How To Rank Your Cannabis Dispensary on Google Maps

Brandon Quan | Founder

Published: April 11, 2022

I know you guys like the podcast episodes. But I also release training videos surrounding marketing for your dispensary too!

On this webinar, I’ll cover everything you need to know:

– Our Proven 4 Step Formula for Getting Dispensaries Ranked on The Google Map in even the most competitive markets.

– The #1 issue that could be preventing your company from ranking on the Map in your area.

– The key ingredient for a top 3 listing and how to leverage it for great long-term results.

– How to properly claim & optimize your Google My Business listing.

– How to develop your authority through proactive citation development & the best tools to automate the process.

– How to identify inconsistency with your NAP profile across the web and how to clean it up for improved rankings.


Cannabud Marketing is the top digital marketing agency for Cannabis Dispensaries. Our specialized expertise will put you in the best position to succeed when working with us.

Book your audit with us here:


All right, what’s going on guys. This is another training video on how to rank on Google maps for cannabis dispensaries. We know we everyone’s seen this. We know how important this is to rank for those dispensary near me keywords. Um, that’s pretty much where the majority of people are gonna find you online.

Uh, this is again, super, super important. So I’m really happy to, uh, to, to touch on, on this webinar to talk about why it’s important to rank, um, different things. Like what is Google maps? Exactly why ranking on Google maps is incredibly important. Um, our proven model for ranking in the three pack, and then also the best will systemize and automate, uh, the heavy lifting.

So without further ado, I will go ahead and get started. So down here, uh, who am I, uh, just to give you a little bit of context about who I am, if you don’t know already, um, all the way back in 2018, uh, I actually started like a table tennis club. um, I didn’t have any budget. Uh, I didn’t have any results.

Um, I trying to use social media, trying to get members that way, liking pictures and stuff like that. Um, and when I first, first started, I actually, you know, had just two of my friends come in, cuz I needed to take pictures. Uh, there’s literally only two people at the club, um, which was fine at the time, but obviously I wanted to figure out a way to, to, to get new members.

Right. And, and social media definitely wasn’t the way, at least at that time. Um, so then what I really needed to do was figure out, okay, how do I get people coming through the door? And that light bulb kind of went off in my head, right? Um, whenever somebody searches for something, they Google it, right? Whether it’s a restaurant near me, a table tennis club, whatever it is, um, they need to Google it.

So what I did was just dedicate all of my, to learning SEO, all the tips and tricks on both ranking on Google maps and organically to figure out, okay, how do I get people to come in through the door using organic search marketing? Right. So SEO does take a little bit of time, but fast forward a little bit, uh, later, a year later I was able to get a few members coming in.

I think I had about 10, maybe 13 members here. I right. This is really cool cuz it was a proof of concept and kind of like, uh, was a thing that helped me move on forward, uh, to continue doing something like this instead of giving up, uh, then after that, um, you know, the SEO kicked in, I started ranking number one, both organically and on Google maps.

And I essentially just tripled my monthly customers. This was all before COVID. Uh, so we had an awesome, well we ran multiple tournaments and then we were able to grow the club like this. So then I was like, okay, this, this, this makes a lot of sense. Like if I can do this for, for this club, um, I think I can do this for other businesses and stuff like that.

So what I did is I then transitioned into working with, uh, cannabis dispensaries, right. And got some really, really awesome results because in the dispensary space, as a lot of you guys know, um, you can’t really do any other marketing except like online, um, SEO, PPCs, very difficult to do. Like you can do it.

Um, and then there’s tons of restrictions on billboards and all these random things. Right. So we’ve been able to get really, really awesome results for our clients. Uh, these are all videos all on our YouTube channel if you’d like to take a look. Um, alright. And then down here, uh, here are some, uh, of the results in terms of reporting on the backend, right? So here able to increase calls to this dispensary by 302%, they jumped up from 750 calls to a about 3000 calls, which is really awesome.

Uh, the aggregate data on this was 33,000 website visits, 14,000 direction requests and 8,500 calls, which is like significant, right? Like these are people who are actively looking for cannabis products and they’re prepositioned to buy from you. And this is exactly what they want. Right? Uh, down here, we are able to generate these guys in additional $45,000 of revenue per month.

Uh, here are 25,000 sessions, right? And the equivalent of this is like, these people are coming into your online store. So you need to make sure your online presence is good. And I spoke about, uh, how important conversions are in different things like that. But this again is a super important piece, uh, because even though you have a lot of traffic to your website, you need to make sure have the good, uh, uh, online environment built out so that people will end up coming in and purchasing from you.

So taking it to the Google maps, you know, what is Google maps? What is Google, uh, business profile? So Google’s changes surround a few times. It’s Google maps, uh, local three pack, Google my business profile. Um, and then there’s a recent update where, uh, they’re actually getting rid of the Google business profile and they’re only letting people, uh, optimize things within the Google platform itself.

We’ll see how that happens and how Google rolls that out. But it’s essentially for those who don’t know, uh, it’s just a profile. So, you know, whenever you type in restaurant near me, the, the, the map pack shows up with the reviews and all of these different things, all, uh, why it’s super, super important is because you have these four options available, um, on mobile.

So over 50% of all of the clicks online are, are, are mobile now, right? So what we need to do is we need to make sure that, you know, all of our things are optimized on both end, both mobile and, um, on desktop as well. So these four things where you can call, uh, chat request directions, and then view your website are all key and important metrics that you need to make sure that you have, um, optimized so that people end up trying to get and, and work with your business, right? So this chat icon here and not everyone might have this chat icon, um, essentially what this is is it lets people like text.

Um, but you need to go in on the backend and activate it, but Google will then deactivate your messaging section. If you don’t end up, uh, replying, I think you need to have like a 90 plus or a 95% reply rate for any, any inquiries online. So you need to make sure that somebody comes in and chats with you. You, you, you do reply even if it’s like something silly.

