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CBD brands are allowed to advertise their products across Google and popular social media platforms. However, brands need to make an effort. 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. CBD advertising case study. Google Ads for CBD products. How we achieved a 2.1% e-commerce conversion rate for an online CBD store in 3-months. ColaDigital.

CBD Ads on Google & Social Media Platforms: Things to Know

Posted February 27th, 2022 by teseo & filed under CBD Marketing.

In an ideal world, most online advertising campaigns of CBD brands would use a balanced mix of paid social, paid search and programmatic ads to attain their campaign goals. Unfortunately, in the real world, brands are not able to rely on anything except programmatic ads. However, CBD brands still need to create ads for CBD business and try for the approval of those ads on social and search platforms.

Here’s what you need to know about creating and getting the ads approved by varied digital platforms.

Are CBD brands allowed to advertise on Google, Instagram & Facebook?

Facebook and Google are the foremost social and search advertising platforms and they account for approximately 60% of digital advertising dollars spent in the United States. However, CBD brands do not account for even half that amount but only some of it.

The problem with these platforms is that they don’t let CBD brands to openly advertise their products, even though hemp-deprived CBD was legalized in the 2018 Farm Bill. That said, the platforms do accept a specific and small subset of ads explained below.

What kind of ads are allowed on Google?

Google’s polices clearly state that they don’t allow promotion of certain products or services that cause harm, damage or injury. Under recreational drugs, the platform bans advertisements for substances that change the mental state for the purpose of recreation and this includes marijuana and other such substances. The platform also doesn’t allow ads for products or services that facilitate recreational drug use, such as bongs, pipes or cannabis coffee shops.

However, Google does allow brands to run ads for hemp-deprived CBD products that depend on hemp keywords.

What kind of ads are allowed on Instagram & Facebook?

The advertising policies of Facebook and Instagram states that they prohibit content that facilitate the promotion of illegal products or services. Adverts that are targeted to minors must not promote services, activities or products that are unsafe, illegal or inappropriate. Facebook also has additional policies that pertain to unsafe supplements and drugs. But CBD ads typically tend to get rejected under illegal products or services even though the products are legalized in most states in the USA.

However, the policies and rules are slowly changing. Today, CBD ads are allowed to run on Facebook if they’re ads for CBD business that are selling CBD topicals. This change in policy is fairly new and previously, CBD topicals were also banned.

Ways to enhance your chances of getting your CBD ads approved by Facebook & Google

There’s no guarantee your ads will get approved but you can make the effort to increase the chances of their approval. You can also collaborate with a professional CBD digital marketing agency experienced in running ads on Google and social media platforms. While you are looking for the right partner, these methods should help to enhance your approval chances.

    • From your ad creative, you need to remove all the hemp and CBD keywords and replace them with euphemisms, such as plant-based remedies.
    • You can design a gated landing page that is specific to your campaign. The page must omit the references to hemp and CBD, but include a CTA that drives potential customers to your website. You can use this page as a landing page for the campaign.
    • If your ad campaigns are still rejected, you can eliminate all links to your website and leave a stand-alone page that doesn’t have any connection to your main page. You must not mention hemp or CBD and submit the campaign.
    • If your ad campaigns are approved, you must wait for two days before introducing links through to your website via the gated landing page.

    So, these are a few of the best practices that you can follow for running ads for CBD business on Google and across popular social media platforms. You can also take help from a professional agency to ensure your ads don’t get rejected.

    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.

    Wait, what?

    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.

    How Our Google Ads Campaign Achieved a 2.1% Conversion Rate on Ecommerce Sales For CBD Products

    Case Study: CBD Advertising Using Google Search Ads

    The following CBD case study will use Google Ads campaign data to provide an overview of 3 successful Google Ads campaigns for CBD oils, CBD edibles, and THC edibles.

    The data for this CBD advertising case study was collected over 90+ days from August 1, 2019, to October 31, 2019.

    Here’s the Executive Summary. The full data is included in the chart below.

