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. Using Google Adwords is a great way to generate sales for your eCommerce store, however Google Ads & selling CBD Oil isn't so straight forward. Find out why here. Can You Advertise CBD on Google? If you are like most CBD business owners or cannabis marketers, you wonder whether you can advertise your cannabis products on Google. After all, Google is the most popular digital ad seller and can bring excellent results for your business if done right. However, unlike other businesses, cannabis brands
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
Advertising CBD Oil Using Google Adwords
Most CBD business owners, especially in the start-up phase, get their websites up, ensure they have stock of their products, and then start looking for ways to promote their brand. Unsurprisingly, Google Ads is usually top of their list.
Google is the most prominent digital ad seller through its Google Ads platform. Last year alone, they sold over $100 billion in ads, accounting for 31% of ad spending worldwide. That’s over a third more than its closest competitor, Facebook Ads, at $67 billion.
Google ads remain popular because they work. They target a buyer who has shown specific interest in a topic, and you can reach that buyer when they want to make a purchasing decision. But unfortunately for CBD businesses, the digital advertising platform prohibits the direct promotion of cannabidiol products.
What is Google’s standpoint on CBD?
Before we get into the nuts and bolts, let’s refresh Google’s CBD stance quickly. It’s important to understand that Google search prohibits the advertising of CBD on its platform. Like many other US-based companies (including Amazon and Facebook), Google’s advertising policy clearly states that promoting CBD is prohibited, whether or not it is legal.
While hemp-derived CBD is legal under the 2018 Farm Bill, there is still the need for a regulatory framework to be developed, and it hasn’t yet been established in all states. A consequence of this is because Google is registered in the States, it can’t allow the sale of CBD.
CBD is explicitly mentioned in Google’s list of unapproved pharmaceuticals and supplements. That’s pretty clear. But if you type CBD into google.co.uk, you still many ads promoting CBD (albeit indirectly). So, what is going on?
What is the difference between hemp oil and CBD oil, and how do companies use that to their advantage?
CBD oil is made from the stalk and leaves of the hemp plant, where cannabidiol is found. In contrast, hemp oil (or hemp seed oil) is made from only hemp seeds and contains little to no CBD and, therefore, doesn’t offer the same benefits as hemp-derived CBD oil.
This is important because CBD oil and hemp seed oil are in the same cannabis family and are, therefore, often promoted as the same thing, even though they’re entirely different.
But why would a brand do this? It’s one of the main ways companies try to get around Google’s CBD ban. The ad copy would only reference hemp oil, while the keyword the company is targeting would be CBD-related. It’s counterintuitive as CBD has a much higher price point, but their thinking is that if they can get the user to click through to their site, they have a good chance of getting the sale.
What are the CBD Advertising Laws for the USA?
CBD advertising laws are important to understand if you are considering starting a CBD company. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is told clearly what is allowed and not allowed in CBD advertising. Each state also has advertising regulations and business licenses. For instance, if you want to operate in Florida, you will need a CBD business license.
According to the FTC, “Companies that represent expressly or by implication that what they sell can prevent, treat, or cure serious medical conditions in an ad will be held to the highest substantiation standards, and marketers can expect scrutiny of those claims.”
The FTC also prohibits making claims about CBD products concerning prevention, treatment, and safety in an ad unless the CBD products have been through human clinical testing to prove the claims. Additionally, there are different requirements for retailers and wholesalers regarding CBD advertising. Retailers can make general claims about the benefits of CBD, but they cannot make specific health claims.
On the other hand, Wholesalers can make specific health claims as long as they have substantiation from third-party scientific studies. It is essential to consult with an experienced attorney before starting any CBD company to ensure that you comply with all applicable laws.
Think again if you were thinking about getting around the CBD advertising laws. The Federal Trade Commission, or FTC, has formed Operation CBDeceit to crack down on any deceptive advertising of CBD products – online or offline. So far, five CBD companies have faced the consequences of their ads. These CBD companies are:
- Bionatrol Health LLC
- CBD Meds Inc.
- Epichouse LLC (First Class Herbalist CBD)
- Steves Distributing LLC
So before running CBD ads on google Adwords think about it again. Your AdWords account might be banned, or you can face legal action by FTC. So better to don’t run any CBD google ads on Google.