Uh, one of the metric is, is this chat. And I do think moving forward, this is also an important piece because, um, this is Google’s platform and they want you to use it as much as possible. And their incentive is to get as many customers using this as much as possible. Right. Uh, so one of the ranking factors that I, I do think will come into play is responding on this chat widget, because if you respond on this chat widget, they know that you’re a business, that’s going to make sure that whoever’s inquiring about whatever service, you know, you’re gonna take care of them, right.

And then goes without saying direction requests and websites. And it shows all the information here. So this is super, super important, cuz the majority of people who purchase cannabis products are gonna find you on the Google, my business platform. Um, so yeah, up here you can see the Google maps, Google my business platform.

So typically it shows three. So here’s your, what would be referred to as like the local pack or the top three pack. Um, and you would have, you know, these three, so for this location over here, you have vapor room Mo greens, fig and thistle. Um, but this will differ depending on or you search, right? So depending on where you’re actually located, this is gonna be a little bit different.

And down here we have this organic search section right here. Um, you have Leafly bar coast right here. So you have, what’s referred to as the Google maps, Google business profile, and then the organic search, which sits below the Google map section as well. Uh, it’s also a super important because in the cannabis space, uh, like I said, there are ways you can get around doing, uh, PPC, right? You can create specific landing pages that don’t do that.

Don’t mention anything about cannabis or anything like that. But you know, according to at Google’s actual specific terms and services, you’re not allowed to, you know, to do anything like that. So for the most part, all of the ranking, um, awareness that you’re gonna get is gonna be driven from the local pack and the organic search results, which is again, why this is super important.

So the percentage distributions around 30% here, I in the local pack in 50% here. Um, but in my experience like a lot of people are gonna find you here first and then this could probably be the secondary option. And the reason why this is 50% is, you know, because it does take up the rest of the search results, right.

Um, but you’re gonna get a lot of results from the Google, my business platform, which is why we’re having this webinar. Uh, so down here, um, you also gain really, really valuable insights within the Google, um, business profile platform or whatever you wanna call the Google mass platform. Right? Uh, we have the visits to the website, we have the request directions and then we have the calls and then we also have, uh, you know, popular times where you are being called.

So I know a lot of dispensaries may be tight on, you know, staff and all these different things. So if you de do need to allocate specific times around, Hey, we need to make sure our store is staffed properly at this time or on this day. Um, it’s important that because you can take a look at these metrics and you know that for this dispensary and spec in, in particular, people are gonna call, you know, around 3:00 PM on a Saturday.

So this is very, very, so then you can go ahead and then track your metrics and see how, how your business is performing and what’s going on. Right. Uh, so then down here, again, why it’s also important is because, uh, in this section you also get, um, a lot more calls. Let see if I can move this over here, you also get a lot more website calls, right? And, and calls are slightly different because these are people who have a problem that they, that they, that they, they have some sort of problem that they need to ask you for.

Right? Whether the problem is, do you have specific inventory in place? What are your hours, um, you know, where are you located? That sort of thing. You’re gonna get all these calls, but the Google, my business platform gets, you know, a lot more calls than your website would. So this is for one of our clients and we track calls that you get on the website and then also in the Google my business platform.

So here you can see that they almost got three times more calls within the past month, just on the Google, my business platform alone, right? Uh, down here, these guys got seven times more calls on the Google, my business platform alone, but you can see here just based on the sessions and the clicks, the website is still super, super important to make sure you capture here as many people cuz people are ultimately gonna go on your website, see if there’s any deals, see what products you have, uh, see the different THC levels, which is an important thing.

Some of them are gonna order online, click and collect for delivery. So it’s again incredibly, incredibly important that you have a holistic marketing strategy that surrounds not just the Google, my business stuff, but also how you can optimize your website so that you can increase the amount of organic sessions that you have.

Uh, so, um, a lot of times, and this is not necessarily prevalent in the cannabis space, although it is. And I have seen it around, um, one of the things that you do need to be aware of is that Google is really paying attention to fake Google maps listings, right? And while your listing may not be fake, it may trigger some sort of spam triggers and you may lose your listing, right? And already in this cannabis space where like, you never know what’s gonna happen on like social media or on Google or where any of these things happen.

Again, it’s really important that you try to stick with the specific guidelines that Google wants you to, to, to stay under. Right. Um, because if you get your Google, my business account shut down and you lose it, you can lose all the reviews, potentially you can lose all the ranking factors. So again, it’s really important that either you or whoever you’re working with pays attention to how the Google my business algorithm is is, is working.

Um, cuz you don’t wanna get any of your accounts banned because this is really prevalent, as you can imagine, not just in the cannabis space, uh, but in a lot of different industries. So they can’t really differentiate, you know, with, with 100% certainty, if your business is, is fake or not down here, uh, here are some of the most common reasons why you’re not ranking on maps.

Right? Uh, the first one is just like, you know, having the office or the store in the city that you’re trying to rank for. So, you know, a lot of times, you know, people come in, they’re like, okay, we’re not ranking in this city next to us. Or we’re not ranking 20 miles or 20 kilometers away. And it’s, it’s, it’s obvious because like, if there are other dispensaries in the local area, Google’s not gonna show the one that’s furthest away.

Right. Again, the example, if you were to look for a restaurant, you don’t wanna find a restaurant that’s 30 minutes to 45 minute drive way, right? So you need to make sure you have a shop or a store with a Google, my business account rev you’re located in. Right. Uh, the second one is trying to spam Google with fake locations.

So a lot of times people just try and use like, uh, um, these like, um, virtual offices where you can get the postal code or get the address so that you can just put in, um, put it in, authenticate the account. But again, the problem with this is that Google will end up trying to, uh, will end up finding this out some way.

Um, and then you either won’t rank as well or they will just completely delete your account as a whole. This third one is super important. I’m gonna touch on why this is important in a second, but having an inconsistent name, address, and full own number on your profile and on your website is a big no-no for, uh, your ranking on Google.

