How To Do SEO For Your Cannabis Dispensary | Cannabis Dispensary Marketing

Brandon Quan | Founder

Published: March 14, 2022

In this training we discuss how to implement Cannabis SEO strategies to help boost traffic to your website.

Cannabis SEO is one of the most important marketing strategies for your dispensary. This is due to the growing restrictions and regulations regarding other advertising such as on social media or even with offline activities.

We cover the following:

  • The latest updates with the Google Algorithm
  • Why SEO is the MOST important thing for your dispensary
  • The things that you may have put in place in the past that could be hurting you now
  • Why traffic that comes from SEO is your most important customer source
  • How to optimize your website using the NEW SEO Formula

Welcome to another webinar. Um, I’m your host, Brandon qu. Uh, and this is the new SEO formula for cannabis dispensaries. So if you run cannabis dispensary and you don’t know what SEO is, or if you’re having problems implementing any SEO plan, or you just kind of want an update on what’s going on in the SEO world, you’ve come to the right place.

So what we’re gonna cover today is we’re gonna cover the latest updates with the Google algorithm. We’re gonna cover the things that you may have put in place in the past that could be hurting you now. So as with everything, there’s an evolution with algorithms, with technology and how, you know, people interact with different things and different platforms, right? So what may have worked in the past that helped you get rankings may be hurting you now.

So if you, you know, were like, Hey, you know, two, three years ago, or even a couple months ago, you’re ranking pretty well. And now kind of things went down. There are some things in the past that might have been put in place that might actually be penalizing you. Now, the third thing is why SEO is the most important thing for your dispensary and then the last, but not least is how to actually your website using the new SEO formula.

Now, if I could please have your attention, please, if you wanna turn off your cell phones, uh, would highly recommend that. Um, because if you’re a dispensary owner and you’re serious about getting better results, the next 60 to 90 minutes are gonna change your life. Now, who am I again? My name’s Brandon.

And when I first start started in terms of starting up an agency in 2018, I started a table tennis club, and back then I had no budget. Uh, there was a lack of results from social media and I was really, really struggling to get members when I was first starting out. I had to ask my two friends to join because, you know, there’s literally only two people at the club.

Um, I used all the different time types of marketing tips and tricks, and I just couldn’t get any traction with people coming in. Right. And then I was thinking, I was thinking, I was like, okay, whenever somebody searches for something, they Google it. Right. So fast forward a year later, I worked on SEO, um, on my website and, you know, taught myself exactly how to do it and how to rank websites.

And this is essentially what happened a year later, we started getting some traction. We had about 10 members here, which is really, really awesome. I was like, ah, this is fantastic. Right. Um, but then as I continued ranking websites, and then as more and more members kept coming to the club, I was able to triple my membership with only doing organic search marketing, right.

By showing up on Google. Right. Everyone is gonna start coming to you because where else do people and find anything or find any services? They Google it first. Right? So using this strategy, right, I then transitioned into working with dispensaries and we have tons of really, really good results with our clients, um, here.

Uh, they even, uh, they were so happy with their results. They even recorded some videos, uh, for us. And it was really, really awesome. Right? And not only that, these are some of the results that we’ve gotten and you can go check out our website. We have a whole bunch of case studies showing a bunch of different results in terms of traffic calls.

We’ve gotten for the dispensaries, uh, different requests for direction, but here, just to show you some of them here for this client, we’re able to generate them and hundred, 2%, uh, calls, uh, or an increase of 300, 2% calls to the dispensary. And that resulted in $120,000 of additional revenue generated for them.

In only three months down here, you can see, uh, that they got about 750 calls. But up here, they’re able to get up to 3000 calls. And these are 3000 people who are predisposed to buying from your business, right? Just like if you were to type in restaurant near me and then go look at the reviews and then go to the restaurant, you only type that in because you’re hungry and you wanna find something to eat or you’re planning an event in the future, right? So these people they’re predisposed to buying from you.

They’re calling from you because they have some sort of ask, they wanna ask about your cannabis. They wanna ask about your hours. They wanna ask if where you’re located. So this is really, really important because using SEO, you’re gonna get targeted traffic and targeted traffic is a lot more important than let’s just say, putting out a billboard or doing direct mail campaigns or doing lawn sign campaigns, cuz again, people who find you from Google have a high likelihood chance of buy here.

We, that we got them in a, in terms of an aggregate data, 33,000 website visits, 14,000 requests for direction and 8,500 calls, right? So these are 33,000 people who are actively looking for cannabis products and are looking to buy right here are 14,000 people looking for direction requests, meaning that they want to drive to some sort of cannabis business.

And they chose yours to see where you’re located and then 8,500 calls. So this is ridiculous. This is, uh, this is even better than even having, uh, a million people look at your billboards. Because again, these are targeted people coming in and wanting to buy from your business and not just people just glancing at a billboard or if you’re in a subway station or whatever, general marketing, offline strategy that you have another client here, we generated them an additional $40,000 per month, 25,000 sessions.

So these are 25,000 people who are actively looking to buy. And it’s the same thing as if they came into your store, except your store is your digital location. Now. So now going into exactly what SEO is, right, to get you those results, SEO or search engine optimization is just a digital marketing strategy that drives awareness to both your brand and your website.