CBD Advertising Laws for UK
The MHRA is the executive agency of the UK’s Department of Health and Social Care responsible for products classed as CBD sold in the UK. It also issues guidelines on what can and cannot be said when advertising medicine or healthcare products.
So, you want to start selling CBD products in the UK? Here are the MHRA guidelines you need to follow:
- Follow the UK’s basic advertising guidelines for CBD products as set out by the MHRA. This includes not making unapproved health claims or wellbeing claims and not linking to sites/platforms that promote ‘cancer cures’ or other medicinal biased information.
- Make sure that any written content and published articles about your CBD products do not make any medical claims. This includes company names/logos, hashtags, links, and any shared testimonials/reviews.
- Do not offer CBD products to treat any specific condition – stick to general descriptions such as “relaxing,” “energising” and so on.
- Make sure you do not link to any sites/platforms that present CBD as a medicine. This includes explicitly medical sites and platforms where customers can obtain more information about CBD and its uses.
- Make no explicit medical claims about your CBD products.
- Do not link to sites/platforms that promote ‘cancer cures’ or other medicinally biased sites/platforms.
- Do not publish articles that imply that CBD can or has been used to treat any illness.
- Do not suggest customers talk to any medical professional.
- Do not use any graphics, imagery, or product names that imply CBD is a medicine.
- Do not make comparisons with licensed medicines.
- Do not reference medical and clinical research and testing.
So, what are the things that CBD merchants ARE allowed to do ( UK )?
They can claim to maintain, help, or support health, healthy bodily functions, or organs. However, references to restoring or aiding in restoring a specific biological function or organ to a normal, healthy state are prohibited.
How are companies getting around Google’s CBD ban?
There are two main ways that companies try to get around Google’s ban on CBD:
Option 1 – Advertise CBD products directly
This approach usually has a two-day shelf life. A CBD company will set up standard search ads and drive visitors to a CBD product page on its website. The campaign will usually only run for a day or two before Google gets around to crawling your landing page and the rest of your website, and the result is that your ads will be disapproved. In most cases, a search ad campaign like this will get shut down within two weeks, but it’s usually a few days. The best-case scenario is that your ads will be disapproved; the worst case is a permanent suspension of your account. Google may even go so far as to flag your website or billing details, making it nearly impossible to create a new account.
Option 2 – Get creative and promote your CBD product indirectly
Setting up a new Adwords account every two weeks is not a practical solution which is why this alternative is the most commonly used. The method still operates in a grey area, so creating a new Google Ads account specifically for CBD advertising is best. This is to protect you if you sell other products through Adwords as you still risk having your account flagged.
Set up a campaign as you usually would input your budget and location, and set the campaign type to “Paid Search Ads.” Keyword selection, as always, is important, and should include terms such as “CBD” and “hemp.”
Then it’s time to get creative. When you’re writing the ad copy, you have to avoid promoting the product directly and instead use terms that hint at the products you sell. This might include terms such as “hemp oil.” The link visitors click on once they’ve seen your ad should take them to a landing page on your website that promotes your CBD product but does so indirectly.
What are the risks of promoting your CBD products on Google Ads?
There are a myriad of risks that you expose yourself to if you decide to try and circumvent Google’s Adwords policies, not least account closure, misleading clients, and potential damage to your brand.
Even if you are only referencing hemp in the ad copy and sending visitors to a hemp oil product page, you are still at risk of having your account shut down. There are many instances where a company advertising a completely legal, non-CBD product has been shut down because the site sells other CBD products.
It’s also not ideal from an ethical standpoint. If you are targeting the keyword “CBD” and advertising hemp oil in the Adwords copy, you are misleading the customer to click on the website.
Damage to Your Brand
Most reputable, well-established CBD companies avoid using Adwords, respecting Google’s decision to exclude CBD from their list of allowed supplements. Instead, they focus on other online channels to market their products and educate consumers about CBD. This means that you have a decision to make, do you want to sell your product using Google Ads and risk increasing the stigma that is already associated with CBD while at the same time potentially damaging your brand? Or do you want to take a more long-term view and put effort into building your digital assets to educate consumers and build customer loyalty?
Is It Possible to Advertise CBD on Popular Mainstream Websites?
