
  • You get the picture

Conversion-focused reporting

Just as our strategy focuses on conversions, so too does our reporting. We hold ourselves accountable to, and measure the success of our work by, the amount of revenue or lead growth we deliver for your business. 

Because if we’re not driving revenue, what’s the point of hiring us?

Our SEO Process

The exact process we employ for our clients depends on their unique business type and growth goals, but every client engagement involves these steps:

1. Customer research & SEO strategy

Every engagement starts with deep research into who your best customer is and what their pain points are. This information allows us to build an SEO strategy that helps your best customers find you. It also informs the way we build shopping and content experiences. The goal: give users what they want, and in so doing, win them as customers.

2. Quick wins & initial page building and optimization

When it’s time to get to work, the first thing we focus on is quick wins: driving more traffic with the pages you already have. We test title tags to improve clickthrough rates on existing rankings, and we improve internal linking to achieve easy ranking gains. 

With tests running and small optimizations in place, we turn to the pages most important to your business. If you’re an eCommerce company, it’s your category and product pages. If you’re a B2B company, it’s likely a mixture of your landing pages, product/category pages, and blog posts.

3. Ongoing page building and optimization

With the money pages optimized, it’s time to begin reaching out-of-market audiences with people-first, SEO-optimized blog content.  

We interview subject matter experts within your company to create highly useful, highly relevant articles that target queries throughout the funnel and win you customers that your competitors don’t know exist. 

Already have content? We’ll rework it before creating anything new to drive quick wins and maximize your ROI.

We’ll also continue to build and optimize your money pages depending on whether we’ve identified additional opportunities. 

4. Conversion-focused reporting

We won’t report every piece of data available to us, because that’s probably not what you care about. Instead, we’ll only report on the stuff you care about: organic revenue, email signups, and organic traffic. In that order.

5. Repeat

We’ll continue to develop and publish new pages while continuously maintaining and improving upon your previously-published pages. Like investing, SEO is about staying in the game long enough to experience the benefits of compounding; we help you maximize your returns and minimize your losses over time.

Learn more about our specific approaches for different kinds of natural wellness businesses:

CBD SEO Services

Cannabis SEO Services

Dispensary SEO Services

FAQs About Our SEO Services

Here’s what you need to know about working with us. 

What metrics do you report on?

We report on – and hold ourselves accountable to generating – revenue (or a proxy, like leads or calls) and organic traffic. Depending on your business, we may also report on email signups and additional metrics that we mutually agree are valuable indicators of growth. 

How long does it take to see an ROI?

Our clients typically see payback in 3-4 months (i.e. we’re making as much for your business as you’re paying us) and a 4-5x ROI in 6-8 months. 

If your brand has significant amounts of existing SEO traction or organic traffic, your payback period may happen in just 2-3 months. Likewise, new brands with very little SEO traction may need to wait longer to see an ROI. 

Do you require a long-term contract?

No. We work on retainer with a monthly rolling contract. However, we recommend you work with us for at least 6 months in order to begin seeing significant business impact from our efforts.

How soon do you get to work?

We send onboarding materials over to you as soon as you sign our contract and pay our first invoice.

We aim to begin shipping high-impact work for your business no later than the second week after you sign our contract and pay our first invoice. 

Do you understand industry compliance?

Yes. We’re an agency built specifically for the cannabis and CBD space, and we understand the FDA restrictions that apply to advertising these types of products. We use checklists and a thorough editing process to ensure that every page we put on your site complies with these rules.

How can I be sure that the content you write for my site is high-quality?

In addition to the obvious (editing), we use three tactics to ensure our output is high-quality. 

First, during onboarding, you’ll fill out a content style guide so we have an in-depth understanding of your brand voice, tone, values, and more. This style guide will be continuously updated based on your feedback. 

Second, we interview you or one of your employees for every blog post we write so that we’re able to include accurate, interesting, and on-brand insights, rather than copying the articles that are already ranking.

Third, each piece of content is written by someone with existing CBD, cannabis, or natural wellness expertise. 

Fourth, we offer you the amount of latitude you wish in terms of content reviewing. Most of our clients don’t feel the need to review each piece of content we review, but you may review and provide feedback on each article before it goes live – if you want. We use your feedback to update our style guides and inform the way we conduct our interviews to ensure continuous improvement.

Do you use AI to write content?

No. We use AI (ChatGPT-4) for data analysis, brainstorming, and other similar tasks, but we do not use AI to write copy or content for your brand.

What do I have to do?

We ask for two things from our clients on an ongoing basis: attendance at a monthly reporting and strategy meeting (~30 minutes) and the provision of a subject-matter-expert (you or an employee) on a monthly basis that we can interview to develop content for your site. 

What level of customer support do you offer to me and my business?

You will have access to our team five days a week by email and by a personal Slack channel that we will set up for you. 

We respond to all communication in one business day at a maximum, barring team members being out of town and away from their devices (which you will be notified in advance of).

Our founder, Wells, is also typically reachable seven days a week. However, he can only guarantee a response Monday through Friday.

Let’s grow your natural wellness brand with SEO.