And this is done by leveraging Google and other search engines such as being in Yahoo. Um, so the example is, is that you wanna establish a presence on the first page of Google for the keywords, such as dispensary near me or dispensary in insert city dispensary in Toronto dispensary in Colorado, or, uh, you know, Denver, whatever it is you would need to target those specific keywords with content.

That’s gonna be relevant and valuable to the users that are searching for your product, right? So it’s not us putting, you know, um, cannabis dispensary, dispensary near me and stuffing your website with keywords. It’s about doing, uh, strategic optimizations on your website so that you can make that connect with people who find you online on Google and then will find you and then click on your, um, on your, uh, Google, my business platform or on your website.

After a lot of people ask me, does SEO still matter? And I’ll let you see for yourself. So when people type in dispensary near me, there’s two places where people would find you just like I showed you, um, in, uh, this slide over here, right? People will find you in this Google map section, typically when you type in dispensary near me or dispensary and insert city, uh, this example is in south Portland.

So we have this client, they have a recreational store and a medical store, and we’re ranking them in the Google map section, which means that they have the most amount of visibility, um, above, uh, their other competitors. Right? And then here for south Portland dispensary, this is more so for general keywords and this shows up in the organic section.

So, um, I’m gonna touch on this a second. Um, but when you are finding dispensaries in Google maps, a lot of it has to do with proximity, right? Like how close you are, how close are you to set business? So if I’m looking for a dispensary in my area, a dispensary, 100 miles away, isn’t gonna pop up no matter how optimized that profile is.

Right? But when you’re within, let’s say a 10 mile to 20 mile radius, you wanna make sure that you beat out the rest of your competitors, right? So this is in the Google map section. Then we have, what’s referred to as the organic section and the organic section sits below Google maps. You can see it right here.

And this is, again, this is great because the other subset of people who don’t end up clicking on this Google map section will then end up clicking on this organic section down here and a big stride G for dispenses, or what I’m seeing is that they just use weed maps and weed maps is just like any other third party platform.

It’s just like Yelp. It’s just like yellow pages. It’s just a directory listening where people go. But if you can just skip through the middleman and just go directly to the organic settings, this is why it’s super, super important. This is a typical breakdown of how people would find you online in terms of go traffic, right? So you have, what’s referred to as your PPC ads or your paper, click ads, you have the map section, which people can also click on.

You have, what’s referred to as the local pack results or the three pack. This is the local pack or the Google map section. And then we have the organic search results down here. So we can see the breakdown. The breakdown of this is at 14% ish in this specific study. Uh, our, uh, the, the traffic goes to BC ads and the BC ads, like I said, is paper per click.

So these are people who are, um, paying for these specific spots. And every single time someone clicks on the website, they will then go ahead and, and click on that result. But again, that only accounts for 14% and the rest of it, the 80% is distributed among the local pack and the organic search results.

However, in the cannabis space, you’re not actually allowed to advertise cannabis in the PPC space or in the Google ad space. Now there are loopholes, you know, like everything, there are ways you can get around this, but for the most part, you’re not really allowed to, um, to advertise cannabis products, cannabis related products in this Google ad section.

So where does this 14% go? This 14% then gets distributed among the maps, the local pack and the organic search results. So instead of this being 80% of clicks, this is 90, 95, 100% of clicks. These 15% of clicks will then be distributed among the local pack and the organic search results, which is why it’s so, so important for you to, for you to focus on SEO and to have a good SEO strategy, um, to generate these types of results.

Like I said, right, if you’re getting, uh, a 300, 2% increase on calls, if you’re getting 8,500 calls, business and 30,000 people visiting your website, you’re going to make more money than you are right now, right? And this is all generated by Google. This isn’t doing running any other marketing campaign.

This is literally how can we rank better on Google? Because Google is where everyone searches and we need to make sure we leverages traffic properly. Now this is also why organic traffic also dominates. So when you look at your website, there’s different ways that people can access your website. They can access your website.

One like on Google. So everything that had been showing you so far, they can get to it on Google. They can access it via like a direct link. So you have a dispensary and I’m gonna directly type in So that is direct traffic. I right. Then you have referral traffic. So it’s like some websites may have your website on their website.

So they may just click on that link. So they’re not doing it direct. It’s not organic through Google. It’s just referral. It means that if a vendor of yours had your website on there, sometimes people may click on that link and then they’re gonna go to your website. And then we have social, which is like social media.

And then we have other, which is, you know, just other traffic, right? But we can see here. If we were to compare the different types of traffic, we can see one organic search has the Nu like the largest amount of sessions compared to the other, uh, categories. So, uh, for this client up here, there’s 9,000 people searching organically, meaning they’re finding on Google, right then the, the rest is direct referral and social.

So most of your traffic is gonna be distributed among organic search and direct because as more people find you organically, they’re not gonna continue typing in dispensary near me. They’re gonna directly type in your URL because once they go to your business, they don’t need to find any other businesses.

They’re not looking for dispensaries near them. They’re looking for your specific dispensary. So as you get more people, uh, um, finding you organically through organic search they’re then gonna start, you know, uh, uh, going to your website directly, right? So not only is a volume and typically higher.

