Cannabis Dispensary SEO

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A Cannabis SEO Agency

We specialize only in working with cannabis companies.

Why?

Because with each passing day we get better and better at marketing for our clients. Unlike other agencies who work in 10 different industries from dog walkers to dental firms.

We ensure that we keep up to date will all Cannabis SEO strategies and more! Just like you wouldn’t go to a family doctor for brain surgery. Why would you go to a general SEO agency for cannabis SEO?

What is Dispensary SEO?

SEO is short for “search engine optimization,” an umbrella term for a wide range of optimizations that help your website rank higher in search engines like Google and Bing. High-ranking websites appear at the top of search engine results pages when users look up specific queries or keywords, such as “marijuana dispensaries near me” or “benefits of edibles vs. vapes.”

The closer your website is to the top, the more visitors — or website traffic — it will attract. In marketing lingo, we call this organic traffic because visitors land on your site through organic search results, unlike paid visitors who discover you via paid Google ads.

So, good cannabis SEO leads to a higher visitor count, which in turn translates into increased brand awareness, more new customers, more purchases, and higher revenue.

Why do Marijuana Businesses Need SEO?

Just as if you went to Google to look up restaurants in your area. People do the exact same thing with dispensaries. They will go online and search for dispensaries near them, look at the reviews and decide on the spot if they’d like to visit that location.

However, the caveat is that you need to show up in the first place. If you’re not at the top of the rankings on Google you will never be put into consideration in the first place.

Another benefit is that advertising in the cannabis space is incredibly difficult due to all of the regulations and restrictions. However, with Google, we have “relatively” free reign over what we can rank for. Therefore, not only is optimizing for SEO an important strategy but a mandatory one. If you’re looking to generate sales for your dispensary Cannabis SEO should be the main foundation of your marketing strategy.

No Google Ads

You probably don’t need us telling you that Google doesn’t allow cannabis- and marijuana-related ads. That means a couple of things.

First, cannabis brands can’t rely on paid advertising, such as social media or Google ads, to promote their businesses online. Second, the only way to reach potential customers is through an organic search engine results page.

With all cannabis companies pouring their digital marketing budget into search engine optimization, the pressure to always be on top of your SEO game is higher than in any other industry. Nothing short of a comprehensive, cannabis-specific, strong SEO strategy will do.

No Anecdotal Evidence

There is a ton of anecdotal evidence about the health benefits of cannabis and marijuana. You want to be careful not to make ungrounded medical or scientific claims anywhere on your website or in your digital marketing materials. Otherwise, you can hurt your overall rankings, as search engines are less likely to trust cannabis brands that stretch the truth.

What does a Cannabis SEO Strategy Look Like?

Part 1: Google Maps

Google maps is an essential platform to rank on if you run a retail dispensary.

Over 30% of clicks go to the top 3 listings.

We ensure to capture some of that traffic for you.

cannabis local seo
cannabis organic marketing

Part 2: Organic Ranking

Underneath your Google Maps listing is the organic listing of your website.

We ensure to properly rank your website here.

By showing up in both the Google Maps & Organic listings you’ll be sure to have tons of traffic to your store.

Search Engine Optimization for the Cannabis Industry: The Building Blocks of Marijuana SEO

Cannabis SEO is complicated. Both the cannabis industry and the online world are in constant flux, forcing cannabis companies, including cannabis dispensaries, to adjust their processes almost on a daily basis.

At CannaBud Marketing, we always stay on top of the latest trends to ensure that we can provide you with the highest-quality dispensary SEO services on the market. Here are some of the main elements of our signature search engine optimization process:

Technical SEO

Great dispensary SEO starts with building a great cannabis dispensary website. This is what we call technical SEO, or all the technical elements that make it easier for Google to find, index, and rank your website. A professional and easy-to-navigate design, mobile responsiveness, and a fast loading speed are all key aspects of technical SEO.

Page Load Speed

Research by Google shows that decreasing page load time from one to three seconds leads to a 32% increase in bounce rates. If you think that’s bad, check this out: When the page load time drops from one to five seconds, bounce rates plummet by a whopping 90%!

Page load time is crucial not only to visitor experience but to your SEO ranking as well. Google tends to prefer and promote websites with faster page load speeds — especially when loading on mobile devices, which often use slower 3G and 4G connections.

Web Design

Web design is important for the user experience, sure, but did you know that it also has a direct impact on your search engine rankings? Google and its likes just don’t rank poorly-designed sites. They prefer high-quality websites.

So, before exploring more advanced SEO strategies, be sure to cover the basics. Your website must be attractive, informative, and accessible. First-time website visitors should be able to easily find what they are looking for using the menu navigation and strategically placed internal links between pages.