    Executive Summary: CBD Advertising Case Study

    Period: Aug 1 – Oct 31, 2019

    • Total Clicks: 11.2K
    • Average CPC: $1.76
    • Click-Through Rate: 7.4%
    • Impressions: 150.6K
    • Conversions (all three): 1.4k
    • Conversion Rate 12.2%
    • Cost Per Conversion/CPA: $12.76
    • E-commerce Conversion Rate/Sales: 2.09%
    • Total Cost: $17.5k

    Analysis & Key Metrics To Note

    1. Cost Per Click (CPC)
    • The average cost per click (CPC) on each ad in the CBD advertising case study was $1.76. This is on the lowersidefor CPC’s for CBD oil, CBD edibles, and CBD edibles.
    • We came in $0.48 lower thanks to our campaign management and optimization of target keywords, audience targeting, and landingpage optimization.
    • The image below shows the average CPC for one of the search terms we’re bidding on – “buy hemp oil” – can be as high as $2.24 or higher.
    2. Cost Per Aquisition (CPA)
    • Our cost per conversion or cost per acquisition (CPA) was $12.76. Our goal was to come in under $20 CPA, and ideally under $14 CPA. We did it!
    3. Conversion Rate
    • Our total conversion ratefor3-conversions: Newsletter Signups, Account Signups, and/or Online Sales, was 12.2%!
    • Any campaign with a double-digit conversion rate is a successful campaign!
    4. E-commerce Conversion Rate – Online Sales
    • We achieved an e-commerce conversion rate of 2.1%! An average conversion rate would be 3%.
    • This e-commerce conversion rate is the conversion rate for online sales from our Google Ads.

    Our CBD Client

    The client and our agency are under an NDA agreement so their company name and website will remain anonymous, but the data from this CBD advertising case study will be 100% transparent.

    Client’s Background & Goals

    This client’s goals were to:

    • Boost brand awareness
    • Increase qualified traffic to the company’s e-commerce website and blog
    • Build brand awareness
    • Increase account memberships and newsletter signups.

    We suggested and implemented a combination of SEO, blog content, and native ads/sponsored content to target the top of the funnel. That is people who are just looking for information about CBD, not looking to buy just yet.

    We also suggested and implement a unique Google ads campaign for 3 of their priority product categories:

    1. CBD Edibles
    2. CBD Oils
    3. THC Edibles

    In order to set up the most effective ROI, and target each CBD customer interested in each product category, the client agreed to one campaign for each product category with a media spend of $100/day.

    Our CBD Google Ads Campaign Setup

    Each campaign required the following basic setup in order to get our Google Ads approved.

    Campaign 1: CBD Edibles
    • 1 Ad Group
    • 3 Ads
    • 15 approved keywords (short-tail and long-tail, hemp, and CBD based)
    • Up to 3-match-types for each keyword
    • 8 Callouts (Ad Extensions)
    • No Site Link Extensions
    • No Dynamic Search Ads
    • No Call Extensions
    • Media Spend: $100/day
    Campaign 2: CBD Oils
    • 1 Ad Group
    • 3 Ads
    • 25 approved keywords (short-tail and long-tail, hemp, and CBD based)
    • Up to 3-match-types for each keyword
    • 8 Callouts (Ad Extensions)
    • No Site Link Extensions
    • No Dynamic Search Ads
    • No Call Extensions
    • Media Spend: $100/day
    Campaign 3: THC Edibles
    • 1 Ad Group
    • 3 Ads
    • 10 approved keywords (short-tail and long-tail, hemp, and CBD based)
    • Up to 3-match-types for each keyword
    • 8 Callouts (Ad Extensions)
    • No Site Link Extensions
    • No Dynamic Search Ads
    • No Call Extensions
    • Media Spend: $100/day

    Our Results

    The data below shows stats for all three campaigns in total.

    You’ll see key performance indicators (KPIs) as well as the keywords that were used in this Google Ads campaign. You’ll also see KPIs for the website engagement from this CBD advertising campaign.

    We tracked 3 types of conversions in these campaigns:

    1. Newsletter Signups
    2. Account/Membership Signups
    3. Online Sales

    Summary of the Data Above

    Period: Aug 1 – Oct 31, 2019

    • Total Clicks: 11.2K
    • Average CPC: $1.76
    • Click-Through Rate: 7.4%
    • Impressions: 150.6K
    • Conversions (all three): 1.4k
    • Conversion Rate 12.2%
    • Cost Per Conversion/CPA: $12.76
    • E-commerce Conversion Rate/Sales: 2.09%
    • Total Cost: $17.5k

    We Can Help You With Strategic Google Ads Management

    Are you interested in running Google Ads to increase website traffic and online sales for your CBD products?

    We can help you with Google Ads Campaign Management specifically for your focus products and targeted to your specific demographic.

    Call us for a free 30-minute consult to discuss your project, or email us to request a quote.

    We’re Ready To Help You Grow!

    How We Lowered CPA by 47% in 30-Days
    Selling CBD & THC Edibles Online in the USA

    How We Increased Online Transactions For a
    CBD Dispensary by 242% in Only 30-Days!

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