I mean, these numbers can obviously be different on a case by case basis, but not only are these numbers higher, we can, if we look at the average session duration, meaning that the amount of time a client, I mean, sorry, one of your customers stay on the website. So here it’s two minutes. Here’s one second more, uh, here’s six minutes.

This is referral traffic, but we can see there’s only 115 sessions. This is in it. And this is 35 seconds for organic search. We have, uh, three minutes, uh, 3, 12, 3 minutes. And again, it’s, it’s decreasing in time, right? So not only do you have a higher volume, you typically have your customer staying on your website longer, which is a really good thing, right? You wanna make sure that your customers stay on your website than not you sessions is always great.

This just refers to new customers coming to your website. Um, you know, 50% new sessions, 65%, this number isn’t as important. You just wanna make sure you have as much traffic as possible. Cuz if customers are buying from you, it doesn’t matter if they’re buying from you the first time or the 50th time, you just want them to visit your website.

But one of the things that I want you to take a look at is also the bounce rate of bounce rate is what’s referred to as when somebody goes to your website and then just leaves your website after just looking at your one page, meaning they bounce off the page, they go to your home page and then they leave in organic search.

Because these people, not these people, because your customers are looking for, uh, cannabis products. They’re going to look through the website for product that they want. So you’ll see here. The bounce rate here is also lower 20% bounce rate compared to 40% bounce rate on social. Right? We can see the bounce rate here on social is 50 because people who find you on social media, aren’t necessarily looking to buy.

They’re seeing your brand and they know that you exist, but they’re not looking to buy at that time, right? As people who find you, uh, organically and searching on Google they’re to go in and look for a specific product they wanna buy, right? So the bounce rate is also gonna be lower and the pages for session are gonna be higher, cuz they’re spending more time on your website and they’re spending more time on the page.

So not only are you generating more traffic, right by ranking on Google, you’re getting them to stay longer on your website. You’re getting them to make sure that they don’t leave website and they’re spending more time per page on the website as well, which is why organic traffic is super, super important, right? There’s there’s no other traffic channel that will benefit your dispensary more than SEO.

Now let’s get into the biggest SEO changes. So for the biggest SEO changes, they’re a lot more than this, but the four main ones is that you can no longer get away duplicate content, right? You need to make sure that each page on your website has its own unique content because Google doesn’t like duplicated content.

Um, number two is low quality links pointed to your website could hurt you. So a lot of times, um, if you were to go and ask some sort of SEO strategist, they would go and get what’s referred to as like a link farm, and just get very low quality links pointing back to your website. Now, back in the day, the only thing that mattered is the volume.

How many links were pointed to your website, but now it’s about the actual quality of the links that are super important for what you need to do for your website. Third thing in terms of local SEO is that you need a real physical office to rank well on Google maps. It’s not as simple as just having a, a virtual office or hiding your address.

You need a real physical office or a real physical location to rank well on Google maps. And luckily enough for you, if you run a dispensary, this isn’t a problem. And then the fourth thing is that site speed matters, right? Not only does it matter for conversions, if your website runs super super slope, people are gonna click off.

Like, I’m sure you’ve experienced it. You go on a website, it takes forever to load. And then what you need to end up doing is that you just like you try and wait or you just leave most of the time you just leave. So not only does it matter for ranking, it also matters for conversions as well now to touch on the duplicate content part.

Most dispensary owners have multiple locations with delivery being available for some. So a lot of the dispensary owners that I talk to, they don’t just own one dispensary or are responsible for one dispensary. They run multiple dispensaries. Let’s say you’re running one through five. If you’re like kind of small ish and then the medium size is five through 10 and then 10 plus is, is, is larger for, so with each of these locations, you need to make sure you have specific written copy for each of these locations.

And it used to be commonplace to just set up your pages for each city and then just keep everything but change only the city. So the example is, is that a lot of times, um, for other industries as well, let’s just say you have something like we are the bad dispensary in Colorado, right? We provide you with a, B, C, D, right? And then let’s say you now have another location in like long beach California.

Then a lot of times they would just do, we are the best dispensary in long beach, California. And we offer a, B, C, D, and there’s no differentiation between the two, but what Google wants is Google wants, uh, for you to have unique content and unique content, curated towards a location you’re serving because if you are serving to a client in, uh, Denver, in Colorado and another client in, uh, California and long beach, right, there’s gonna be slight different messaging that you wanna make sure that your content is valuable for the people reading.

So Google wants to make sure that you have unique content on each of your pages. The third thing is that a lot of people set up multiple micro sites targeting different cities. And again, you know, they use the same content and changing the cities along the way. So again, the example would be long beach, uh, Denver

They set up these, these microsites, they create the same content and then they just, you know, kind of put that out there, right? And again, you wanna make sure you have unique content. And then the last thing is, again, you need to make sure that the, everything is unique from one page, uh, to another, because the, this duplicate content filter can just filter out your results, right? It’s not necessarily a penalty, but you will then be filtered out.

And what you need to make sure is that if you see other competitors writing something on, uh, on their website, you can’t copy them because if you, um, copy the originators, uh, um, words and blogs or whatever it is, right, Google’s gonna see, you know, which website did that for. And then they’re just going to, you know, de-list you, they’re not gonna de-list you they’re just gonna filter you out of the searches because they don’t wanna provide different, um, uh, options that provide the same information.