Limitations of CBD Online Promotion
Google Ads CBD
There are a lot of products on the market that contain CBD, and many people use it for various purposes. However, unfortunately for marketers, Google ad does not allow CBD to be advertised on its platform. This is because Cannabidiol is derived from hemp, which is a type of Cannabis plant. Although CBD is not psychoactive, it is still considered part of the Cannabis family. According to google ads policies, it has a strict policy against promoting any products associated with this plant.
As a result, in the UK, CBD advertisers who want to promote CBD products will need to find other platforms to do so. This may limit the reach of their advertising campaigns, but it is still possible to connect with potential customers through other channels. For a better understanding, check out these Google ads policies.
Facebook and Instagram
Facebook & Instagram has banned all ads for CBD products, except organic content and posts. That means you can post links to your website or store page to advertise this product on Facebook, but they will be rejected if Facebook (Uk region ) deems it as advertising marijuana which it doesn’t allow anyway, even though hemp contains zero percent tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). If a CBD ad leads people to a website where CBD is for sale, Facebook will look into the domain and remove it from rotation. For a better understanding, check out these Facebook ads policies.
CBD advertising on Twitter is now allowed in the United Kingdom, the United States and Canada after a recent change in their policy. This follows the trend of other social media platforms, which have also relaxed their rules regarding CBD advertising.
However, Twitter’s rules are still stricter than most, as they ban all promotion of illegal drugs, recreational and herbal drugs, accessories associated with drug use, and dispensaries. This means businesses who want to advertise CBD products on Twitter must be very careful to ensure that their ads comply with the guidelines. But for those who are willing to work within the restrictions, Twitter can be an effective way to reach a broad audience with their CBD message. For a better understanding, check out these Twitter ads policies.
Can I run Google ads for CBD products?
No, you cannot run Google ads for CBD products. Can you advertise hemp on Google ads?
Google Ads does not allow the promotion of hemp products at this time. However, there are some restrictions on what can be included in the ad. For example, the ad cannot contain any images or text that promotes the use of hemp for recreational purposes.
Can you advertise hemp on Google ads?
Google Ads does not allow the promotion of hemp products at this time. However, there are some restrictions on what can be included in the ad. For example, the ad cannot contain any images or text that promotes the use of hemp for recreational purposes.
Is it legal to advertise CBD products?
Yes, it is legal to advertise CBD products as long as they comply with the relevant laws and regulations. CBD products must not make any medical claims without appropriate supporting evidence. They should also be marketed responsibly, ensuring that people understand the difference between CBD and THC. If CBD products are advertised as dietary supplements, then there is likely no issue with advertising them. However, if CBD products are being promoted as a treatment for a medical condition, then it is likely that doing so would be illegal without prior approval from the FDA.
What do we think?
Having worked with CBD clients operating in the UK for the past three years, we’ve seen many Adwords accounts being shut down, and it’s not worth the risk. In some cases, Google goes as far as to ban the billing method used, making it difficult to open another account.
Many CBD brands would argue that it is possible to advertise CBD on Google without going against their ad policy. To do this, they rely on ‘creative wording’ to find a way to promote CBD products on the platform. In this way, they would say that you can avoid the risk of violating Adwords terms and conditions entirely.
From our perspective, it also strays into the grey moral territory. And in an industry still struggling to shrug off the associations with marijuana and a ‘stoner’ culture, this is yet another way that companies are bringing CBD companies into disrepute.
It’s hugely tempting to go ahead with Google Ads to promote your CBD products, especially when you see many other CBD companies benefiting from the loophole that allows them to promote CBD indirectly. We do not believe this is a sustainable model and will always advise clients to pursue other above-board methods for promoting their products.
Can You Advertise CBD on Google?
If you are like most CBD business owners or cannabis marketers, you wonder whether you can advertise your cannabis products on Google. After all, Google is the most popular digital ad seller and can bring excellent results for your business if done right.
However, unlike other businesses, cannabis brands face many challenges and restrictions when marketing their products on major digital marketing platforms, including Google and Facebook.
Here we look at everything you need to know about advertising CBD on Google.
Let’s get started!
Does Google Allow CBD Ads?
Most CBD marketers have expressed disappointments about the many advertising restrictions on major digital platforms like Facebook and Instagram.
Google, too, has a policy that prohibits CBD advertising on its platform. Even after the 2018 Farm bill passage, many states are yet to develop an excellent regulatory framework for hemp-derived CBD.