And one of the main reasons for this is because on the Google, my business platform, right, I’m gonna scroll back up here. All right. Whenever somebody clicks on this and looks at the hours, they are paying attention to the information that is on Google’s platform. So if I go to vapor room cannabis and they say they’re open at 12 o’clock and I go in at 1215 and I, and they’re not open, right? Oh it says, yeah.

And I go in at 1215, and it says that they’re not open. We’re gonna have a big issue because I’m going to not trust what Google is is saying, right. I’m gonna be like, Hey, what you know, why is we’re wise it wrong? So then I’m gonna lose confidence and trust in what Google’s saying. And Google doesn’t want that.

So you need to make sure that you, all of your, your online assets have a consistent name, address, and phone number everywhere. Um, because that will then provide more trust with what Google has on their platform and what you guys are saying. And again, I’m gonna touch on this more in a second. Another thing is spending your city and company name, uh, in the actual Google, my business listing.

So, um, Emmanuel, I know you you’re, you’re out in Denver, so I’m sure you’ll find a lot of people having like Denver cannabis dispensary and then their company name or something like that. Right. Um, Google is trying to crack down on it, but the reality of things are, is that, you know, you do rank or if you have specific keywords in your company name and, uh, some of the more black hat methods that people are taking advantage of is they are then just putting the city cannabis dispensary or the city and weed delivery, that sort of thing in their business name.

And you actually can’t do that, or you’re not supposed to do that. So it’s up to you how you will take that information, but, uh, you’re not supposed to be, spaming your company name in the categories, uh, down here. Uh, do you have enough reviews across the web as well? So this is super important. Um, because reviews are a main thing, not just for conversions, but also for ranking, right? Like how are people gonna come in and, and rank for the business? Um, I’m sorry.

How are people gonna come in and review your business if you don’t have really good reviews? Why would Google put you on top? Right. Just read this chat for a second. Uh, do they allow dispensaries? Sorry. What do you mean by do they allow dispensaries? Um, can you hear me? Yeah. Yeah. okay.

Do, um, do they allow dispensaries? Like for example, I had another friend, um, their company was called profit leaf and, um, they ended up getting, they were really at first in, um, paying for a lot of ads and, and really engaging a lot with Google and that was our main source, but then eventually, um, Google send them, like they just took them down completely.

So I think when I asked that question, you were saying, um, oh, the Google ads, it wasn’t, uh, you were just talking about, um, what was it? Um, I can scroll back up, let me know, Google my spend. I think it was. Or, or, or one of the other, um, oh, the PP concepts. And I just wanted to know, do they allow you to have a dispensary business on, on these platforms? And, and I mean, it’s on Google obviously.

Yeah. But, um, on these extra additive, uh, different features they have. Yeah. So, uh, let’s just say, so the popular example is like a lawyer. If you type in lawyer near me, you’re gonna get a bunch of that. Like you’re gonna get, uh, where it says this ad. You can see this thing here, how it says ad, um, both in the Google, my business section.

Um, you might have some ads here. Right? And then you also might have some ads above, above the actual listings, um, like above, above this as well. So don’t like, according to Google’s guidelines, like technically they don’t right. They don’t allow anything related to getting high, any accessories, BS, like they don’t allow any of this.

Right. Which is why for the most part, if you type in dispensary near me, you’re not gonna find any acts. Or if you type in cannabis, you’re not gonna find any acts. Now that being said, there are ways to get a around this. Right. Um, and typically what you would do is you would set up, what’s referred to as like a landing page.

So a lot of times people run Google ads directly to their website. You would actually build out a, a, another online asset that has nothing to do with cannabis, weed, high, uh, any of these things and say, Hey, uh, get a 15% pro here. And that’s all that they have. And then just based on their brand, um, people are gonna go end up getting the deals through that.

Now that’s still not allowed, but so are dispensaries allowed, allowed? No. But are there ways to get around it? Yes. Does that make sense? Yeah. Cool. Yeah. I think it’s just a, a strategy and yeah. Um, if you, you, you’re a different, um, breed cuz you know how to maneuver the dispensary side of it. Yeah.

However, someone that’s still from that same world that has never really worked cannabis or dispensaries really won’t know that. Exactly. So the, the, the, the game of cannabis and compliance is just, it’s a, it’s a completely different beast because there are things you can say and can’t say both within your state or city or country, but also on what you can do digitally.

Right. So if you’ve talked to multiple dispensary owners, you’ll probably find out that almost 50% of them have had their Instagram account shut down. Right. Uh, because people have reported them, they put something online, the algorithm caught them. So you need to be really, really careful, careful with what you do.

Um, and this is a, like a long, it’s a long term game. So anyone could go ahead and put up some Google ads and make some money, but it’s gonna be very, very short lived, which is exactly what you’re explaining. Right. You’re going to get caught eventually, if this is your main source of what you’re doing. Now, if you have a robust marketing strategy, like an SEO strategy, a good conversion strategy and, and marketing well then sure.

Right. Then let’s try these other experimental things that may or may not work because if it works, you’re in the bonus. If it doesn’t work, you’re still fine because you have all these other things rolling. So again, like there, there’s always loopholes to do, to, to get around these things. But this is again, super important that you take this into consideration.

All right. So yeah. Does that answer your question? Yes, it does. Cool. Um, I can’t see the chat here, so yeah, if, if, uh, if you have any additional questions, just, you know, kind of let me know. Um, so, so this is what could typically be heard in your rankings. Like I said, these are rules, and I’m gonna tell you what Google’s guidelines are, but there are always loopholes to get around some of these things.

And, you know, I wouldn’t go out and like, just say, you should do these things, but again, do with this information as you will. Um, so now for the three main things for getting ranks in the three pack, right? It’s SEO strategy, it’s this big network of stuff I’m gonna show you in a second. And then it also pertains to reviews on the Google, my business platform, um, and some, you know, kind of secret hacks about if you can kind of min not manipulate, but you wanna generate reviews the best way.

So, uh, the special local SEO ranking factors, and this is directly from Google. So Google uses a different algorithm for local searches, right? And what this means is that, um, there are two different ways factors for where you can rank on Google, um, which is this local pack and the organic search results.