Mobile Responsiveness

In March 2021, Google switched to mobile-first indexing for the whole web. Indexing is a process in which crawler bots “crawl” the internet to discover, analyze, and store web pages in the Google index, a massive digital library. Once a page has been indexed, it can appear in Google search results and start generating traffic.

Mobile-first indexing means that from now on, search engine crawlers will use the mobile versions of most web pages for crawling and indexing. What does this mean for you? Simply that if you want to get on Google’s good side, your website must perform and look equally well across devices and screen sizes.

Note that being mobile responsive isn’t the same as being mobile friendly.

  • A mobile-friendly page is a shrunken-down version of its desktop counterpart. It may be easier to view on a smartphone, but it’s not necessarily easier to use. The tiny buttons and microscopic text boxes can be a pain to click.

  • A mobile-responsive page is not a shrunken-down but a reformatted version of the desktop original. The goal is specifically to enhance the user experience on smaller screen sizes. Clickable items are bigger, images are resized, and the content flows vertically rather than horizontally.

On-Page SEO

On-page or on-site SEO is all about your website content. From your blog posts and service pages to your titles, subheadings, and image captions, every word matters and can affect your overall Google ranking and web traffic.

Here are some of the most important aspects of on-page SEO you want to keep in mind when creating your written content:

Metadata

Getting your meta titles and meta descriptions right is an easy and effective way to boost your search engine rankings.

Meta titles are the titles of individual pages or posts on your site. They may not be the same as the headings displayed on the pages and may be invisible to the reader but are visible to the search engines.

Optimizing your meta titles by using the right keywords and character length is one of the cornerstones of good marijuana SEO. Meta titles must also be descriptive — to give the reader an instant idea of what the content is about — as well as original and engaging — to entice users to click the search result and read your text.

The meta description is the short blurb under page titles in Google search results. Meta descriptions provide a summary of the content and an additional opportunity to pique the reader’s interest. Google may not use a meta description you provide word for word, but it’s always a good idea to make it as engaging and keyword optimized as possible.

Internal and Outbound Links

Internal links connect different pages on your website. For instance, in a blog post titled “What Is CBD?” you could have the anchor text “CBD vs. THC” linking to another blog that discusses the differences between those substances. An anchor text is a highlighted and underlined text you click to open a linked page.

Internal linking helps readers discover other content on your site or take the next step in the buyer’s journey, such as talking to a customer rep or browsing your online store. It also helps Google locate, understand, and index all pages on your site.

Outbound or external links go from your site to other websites. For example, in a blog post discussing the health benefits of cannabis, you could link to a research paper in a respected medical journal.

Much like internal links, outbound links help search engines connect the dots and understand what your content is about. However, outbound links to high-authority domains can also boost your domain authority. Domain authority is a measure of how likely it is that a website will rank based on its overall quality.

Keyword Optimization

Keywords are terms or phrases that people look up using search engines. We marketers call the shorter ones, like “marijuana dispensaries,” short-tail keywords, and the wordier ones — such as “What’s the difference between cannabis and marijuana?” — long-tail keywords.

Optimizing your web page copy and other site content, such as blog posts or case studies, for relevant and popular keywords is critical if you want that content to rank high for a specific search term. Here’s what the keyword optimization process looks like:

 

  • Keyword research: The first step is to use keyword research tools, such as Moz, SEMrush, and Ahrefs, to identify high-volume yet cost-effective keywords. It can be near impossible to rank for vague short-tail terms like “cannabis” — the sheer size of the competition can be prohibitive. However, you can most definitely rank high for a less globally popular, long-tail keyword that’s more relevant to your cannabis products and customer base (“best cannabis dispensary in Maine”). 
  • Secondary and semantic keywords: Once you have a shortlist of your main keywords, you need to identify the secondary and semantic keywords for each main keyword. These are terms and phrases that are closely related to the main keyword. Their presence in the copy allows search engines to better understand the topic of the content. Keyword research tools, related Google searches, or “People Also Ask” can be great resources for identifying secondary and semantic keywords.
  • Keyword optimization: Next, you need to pepper your content with main, secondary, and semantic keywords. You don’t want to overdo it and drown your copy in keywords — we call this “keyword stuffing” in SEO lingo — as you risk getting a penalty from Google. The key to success is strategically inserting the right keywords at the right places, such as titles, subheadings, first and last paragraphs, image alt tags, and more. 
  • Rinse and repeat: Keyword optimization never stops. The things people search for are always evolving, so you want to periodically refresh your content to reflect the changing market and stay relevant.

Local SEO

Local SEO helps you optimize your website so that it attracts a local target audience. This is particularly important for dispensary businesses due to the ban on interstate trade in cannabis products.

