Is a Google My Business listing really that critical to dispensary SEO? This is one of the questions we get most often from dispensary owners or marketing managers. With social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and TikTok, many dispensaries view Google My Business as “just another” online platform to manage.
However for savvy marketers, Google My Business is actually one of the secrets to successful dispensary SEO. In this guide, we’ll reveal the key benefits that set high-ranking dispensaries apart from their lower-ranking competitors.
Google My Business and Local SEO
When Google was created, the search results were universal. In other words, someone from New York would see similar results to someone in the middle of Kansas.
As more and more people turned to the internet to find goods and services, Google engineers realized that up to 46% of searches have local intent, according to Search Engine Roundtable. This is especially true when it comes to queries made on mobile devices.
How Does This Affect Search Results?
Every year, Google releases algorithm updates. Sometimes these are minor tweaks to the existing algorithm. Other times, however, these updates send shockwaves through the entire platform.
With each update throughout the years, Google has prioritized local search signals more and more – which means local rankings are essential for your business.
In establishing any Google My Business listing, the following components must be added:
- Your business name and type (i.e. “cannabis store”)
- Your business address (multiple locations requires separate listings)
- Contact information
- Operating Hours
- Customer Reviews
Though these elements seem like an obvious need for someone searching for your services locally, each component of a Google My Business listing can help with your local SEO rankings.
Benefit #1: Your Dispensary Is Included in Google Map Searches
How often have you taken out your smartphone and looked for nearby restaurants, gas stations, or grocery stores on Google Maps?
In the same fashion, your customers are now also searching for dispensaries on Google Maps as well.
Because Google My Business includes your dispensary’s address, which must be verified before the listing is published, Google utilizes that information to determine who ranks in Google Maps searches. In doing so, Google provides the searcher with the top dispensaries near the user’s location.
Even on desktops and laptops, Google will sometimes show the “map pack” in its results. These are the top suggested GMB (Google My Business) listings that searchers will see first.
If users are looking for a local dispensary, they’re more likely to click on the map pack, since it is easiest to access and shows pertinent information such as location, reviews, and hours of operation all in one place.
Benefit #2: Establishing Trust with Potential Clients
To ensure quality control, Google requires businesses to go through multiple screening processes before their GMB listing is published.
This includes a verification process, where a postcard with a 6 digit number is mailed to the physical address of your dispensary. This verification code must then be input into the backend of your GMB profile for your listing to go live.
The verification process is just one of the many processes Google enacts to verify that legitimate businesses (not scammers) are appearing on their results pages.
Thanks to Google’s high level of quality control, most users have inherent trust and confidence in the results that Google provides.
In other words, if your business can pop up in a local search query, then your business will have established a level of innate trust from potential customers simply because Google has “recommended” you in their listings.
Benefit #3: Customer Reviews Boost Appeal
Consumers LOVE online reviews. It establishes trust and shows the customer what real people are saying about your products and services.
Chances are you’ve also Googled a product or service’s reviews extensively before making the purchase – many times!
A Google My Business listing provides prospective customers with a visual representation of the reviews through golden stars, just like Amazon. You can easily see the number of times a business has been reviewed as well as the average rating given by real visitors.
As long as your dispensary is offering quality products at reasonable prices, and customer service is on point, then you’ll enjoy positive reviews and thus a higher overall rating in local search results.
Benefit #4: A GMB Listing Increases Sales and Boosts Your Website Traffic
Your Google My Business listing is a 2-in-1 platform that’s completely free. On one hand, it is a solid marketing tool, and on the other, it’s a modern-day phone book ad providing customers with everything they need to find and contact you.
Google My Business also provides a clear link to your dispensary’s website, allowing more customers to easily view your products and place orders online. According to Google, businesses that appear in local online searches are 70% more likely to attract in-person customers as well.
Having the reviews alongside the dispensary information also helps build immediate trust, so that potential customers are confident in visiting your business.
Benefit #5: GMB Listings Differentiate Your Business From Competitors
As mentioned above, many dispensaries view Google My Business as “just another” social platform to handle.
When utilized appropriately however, Google My Business is one of the strongest keys to truly standing out from your competitors.
This is because your Google My Business listing is a true snapshot of everything your business has to offer.
It’s not only a means to provide basic information about your business, it’s a means to perpetuate your brand and your company voice (through GMB posts and FAQ, for example).
Google My Business is Just One Component of Dispensary SEO
As important as Google My Business is to ranking high in local search results, it’s definitely not the only factor that Google considers.
At Green Zen Marketing, we specialize in dispensary marketing and we assist cannabis businesses like yours to leverage all of the ranking factors that will improve SEO. We help to drive online traffic to your business, establishing your online presence well into the future.
Not sure how you’re ranking locally? We’ve got you covered! Schedule your free SEO audit with us today.