So the factors that go into ranking you in the local pack are different from ranking you in the organic search results, which is why sometimes you’ll see people ranking in the top three here and not ranking here, or vice versa. You’re gonna see people ranking here and not ranking here. So I’m gonna touch on that right now.

So proximity one, how close is the place of business for the person searching right. Using zip codes and geo coordinates in your content, the rest you can’t really control. So again, what this means is that if you have a low location in location, a right, um, and someone from location B that’s 30 miles away tries to fit, tries to, to, to, to look for a dispensary near them.

Uh, then it’s not typically it won’t work unless it’s not really a competitive area, right? Like if you’re in the middle of, let’s say, uh, like if you’re in Oklahoma and there’s like a lot of spread between the different areas, sometimes you might be able to rank, but for the most part, if you’re in a highly populated area, like, let’s just say like LA LA’s crazy.

Denver is also crazy. , um, you know, New York is going to be crazy once they get their stuff, uh, organized. Um, you need to make sure that you have this proximity towards whoever’s searching, right? And this leads me into something thing about the, when I talk about like loyalty with your customers, cuz ultimately like if there are like 20, uh, dispensaries within your surrounding area, right? And you get the, the honor of serving one of those customers that end up going to your dispensary into someone else, you better make sure you take care of them because the loyalty portion of having them coming back over and over and over again is really, what’s gonna get people coming through the door.

Um, a lot of times people are like, yeah, let’s run some ads or let’s do this quickly and we’re gonna get people coming in, but they completely neglect the customer service aspect of what’s going on. So now that you know, that proximity plays a, a big portion in, in ranking, right? You need to make sure that the customers you do get just based on this proximity piece is, is, is, you know, you’re taking good care of them essentially.

Uh, the second one is the, is the relevance piece. So proximity is how close the person searching is to your business. The second one is relevant. So how relevant is the search term for the business itself? Right? So what you want to do is you wanna optimize the content and on page signals use the proper business category is in the content section, headings, niche, citations, and then your review velocity as well.

So I’m gonna impact unpack this as well. So the relevance is essentially if I’m looking for a dispensary or even more granular, if I’m looking for pre-rolls or if I’m looking for edibles or even more granular, I’m looking for a specific type of flower, right? How relevant is the information on your Google of my business page, on your website, towards what the person is searching for? Right? So if you have, um, and I’ll Emmanuel, I’ll just I’ll guess I’ll use your example again, if you, if somebody’s searching for a recreational dispensary and someone is searching for a medical dispensary, although you might be ranking well for recreational dispensary, because you have recreational content there, but you don’t have any medical content out there.

That’s gonna be an issue because you don’t have anything relevant towards what the person is searching because ultimately all Google is, is a middle man. All Google is, is you type in a term and they connect you with what they think is the most relevant information towards what you’re searching. Right.

That’s all it is. And then the third one is prominence, right? So what is the authority of local businesses? What is your eat profile? So expertise, authority, trustworthiness, what are your brand mentions link signals, reviews versus competition. Um, and then syndicating will dramatically improve the prominence entity over, you know, three to six months.

And again, I’ll unpack that a little bit. Um, so essentially what this means is how prominent is your business in the local area where people are searching, right? Um, and so the example is, is if you ran a massive local event that got press releases that got local newspapers talking about it, that got people on online, talking about it and saying, Hey, this was the best event.

Uh, maybe you do like a battle of the band sponsored by insert your, your, uh, dispensary. You’re gonna get tons and tons of prominence because your name is gonna now be mentioned all over the internet, ideally from these high authority websites, because they then publish things at a local to your area and their high authority, and then your business will end up ranking higher.

So a broad, broad overview of how you want to, to, to, I guess, optimize your actions to rank higher and Google my business. These are the things you need to take into consideration. Now, breaking that down even further, here are the percentage breakdowns on, um, where, and be found in the local pack and then also in, also for the organic ranking factors as well.

So just like, um, when I told you that there are different ranking factors for the two, uh, the percentage breakdowns are, are pretty different, right? So this first one, Google my business signals, proximity categories, keyword and business analytics, cetera, this accounts for about 25% of the ranking power of, of, of how you can rank better online.

So proximity, again, like I said, this is a huge one. You can’t really do anything about that. All you can do is maybe open up more GMBs and locations, right? The category is your category should be the category where people are trying to search. So I, I think the category on Google is a shop, right? It’s not dispensary, but same thing, right? So cannabis store or something like that, you wanna make sure your category is good and not like again, um, herb shop or, or wellness center, right.

You wanna make sure it’s appropriate to whatever your, uh, your demographic you’re trying to target. Um, and then the keyword in business title, again, you’re not supposed to put to keyword stuff, you business title, but this is a ranking factor, right. So I can go ahead and tell you, yeah, don’t do all this stuff, but the people who are doing it do have some advantages.

Right. Um, but you wanna make sure that, that you optimize this other things that you can optimize is the description within the Google, my business listing as well. Uh, a lot of people just neglected. They say, Hey, we’re the best dispenser in your insert. Here we sell weed. Pre-rolls edibles concentrates, that’s it.

Right. But you have 750 characters of, of keyword driven content that you can put in that description. Right. And when I was talking about the relevance, how relevant is a search term for business, you know, there’s not really anywhere else that you can put keywords, right? Other than the, um, the title of your Google, my business listing, and also in the, um, description of your Google, my business account as well.

So this is something you want to do, right? So talk about again, where you’re located, what products you have definitely put in cannabis, dispensary, all of these different things, cuz this is one of the easiest things that you can do, um, that, that you, you can actively change, right? You can’t really change proximity, but you can change what you put in the Google maps account.

Second one is link signals. So inbound anchor, text linking domain authority, linking domain quality. So this is essentially like how authoritative is the website that’s to your, uh, domain, right? Um, are you putting back links towards that? Are you, um, you know, are you getting proper inbound, anchor techs and all that fun stuff? So it has to do with a lot of the off page stuff.

