Are you looking to advertise CBD products on Google? This is the guide for you. Read on to learn more about CBD and Google ads. If you're asking yourself "can you advertise CBD on Google" we have the answer for you. It's not easy but it is possible using these 3 CBD marketing tips.
Can You Advertise CBD on Google?
If you own, manage, or market a CBD business, then you probably want to advertise it, and since the Google ad network is the world’s largest ad network, it’s probably top of your list.
Like any other business, you want to go advertise where the eyeballs are.
However, due to the unique legal status of cannabidiol or CBD products in most countries, it is difficult to know what is and isn’t allowed to be advertised across the Google advertising network.
Hopefully, this article can give you some clarity.
Does Google allow CBD ads?
The short answer is no.
The long answer is it’s complicated.
CBD can be advertised on the Google display network, Google ads, and Google shopping ads only if it contains CBD oil derived from hemp and not cannabis.
This is because cannabis is federally illegal in the united states but legal in certain states. In Canada, it is legal but not in the UK.
This also means that one of the biggest obstacles if you want to build up a global CBD business, is having to work out the regulations in each different country that you want to sell into.
You also need to be careful not to advocate in your promotional materials for the health benefits of your products in the USA, or you may run foul of the federal trade commission (FTC) or the food and drug administration (FDA).
If you do make claims, then you have to be sure that you can back them up with credible medical research.
How to put CBD ads on Google
If you have weighed up the risks but want to try advertising on Google anyway, then you need to proceed with caution. Google has huge power to block your domain, flag your billing information, and even prevent you from setting up a new account if they cancel your other ones.
If you want to go ahead and advertise your CBD products on the Google advertising network, then follow these steps:
- The first step is to create a new Google Ads account to use specifically for advertising your CBD product. If you run into problems, then it won’t affect your other Google Ads campaigns.
- Once your account is set up, you can then set your budget and location and set up a campaign using the ‘paid search ads’ option.
- The next step is to select relevant keywords for your product, such as “CBD, “CBD oils,” hemp,” etc. And then enter a cost-per-click bid for each keyword.
- Now comes the tricky part. When you create and write an ad, make sure that you avoid promoting your CBD product directly , or you will get caught out by Google’s terms of service. It is better to just use a more vague description of your product. For example, focus on the benefits of it without naming it.
- The final step is to create a specific landing page that your ad will take consumers to. Just like the ad itself, don’t overtly promote your CBD product on the landing page either – instead, make it an information page that users can then click thru to your product pages.
That’s how you put CBD ads on Google. There is a chance that this will still upset the Google ‘gods,’ but if you follow these steps, then you are technically not violating their terms of service.
Is there a better way?
If you want to avoid these problems, then yes, there is a better way to still get traffic from Google. And that is through an aggressive content marketing campaign that employs highly informative and engaging quality content that is optimized to rank highly in search results. For example, you could hire a CBD content writer to write a blog that covers CBD topics to help inform your audience about the industry and your products. Focusing on your CBD SEO can pay large dividends over the long term if you do things right.
This way, you will drive lots of traffic to your website without the risks.
The bottom line
Advertising CBD on Google is not allowed if the oil is made from cannabis, but technically ok if it is made from hemp. This ambiguity makes it risky to invest in Google advertising campaigns as you risk getting banned from Google.
Cannabis is a huge, growing industry. People want to find out more about your products, so a much better option is to invest in website content so that it ranks high in organic search results, which will lead to an increase in traffic and, at the same time, avoid all of the risks of paid advertising
Can You Advertise CBD on Google? You Can With These 3 CBD Marketing Tips
Need an answer to the question: can you advertise CBD on Google or Bing search engines? We outline 3 effective CBD marketing tactics to use on Google with and without advertising. UPDATE for 2021, read our latest case studies to see how we have been advertising CBD products on Google Search since 2019!
So What’s The Deal? Can You Advertise CBD on Google or Not?
UPDATE: December 2021 – read our updated article on CBD Advertising Laws for Google & Facebook.
Update April 2022: Check out an updated article on How to Promote Selling Weed Online.
If you’re one of the many new CBD entrepreneurs who are trying to market and promote CBD oil and CBD products online, I’m betting you’re frustrated with the advertising restrictions on Facebook & Instagram. The good news is there are other options for your CBD brand.
Have you ever tried to advertise CBD on Google? Or are you stuck wondering can you advertise CBD on Google or even Bing search engines?