It’s just not in Google’s best interest to do that. Uh, the second thing is, uh, talking about these low quality links. Um, and a, again, a lot of times people are just like, let’s get as many links as possible to our website and they just get it from everyone. So if you’re in the cannabis dispensary, um, industry, right, uh, people might get links about like chairs or, or shirts or desks or something like that.

Right. Like a desk website. But we all know that like a desk website has nothing to do with, um, like cannabis or dispensaries. Right. So we need to make sure that you, you have a strategy to figure out what links are the best and what are most relevant for your business. Right. And then you wanna make sure you get those links as well.

And then there’s something that’s referred to as anchor text. So, you know, when you hyperlink, um, or, you know, uh, like a word like this, let’s just say, I’m gonna hyperlink this. So when I click here, it’ll take me to a website that’s, what’s referred to as an anchor text, right? So the anchor text is the anchor that links the text to whatever link it’s going.

So let’s say you wanna rank for best cannabis suspensory and you always just wanna highlight this word. Um, and it’ll always say best cannabis suspensory and you just get hype, uh, you just get anchor text links, um, that’s say best cannabis. Suspensory right. You wanna make sure you’re diversify because you can’t just have the same thing repeated over and over and over again, this is slightly more technical for, you know, for some of the people that are reading or sorry, for some of the people that are watching and more than happy to walk you through exactly what all this stuff means.

But what you need to know is that if you’re looking for an agency, uh, make sure that they don’t drive low quality links and they diversify the anchor tech strategy, um, for, towards your business. The third thing is having a real physical office to rank well on Google maps, right? I call it office, but it would be your dispensary location or your store or whatever it is.

And what ended up happening happening is that this is, uh, a big portion of how you’re gonna get a lot of traffic. The Google map section is by far gonna generate you more calls, more direction, requests, more people visiting your dispensary. So we need to make sure that you have an up to date. Um, address business is verified through Google, cuz a lot of people did this.

They had multiple fake addresses. Let’s say your address is 1, 2, 3 address street. They in city a, they would make a 1, 2, 3 address street in city B, because if you had multiple Google my business accounts, then you would have the visibility in multiple cities. There are multiple areas and then you can technically take over, right? So they use ups stores, they use boxes, virtual offices.

They use all these different things in order to get as many Google my business platforms up, um, and, and running as possible. Now, uh, about two years ago, Google like wiped a lot of Google, my business accounts. Like they, they wiped a significant amount and they were just like, look, if you are a legitimate business, then you were just gonna re-verify properly because they had a massive problem with a bunch of fake listings and the user experience on how people use Google to find these listings, uh, you know, uh, the people, the, the consumers of Google, right? The people using Google weren’t happy about.

So Google decided to do a massive white, right? So what you really need to do is make sure that you have your proper address at your proper store. Um, a, a lot of the, um, approval things you need, if you get your account, um, blacklist not blacklisted or suspended is that you need to have a utility bill with the address on it.

You need to have the signage coming out. And again, if, if you run a dispensary, like none of this is gonna be a problem, you’re gonna be completely fine. But this is just for those people who are thinking about having fake addresses or are keeping the address hitting or using a home address to get, you know, more results.

You need to make sure that this is up and running and just play it by the book, because this is a major piece of traffic for you. And you don’t want, you wanna make sure you don’t mess that up. The last thing is talking about side speed, right? Side speed matters. It plays a role in rankings. You need to make sure that mobile and desktop is considered, and then you can check it on Google page speed insight.

So if you go to, uh, this and then this long URL, um, what you will then get shown is you’re gonna get shown to this page where you can your URL. And you can see here that the, the first default option is actually mobile first, because more people are using mobile on, on the internet than they are using desktops.

So obviously Google is going to optimize for mobile. So when you go in into the platform, you’re gonna get some sort of data. In this example here, it’ll give you a score from zero to 100, 100, meaning that it’s, it’s perfect. You speed is awesome. Right? So when you go in here, you’re gonna get an idea of how your website runs and what your website looks like in the eyes of Google.

Cause again, if your website takes too long to load, then people are just gonna click off. But again, Google wants to make sure that the options it provides for its users is the best option available, right? So you can see where those incentives align. If Google’s directing you to pages that are really, really slow, Google won’t like that.

So you need to make sure that your, your website speed is, is up to snuff. And you need to make sure that you need to take into consideration, uh, hosting, uh, the, the images you have on your website. Um, the themes that you’re using, if you’re using WordPress, you know, what services you’re using, there’s a whole bunch of things.

But if you go to this website right here, you’re gonna get a better idea of what your website speed looks like. And then you can make the appropriate decision by hiring some sort of expert or doing it yourself to improve the page speed on your website. What else has changed? Um, so again, old fashioned SEO is no longer effective.

I don’t know if you guys were using SEO or, you know, this was even a consideration before this webinar, but Google likes to name its updates based on animals, Panda, pigeon, penguin, you know, um, and before it was all about things you can do on your website, what things can you, can you do to, to change the experience of, of, of users on the website, right.

