Marijuana Marketing: SEO Guide for Dispensaries
Let’s face it… Right now is a gold-rush and many small business owners and entrepreneurs are starting dispensaries in the now 10 states that have legalized marijuana.
But that means that competition is tight! So how can you make your dispensary stand out from the crowd?
Search Engine Optimization is a tried and true way to gain more visitors to both your website and your store.
It is one of the greatest long-term investments you can make for your dispensary business… Especially right now while the market is still new and there isn’t a ton of competition online.
In the article, I am going to show you a few great techniques to grow your dispensaries traffic in as little as a few weeks with no money.
Medical Marijuana Marketing
The key to ranking higher in Google and other search engines is a handful of techniques that make up SEO as a whole. Marijuana marketing consists of 4 key pieces that will help your site rank better:
- Local SEO: Local SEO is the methodology of increasing your website rank in your businesses local area. For example when someone searches ‘Dispensaries near me’ in Colorado… you will show up.
- Content: The key to ranking good in the search engines is having great content that users engage with and share. This creates high-quality backlinks, boosting your website to the top!
- Link Building: As mentioned before, having quality relevant links pointing to your site will increase its position in all of the search engines.
- On-Page SEO: Making sure that your site complies with the latest SEO coding conventions is just as important as any other SEO technique.
Marijuana SEO for Dispensaries
To get even more specific, here are the techniques that you should use to gain better rankings in google for your dispensary and how to implement them on your website.
Having your dispensaries website be coded correctly for SEO is just as important as any of the methods above. In order for Google to know what your website is about, there are a handful of things you need to optimize on your page.
Headings are HTML tags that Google uses to decipher what your content/website is about. Heading tags are used to explain sections of content and are numbered of importance.
Having a single h1 tag and supporting h2, h3, h4 tags on every page of your website will help grow your dispensary website traffic. These headings should explain your content and feature keywords like ‘City, State Dispensary’ and all your other keywords, like your business name and products.
Google is really good at reading and deciphering text but its not so great at deciphering images. That is why using alt tags is really important for marijuana marketing. Add your keywords to your images so that Google knows what they are about and will even index them in Google images, giving you another source of traffic.
Google has now confirmed that having a secure (HTTPS) website has a small advantage when it comes to ranking in the search engines. So make sure that your dispensaries website has a proper SSL certificate and is all HTTPS secured.
This one may surprise you but having a responsive website is an important on-page SEO factor. Google now uses user navigation data to rate how good a websites user experience is. That means that if people often come to your website and instantly leave, you will get dinged in Google and probably not rank well.
Having a website that works on any device will help keep visitors on your site and taking actions. Search engines will notice this and rank you higher because they see that visitors enjoy your site over your competition.
Having a super fast website can help rank your dispensary higher in search engines. Your website should not exceed about 4-5 seconds in load time.
Check your websites load time using the Pingdom Speed Test tool and see if you need to do some speed optimizing.
Some ways to speed up your website are:
- Use Caching
- Optimize images as png or gif
- Have a good server
Once your website is blazing, you will see some good increases in your rankings. Next is to work on the off-page elements of marijuana marketing.
Local SEO for Dispensaries
Local SEO is the methodology for increasing your website rank in your businesses local area. This will increase your rankings in your businesses geographical area. For dispensaries, this is one of the most important aspects of gaining more customers.
Since marijuana is only legal in 10 states, it’s very likely that someone searching for dispensaries in their area is in one of these states.
So how do you implement local SEO for your dispensary?
There are a few methods to gain some edge on your competitors in the search engines:
Google My Business
Adding your dispensary to Google My Business is the #1 thing you should do to increase your online presence. This allows your dispensary to have its own Google Place page where visitors can rate, navigate to, and see photos online.
To add your dispensary to Google My Business, simply go to the link provided and add your business name, address, phone, website and photos of your store. Once you save it, Google will send a postcard to the business address provided with a special code to confirm the location. This usually takes 1-2 weeks.
Once your Google My Business is confirmed, you can start building NAP citations.
NAP stands for Name, Address, Phone. These are simple citations that you get by being listed in sites like Yellow Pages, MapQuest, SuperPages, etc. Submitting your NAP to as many as these directories as possible will help Google figure out your dispensaries location, phone, website, etc.
It is important to remember that your NAP citations should be the same and consistent all across the web.
Adding structured data to your website tells Google (in its own language) who you are, where your located and how to contact you. This is just a small piece of code that you can easily generate using a structured data generator. Add it to the footer of your website and make sure it matches all your NAP citations.
Marijuana Content Marketing
Marijuana marketing would not be possible without having great content on your site. When people search for Google, they are searching for an answer to a question. If you have content that answers their question, you have their attention and can sell your product. A great example is an article you are reading right now. You most likely found it online looking for how to marketing your marijuana dispensary and now that I have your attention, I can tell you about our Marijuana SEO Services.
Content can be in many forms as long as it engages the user and is share-able. Here are some common content ideas for marijuana marketing:
- Marijuana Legalization Infographic
- In-Depth Guide about anything Marijuana
- A podcast
- Polls or Quizzes
- A Marijuana Resource Page
These are just a few examples but remember to create content that people want to link to and share.
Quality Link Building
You can think of the search engines as a voting booth and the websites with the most votes will be #1… but instead of votes, its backlinks (good ones).
Building relevant (marijuana-related) links to your site will ultimately rank you higher in the search engines for the keywords on your page.
Getting powerful backlinks is no easy task though! It starts with having a quality piece of content to link to as we mentioned before.
Once you have a high-quality piece of content, there plenty of ways to build good backlinks to it:
- Post a link on a marijuana forum
- Ask a friend to share it on their marijuana website
- Share it on your dispensaries social media
- Reach out to other dispensaries and ask to link to your great marijuana content
- Create a blog on Medium and share your content there
These methods often take some time but are the most effective when it comes to building backlinks to your dispensaries website.
Simply implement the Marijuana marketing methods mentioned above and you will see a large increase in traffic to your dispensary website. Using On-Page SEO, Local SEO, Content and Link Building, you can burn passed all your competitors and grow your revenue as a result.
If you want to get optimal traffic gains to your dispensary website and store then check out our Professional Marijuana SEO packages which allow you to sit back, while we increase your traffic and customers. We offer a 100% money-back guarantee and are sure you will love the results.
Tyler Horvath is a serial entrepreneur, digital marketing expert and King of Search Engine Optimization, with over 15 years experience building traffic online.