As a result, Google doesn’t allow CBD advertising on its platform. However, despite Google’s restrictive policy on CBD products, you can still come across CBD ads on search results. So what’s the catch? What’s Google’s standpoint on CBD ads?
To help you get an answer to that question, let’s look at what is allowed and what’s not allowed in CBD Google ads.
What’s Allowed in CBD Google Ads?
Google’s dangerous products or services policy clearly states that they prohibit the promotion of products and services that can cause damage, harm, or injury. Specifically, Google considers these products and services to be dangerous and don’t allow them on their platform:
- Substances that can change mental state or induce “highs,” including marijuana, cocaine, heroin, cocaine substitutes, and crystal meth
- Content instructing about producing, buying, or using recreational drugs
- Products or services aimed at facilitating recreational drug use, including bongs, pipes, cannabis coffee shops, etc
- Ads that claim health benefits of CBD products without backing them with credible medical research
How to Advertise CBD on Google without violating AdWords terms and conditions
Having read this far, it’s likely you want to advertise your CBD on Google and are wondering how to go about it. The truth is, with the right approach, you can successfully advertise CBD on Google.
However, before we let you know how you can advertise CBD on Google, you must understand the potential risks of violating Google policies on CBD ads.
Some of the risks that you expose yourself to when trying to circumvent Google ad policies include:
- Account closures
- Damage to your brand
- Flagging of your billing information
To that end, here’s how you can advertise your CBD on Google
As earlier stated, Google’s advertising policy does not allow CBD ads on its platform. However, most often, we have seen CBD ads on Amazon and various PPC ad networks, meaning Google is still a gold mine for CBD marketers if you learn the trick.
The first step you need to take is to create a Google AdWords account specifically for advertising your CBD products or services.
This way, your other products won’t be affected if you run into problems with Google when advertising CBD on its platform. A common challenge that new CBD marketers encounter is their CBD Google ad not getting approved.
In most cases, Google will disapprove of your CBD ads if they notice trigger words like claims of CBD health benefits or references to selling CBD products on your page’s metadata.
The best way to circumvent such issues and get your ads approved is to partner with a reputable CBD digital marketing company . An experienced CBD digital marketing agency understands marijuana advertising restrictions and will help you create a winning CBD ad campaign on Google.
How Can You Boost the Chances of Having Your CBD Ad Approved on Google?
Although no one can guarantee that Google will approve your CBD ads, there are practical ways to boost the chances of your CBD ads getting approved on Google. They include:
- Avoid using CBD and hemp-related keywords in your ad. Instead, use euphemisms for the products you are offering, for instance, pure plant-based remedies, when submitting your ad for review.
- If the ad is not approved, try building a gated landing page for your campaign, and remove all references to hemp and CBD.
- If your ad is still rejected, try removing any links to your website from your gated landing page.
- If Google approves your CBD ad, wait for a couple of days before adding any link to your website from your gated landing page.
As earlier stated, trying to get your CBD ads approved on Google puts your account at risk. In some cases, it can lead to account closure, giving a massive blow to your business. We recommend using a different advertising account to run your ads.
Focus on CBD SEO on Your Website
It’s no doubt that SEO remains an excellent way to promote your CBD business. By implementing a perfect CBD SEO strategy on your website, your CBD brand will become more reputable, trustworthy and ultimately boost your sales.
Unlike Google ads, using SEO to drive traffic to your online CBD store or CBD dispensary has no restrictions.
The best part is that thousands of people conduct local searches every day, meaning a CBD business with a winning CBD SEO strategy will drive more traffic to their website, increasing their chances of conversions.
That’s why you should aim to appear on the first page of search results for CBD-related queries.
How to Improve SEO for Your CBD Business
A website with a low Domain Authority ranking will not have a robust online presence. One way to improve your domain authority is to post high-quality and relevant CBD-related content regularly.
Ideally, your content should provide answers to the common CBD questions that your audience is asking.
Google aims at providing the best user experience for its users. It will reward your website if people spend more time on your website. To improve your SEO and increase your chances of ranking, provide valuable and shareable CBD content to your users.
People will see your website as an authority in the CBD space and come to your website anytime they are looking for CBD products or CBD-related information. Google will reward you by ranking you on the first page of search results.