The third one is review signals. So you see here it’s review quantity, review velocity, and then also review diversity, right? So review quantity, you want as many reviews possible review velocity now in different industries. It, this, this I think metric is, is affected differently. So if I was a lawyer, who’s only servicing a few clients, maybe every single month, Google’s not gonna expect me to get, you know, 105 star reviews every single month.

However, if I’m a rep cran that is more feasible, right? Cause if I’m serving thousands of people every single month and I’m getting a lot of people coming in, it is potentially feasible for me to get a lot of reviews, um, in, in a month and then review diversity, right? Like how, like how many people are, are writing different things on the review, um, are different people, writing reviews, all of these.

Um, and this actually touches on like what people say in the review can also affect how you’re ranking, right. And not a lot of people know this, but if somebody puts in just a five star review or if somebody puts in this dispensary was the most like most awesome dispenser I went into in the Denver, I’m super happy.

I went, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. Right. Google then picks up the keywords of what people say and will then appropriately, um, associate that with the relevance aspect, right? Review velocity is one of them. But also review diversity is, is, should be one of them written there too on page signal. So presence of name, address, phone number keyword and titles, domain authority, et cetera.

So I touched on this before. Um, but it’s incredibly important that you have the, the, the, the same name, address, and phone number in on your website that is also on your Google, my business platform as well, because you’re establishing that trust between the two. And I have a section where I’m gonna touch on that as well.

Uh, citation signals. These are, these are again, something I’m gonna touch on in a second. So I won’t go through that too much behavioral signals. So this is something, again, that’s super important that you can’t really like, um, adjust. Well, you can in terms of conversions, but this is a click through rate.

So how many people end up seeing your profile and then clicking the profile, right? How many mobile clicks do you get? Um, how many, uh, calls do you get? How many check-ins do you get? Again, behavioral signals are super important because if, if more people are clicking on my dispensary listing, then your dispensary listing, excuse me.

Or if I’m getting more people calling me than calling you right then that is another ranking factor. Cuz more people are calling this business personalization, making it different than social signals. I wouldn’t even pay too much attention to this unless like you have a massive, massive following, but this is Google engagement, Facebook engagement, Twitter engagement, just online social signals of what you’re doing.

Um, it’s very small. It’s like a 2% percent, um, uh, a thing that affects how you’re ranking. So again, this is super important for, for it’s sorry, it’s not that super important. It’s just like a lot of people try and pay attention to how many likes that they can get, but you can always buy likes and stuff, which is why this isn’t very important.

And these are the organic ranking factors. So while, you know, I know this is a Google map section I touch on this quickly. Uh, the organic ranking factors are link signals on page signals, behavioral signals, Google my business signals, which is funny enough. So ranking here and doing well here, uh, affects this citation signals, personalization review signals, and then social signals as well.

Right. Um, but we can see this link building in OnPage stuff, accounts for over 50% of, of what needs to get done. And then your behavioral signals, your clickthrough rate, mobile clicks calls check in. So if more people are staying on your page, you’re getting less bounce rates. This again is gonna benefit SEO and you’re gonna end up ranking higher.

Now, first things first claiming and optimizing Google, uh, business profile listings. So I’m sure a lot of you have done this already, but if you haven’t right, uh, step by step, make sure you have a login for your Google, my business account, update your company to read company name. You’re not supposed to add any keywords here, but some people do uh, add your website address.

This will create the important inbound link, meaning it’s gonna link your website, the relevance of your website towards, um, uh, the Google, my business profile using a local number super important. So if you’re a 6 47, it’s 3 28, whatever it is, four 16, um, make sure you use a local number because, uh, again, relevancy proximity, all of these fun things are gonna relate to your Google, my business profile.

So if you have a, a toll free number, it’s not as relevant because it’s not a local number, right? Local address again, no PO box, no PS store. You supposed to have a business. And then this, again, something that you can, uh, update uploading photos, as many as possible using personal photos, pictures of yourself, the owner, pictures of your staff, pictures of your store, uh, the logo, pictures of your work.

Um, and yeah, so cuz people connect and resonate with, with people, right? You know, uh, a lot of business, they say this is B to B, B to C, blah, blah, blah. But at the end of the day, it’s person to person. So the majority of purchases and funnels of how people purchase and, and review things online, they go find you online.

First, they go look at your photos. They go see if the vibe right is, is good enough for them. And then, then they come in and purchase afterwards. Right. But if you don’t have any pictures of your store, if you don’t have anything to do with the business, you have a lower likelihood chance of getting that person coming in the business.

Right. And the example is always like, you know, you’ve probably spent millions and millions and millions of dollar, well, not millions and millions, but you, you spent a lot of money on, on the compliance, the lawyers, uh, the construction, getting the location, all these different things. But then you spend like maybe five to 2% of that on your online presence, right? And these days like when’s the last time you’ve just driven around downtown and like just hopped in a store randomly, right? No, you, you, you know what you want inside your head, you then Google it, you look online and then you of the store afterwards, which is why it’s super, super important that when you think of your in-store environment and you think of, oh, we have the best bud tenderers, oh, we have, uh, an amazing welcoming store and all these different things.

You need to showcase that online first, cuz that’s super important. And then listing your hours, uh, of operation and service, like, you know, goes without saying, uh, but this is super important. Uh, here, this is where you can add your photo. So just go to info, add photo, just super simple. Um, and then just also other things you can do.

Um, but for the most part, just, just add photos then there’s also this section here, um, called the website. You can actually publish your website, uh, for free and this just creates an inbound link. Just, you know, just go ahead, click the link and like published website. Um, you can even put like best dispensary in and then publish the website cuz it does.

Uh, where was I cuz it does create, um, another link, uh, for you, which is always a good thing. Uh, so just going over best practices, updating your photos and adding them on a consistent basis, super important, leveraging Google posts by posting at least once every 90 days, uh, like this, this, um, this point I guess makes sense.

