What is Dispensary SEO?
SEO is an acronym that stands for search engine optimization. Dispensary SEO is the process of optimizing a dispensary’s website so it appears near the top of search engines making it easy for users to find the website.
Why do I need SEO for my dispensary?
SEO is a powerful and affordable way to increase the online visibility of your marijuana dispensary. The goal of SEO is to increase the rankings of your website on search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo.
In general, the higher you rank in search engines, the more traffic you will get to your website.
Search engines are the primary way in which people find dispensaries. If you are not visible in search engines, then your customers won’t find you.
SEO enables your dispensary to be found by people searching for you. Improving your search visibility will drive more paying customers into your dispensary.
Below are seven tips highlighting where you should spend your time if you want to improve your SEO and organically boost your dispensary’s website in search engine results.
1. Claim Your Business On Google (Local SEO)
Google’s “Google My Business” listing is a snippet of the most useful information about your business. It features your photos, website, address, phone number, and more. Make sure you add these. Your dispensary’s full business listing will show up in Google’s search results when people search for your brand.
A partial listing of your business may show up in Google’s local listings for people who search for dispensaries near you.
Claiming your Google My Business listing will greatly improve your local dispensary SEO.
It is important to make your business information as accurate and as descriptive as possible.
2. Add A Native E-Commerce Menu To Your Website
The most common website menu solutions in the cannabis industry are embedded iframe menus. However, dispensaries that use iframe menus suffer from many SEO limitations because search engines can not discover the content within an iframe on their website. This means that the important menu pages cannot appear in search results on Google and making it difficult for users to find these dispensaries’ websites.
Adding an SEO-optimized native e-commerce menu to a dispensary website can significantly improve the website’s SEO performance in a very short period of time.
This is so effective because it adds hundreds (sometimes thousands) of new e-commerce pages that can appear in search engine results for product names, product categories, and cannabis brand search terms.
We’ve seen dispensaries increase their organic search traffic by over 70% in the first 30 days after implementing SEO-friendly native e-commerce software like Spark Menus. Spark Menus is an affordable solution that is available to all dispensaries using Dutchie.
3. Claim Business Listings In Local Directories & Industry Directories
Whether you are a medical dispensary or a recreational dispensary, it’s important to claim all possible business listings. Google crawls and analyzes these listings which send cues to their algorithm about your location and business type. That is why it is very important to maintain a consistent NAP (name, address, and phone number) across all directories and your website.
4. Optimize On-Page Content For Localized Dispensary Keywords
Write keyword-optimized title tags for each page.
At the very least, make sure to include “Cannabis Dispensary”, your location, and the name of your dispensary in your home page title tag.
Also, be sure to write a click-through-rate optimized meta description. This is your chance to entice a searcher to click on your title tag. Tell them what they will learn or gain from visiting your website. End with a call-to-action that tells the user to visit your site.
Your H1 heading should target the same keywords as your title tag. When a user clicks on a title tag they expect to see a similar headline. This reassures the user they are in the right place.
Add alt-text to your images. Search engines cannot see images on your website. Alt-text gives you the opportunity to tell search engines what your images are. Be as descriptive as possible when writing alt-text. This opens the opportunity for you to rank in image searches as well. Want to learn more about image SEO? Check out Moz’s tips on how to optimize your images for search engines.
Lastly, you need to support your keyword targets with valuable, informational or entertaining content. You need to provide an experience on your website that keeps users engaged. The longer users stay on your site the more search engines will view you as a valuable source of information. And if your content truly is valuable, people will share it!
Plus, creating shareable content will increase the amount of organic inbound links pointing to your site. Backlinks are a major ranking factor for your dispensary’s SEO success.
5. Get more reviews from happy customers on your Google Business Profile
Getting more reviews on Google is crucial for a cannabis dispensary to build credibility and attract potential customers. Here are some strategies to encourage customers to leave reviews:
- Provide exceptional customer service: Delivering an outstanding customer experience is key to earning positive reviews. Train your staff to be knowledgeable, friendly, and helpful, ensuring that customers feel valued and satisfied with their visit to your dispensary.
- Ask for reviews: Don’t be afraid to ask satisfied customers to leave a review. After a successful transaction or positive interaction, kindly request that they share their experience on Google. You can mention it in person, print a reminder on receipts, or include a note in follow-up emails or newsletters.
- Simplify the review process: Make it easy for customers to leave reviews by providing clear instructions. Create a direct link or QR code that leads them directly to your Google My Business listing, where they can easily submit their review.
