Shopify is the most popular e-commerce platform in the world, and if you have a marijuana business, there is a good chance that you’re using it.
Although this platform is amazing in so many ways, it still has its flaws. Furthermore, you will face a lot of challenges and problems where you won’t know how to react.
In this article, we will talk about using Shopify for marijuana stores, as well as potential issues you might encounter.
Shopify and cannabis website design
Whether you wish to create a new Shopify website or update a previously existing one, this article can provide a lot of tips that will help you along the way.
When creating a website, you need to pay attention to SEO. Based on how well you’ve optimized the site, it will be easier (or harder) for the Google search engine to find your pages.
Not only will you have to pay attention to cannabis website design, but you will also need a proper strategy that would guide you throughout the process. Along the way, you will need to make numerous branding decisions that relate to design. Ideally, you should hire a marketing expert who can handle both backend and frontend.
Your company’s online success will be directly connected to your ability to optimize the website. While every website type of website has to deal with this problem, there are specific challenges that are unique for Shopify.
In this article, we will go through 3 main SEO challenges that you’ll likely face when using this platform.
Shopify and robots.txt file
If you have a Shopify website, you won’t have any control over the robots.txt file.
This file is crucial for SEO. It helps search engine robots (otherwise known as crawlers) determine which pages to access and which ones to avoid. For example, this might be important if you have a lot of duplicate pages.
It is also crucial if there are certain pages you don’t want to show to visitors. If there are too many pages being crawled, this will burden the website leading to slow opening speed.
Nowadays, it is very important to have a website that opens within 2 seconds. Otherwise, both the user experience and your SEO will suffer. If you can’t control this file and make changes to it, you will have to deal with all sorts of issues.
So, why does this occur? Why doesn’t Shopify allow its users to access this file?
There are millions of users who rely on the platform to run their business. Unfortunately, the company doesn’t allow access to these files in order to prevent chaos on servers. As a result, Shopify creates duplicates of these pages whenever you create collection and category pages.
Luckily, there is a good way to circumvent the issue. Just ask your SEO marketing team to edit the Shopify theme. Alternatively, there is another good method that you can use to conceal unwanted pages. By customizing the section of the theme’s layout file, you can prevent this issue from occurring.
Although you cannot access the file itself, there is a solid workaround. There is an app that would allow you to remove URLs and add no-index tags.
Keep in mind that this won’t help with duplicate content, but it will work for all other pages that you don’t want visitors to see.
Low rankings for brand-related terms
One of the common issues new website experience is not being able to rank for your own brand term. Even if someone uses the exact company name, there is no guarantee that you will pop up as the first result. Needless to say, this is a major issue for all businesses, not only cannabis dispensaries.
Let’s say that you give potential clients your CBD business card, but when they try to google you, they cannot find the website among the top results. The same goes for people who have shown interest in your products via social media.
Until you’re able to fix this issue, your competitors will take advantage of this. What’s even worse is that your clients and friends might think they’re buying from you (if the brand names are similar), but instead, they’re giving money to another shop.
The good thing is there’s a reasonable solution for this. We suggest that you turn to Google Ads data.
Unless you’re going with Google Ads for your business, you can use the site’s Google Search Console as a way to find branded keywords.
Problems with keyword mapping
Lastly, we need to mention the potential issues with keyword mapping.
Every marketing expert has a strategy regarding the most lucrative terms. You always want to focus on phrases that will bring in the most sales with minimal effort.
However, getting to the top spots in Google is often very hard and requires a lot of dedication. Not being able to rank for the right phases indicates that you have a keyword mapping problem.
Unfortunately, this is an issue that numerous Shopify websites are experiencing. Either you’ve targeted wrong phrases from the get-go and are now ranking for keywords that you don’t need, or you picked phrases that are too hard to rank.
Not being able to rank for keywords that you need is very troublesome. It is as if you haven’t performed optimization at all.
Besides the volume, you also need to pay attention to conversion. While some phrases might bring you a lot of visitors, that doesn’t necessarily mean that these people will buy products from you. So, that is another thing you need to consider.
The only way to address this potential issue is by preventing it from happening in the first place. By hiring a good CBD marketing agency, you can rest assured they will perform keyword mapping the way it should be done.
Inexperienced marketers often fall into a trap of pursuing phrases they cannot rank for, which means they will invest a lot of time without any tangible results.