Um, I’m not sure if Google’s changed kind of the waitings they do for posting on Google. I know some businesses I never post and they rank very, very well. Um, but I also know businesses, um, that post a lot and they also rank very well. Uh, but when, and if you have the resources to continue post on Google, this is again super important, responding to reviews.

This is a big thing. Um, getting the reviews, um, is one thing, but responding to reviews is another thing. So when, remember when I mentioned that you have, um, you wanna make sure that you respond to all the people who are chatting with you on the Google platform. Let me see if I can find it. So here you have of this chat platform and this is potentially, or might be a ranking factor in, you know, how people, um, how Google’s gonna rank you because you are interacting with the customers and you’re taking good care of them.

So the reviews are the same, right? So if you’re responding to the reviews, um, if you’re responding to the reviews, Google’s gonna like that, cuz they see that you’re continually, um, updating the platform, uh, to the best of, of your ability. Uh, let me see. Okay, great. So that’s it right there. And then answering any questions that gets posted.

So that’s, that’s pretty much it for the Google, my business stuff. Um, so are the best practices for what you can do on your actual profile. Now, the next thing I’m gonna touch on is the citations. So if you’ve done any little bit of, of online research, uh, you probably see that citations are a really big thing on how you rank on Google, but what exactly are citations, right? Citations are just, um, an online reference to a business that features is a business name, address, phone number, and sometimes more it’ll have the hours, maybe pictures of the store.

But for the most part, it’s just an online reference. You can think of it as like directory listings as well. Right? So typically when an SEO refers to citations, they’re talking about a group of individual business listings on various websites. So I’m gonna touch on these various websites in a second, but the citations are not the citations you write in an essay.

Um, it’s the citations online for SEO reasons. Like I said, most citations take form, um, of an online business directory. Um, but other types of citations do exist. And while the minimum amount of information required for most citations is just the name, address, phone number. Again, most websites offer many more opportunities to add additional information and they, they typically charge you more too.

They’re like, Hey, uh, if you want to add this specific thing about your business, uh, we’re gonna charge you more, but don’t need to do that. Just have the online asset there. Now, why citations? Why citations? So citations establish trust between your information and what Google showing to their customers, right? And again, the easiest example is that when you’re looking for the hours of a business, you are looking at those hours on Google’s platform itself.

If you go into a dispensary and the Google, my business hours says, Hey, we close at five o’clock and then you go at four o’clock and you it’s actually closed. You’re gonna start losing trust in the accuracy of Google’s platform and not the business itself because you’re like, Hey, Google showed me this.

And you know, I should take this as is. So me included, I take the, uh, Google my business hours, like, uh, as, as the, the actual reality of what’s going on. Right. Um, but the good thing about this is Google creates an incentive to establish you ranking higher. The more your information is correct. So the purpose of citations is to build out all of these online assets that have your name, address, phone number, and all of this accuracy, because the more assets you have, the higher likelihood chance that your info is gonna be up to date and correct because, uh, if your website has all the up to date hours, the Google, my business has the up to date hours and you have 500 citations built out with the same name, address, phone number, and hours, right? Google is gonna be like, okay, this person, this place is, is, is up to date is accurate.

They know what they’re doing. So the trust is established between, uh, Google, your presence, and then their customers as well, which is the only thing that they really care about. Now there’s different types of citations that you can build out. And they’re broken down to three main categories. The first one is local.

So any directories that are local to your area. So if there’s chambers of commerce, if there’s associations, if there’s community groups, any of these things that you can get your website listed in, this is that would pertain to a local business, right? Um, and again, this is important because it’s the locality of your business.

And Google’s gonna be like, oh, if you have a lot of local citations, you’re in this area, duh, this makes sense. We’re gonna rank you higher. Right? The second thing is niche citations. So there’s a bunch of different citations for different industries. You have general contractors, you have lawyers, you have, um, fitness studios, you have all these different things, but for the purposes of what we have going on, our, the, the most common each citations are like leaf weed maps, Mary Jane, pot guide, THC finder, all bud leaf barn wears

You can go ahead list your website in these directories. And then again, it’s gonna say, okay, if this company, or if this business is par, is, is part of these cannabis related websites. Then the chances of them being a cannabis is a lot higher, right? And you have your core citations. So your core citations are just the biggest ones that you should definitely be a part of, no matter what industry you are, right? And that accounts for apple maps, Facebook, Yelp, Bing places, yellow pages, better business bureau, four square, and all of these different things.

So what you want to do is local citations, niche, citations, and then also core citations. So you develop a good citation profile, um, so that you can end up ranking higher, um, because these are the three things that relate to where you’re located, what type of business you are. And then if you’re part of just like the, just the core, um, directories that have all businesses is in right citation process, quite simple, lots of citations across the web, a consistent reference of company, name, address, and phone number, and also ours, right? Ours is another big, important thing, and then limited duplicate and incorrect business information.

So from what I know, Google has gotten a little bit better at figuring out what’s right on, what’s wrong, but like you want the exact information. If your postal code has a space, like don’t put a, like Le put a space for all, all of them, because you wanna make sure you’re syndicating accurate and up to date information all of the time.

And what you can do is there are some companies that have softwares to, uh, assess kind of what your listings are looking like. Right? So this was just a screen shot, um, that I was able to take. But we can see here that this specific business has 88% inaccurate listings, meaning that something was wrong with the business name, something’s wrong with the address or something was wrong with the phone number, right? Because, uh, if you are in this example, is Southern plum plumbing and mechanical, right? It better not just be Southern plumbing on, you know, MapQuest, or if you’re, you can see here that the, the, the phone number is six, seven, eight, seven, six, seven, 9,000.

Then this phone number is (404) 963-7924. So which one is correct? Right. How do, how do we figure out what’s what’s going on? So we need to make sure that all of this information is correct across the web so that you can then provide trust and confidence that Google like, uh, in Google, right? And then once that happens, you’ll end up getting ranked higher.