In my experience as a professional cannabis and CBD marketer, I feel the answer is an absolute YES, you can advertise CBD on Google and it’s actually happening right now!
As I began researching and writing this article, I did a search for “can you advertise cbd on google” in an incognito tab in chrome and did NOT see any CBD ads on Page 1 for that search query.
It’s important to note that I have seen CBD ads on Page 1 before, just not in this particular search. I’m sure you’ve seen CBD advertising on Google search as well.
However, guess what I saw on Page 2, at the top and the bottom of the organic search results?
I spotted seven (7) paid Google PPC ads that are served for the search term “can you advertise cbd on google”. Clearly you can, but let’s take a look at these CBD ads and see what they are promoting.
You can see that out of the 7 Google PPC ads for CBD, just one (1) ad is actually selling CBD oil and was placed and paid for by Amazon.ca. Note that this search was done in Canada. I’m sure the same sort of results would show up form searches done in the USA, and that Amazon.com is the advertiser.
Of the other ads, three (3) of these CBD Google ads are promoting CBD marketing services to potential CBD business owners using the same query – “can you advertise cbd on google”.
The remaining three (3) ads are also targeted at CBD business owners and are promoting advertising platforms for CBD like Reddit, Bing, and AdRoll.
Interestingly enough, Bing and Reddit each have advertising restrictions against CBD and cannabis that are similar to Google and Facebook’s cannabis/CBD advertising restrictions.
My point being, it certainly does seem possible to advertise CBD on Google, as well as other digital display advertising platforms that allow CBD advertising.
This article will discuss 3 marketing strategies to enable you to advertise CBD oil and CBD products on Google, with and without advertising restrictions.
1. Try Google Ads To Market You CBD Products…
At Least Once
According to the Unapproved Pharmaceuticals and Supplements section of Google’s Advertising policy, CBD is an example of pharmaceuticals and supplements that Google Ads doesn’t allow.
Didn’t we just see an ad for CBD Oil on Amazon as well as other PPC ads that were served up for the search term “can you advertise CBD on Google”? Yes we did! Scroll up to review.
This is why we highly recommend to all new clients selling CBD products to strategically try Google Ads, on both the search and display networks, to get maximum reach and retargeting capability.
You still need to keep in mind that the ads we create for your CBD products may not get approved the first time we run them through Google’s approval process, but that doesn’t mean it’s game over.
It’s typical to have to tweak Google search ad copy, display ad creative, and even landing page copy and metadata, in order to get Google ads for CBD approved. Our team is creative and tenacious and welcomes this challenge.
We have a process for writing Google search ads for CBD products and designing the display ad creative for Google display advertising.
We also have a process for optimizing the landing page that your ads will drive traffic to. Google (and Facebook) can read the landing page’s metadata and its on-page copy. So if there are too many references to selling CBD oil and listing CBD benefits or health claims, your ad could be disapproved.
For examples of how we have been able to advertise medical marijuana on Facebook, Google, and YouTube, and how we advertised cannabis and CBD marketing services on Google search, please see our case studies.
For an example of how we were able to increase sales for a local business by 30% in 30-days, read that case study here.
2. Sell CBD Oil Using Google Shopping Ads
Google Shopping has been around for a long time and may not even be on your radar. But if you’re an e-commerce based CBD business you should really get to know this free tool.
It’s essentially Google’s answer to Amazon, it allows users to search for products on online shopping websites and compare prices between different vendors.
If you use Google Shopping advertise CBD on Google, your CBD products will be found by people looking to buy CBD oil and using Google to fulfill their need.
Here’s how Shopify defines Google Shopping:
Google Shopping is powered by two platforms: Google Ads and Google Merchant Center.
Google Merchant Center is where your product feed lives. Your product feed holds the details of your products organized in a format Google likes.
Google Ads is where your actual shopping campaigns live and where you’ll set your budget, manage your bids, gain insights, and make optimizations based on performance.
So you still use the Google Ads platform to set up and manage your CBD advertising for Google Shopping ads. The process is quite a bit different from setting up traditional text ads.
For example, with text ads, we create campaigns, ad groups and ads that are focused around the most profitable keywords that we research for your CBD business.
With Google Shopping, Google determines when your product listing ads show up. They consider your feed, your site, and the bids we manage to determine what search queries will trigger your ads. Because of this, setting up shopping ads has some strong similarities to SEO.