And sorry, I’m just moving this. Um, and now it’s all about user experience because Google wants to make sure that whoever’s using the website is enjoying the experience of said, right? Um, it doesn’t want to showcase websites that won’t be used or won’t be, um, won’t be properly enjoyed by the people that are searching on it.

Right? So in all of the, this optimization, it’s all about user experience. Um, because this is how people are going to actually interact with your website. Now, what are some of other ranking factors, right? In terms of like, what does user experience mean? What that means is that P uh, click through rate is a big thing.

So how many people click through to your website? How many people see you see your listing on the URL, right on Google search, and then actually click cuz if nobody’s clicking on your URL, that means that you’re not doing too well. And then you’re not gonna rank well, scroll rate. Are they scrolling down once they get to your homepage, your website, are they actually like physically scrolling through your pages up and down to see, Hey, is this website relevant for me? How long are they spending on your website? Right.

Like if they’re just going and then leaving, uh, then that’s no good. So the time on the page is really, really important bounce rate, again, super, super important. So these are all stats. I’m gonna go back to this slide up here, which are really relevant towards your organic search, right? This is a bounce rate, how long they’re staying on the website, the pages per session, right? So you need to make sure that all your website is not just optimized for SEO, but you need to make sure your website is optimized for user experience.

It’s not just stuffing a bunch of keywords on your websites and getting a bunch of back links. It’s literally, how can you make your website better in terms of conversions and user experience, right? Uh, we have in terms of, uh, local maps, number of citations reviews and relevant links, and then page speed, of course, cuz again, it’s all about the user experience.

If a user isn’t experiencing your website in a good, you’re not gonna get ranked hiring on Google. Now what we need to do is figure out the most important keywords that are based on your service service area and search volume. So in terms of exactly what you need to do, we know that, you know, all these optimizations are good.

We know that user experience is good, but how do we actually, what do we need to do in order to rank hiring on Google? So the, the, the new SEO for formula is you want to make sure that the keywords are based on the services that you offer, the products that you offer, right? The service area or your dispensary location, and then the surge volume.

So the service example would be, you wanna make sure can rank properly for your category keywords. So pre-rolls edibles, tinctures, concentrates, um, flour, all of these different things. Those are the categories that you have. So you wanna make sure you rank for all of those keywords. Then you also need to make sure you rank for in city.

So dispensary in Toronto dispensary, in New York dispensary in Maine dispensary, you get the point. You need to make sure that you rank for these proper service areas. And then you obviously need to look at search volume because if no one’s looking for the specific keyword, then it doesn’t matter, right? Um, you can rank number one for a million keywords, but if no one’s searching for that word, then again, it doesn’t matter because no one’s searching for it.

So in order to determine the search volume, you can use multiple things. You can use a Google keyword tool. You can use word stream, you could use SpyFu, you can use Google AdWords and all of these things aggregate keyword volume data. So you can see what are the best keywords for me to rank as a business. And then you can develop your SEO strategy from there.

The third thing is setting up, uh, your, the third thing is setting up your or, uh, website, right? And you need to make sure you have unique pages targeting each of those keywords. So a common misconception when it comes to SEO is that you just create a homepage, right? And then that homepage ranks for all of the keywords that you wanna rank for.

And then you put all of the location pages there, you put all of the categories and you put everything that you want on the homepage. The problem with that is that when you have everything in terms of words and keywords on that page, you end up not ranking for anything because you can’t optimize for something specific.

So if I’m talking about, um, a dispensary in, in Denver, right, I’m gonna talk about the location, maybe some things about Denver, some deals you have about your Denver location, right? Like what makes this Denver location important? And you’re gonna optimize specifically for, for Denver, right? But then if on that same Denver page, you have things about long beach or you have things about, you know, uh, LA and New York, then it, it, you are diluting what that page is about, right? So you need to make sure you have unique pages targeting each of those keywords.

And again, this, this also applies for, for your category keywords. So if you’re talking about flower and how to prepare flower and you know, grinding the flower up and you know, what is the best flower and all of these different things, you’re gonna have specific words that relate only to flower versus words that relate to edibles, right? Or words that relate to concentrate.

So you need to make sure you have unique pages for each of those key. Another thing you need to do is yeah. So again, touching on that is you need to make sure you have pages for each location you have. And I described that above optimizing your website for user experience. So this is what I spoke to about, um, here, down here in terms of the user experience.

So we need to make sure you optimize for these things, um, and then optimize your for on page, our onsite optimization, and then build your authority with offsite optimization. And then obviously you need to track your results. So if what you’re doing on your website is resulting you ranking higher. That’s good.

But if you’re ranking higher, not getting any traffic, that means that your search, uh, your keywords were not done properly because you are ranking higher. Great. But if your traffic isn’t increasing, then you’re not ranking for the right keywords, right? Uh, similarly, if you have the right keywords that you think of, but you’re not ranking better, you need to see what strategies you’re implementing to see, okay, am I doing what’s right to make sure that my website ranks higher now in order to optimize for some of the on page stuff, what you need to do is again, you need to have good content and a good user experience.

So the content needs to be relevant towards what people are searching online. So if somebody types in, um, you know, they wanna talk about pre-roll right. And the only thing there, here you’re talking about is edibles. That’s not gonna be a good, that’s not good content because you know, that specific piece of content isn’t relevant to what that person is searching, right? So you need to make sure you have good content.

