Despite its rapid growth, the marijuana industry is still relatively censored. Dispensary owners are not allowed to use paid ads, and this makes online promotion complicated. To attract cannabis enthusiasts from your area, use targeted SEO. Gain visibility without advertising to boost brand awareness and sales at your e-store and physical location.
Local search optimization is an excellent strategy for any small enterprise that serves a particular geographic area. Dispensaries that use cannabis local SEO receive good rankings and traffic, while visibility on Google Maps brings visitors to their brick-and-mortar outlets. Here are the best ways to promote your company in the areas you serve.
The Fundamentals of Localized Approach
When users need any product, be it marijuana, CBD or paraphernalia, they turn to search engines and enter specific queries. For example, they may type in “buy CBD gummies Denver.” This will bring a list of cannabis stores in the city.
With targeted strategies, you get targeted traffic. The main differences from the general approach include the focus on specific locations and the promotion of brick-and-mortar dispensaries. Your website is optimized for searches that include details like state, city and zip code. Your brand will also show up in the “near me” searches. Here are five effective strategies.
- Develop a Mobile-Friendly Website
Modern consumers prefer browsing the web and searching for goods and services from their mobile devices. This means your dispensary site must accommodate smaller screens, too. Over half of all web traffic in the world comes from tablets and smartphones.
Going mobile brings different benefits. First, visitors can navigate your site with ease. Secondly, they can easily contact you using clickable phone or email buttons. Thirdly, they can share your content with a couple of taps. Last but not least, your website will rise in organic search as Google prioritizes mobile convenience.
Mobile optimization concerns several technical aspects. Your online dispensary must adapt to smaller screens automatically. The content layout must also accommodate mobile use, which means you should simplify each page for easy reading and navigation. Note that graphic elements like videos and images can be heavy, so avoid slowing down your site. Flash can affect the loading speed dramatically.
2. Make the Most of On-Site Elements
This facet of optimization concerns the elements of your website. The goal is to boost rankings by helping crawlers interpret your pages and helping users understand what they are about.
Unique content is your starting point. It must be tailored to a specific location. For example, if your dispensary serves two cities, you should create a separate page for each.
The local focus shifts the priorities, as keyword placement is less important than in-depth knowledge of the target audience, its preferences and expectations. Companies must create user-friendly pages with 100 percent original, relevant, well-researched and trustworthy content that addresses their customers’ needs.
Finally, take advantage of geo-targeting techniques. Include specific keywords in different elements of your site: content, URL, title tags, meta descriptions and headers.
3. Optimize for GMB
The “Google My Business” platform allows you to decide how your dispensary will appear in search results and on maps. It is easy to create or claim a listing, and the tool is absolutely free. You can manage your profile in one place.
Pay attention to every element — the address and contact information, URL, description and images. Upload attractive photos of the interior of your store, popular products and the team. Include as much information as possible to help prospects learn about your small dispensary.
Encourage satisfied customers to post reviews to boost credibility and trust. GMB data is shown across Google services, including Maps. This makes it crucial for visibility in the area, as users can see your dispensary on the map.
4. Consistency of Contact Details
Make sure key information looks the same on your website, social media, GMB profile, other listings and anywhere else on the web. Accuracy and consistency are paramount for increasing local search rankings. Follow these rules:
- Add a name, address and phone number as crawlable HTML text on your website, so Google and other search engines can instantly find relevant details.
- Do not put these details on an image, as it will be crawled in a different (and less beneficial) way.
- Include them in the header or footer of your website.
- Double-check every word and figure to make sure there are no typos or mistakes.
- Avoid duplicate listings.
- Make sure your address and phone number have the same format across the web.
5. Engage on Social Media
Social media networks prohibit the advertising of cannabis and any related products or services. However, you can still create an attractive profile and fill it with attractive educational content. Instagram and Pinterest also let you share images of marijuana-themed products, provided they do not contain links to your e-store.
Social media lets you interact with customers directly, respond to their queries, and resolve any complaints that could result in negative feedback. Google also uses social signals to rank pages, so if your content gets shared on social media, you get more exposure, traffic and sales.