Now there’s another thing. There’s these things called aggregators. And, um, I think one of them, I think info group got replaced by, uh, force square, but these aggregators essentially aggregate, right? so they take your business information and they distribute that online to 300 plus online search sites.

Right? So what you want to do is actually submit your business to these aggregators, cuz you can think of this as just like one big entity, again, almost related to like a core citation, except the at this is a business that then puts forward all of your citations across the internet. So you can just submit it to them once and then they will then distribute that everywhere.

Now this is super important because if you submit your information and it’s wrong, it’s gonna be a problem because all of the information on the internet is wrong. Right. But make sure you do it correct. And do it the first time. So this is important. Um, and how you submit citations. This may seem like a lot, but there’s very easy ways to do it.

Uh, you can use bright, local, white spark Mo local, or you can use a Yext for some citations. I like bright, local, uh, bright. Local’s pretty good. Um, you can do it, you can track your citations. You can see what your competitors have. You can see what, what you need to build out and then you just pay them to build out all these citations.

Um, and it’s pretty good. You can also use white spark, which is another agency that does it, or you can just work with us and you know, we’ll build out your citations for you. Uh, but if you want to go ahead and build out your citations yourself, uh, you want to get your aggregated organized and you want to go ahead and, you know, start, uh, optimizing local niche and core, right? Um, you can go ahead and use this platform here.

So the best practices for citations, you wanna manually claim and optimize your Google. My business account of course use a tool like Y or, um, bright, local or white spark, right? To, um, to, you can also find the top citation listings using these actually, but you can also use the X for it. You can, you know, obviously you want to get listed in all the major data aggregators and then you wanna leverage a tool like bright, local or white spark to find niche, listing opportunities for cannabis dispensaries.

Uh, and now the third thing is lots of real reviews. So I don’t know how many of these reviews are real, but you want to make sure that the, that you get are real and related to, uh, your business, if possible. Now this is a little bit more tricky to do, but you can see here that it says a dispensary with good deals and very friendly, helpful staff, right? Because this review said dispensary in here, Google’s gonna push a specific review that might relate to what’s going on.

So if you type in, you know, pre-rolls right. If somebody writes in the review, this dispensary has the best pre-rolls I’ve ever had, that review is more relevant to what you’re searching, right. And this goes all the way back to the relevancy, right? So if you want to hack your way into, uh, generating better reviews for your business, what you really need to do is just go in type in, uh, dispensary, um, or go in, get your review.

And hopefully you can like tell the person writing a review for you to, to put in specific keywords. But for the most part, you just wanna generate reviews. Like that’s, that’s, that’s the biggest thing. Right. Um, and how do you drive consistent reviews? This is, uh, the main thing, the main process that I, that I would use.

Um, so the, a story, a very, very short story is that I used to work in the restaurant space to, to help, you know, businesses do the marketing and stuff like that. Right. Um, and in the restaurant space reviews are probably the most important because that’s what anyone looks at, right. If you have three Italian restaurants and you’re gonna go to the one with the most amount of reviews, right.

Um, and these guys had, I think almost 200 reviews and then they jumped up to 700 by doing one simple thing, just asking for a review after, you know, the D after they had dinner. Right. Obviously they’re only gonna ask people to, I had a good rapport with, at the end of the dinner. Um, but asking for reviews, acts like a call to action.

So just like when I spoke, um, in the conversion webinar about the importance of conversions, you’re essentially having a review funnel just offline, right. And by asking people for review, they may not directly do it, but you know, you’re gonna increase to percentage chance that you’re gonna get more reviews on your platform.

Right. So what you wanna do is ideally you would have some sort of QR code that leads directly to your review page at checkout. So just, uh, generating a QR code and having a review. And if you know that Bob comes into your dispensary 15 times a month, like, Hey, Bob, uh, you know, I really appreciate your support.

Um, it would help a us out a lot. If you can write us a review, you can just scan this cur code and review whenever you want. Right. And the URL that you can get is within the Google, my business platform as well. Uh, you can just on the right hand side of the Google, my business platform, there’s a section that you can write.

I click get more reviews, share review form, and then you get, you know, you get this section here, uh, you can also a leave a printed review card with each purchase again, which, you know, you can do. They be like, Hey, uh, if, if your customers really like your business, you know, they won’t mind writing a review cuz they want to support you and they want you to, to, to do the best, right? Third thing, training your bud tenderers to ask for reviews.

Um, and you don’t have to be super pushy, but whenever you think it’s right or whenever your bud tenderers think it’s right to, to do it, be like, Hey, um, if you don’t mind, can you, you know, write us in a review, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. Right? Uh, building reviews and recognition into the company culture as well, right? Like I don’t want this to come across as you’re just a business here to just like, get as many reviews as possible.

Right. Um, but taking pride in the review that you have online, because it is a reflection on your business itself, right. And if you’re trying to compete with all these big, big corporate businesses that can, you know, either buy reviews or just send or have massive, massive lists where they can get as many reviews as possible, these are the small things you need to do to beat out the competition.

Right. Then the last thing is leveraging your existing database for reviews, by email or SMS. Right? If you have a loyalty program, uh, go ahead, ask for some reviews or you can even like if your loyalty program breaks down your top 10% of purchasers, right. You can say, Hey, you know, um, saw you purchase lot or something like that.

You buy right against a review, uh, because it’s gonna help for conversion. More people are gonna click on your Google, my business pro profile. When more people click, you’re gonna rank higher, right? The more reviews you get, you’re also gonna rank higher. So all of these things are gonna funnel in and to, to ranking you hire as well.

Fourth thing on page optimization. So having the information on your website is again, super important, right? So here, uh, this is just a, a, a client of ours, Niagara falls. And in Castlegar putting their information on their website creates that relevance between saying, this is who we are, and these are our hours because if the hours on your website are there and the hours on the Google, my business profile are also there.

The chance that these in this information is correct. We’ll end up, we’ll end, we’ll end you up ranking higher. Right? So, uh, making sure you have this in the footer of all of your pages, super important to have name, address, phone number, and then ours as well. Cuz this is gonna create that trust between you and Google and up ranking higher.