In other words, to get the maximum effect from Google Shopping Ads for your CBD products, your product feed needs to be created properly and SEO optimized effectively.
We’d highly recommend you source an experienced cannabis and CBD SEO expert or use our agency to set up and optimize your Google Shopping Ads for CBD.
If your Google Shopping Ads campaign is set up for success, your CBD products could be displayed when a customer uses Google to search for CBD Oil or other CBD product. They can appear in the main search engine results page or under the shopping tab.
Here’s what I saw when I went to Google Shopping and searched for “cbd oil”:
The results show the user options to buy Hemp Seed Oil, Hemp Calming Oil, as well as other products related to CBD oil.
The main point is that clearly, some CBD brands are using Google Shopping Ads to advertise CBD on Google. Once again, another reason, and another option, for you to try using Google to market and promote your CBD products.
3. Implement a CBD SEO Strategy on Your Website
Did you know that 40% of searches are local searches, related to finding information, location, and phone numbers of local businesses?
How about the fact that 82% of smartphone shoppers conduct ‘near me’ searches.
If you’re selling your CBD products at local dispensaries, a CBD SEO strategy is essential to growing your business, locally. Your products or dispensary locations need to be found on page 1 of a relevant Google search.
When it comes to CBD marketing, SEO, or search engine optimization, is a clear choice to drive highly qualified potential customers to your website, CBD dispensary, or online CBD store.
The best part is that there are absolutely no advertising restrictions when it comes to SEO. You can publish whatever you want on your website.
The key to your website and your website content to be found in Google search results for relevant CBD search queries like “buy cbd near me” or “where to buy cbd in [your city]”, is for all of your code, content, images, and metadata to be Google friendly, i.e., for all your content to be optimized for search engines.
If not, Google will not know what your site is about, what type of searches is your site most relevant for, and therefore not know how to rank your content for your relevant keywords.
This can be a huge issue because your potential customers are actively searching for information on CBD oil and CBD products and most of them are using Google to search for answers. They aren’t going to Instagram to find useful, high-quality information on CBD benefits.
Here’s clear proof of that fact:
You can see each search query in the search box field at the top next to the Google logo, and underneath that you’ll see the number of search results for each query.
There’s clearly a ton of competition for some terms and not as much for others, but either way, there are only 10 organic positions on the first page pf Google – and you want your CBD brand to own at least one of them for your most profitable keyword.
The only way to get a position on Page 1 of a relevant CBD search on Google, let alone the top position, is to use SEO to market your CBD business. Here’s how SEO can help you increase search engine rankings for your CBD products:
- Start with comprehensive keyword research to identify the best (most profitable) keywords for your business. Look for the questions people are asking Google about CBD, then optimize and publish content that answers these questions.
- Implement a local SEO strategy into your CBD marketing mix to dominate the Google Local Map Pack for local searches to find CBD in your city. Claim your Google My Business Page, fill out all relevant sections completely, and optimize the heck out of it.
- Set a list of targeted keywords that you want to rank for and track those keyword rankings weekly/monthly and compare to the rankings of your competitors.
- Publish relevant, high-quality blog content on your website each month. We recommend using keyword research to find the most popular/profitable blog topics, and then to write at least 2 x 1200 word, SEO optimized blog articles, with images and media, each month.
SEO is much more complicated than the three high-level steps listed above. But, by following these simple tips you’ll be able to improve your website’s domain authority, its relevance, and its trustworthiness.
Relevance, authority, and trust are 3 of the main search engine ranking factors Google reviews when they choose how, where, and when to show your website links in a search results page.
We Help You Advertise CBD on Google
So as you can see, it actually is possible to advertise CBD oil and other CBD products on Google. Google offers more than just one channel for CBD advertisers too.
Your Google Ad options include:
- Google Text Ads on Google Search Network
- Google Display Ads on the Google Display Network
- Pre-roll and True View Video Ads on YouTube
- Google Shopping Ads for CBD Products
Search engines like Google & Bing are 100% intent-based. Meaning, people use Google when they have the intent to buy something specific, or search for more information on something specific.
In other words, your target demographic uses search engines with specific intent. People do not use Instagram and social media in the same way.
Generally speaking, people go to Google when they know what they want, people go to social media when they want to be entertained.
If you’re ready to take your CBD marketing to the next level and try using Google Ads to promote your CBD products, we’d love to chat with you about how we can help.
Please contact us for a free consultation or to request a quote.