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SEO for pipes, glass, CBD, vape, alcohol, FFL, and tactical items –

As an A+ rated, BBB Accredited high-risk payment gateway resource since 2002, Tasker Payment Gateways LLC has learned a lot about how successful websites market regulated products. The most common marketing method high-risk e-commerce website owners use is search engine optimization, often referred to as SEO.

As a website owner selling regulated items, you know that making your website easily accessible to your customers can make or break your business. SEO is the bread and butter for high-risk e-commerce marketing, and doing it right is crucial for online businesses like FFL, vape, tactical, CBD, premium cigar, and pipe and glassware sellers.

We want to stress SEO because many other marketing avenues are cut off for high-risk online businesses. There are restrictions on popular options like social media ads and pay-per-click (PPC). Google Ads and Bing Ads campaigns are inaccessible to most sites that sell high-risk products, thereby cutting off one of the most popular e-commerce marketing methods traditional online businesses use.

To help you along the way, below we outline some helpful tips that can help your SEO for high-risk sites.

Your high-risk e-commerce website may be what Google refers to as a YMYL site

If you’re unfamiliar with the term YMYL, it stands for “Your Money or Your Life.” It refers to sites that have the potential of negatively impacting “users’ happiness, health, financial stability, or safety.”

tasker payment gateways - YMYL - quote image - degree of scrutiny

What this means for you is that your site is very likely a YMYL site and needs to adhere to stricter standards if you’re going to rank highly for valuable terms. You’ll also need to make sure that the content on your site is well-substantiated and true. Beyond SEO, any e-commerce business owner looking to sell a YMYL product needs to sit with a qualified attorney first.

The words on your site must be clear and honest when selling any product online, but it’s especially true for YMYL and high-risk e-commerce sites.

Practical tips for meeting YMYL requirements to boost your high-risk site SEO

When improving your SEO to meet YMYL requirements, you want to make sure you address some clear criteria. These often refer to E-A-T, or Expertise, Authority, and Trustworthiness.

For this article, we’ll keep it brief and give you some quick, actionable bullet points you can make use of your high-risk e-commerce site.

Tip 1: Write long-form, informative content

Longer articles that are relevant, informative, and provide value can demonstrate your expertise through the information you provide.

Tip 2: When appropriate, display who wrote the article

If you have industry experts or others contributing content to your site, it’s helpful to make sure this is clearly marked with an about the author blurb at the end of the article.

Tip 3: Display third-party verifications and reviews establishing your authority in your field

Displaying reviews from TrustPilot, Facebook, etc., as well as a Better Business Bureau accreditation, can all help establish your business’ authority.

Tip 4: Provide core information pages about your business

Contact, about page, and privacy policy pages all lead to establishing the trustworthiness of your website.

Tip 5: Reference the claims you make

Link to reputable sources like clinical trials, lab testing results, legal authorities, the FDA, manufacturers white papers, or established industry trade organizations.

Ensure your visitors’ safety online

The tips we listed above are all content tips you can quickly implement and create for your site. However, there are also technical aspects you’ll want to make sure to put in place.

For example, SSL/HTTPS is now a must for all high-risk e-commerce sites. By and large, your hosting provider should offer this to you. However, you can also purchase enhanced SSLs for your site should you need to improve its security. HTTPS is now crucial because Google is actively discouraging people from visiting sites and deprioritizing sites without a secure HTTPS in their search engine. Considering that Google (and Google-owned properties) dominate the search engine market by almost 90 percent, staying on their good side is invaluable.

If you want to know more about YMYL or other important acronyms and abbreviations like E-A-T, and HTTPS for that matter, please check our other SEO articles below:

Content, keyword research, and addressing user intent

As a high-risk business owner, you know that being visible in search engines is only half the battle. What good is it to have thousands of visitors to your site if they don’t buy your products? This is an issue many businesses owners face, where you’re producing plenty of new content to keep your site fresh, publishing it on social media to spread the message, and getting the right traffic. But after all that, where are the customers? Why is there such a low conversion rate? Maybe you’re even experiencing a lot of people visiting your site only to leave it almost immediately (high bounce rate).

This often comes as a result of an unfortunate combination of creating the wrong content, or the wrong type of content focused on the wrong keywords- content that doesn’t address the intent of your ideal customer.

The foundation of good SEO is something called keyword research. Keyword research helps ensure that you’re working on competing for relevant keywords and terms that you’re likely to rank for.

The adverse effects of not doing keyword research can be:

  • You create high-quality content but use keywords that are extremely unlikely to be searched by your target audience (too difficult). The result is not showing up in search results.
  • You create many articles targeting keywords you’re likely to rank for – but they’re using keywords that expect different results. As a result, you’re not meeting user intent, and you get a high bounce rate, resulting in a lower search engine rating for these keywords in the long run.

As you can see, addressing user intent is crucial for high rankings in search engines, and the only way to start getting close to meeting search intent is through vigilant keyword research.

How to make the best of SEO for your high-risk site

As we quickly go through what you can do to make the best of your site’s SEO, we see that keyword research is an invaluable step in getting it done right. Not only that, we see that content plays a crucial role in establishing authority, expertise, and trust in your brand – and helps you retain and convert your visitors to customers.

We also see that third-party trust signals are instrumental, and substantiating your claims overall helps the experience of using your site. Doing the above will, without a doubt, aid your overall SEO efforts and ideally help your high-risk business grow.

Lastly, your website’s revenue depends on stable, affordable credit card processing when looking to accept payments online for regulated items like pipes, bongs, CBD, vape, alcohol, FFL, and tactical items. If you need a payment gateway or merchant account recommendations that integrate with Shopify, WooCommerce, BigCommerce, Wix, GoDaddy, Squarespace, or any other popular shopping cart, please reach out to the team at Tasker Payment Gateways LLC for fast, friendly advice.