And then the good user experience, I’m a big fan of leveraging multimedia. So what essentially it is, is just videos and pictures on your website. And a lot of times dispensary owners are like, Hey, you know, the key differentiator for my business is, um, you know, the welcoming environment, the store layout, how good our store is, all these different things.

Right. Uh, but they never have any pictures or video or, or introductions or, or like, um, yeah. Video introductions of bud tend because they say, Hey, my bud tenderers are super friendly. They’re super educational. They do all these things, but they don’t have any examples of that on their website. Right.

But if you have multimedia on your website, you keep people on your page for longer, meaning that you’re gonna rank hard because the user experience is better. At least according to, to the algorithm pages for each of your categories, pages for each of your dispensary location, unique content on page, right.

I spoke about those three in depth, a keyword in title and H one. So when you create your website, you have multiple structures, multiple meta data points, um, how you can organize your website, you have your title tag, you have your meta description. Then you have your H one H two all the way down to H six tag.

And then you have your paragraph text. If that goes completely over your head, that’s completely fine. But what you need to do is make sure that within the title tag, you tell your web developer, your web designer, and within your H one tag, you have the keyword that you wanna rank for. So if you wanna rank for Toronto dispensary, have Toronto dispensary and the title, and then have it in the H one tag, cuz that is gonna provide the OnPage relevance, uh, that tells Google that your page is about your dispensary located in your city.

Another thing you need to do is make sure that your meta description gets people to click. So in this, um, I think it was this section, uh, this click through rate, right? So you’re, you’re given a list of websites through Google. And what ends up happening is that you’re just either gonna click or you’re not gonna click Google will then, um, promote the website.

That’s getting the most amount of clicks, right? So in the meta description, sorry, I’m all over the place in the meta description. That’s the, that’s the, the few words underneath the URL that shows what the website is about. And you can edit that. So if you have a meta description, that’s really captivating, gets people to come in and, and click on your link, right.

Then you’re gonna get rewarded, not only with traffic piece, but Google’s gonna be like, oh, this, this person really likes this website. So they’re gonna go there more. Another thing you need to do is you need to have your name, address, and phone, the number in the footer. This has a lot to do with local SEO and your Google maps profile.

Um, again, something that will take a long time to touch on, but this is something that you definitely need to do in terms of how you wanna rank in Google maps. And then again, focusing on page speed on desktop, desktop, and mobile, super, super important for you to do now for off page SEO. I’m just gonna go through these quickly.

Uh, you need to claim and optimize your Google. My business listing, obviously important. You need to get what’s referred to as citations, right? So citations are essentially just directory listings and on Google, uh, especially in Google maps, you need to make sure that your, the, the digital assets that are online right, have this same information across the web, right? So if you have a listing in Yelp, in apple maps, in map quest, um, and all these different things, you need to make sure you generate these as much as possible.

Cuz the more of these you have, the more trust Google says that, okay, this business is who they say they are. So if all these different direction listings say that you are located here, your phone number here, your hours are here and it’s obvious, um, that your location is what it says it is. And then Google will end up ranking you higher.

There are a lot of reasons why, but it’s all in Google’s best interest in terms of incentives, they wanna make sure your information is up to date and correct. What you also need to do is build up online reviews. So not only is this gonna help you rank higher, but you’re also gonna increase conversions. Cuz you know, when you like look up a restaurant, you type in a restaurant near me, you look at the reviews.

You obviously look at the one with the most amount of reviews, cuz that’s probably most likely the one that’s gonna be best. Same thing with dispensaries. If I type in dispensary near me, I’m gonna go look at the reviews and then look at which dispensary is the best for me. So you can use a bunch of software there’s nearby.

Now there’s bird, eye there’s review buzz. There’s customer lobby there’s podium. If you literally just type in like Google review software, a lot of these softwares will help you generate online reviews, not only on Google, but like on Yelp, on Facebook, on you know, all other, uh, all of these other marketing sources.

What you also need to do is build authoritative links to your website from other websites. So I touched on this before, but essentially you don’t just need random links from your, that you need proper authoritative back links that are relevant towards your business pointing to your website. And then the last thing is strategic content syndication.

So your content needs to be syndicated properly across the web so that you then continue developing that authority over and over and over again. And again, I’m gonna touch on this a little bit later or like almost immediately down, down on this slide. Now again, back in the day, all you really need to do is just have a blog post.

You put a blog post on your website and then you, you automatically rank, but that won’t cut it anymore. And this is um, Google’s algorithm, right? It’s called E E a T. And what that stands for is expertise, authority and trust. So expertise is quality structured and media rich content, meaning that is your website, the expert in this specific thing that this person is searching for.

Right? The second thing is the authority. So are you getting authority from a websites, ABC, CBS Fox NBC, are you generating authority from press releases from, um, you know, these, these, uh, these news, uh, websites for your website for your own website and then trust, right? Is your website trustworthy, right? Are you promoting spam links? Like do you have, um, uh, low quality back links that are pointing towards your website because all of these things are taken into consideration in terms of how Google’s gonna rank you and very simply it’s expertise, authority, and trust.

