If you’re looking to give your dispensary marketing strategy a digital boost, SEO is your ticket.
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. This is the process of making your website search-engine-friendly so that it ranks higher on search engines – mainly on Google.
While the exact specifics of the algorithm are secret, Google has revealed several factors that all businesses can take advantage of, dispensaries included.
Here’s a beginner’s crash course in SEO, showing how SEO can greatly boost your sales and online presence.
Why Does Dispensary SEO Matter?
Question: what’s the first thing you do when you’re looking for a nearby restaurant? You Google it, of course! You might search for something like “Italian restaurant near me” or “Chinese restaurant near me”.
Understandably, customers looking for a dispensary do the exact same thing.
Here’s where things get dicey, though. Most users never go past the first page of Google, and some may never even scroll all the way down on the page to see all of the first page results. Yikes!
This means that if you’re not ranking on the first page of Google, you’re missing out on a lot of “free” business. Even if you’re on the first page, most users gravitate towards the top three to four search results only.
Ranking your cannabis business highly on Google will help you:
- Attract tourists who are looking for a trustworthy dispensary to visit
- Build a loyal customer base among local users
- Grow your business and website rankings through organic search traffic
- Provide value to your local community, including both recreational and medicinal users
SEO is different from other marketing efforts because the target audience isn’t “cold”. A billboard, for example, can certainly reach your target market, but you will also be spending money reaching people who will never visit any dispensary in their lifetime.
Investing in SEO, on the other hand, puts you in front of people who are extremely likely to become customers. It can also be a permanent means to drive traffic to both your website and your business.
How do we know this?
Search terms such as “best dispensary near me” suggest a high user intent to spend money, as they are finding a reliable pot shop to do business with!
Dispensary marketing is always evolving, but local SEO will be a cornerstone for any business’s marketing plan. Finding any product or business we need is just one search away, these days.
There are already countless people searching for local pot shops and your business. If you’re not making an effort to appeal to these organic users online, then each of them are going straight to your competitors, who are ranking higher on Google.
Local Dispensary SEO Factors that You Can Control
While we can’t “force” Google to rank you on the first page, the company is very clear as to the ranking signals that it prioritizes. By focusing on these factors, you’re giving your business a leg-up against competitors whose dispensary marketing plan doesn’t include local SEO.
So, how exactly can you improve your rankings? Here’s a few tips:
Build quality, inbound links to your website.
An inbound link is when another website (domain) links to your website. Inbound links are like a “kudos” from one website to another, letting Google know that you are a legitimate and reliable website and business.
Inbound links serve as a recommendation or a “vote” of confidence. Webmasters (website owners) will also want to link only to other credible businesses or websites.
Google realizes this. Therefore, they count inbound links as a positive ranking factor. The more links that point to pages your website, the more “votes” your dispensary has against other competitors.
However, it’s important not to get links from any old source you find on the web. Google also investigates the quality of the websites linking to your dispensary. You’ll want to focus on only high-quality content and backlinks that point back to your business.
Optimize your Google My Business listing.
Have you ever wondered how Google knows what information to display in the “map pack”? These are the first few businesses that pop up in Google search when a business type is searched.
Google My Business listings are free, and they let the worldwide web know key pieces of information about your business. (Hours of operation, address, phone number, your website link, and more.)
There’s a specific way to strategically optimize GMB so that Google is more likely to prioritize your dispensary over others. It’s also important that your GMB listing is up-to-date. For example, do you have different hours of operation due to the pandemic or local orders?
You’ll want to make sure you’re updating this information. If users have a bad experience because of outdated information, then Google will eventually begin penalizing your ranking if any bad reviews come through.
Build positive reviews, especially on Google My Business.
Potential customers aren’t the only ones that trust user reviews. Google also pays attention to what people are saying and how they rate your dispensary online.
However, Google doesn’t want a bunch of fake, vague reviews. They want reviews that add value to users who are looking for a local dispensary they can trust.
It’s important to know what users are searching for (keywords), so that you can optimize your reviews for the user experience as well as Google.
And this is just the tip of the iceberg!
One of the challenges with dispensary SEO is that Google’s algorithm is always changing. So how do you know what to prioritize and what to focus on? Where does your business stand as far as SEO, and how can you make sure your Google My Business is correctly optimized to rank higher on Google?
This is where it’s important to find a reputable, trustworthy dispensary marketing company that knows the cannabis industry well.
Local Dispensary Marketing with a Focus on SEO
At Green Zen Marketing, we specialize in local SEO for dispensaries. We’re familiar with the unique challenges that dispensaries face in terms of marketing, legality, and online support.
We specialize in helping dispensaries improve their standing in Google Maps by focusing on the factors that impact local SEO. We’ll create a strategy that is unique for you and your situation. Best of all, we’ll provide reporting and follow up so that you know exactly how your campaign is paying off.
If you’re not sure how your dispensary is currently ranking as far as SEO, not to worry. We offer free SEO audits to show you what you are currently ranking for and where there is the most opportunity for improvement. Request your free strategy consultation with us today!