- Offer incentives: Consider running a promotion where customers who leave a review receive a small discount on their next purchase or are entered into a raffle for a chance to win a prize. However, ensure that you adhere to Google’s review policies and avoid offering incentives solely in exchange for positive reviews.
- Engage with existing reviews: Respond promptly and professionally to both positive and negative reviews. Express your gratitude for positive feedback and address any concerns raised in negative reviews. This demonstrates your commitment to customer satisfaction and encourages others to share their experiences.
- Leverage social media and email marketing: Utilize your social media channels and email newsletters to remind your followers and customers to leave reviews on Google. Include direct links and a call-to-action to make it easy for them to navigate to your review page.
- Provide review reminders in-store: Display signs or posters in your dispensary that encourage customers to leave reviews. Include a QR code or a shortened URL that leads them directly to your Google review page.
Remember, it’s essential to maintain authenticity and integrity in your review acquisition efforts. Encourage genuine feedback and avoid any practices that violate Google’s policies. Focus on providing exceptional service and value to your customers, and positive reviews will naturally follow.
6. Discover and fix technical SEO issues that prevent you from appearing in search engine results
To ensure there are no technical SEO issues preventing Google from indexing your cannabis dispensary website, follow these steps:
- Use Google Search Console: Set up your website in Google Search Console, a free tool provided by Google. It allows you to monitor your site’s performance, identify indexing issues, and receive notifications if any problems arise.
- Check robots.txt file: Make sure your website’s robots.txt file is properly configured to allow search engines to crawl and index your site. Ensure that important pages and directories are not blocked by disallowing access.
- XML sitemap: Create an XML sitemap that includes all the pages you want Google to index. Submit this sitemap to Google Search Console to help search engines understand the structure of your website and crawl it more effectively.
- Check for “no-index” tags in the code of your web pages that might be preventing Google from indexing your website in their search results. Sometimes website developers forget to remove this tag when they publish a website. If this code is still added to important pages on your website, ask your developers to remove it.
- Check for crawl errors: Regularly monitor Google Search Console for crawl errors. These errors may indicate issues that prevent search engines from accessing and indexing certain pages. Resolve any crawl errors promptly to ensure proper indexing.
- Check for duplicate content: Duplicate content can confuse search engines and hinder indexing. Use tools like Copyscape or Siteliner to identify any duplicate content on your site and take necessary actions to make it unique.
- Ensure proper URL structure: Use descriptive and SEO-friendly URLs that clearly indicate the content of each page. Avoid using dynamic parameters and instead opt for static, keyword-rich URLs.
- Optimize page load speed: Page speed is an important ranking factor. Optimize your website’s performance by minimizing file sizes, leveraging browser caching, and using a content delivery network (CDN) if necessary. Google’s PageSpeed Insights tool can help you identify and resolve speed-related issues.
- Fix broken links: Broken links not only create a poor user experience but can also hinder indexing. Regularly check for broken links on your website and fix them using tools like Google Search Console or third-party link-checking tools.
- Use canonical tags: If you have similar or duplicate content across multiple pages, use canonical tags to indicate the preferred version to search engines. This helps consolidate ranking signals and prevent indexing issues caused by duplicate content.
- Mobile-friendliness: Ensure your website is mobile-friendly and provides a seamless experience across different devices. Use responsive design, optimize images for mobile, and test your site on various devices and screen sizes.
- SSL certificate: Secure your website with an SSL certificate to establish a secure connection between your server and users’ browsers. Search engines prefer a secure website and can positively impact indexing and rankings.
Regularly monitoring your website’s performance, addressing any technical SEO issues promptly, and staying updated with the latest best practices will help ensure that there are no technical barriers preventing Google from indexing your cannabis dispensary website.
7. Optimize Your Dispensary’s Website for Mobile Usability
Google uses mobile-first indexing. That means their website crawlers are analyzing the mobile responsiveness of your website before they consider how your website looks on a desktop computer.
This is very important for dispensaries because most searches for dispensary-related keywords come from mobile devices. If your website does not have a fast and clean mobile experience, users will bounce off your site quickly. This sends signals to Google that you have a bad user experience and Google wants to promote what is best for the user. If you cannot provide the optimal experience, your rankings will drop.
Dispensary SEO Summary
If you want to drive more customers to your marijuana dispensary, people need to be able to find you on search engines. After they find you, you need to delight them with a seamless website experience and convince them to visit your location. These four simple tips will help you reach those goals.
Once those customers arrive at your door, it’s up to the budtenders. Providing an amazing in-store experience will help you retain the customers you’ve attracted from SEO.
Interested in learning more about dispensary SEO? Let’s chat.