Cannabis SEO: 6 SEO Tips for Dispensaries

Cannabis SEO: 6 SEO Tips for Dispensaries

Digital marketing for cannabis dispensaries comes with unique challenges. Due to the legislative restrictions on cannabis, many of the more common digital marketing channels make it difficult, if not impossible, to promote cannabis products or places of business on their platforms. The red tape leaves SEO as the primary digital marketing tool for medical and recreational dispensaries across the US. And, because it’s one of the few ways for cannabis dispensaries to reach their target audiences, it can be highly competitive, especially in the states where sales have been legal for over a decade now. 

6 Dispensary Tips & Best Practices

Optimize Your Local Listings

Local listings are the number one way to drive foot traffic and web traffic to your dispensary. Cannabis searches are highly local in their nature. Google My Business listings will help your dispensary locations appear in the local map pack and on map searches for relevant queries. While Google is the top search engine for US users, it’s important to build out your listings on cannabis directories and other directories when users are searching for businesses like Apple maps, Yelp, Bing, Foursquare, etc.

Ask for Reviews

Make sure it’s part of your Budtender training to not only provide exceptional service to your customers but to ask those customers to leave a review about their positive experience. By default, consumers only write a review if they have a complaint or negative experience so it’s really important to make a strong review strategy part of your checkout process. Positive reviews are one of the key factors to rank at the top of the local pack and unlike proximity to the searcher, it is within your control!

Prioritize Mobile Performance

Most dispensary website visitors will be on a mobile device which means your site has to be lightning fast. Conversion rates decrease at an exponential rate with every second it takes a page to load. Make sure your mobile UX is lightweight, clutter free, and easy to navigate. That doesn’t just mean the homepage and menu. Every step in your customer journey needs to be as frictionless as possible, especially once your customer is in the cart!

Build Out Location Pages

Ranking your dispensary website for “near me” or location specific city, state, or landmark terms will be heavily reliant on robust high-quality location specific content on the site. For dispensaries with multiple locations it makes sense to have an index page that links out to each of your individual location pages. Multi-state operators would benefit from adding a state-level page as well.

Write High-Quality Educational Content

At the moment, there is immense opportunity for dispensaries in states where cannabis is now legal to get ahead of the wave of companies and competitors who will enter the market as legislative changes continue either state by state or federally. Building out robust, informative, educational content about cannabis and the various ways to consume cannabis will help you secure your place in the search results before others get the chance. That doesn’t mean you’re guaranteed to keep the spot forever, but history does help establish authority so if you keep the content up to date over time, you’ll have a very good chance.

Don’t Rely On 3rd Party Marketplaces & iFrame Menus

The upfront price tag on a marketplace solution may seem like a great deal, in reality the cost is steep when it comes to your data and your SEO. If you want to be able to rank for cannabis brands, products and strains you carry, you need to have your navigation built into your ecommerce platform, not pulled in from a 3rd party. Read our case study on how we helped Star Buds Colorado make this very move to grow their traffic 83%, increase the number of keywords they ranked for by 70%, and fully own their customer data post-launch.

Want to partner with a cannabis SEO agency that gets it? Let’s chat.