You also want to embed, um, this maps page on, uh, on your website as well. So when you go to, uh, Google and you find a location, there’s like a share button and then you can click like an embed, copy that code onto your website. So then you have this Google, my business related code on your website. So it’s like, oh, this code of Google.

My business is on the website or Google maps is on the website, boom, we’re gonna rank you higher. Right? And I, I don’t want this to come across as like, Hey, you do one of these things and you’re gonna end up ranking one. No, it’s the combination of all of these things that we can do. And a lot of things that we can’t do that that’s gonna give us the highest percentage, chance of ranking hire on Google.

So overall summary for OnPage. Um, I spoke about this in the last SEO webinar, but, um, if you have multiple dispensary locations, you wanna have pages for each city, each location. So you can optimize for those pages. You wanna optimize all the titles, URLs, images, et cetera. And then you also want unique content for all the pages for the Google, my business stuff.

You wanna claim and optimize maps. You wanna have some sort of citation management platform. You wanna make sure all of this is added to major data aggregators. You wanna put a system in place for driving online reviews. You wanna add new citations on an ongoing basis. Like just keep adding them over time.

Um, your online, uh, profile is just gonna keep on growing and then you want to continue updating your OnPage information. And then in terms of the signals leverage, right, you have the E expertise, authority and trust, right? You wanna have multiple links back to the client’s website, uh, or back to your website, uh, GMB listings and internal pages on the website as well, multiple mapping beds, right? You wanna leverage these signals and then fresh content on the site as well.

So all of these things put together, give you a higher percentage chance of ranking, right in this world. There are not necessarily any guarantees, but we’ve gotten really, really good at it. So, uh, what I wanted to touch on is some of these client ranking case studies, which is like really awesome. We actually had a recent client that I think they hit 10, uh, five, five numbers in terms of how they change on Google.

But, uh, I’ll, I’ll find that I’ll in that report a little bit later, but you can see here, uh, for these words, there’s 65, uh, words here that are ranking and then the, the change from where they were and where they are now, they jumped up 1500 or 1400 points. So 1500 positions, they ended up ranking for these 65 words, right? Organic traffic, almost 6,000, um, down here, 73 Google ranking, 2,500, uh, positions change, which is like ridiculous.

Right? When you think about changes, you think about, okay, I’m gonna rank like three spots. I’m gonna rank like six spots. No, you know, we’re ranking 2,500 spots, organic traffic here, 16,000. So these are 16,000 people who are going online, looking for cannabis products and then going to your store.

These aren’t random people coming from a, a billboard or from some sort of direct mail campaign or from anything else. These are prepositioned people who are looking to buy cannabis products. The equivalent of this is 16,000 people coming into your store except your stores online. Right? So we need to make sure, uh, that you optimize everything because the results that you can get from SEOs significant, uh, here, organic search.

So again, in the last SEO webinar, I did, I broke down the different types of traffic that you got to your website. You have organic meaning they come from Google, you have direct meaning that they directly typed in your name online. Then you have referral social and then other traffic, right? These are like referral traffic, like display ads, social Instagram than others, just whenever it can be tracked.

Um, so all of the, all of these things, excuse me, uh, you can see here, right, 9,000 sessions, organically 12,000 sessions here because, uh, here you’re getting the most amount of, of sessions organically, right? Not only that they’re spending more time on the website. And, um, the bounce rate is also lower.

And the bounce rate is essentially how many people visit your website on the homepage than leave like a bounce. So in the organic search here, we can see that the bounce rate’s 20% when it’s direct. It’s 30% when it’s referral 2241 and 30, right? And not only are you getting a lower bounce rate, you’re getting more people visiting website as well.

Uh, for this client, they were at 17%. And then here direct is 24, 26 52 on social 20% and then pays, well, this is only one. So this isn’t a good sample size metric, but organic search is where the money’s at. If you’re looking to get a positive ROI in your business, because these people then turn into customers because they know your business, like in terms of the competition funnel, right.

When you’re on, let’s say weed maps, you have all of the dispensaries, uh, that you need to compete with. When you’re an SEO, you only have a handful, only the ones on the first three listings, and then on the, uh, organic listings. So it’s, it’s smaller, but it’s still there. But then direct means that they’re directly going to your website, right? And there’s no other competition cuz they’re on your website itself, but organic traffic trumps all this is where you get the most amount of people visiting your website.

And then you can do with that traffic as you want. Um, if you, you want, uh, this checklist. So I have this checklist that breaks down all the different things that we spoke about here and also talking about the, uh, a checklist on conversions and all these all like all the stuff that I talk about essentially in this webinar, future webinars and the past webinar, it’s all gonna be in here.

And I also included the PDF version of our 2022 dispensary marketing guide. So if you want to go ahead, uh, go to checklist, uh, Canna, bud You can go ahead download that, um, and yeah, feel free to use it for whatever you need to. And then the last thing is that if you need any help for anything, you can, uh, schedule a free strategy session with me personally.

Uh, if you like this call, if you have any additional questions, just go to, can bud back slash schedule. Uh, we can hop on a chat and we can go through, uh, a really nice audit of your website, your online presence and see, uh, where, and if you know, we can help you out, but that’s it for me. Uh, this is the webinar on how to rank on Google maps for cannabis dispensaries.

And yeah, just wanted to say thanks for listening.

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:

“My First Cannabis Event Got Raided By The MED” – Jasmin J., Marketing Assoc. at Simply Pure

“My First Cannabis Event Got Raided By The MED” – Jasmin J., Marketing Assoc. at Simply Pure

Just wrapped up an insightful session with Jasmin Johnson, Marketing Associate at Simply Pure, Denver. We delved into the unique challenges of cannabis marketing on social media, from navigating account takedowns to using creative strategies to promote products. Jasmin shared the importance of in-person marketing, compliance with regulations, and their community-driven approach.

We hope you enjoy this episode.

read more
Skip to content