Local SEO for Cannabis Dispensaries

Local SEO

Local SEO (search engine optimization) is crucial to understand because it reflects what your nearby consumers want. The people in your area are on their smart devices right now searching for a wide array of goods and services. You need to interact with them on their turf, and brushing up on your local SEO savviness will help.

Driving cyber traffic to your dispensary can be difficult, but we can help. Contact GrowthMJ online or call (310) 577-0000 to learn about our services and put yourself at the top of the hometown heap when it comes to search engine optimization. 

Success Stories

Diversify and Localize

You have a wide array of products to offer your community, so how do you marry the supply with the demand? Let’s take those two elements one by one so that we learn how to walk before we run.

Take stock of your supply. What products stand out as top sellers? Identify your big ticket items and don’t be shy about showing them off. For example, hire a photographer (or a talented friend) to photograph your flower, tincture, and edible options to display high-resolution pics on your site. Maybe you could even feature your cityscape in the background as a cameo appearance! Be sure to label your products accurately, including descriptive, enticing blurbs that will not only grab visitors’ attention, but also rank well on search engines.

But it’s not enough to design a great website; you need to set the scene. Tout your local bona fides. Include your location in the product description so that your neighbors can find what they’re looking for. For example, instead of just listing “vape cartridges” as a clickable menus item, incorporate the name of your town into the copy.

The Human Touch

Before you rush ahead and slap a location on all of your product listings, take a step back. Does your language sound natural, approachable and… well, human? After all, you hire customer service representatives who will connect with guests in a friendly manner, so your website should do the same. In other words, don’t just say “cannabis gummies in Denver” – that’s awkward. Instead, make it flow, like you’re having a conversation with your website audience. Here’s a sample of what we mean:

No trip to Denver would be complete without tasting the good life, courtesy of these raspberry cannabis gummies. The Mile High City is about to be the Smile High City!

In the text above, you managed to sell your products in a fun, approachable voice. You hit some important SEO benchmarks by including the name of your city as well as its most famous nickname. The copy also highlighted the flavor of your gummies, which is the ‘berry’ delicious icing on your SEO cake.

You want to be diverse of thought yet focused in scope. Let people know where you’re coming from… literally. Showcase your hometown organically, and dovetail your local SEO language with product descriptions and photos.

Keywords Are Key

You may have honed your personal palate for the various cannabis products on your menu, but what is your demographic craving? As you design and flesh out the text on your website, it is important to do some local research to see what is currently dominating the queries in your area.

For example, if “brownies” is ten times more often searched than “cookies,” you want to tailor your site (and your supply) to the local interests. Do a quick exercise by plugging in some sample phrases into this free keyword generator app and see what emerges. When we entered “cannabis” into the submission field, this is the result:

Keywords SEO

Aurora is a surprisingly popular keyword, which will factor heavily into your website strategy, especially if your dispensary is located in Aurora, Colorado. To navigate the uncertainties and opportunities of keyword planning, contact the experts for some assistance. 

Don’t Cannibalize Your Cannabis

You want to rank for searches in your area related to the cannabis items on your shelf. Great – we’re on the same (web) page! But speaking of pages, you don’t want your various tabs and subheadings to compete with one another. Keyword cannibalization is real, and it can be real scary.[1]

Instead of creating several limited, redundant web pages that compete with one another, you want to galvanize your SEO prowess. The goal is to rank one the first page of Google’s results for cannabis in your region, so begin by creating the most comprehensive piece possible that highlights your expertise.

Position yourself as a regional leader and have the confidence to be an authority on cannabis sales without being obnoxious.

For example, create a compelling menu that showcases your many pre-rolls and weed accessories. Instead of separating these items, combine them for now. You can get into specialization and differentiation after you assert your position at the top of your local SEO field.

Creating several thin, inconsequential pages will detract from your ultimate goal: to attract customers. People in your area searching for either pre-rolls or accessories should be ushered to one central place. From there, they can branch out by clicking the item of their preference.

Don’t cannibalize your audience before you even identify them. Cannabis dispensary SEO should be an extension of your inclusive, welcoming philosophy toward the weed industry.

Localize Your Mind

Cannabis laws are changing by the day. Legalization is sweeping the nation, but the United States is a patchwork quilt of regulations when it comes to weed sales and usage. It is imperative to understand your local laws in order to properly serve your customers. That sense of responsibility also spills over from your everyday business dealings to your online presence. 

As you craft your SEO strategy, you must keep legalization status at the top of your mind. If your area only allows cannabis for medicinal use, for instance, then you do not want to waste valuable resources marketing to recreational users.[2] 

Dispensary SEO

The issue of medicinal cannabis vs. recreational use becomes a dynamic of macro vs. micro. You may be a small local seller, but you are often marketing brands that appeal to a wider audience. When you advertise a certain product to your local market, the keywords may clash. For example, cannabis is only legal for medicinal use in Mississippi. You don’t want to design a youth-oriented campaign for the casual cannabis user in Biloxi, only to have your efforts penalized by the search engine overlords.

Respect your local ordinances and speak to your audience accordingly. If you need help maneuvering the ever evolving landscape of weed legalization, you can always call us at (310) 577-0000.

In the meantime, check out our blog for more insights and information about cannabis marketing.

Don’t Make Things (Too) Difficult for Yourself

You are ambitious. We love that about you! But don’t bite off more than you can chew (unless it’s a particularly yummy gummy we’re talking about, in which case – dig in!). When you have decided which terms you want to prioritize on your site, take a moment to consider how difficult they are.

Let’s define our terms. Keyword difficulty is a measure of how attainable your search phrases of choice may be.[3] If, for example, you specialize in topical products, you want to make sure you rank for those items in your local market. But not all cannabis creams are created equal. Run your menu of products through a keyword difficulty checker to see how competitive each term may be. Perhaps “cannabis bath bombs” ranks 75 out of 100, but “cannabis body lotion” is only 25 out of 100 on the difficulty scale. You can focus your local SEO initiatives around triumphing in body lotion searches. Once you have attracted visitors to your site, you can sell the bath bombs as a complementary product.

Best Intentions

Say what you mean and mean what you say. That’s marketing 101. If you are designing a site filled with random words like “tincture” and “flower”, you may attract an audience searching for old-timey vials or floral products. Semantic search optimization ensures that you are driving quality traffic to your site.

Celebrate your consumers’ intent and Google will reward you with coveted web traffic.

Google measures their users’ intent when they rank websites. If you flesh out your page to reflect your customers’ cravings, then your site will move up the Google charts. For instance, include descriptive passages about “cannabis tinctures” and “smokable flowers” to distinguish yourself from random pages about irrelevant topics.

FAQ

How do I rank on the first page of Google’s search results for dispensaries in my city?

The key to dominating Google’s rankings is to build a website worth finding. Contact GrowthMJ and let us structure a site that really pops on search engines. Local SEO is one of our specialties, and you should spend your valuable time focusing on your love of high-quality cannabis.

References 

  1. Search Engine Journal blog. (2020). How to Identify & Eliminate Keyword Cannibalization to Boost Your SEO, retrieved from: https://www.searchenginejournal.com/on-page-seo/keyword-cannibalization/ 
  2. Mannix, O. (2019). Marketing Cannabis Within the Confines of ‘Recreational’ and ‘Medical’ for Ad Week, retrieved from: https://www.adweek.com/brand-marketing/marketing-cannabis-within-the-confines-of-recreational-and-medical/ 
  3. Search Engine Journal blog. (2020). How to Rank Cannabis Content: An SEO Deep Dive, retrieved from: https://www.searchenginejournal.com/ranking-cannabis-content/311143/