The cannabis industry is thriving, but companies still have to comply with restrictions when it comes to digital promotion. Marketing your dispensary through Google ads is impossible, but a balanced SEO campaign will drive sales. Discover the most effective strategies for dispensaries in 2022.
In North America, the business is booming, as the pandemic has caused demand for cannabis and CBD to surge. By 2025, consumers in the US are expected to spend over $38,7 billion on legal recreational cannabis, according to Statista. Google is your primary place for reaching customers, and a CBD SEO agency can provide valuable recommendations to further improve the site’s visibility.
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How Search Rankings Work
When users look for cannabis-related products or services in their area, they are most likely to find them through Google. It doesn’t matter if you have an e-store or a brick-and-mortar outlet. Appearing at the top of search results drives traffic that turns into paying customers if visitors like what they see on your site.
Google algorithms rank websites using a plethora of criteria. It is crucial to provide relevant, well-researched, and useful content to the reader, optimize it for mobile screens, gain domain authority, and more. Optimization is crucial when you build a website for a small cannabis business, but large companies need it just as much.
Top 3 Strategies for 2022
Here are three effective ways to market a dispensary using search engine optimization and marketing. Make them part of your strategy today! They will help you drive consistent traffic, boost sales and build trust.
1. Launch a Blog
If your dispensary does not have a blog yet, make it a priority. You need useful articles that will rank for the necessary keywords. When users in your area search for cannabis, you would like them to see you on the first SERP (search engine results page), right?
The success of your content marketing can be measured by tracking keyword rankings, the size of the traffic from searches, the average time spent by users on each article, and more. A professional SEO agency will create a comprehensive content strategy to push you to the top. A well-optimized blog will tick all the right boxes:
- Build credibility, trust, and authority in the eyes of both users and search engines.
- Provide you with high-quality traffic, so you can generate leads without ads (which are prohibited).
- Contribute to brand awareness.
- Help you build loyalty.
- Educate existing and potential customers
Content Building for a dispensary begins with keyword research. You must pinpoint the words and phrases customers enter into Google. For example, “Where to buy weed in (local area)”, “best hybrid strains”, “health effects of cannabis” or “Benefits of CBD oil”. Your keywords must be semantically related and distributed evenly throughout each blog article to make it visible in search.
Focus on “long-tail” keywords — i.e., phrases used to ask questions regarding marijuana and related products. Queries like “what is cannabis” are too broad to help retailers reach their target customers. Instead, focus on more specific combinations like “best dispensaries in (city)” or “where to buy weed in (city)”.
2. Optimize Google My Business Page
An active and optimized business page is crucial for local SEO. It makes your dispensary visible for users searching for products in your area. What they see on your page determines if they visit your store or ignore you.
Claim your business and GMB page and include as much information as possible. Fill in every single field and answer every question about your operations. Google offers different verification methods, including phone, postcard, and bulk verification for two or more outlets. To optimize your description, follow these tips:
- Make sure your company’s name, address, and phone number are in the same format everywhere: on your website, social media profiles, GMB, and Yelp. These details must look exactly the same.
- Specify your address in the format used by postal services (including room, suite, or subdivision, a full zip code, and other details that make your location easier to find).
- Add photos of the interior and exterior of your dispensary, your staff, and your products.
- Upload useful information in the form of images and photos (hours, payment methods, etc.).
- Ask customers to post reviews on Google.
- Keep the description updated.
- Make sure there are no errors, even minor ones.
3. Optimize Google Maps Page
Making your dispensary easy to find on Google Maps is great for visibility, but it also matters for positioning. Follow these tips to make the most of this service:
- Aside from the address, specify the geographic areas you serve (the names of cities or towns, or a radius in miles or kilometers).
- Create an impressive description of your business – a summary of what you offer and your competitive advantages.
- Ask your customers to leave reviews on Google Maps.
Owners of cannabis dispensaries and CBD stores should make SEO their first priority. Not only is organic traffic-free, but it also helps you flourish without paid advertising. Note that Google still considers marijuana and any related products as “dangerous goods”. You may have heard of companies that manage to advertise medical cannabis on Google, but think twice. It is always challenging, and your ads are likely to be rejected.