Below are our tips for making an excellent CBD SEO strategy:
Perform an SEO Audit for Your CBD Website
The first step towards a robust CBD SEO strategy is to perform an SEO audit for your site. SEO audit results will help you know your standing on SEO matters and the steps you can take to improve your ranking.
Before performing an SEO audit, ensure that your website is registered for webmaster services. An SEO audit analysis is broken down into four major categories, including:
- On-page ranking factors
- Off-page ranking factors
Understand the Search Intent
Users search for something for various reasons. You need to understand your users’ search intent to develop your SEO strategy based on the type of content they want to see.
There are four types of search intent, including:
- Informational: Users are looking for information
- Navigational: When users are looking for a specific website
- Commercial investigation: Users are researching more before purchasing a particular product
- Transactional: Users are ready to purchase a specific product and are looking for a better place to buy
Take your time to understand your audience’s search intent and create content that answers their questions to boost your chances of ranking.
Perform Keyword Competitive Analysis
Blogging is an excellent way to attract more traffic and improve your domain authority for your CBD brand. However, creating an effective blogging strategy is not easy, especially for most novice CBD advertisers.
That’s why we recommend performing competitive analysis to have a clear understanding of what is working out there. A competitive analysis allows you to define your CBD brand so it can stand out from the competition.
Here are some things to keep in mind when performing an SEO competitive analysis:
- Check the CBD brands on the first page of SERPs.
- Check the popular keywords used by popular CBD brands
- Consider the difficulty of keywords in your niche
- Check your competitors’ on-page SEO and on-site content
- Have a close look at your competitor’s site structure and user experience
- Check social media pages of competitor CBD brands
Search Quality CBD-Related Keywords
Now that you know the search intent and have performed a competitive analysis, the next step is to perform keyword research.
When doing keyword research, consider the users’ concerns, questions, and the type of products they are looking for most.
Long-tail keywords are the new deal in SEO since they have highly-focused search queries. Aim for high ROI CBD keywords, not the basic keywords used by many underperforming CBD brands out there.
After you find quality CBD keywords, focus on these content trends of 2021:
- Content that touches on specific user’s needs
- User-generated content
- High-quality long-form content
- Video content
- Don’t ignore voice search
Improve Site Speed
Site load speed is an essential ranking factor. Site load speed is a primary concern for Google and Bing and will favor websites with a fast load time .
Some of the tasks we perform to increase your site load speed include:
- Improve server response time
- Reduce redirects
- Optimize images
- Enable compression
Make Your Website Mobile-Friendly
Google announced the mobile-first indexing in 2019, meaning Googlebot will index your mobile-friendly pages before they crawl your desktop version. If you are unsure whether your site is mobile-friendly, take the free mobile-friendly test using Google’s free testing tool.
Focus on User Experience When Designing Your CBD Website
Your SEO efforts will not bring a good ROI if you ignore user experience. After all, your website gives the first impression of your CBD brand. That being said, you must aim to make your website user-friendly.
According to Google, the new page experience signal will be the new ranking factor from May 2021.
That means CBD websites that don’t have a good user experience will not rank on Google after May 2021. You must think about your audience when designing your website to get the most out of your SEO and advertising efforts.
Use Local SEO
You should invest in local SEO if you operate a local CBD store and want to boost your online presence.
Local SEO helps you increase foot traffic to your CBD shop and website traffic if you sell CBD products online.
Sign up for Google My Business to get a free business profile . Don’t forget to include your address, name, and contact information.
How to Advertise CBD on Google Recap
- Create a new Google AdWords account for your CBD products
- Define your target location
- Set a budget for your ad campaigns
- Select “Paid Search Ads”
- Select good ROI CBD keywords
- Don’t advertise your CBD products directly when writing ads
Need Help in Advertising Your CBD on Google? AlchemyLeads Can Help
As you have seen, you can advertise your CBD products on Google without violating Google ad policies. However, the truth is, not every CBD brand owner or marketer can achieve this.
That’s why you need an experienced CBD digital marketing agency like AlchemyLeads to hold your hand when advertising CBD on Google. Our SEO and content marketing nerds understand the Google ads policies and can help you create campaigns that will not violate Google Ads regulations in the CBD niche.
Whether you need help with creating effective CBD Google ads or an excellent CBD SEO strategy, we are here to help. Ready to start? Please contact us by filling the form below, and we will get back to you with more details.