Now here, here is a breakdown of how you are of, of the percentage impact on what these different things have to do with how you rank. So in the local pack, right? This, so this is Google map section Google. My business signal signals is the number one. So proximity categories, keywords and business title.

That’s about 25% and you have link singles, uh, signal. So inbound anchor, text linking domain authority, linking domain quantity. So this is the website that is linked to your Google, my business profile. How authoritative is that? Then you have review signals, right? How many reviews do you have? How fast are you getting the reviews and then how different are, are those reviews? Right? So that’s really, really big.

And then on page signals is presence of name, address, phone number keywords, and titles, domain authority, and then citation signals, which is, is, you know, uh, uh, citation signals is essentially getting those directory listings, getting your websites and aggregators. Then you have behavioral signals, which is like the user interface.

So this is click through rate mobile clicks check-ins that’s about 10% personalization. And then the last thing is social signals. So Google engagement, Facebook engagement, Twitter engagement. This doesn’t really matter, right? It’s about 3%. So, so it’s, it’s not a lot. And the reason for this is cuz the, this type of engagement can easily be manipulated.

You can go ahead and buy Twitter likes and Facebook likes and stuff like that. But doing all of this stuff is super, super important, cuz you need to make sure that you wanna rank higher on Google maps. And then here you have the organic ranking. You can see that link signals is actually the top. So about 30% is link signals.

26% is on page signals and then 11% is behavioral signals. Right? So I won’t kind of, I don’t need to read the, the full thing. You can pause it, um, and read this if you would like, but what you need to realize is that there are specific ranking factors on how you rank Google maps and then how also rank below Google maps or in the organic section.

A lot of it has to do with Google. My business signals, link signals, review signals on page signals, citations and behavioral, right? And then for the localized organic rankings, it’s still link signals on page signals, behavioral signals, Google my business and then citation. Those are the main things that you need to take into consideration.

Now here’s an SEO periodic table. I don’t know like how like accurate this is scientifically . Um, but I, I thought it was a cool way to kind of visualize what’s going on. Right? So, uh, what in, uh, fidget did was that they just, uh, put a, a number towards what different things affect SEO in a positive or negative way.

And what’s kind of emerging again, like, like the periodic table is just kind of a way that is structured pay no attention to the periodic part, but more so what you need to look at is look at, um, where the pluses and minuses are distributed. So there’s a lot of things that are affecting Google ranks.

And I went through a lot of them here. So I won’t really touch on that. But what you really need to do is take a look at, you know, some of the negative stuff. So the toxins or the stuff that would affect your website is stuff such as cloaking, stuffing, piracy, hiding schemes, um, like intrusiveness, if you don’t know what any of this means, then like you’re, you’re gonna be fine cuz you don’t do any of these things on by accident.

Right? Stuffing is probably one of the closest things that you’d probably do, meaning that like I’m gonna put the keyword in here as many times as possible. And then hopefully that would rank. So Ken is dispensary Toronto, Kenneth dispensary, Toronto, like that’s, what’s referred to as keyword stuffing.

Like don’t do that. But all this other stuff is what I spoke to you about, right. Or is what I, I told you about in terms of what affects SEO. So where the country you’re in the locality, the user experience, the history of the website, the intent of the website, you know, uh, the links, right? The trust, how the website is done, the site architecture and then the actual content, right? So if you broke this down, you have the content architecture, how the website’s done in terms of HTML, uh, trust links than the user experience.

And then here you have some of the emerging fields, which is voice image, local and video. But this is the main thing that you need to take into consideration. Now, uh, touching it back on the, the Google, my business stuff right here, some local SEO ranking factors, like I said, Google uses it, different algorithm for local searches, which places importance on three important ranking categories in their supporting signals.

So the first one is proximity, how close is the business for the person searching? Right? Um, like if I’m looking for a business that is located in location a and location B is a hundred miles away, it doesn’t matter what I do in what I optimize and how many links I put to it. It’s gonna be very difficult to rank for that same business, a hundred miles away.

So proximity plays an incredibly important piece in how you rank, and this is something you really can’t control, right? Um, the next thing is relevant. How relevant is the search term for the business? You need to make sure you optimize the content and on page signals and then use the proper business categories and section headings and citations and proper reviews to make sure that your business is as re is as relevant as possible.

Cause there’s a lot of things within the Google, my business platform that you can do that makes your content relevant towards what you wanna rank for. You wanna rank for cannabis dispensary. So you need to make sure your business is relevant for the keywords of cannabis dispensary. Then the last thing is prominence, right? What is the authority of the local business? E a T profiles brand mentions link signals.

Number of views, competition syndication will dramatically improve the prominence of the entity and the author over three to six months. Again, what, what this means is the authority of the business, right? Are you syndicating your content properly over the news channels? Are you getting good reviews? Like, are you, are you doing all of these different things and how prominent is your business and why should people, you know, go there? So if we were to look at the Google map section, you have pro proximity, you have relevance, and then you have prominence that you need to take it to consideration when you wanna rank higher on Google map.

Now the summary of everything, right? The on page stuff is pages for each service and categories, right? In the main cities, you wanna optimize your titles, your H ones, your URLs, your images, and you wanna make sure you have unique content for all of your pages, for your Google, my business. You wanna make sure you claim and optimize your Google, uh, your Google maps profile.