Thankfully, with a few tweaks and optimizations, you can increase the odds of getting on the radar of cannabis customers from your state, county, or city. Some tips for boosting dispensary local SEO include:

 

  • Create a Google My Business account: Google loves to promote its own content, so getting on Google My Business is a surefire way to improve your online visibility. All you need to do is create and verify a Google My Business account, input your up-to-date contact and business hours information on Google Maps, then make a post encouraging customers to leave reviews. Be sure to respond to feedback, specifying your location.

 

  • Create local service pages: If you serve different neighborhoods, cities, or counties, you should create a separate service page for each locality.

 

  • Get listed on online directories: Ensure that your business is listed on your local Cannabis Chamber of Commerce website and other directory websites such as Yelp or Tripadvisor. You can also join local cannabis-related social media groups.

 

  • Optimize your copy with location-specific keywords: Pepper your content with location-relevant terms and phrases, such as “Colorado,” “Denver, CO,” and “El Paso County.”

National SEO

We’ve already established how important local searches are to cannabis businesses. But why should you care about national SEO if you can’t trade across state lines?

Here’s the thing. While local SEO is all about helping potential customers near you find your business, national SEO is about increasing your brand and domain authority and positioning your website as a trusted resource on all things cannabis.

To give your national search rankings a boost, you need a strategic, long-term content plan. You should be creating and posting regular, high-quality educational content that would be of interest to a nationwide audience. That content would also need to be optimized for high-volume, high-competition keywords if it’s going to have a fighting chance against the highest-ranking cannabis websites in the country.

Content Marketing

We touched upon content marketing in the previous sections, but it’s such an important aspect of marijuana SEO — or any effective SEO strategy, for that matter — that it merits its own segment. The following strategies can help your content cut through the noise, rank higher in Google search results, and reach your target audience:

  • Get to know your customers: Talk to customers in person, conduct online surveys, and read cannabis industry research to learn what their needs are. Then, create content that guides them to the solutions or information they need or want.

 

  • Have a well-thought-out content strategy: Use keyword and competitor research for inspiration on what topics to cover and which search terms to target. Be sure to also refresh existing content once every year or every couple of years. This includes both keyword optimization and updating any old or outdated information.

 

  • Don’t just focus on blogs: As much as we love blogs, there’s more to content than that. Superbly written service, location, and landing pages are just as, if not more, important. You may also want to explore the potential of long-form downloadable content such as white papers or e-books. While these don’t have a direct impact on your SEO, they are an excellent way to increase brand authority and position your business as a thought leader in the cannabis industry.

Our Dispensary SEO Services

SEO is hard. Dispensary SEO is even harder. Let us worry about your organic search results while you focus on what only you can do: growing your cannabis business and delighting your customers.

At CannaBud Marketing, our mission is to improve your search engine rankings, bring more high-quality organic traffic to your website, increase your customer base, and boost your revenue. We only use data-driven strategies and proven digital marketing principles, all tailored to the unique needs of your cannabis business.

Here are the services you can expect from our professional cannabis marketing company:

Technical SEO

Did we mention that great SEO starts with a great website? Our team will perform a technical audit of your entire site to see what works and what doesn’t and identify opportunities for improvement. After that, we’ll continue to monitor your website daily to ensure that it’s performing like a champ at all times.

Keyword Research and Strategy

What are cannabis consumers and aficionados searching for these days? At CannaBud Marketing, we take the guesswork out of keyword strategy. We use the most advanced keyword research tools on the market to identify popular yet cost-effective keywords, secondary keywords, and semantic keywords.

On-Page SEO

Next, our cannabis SEO experts will focus on improving your website’s on-site SEO — from optimizing title tags and meta descriptions to removing and replacing broken links. We’ll also optimize your pages for Google’s structured data markup standard (SDAT).

Off-Page SEO

You want to show Google that your website is authoritative and trustworthy. At CannaBud Marketing, we’ll make sure Google knows about your business and how amazing it is by generating multiple backlinks from high-authority domains.

Local SEO

We’ll optimize both your website and your Google My Business profile so that your local customers can find you easily. Our team will also create citations and directory listings that will improve your digital footprint and get your name out there.

Monthly SEO Reporting

At CannaBud Marketing, we don’t tell — we show. Each month, you’ll receive in-depth personalized reports showcasing your up-to-date search engine rankings, organic traffic data, and conversion rates. This way, we can track your growth month over month and adjust your SEO strategy accordingly.

Boost Your Web Traffic and Take Your Cannabis Company to the Next Level

Getting started with our SEO services is easy. Simply use the form below to schedule a free, one-hour SEO strategy session with one of our dispensary SEO experts. We’ll take it from there.

From there we can start growing your business!

Next Step: Schedule Your Free Strategy Session Below