You want to add Yex or some other citation management platform. There’s bright, local there’s there’s platforms that allow you to generate citations for your business. And they do that for you. You need to add major data aggregators. So a data aggregator is essentially you, um, submit your profile, your business to, to these data aggregators that will then push your data towards everything else.

It aggregates your data essentially, right? So by doing that, you, you improve the chances that your Google, my business profile will end up ranking higher. What you also need to do is put a system in place for driving review. So whether you use your existing loyalty software, like Alpine IQ or spring big, or any of these other things, or you have a specific review generation software, or even have something as simple as a QR code, right? You need to make sure you have a system in place for driving online reviews.

And you also need to make sure you continue adding citations on an ongoing basis. And you need to make sure they’re up to date and accurate because if any of these citations have a different address or a different phone number or different hours from what you currently say on your website, there’s immediately a trust factor that is lost because who is correct? Is Google my business? Correct? Are these citations correct? Are your website correct? Google doesn’t know.

So it needs to make sure that all of the information is correct. And up to date. Then the last thing is signals leverage, right? Expertise, authority, and trust the, the, the E acronym, right? You need to make sure you have multiple do follow links back to the client’s website, GMB listing, and internal pages on the client website.

Again, this is super technical. Um, so I don’t wanna touch on this too much, but you need to just make sure you optimize your links properly, right? Whether that’s linking between the own pages of your website, cuz you have a lot of blogs or you getting back, uh, links, uh, from, from, you know, authoritative domains.

You need to make sure you embed your map on the website. So the Google map in embed, you need to make sure, and then you need to make, you have fresh content, right? Fresh content map, embeds, multiple do follow links and all these different links and Google my business listings and internal pages and then eat.

Right? So in summary just very, very quickly, it’s easier said than done on page stuff, Google my business stuff and then leveraging the signals. Now I just wanna show you what all of that looks like put together. So if we put, if we do everything right and we do all the good on page stuff, we do the go good Google my business stuff and we leverage the signals properly.

Um, I just wanna show you what that looks like in terms of keyword rankings and then organic traffic as well. So again, these to my clients and they’re absolutely crushing it. So here we can see when we started working for them, they went up 1400 Google rankings for, for their 65 keywords at their ranking, right? And because you’re in a local area, you don’t need to rank for a million keywords, but you need to be good in those keywords.

Right? Cause they can be very competitive. So you need to make that you rank higher. So 1500 keyword changes and they generated almost 6,000, uh, uh, visitors in terms of organic traffic. Again, these are people finding you from Google. This isn’t total traffic. This is traffic from Google. So you are doing this and leveraging organic traffic with your existing marketing plans down here, 73 words, 2 2500 Google changes and then 16,000 of visitors on their website.

Right? So we can see that there’s a significant difference. I mean, we rank them for a thousand more keywords in here. They’re both crushing it. But by putting all of the SEO strategies together, what you need to realize is that you are going to rank higher. When you rank higher, you’re gonna get more traffic.

When you get more traffic, you’re gonna at more sales, right? That’s all, this is all of these different tactics and tricks and stuff. All it is to do is you wanna rank hiring Google, both in Google maps and in the organic listings below. And in order to do that, or when you do that successfully, you’re gonna see a significant change on how well your keywords are going up and then how much organic traffic you’re getting, right? And this traffic they’re actively looking to buy cannabis products.

And this is exactly, you know, the service that you’re providing and that’s exactly what your customers are gonna find. So now, uh, last one, not least, if you want, uh, the ultimate internet marketing checklist for your dispensary, you just go to Canada, bed,, right? And this checklist is just gonna have all the different things that I spoke to you about in this slide.

And a lot more in terms of how you need to optimize for conversions, what you need to optimize for search engine rankings, what you need to do to optimize in Google maps, right? That’s all of these different things. If you wanna jump right to it and you just want some help right away, you can talk some strategy, just go to Canna, bud go to back slack back slash schedule.

And in there you’re gonna be taken to a page. And then you just find the calendar link. You’ll be talking personally with me. And again, this is completely free. This is just a strategy session where we can go through your website, see what your needs are and how we can help you get from where you are now to where you want to be.

Um, and if we can help you with that, fantastic. And if we can’t, this is a no obligation sales call. I mean, I’m not even gonna come to you with a proposal. This is literally do we, as an agency, have the capabilities to take you to where you want to be in the future, right? That’s all this, this session is. So if you’re looking to get, you know, some, some, um, some results like these, you wanna rank higher and Google, you wanna get your Google rankings up, you wanna get more organic traffic, uh, go to CanBan back back slash schedule.

And then, uh, we can, uh, schedule a chat there, but that’s it for me just want to say, uh, thank you everyone for listening to me, ramble on for, for this long about SEO. And I know there’s a little bit of, of some technical pieces that might have been difficult to stand. Uh, but if you have any questions again, just schedule in here, that would be the best way to get in contact with me and we can take it from there.

Article By

Brandon Quan

About The Author: A digital marketer with over 7 years of experience, Brandon Quan is wildly known as the top marketing expert within the Cannabis Industry.

More Cannabis Marketing Resources:

Skip to content