Local search engine optimization (SEO) can help potential customers searching for nearby dispensaries find your shop. By following these five local SEO tips, you can boost your dispensary’s visibility and grow your customer base.
Understanding Local SEO for Marijuana Dispensaries
Local SEO is the process of optimizing your website and online presence to increase your visibility and rank higher in search results when users search for local businesses. Local SEO helps marijuana dispensaries connect with local customers and drive more traffic to their physical store and website. Plus, since SEO is not regulated, it’s a compliant marketing strategy that can improve your online visibility.
What Is Local SEO?
Local SEO is a subset of search engine optimization that focuses on optimizing a business’s online presence to attract more local customers. It involves optimizing your website, Google Business Profile, and other online directories to rank higher in local search results.
Local SEO also involves creating local content, building local citations, and managing your online reviews to improve your online reputation and attract more customers to your physical store.
Why Is Local SEO Important for Dispensaries?
For marijuana dispensaries, local SEO is especially crucial considering the legal restrictions on delivery in some jurisdictions and the need for many customers to purchase in-store. By optimizing your online presence, you can attract customers who are searching for nearby dispensaries, thereby increasing foot traffic to your store and boosting sales.
Local SEO can also help dispensaries build a loyal customer base by providing online users with valuable information and resources. Creating high-quality content that addresses the needs and concerns of your local customers will help you establish yourself as a trusted authority in your community and attract more customers to your store.
Overall, local SEO is essential for any successful marijuana dispensary marketing strategy. If you optimize your online presence and connect with local customers, you can increase your visibility, attract more foot traffic to your store, and boost your sales and revenue.
1. Optimize Your Google Business Profile Listing
One of the most effective ways to improve local SEO is by claiming and optimizing your Google Business Profile (GBP) — formerly known as Google My Business. This will allow your dispensary to appear in Google’s local pack, which is the list of businesses that appear at the top of search results when someone searches for a local business in your area.
Maintaining your Google Business Profile is essential for your dispensary to stand out from the competition. Here are some tips to keep your profile in tip-top shape.
Claim and Verify Your Listing
The first step is to claim and verify your GBP listing. Create an account with Google and provide accurate information about your dispensary, such as your address, phone number, and business hours. By claiming and verifying your listing, you can ensure that you’re accurately representing your dispensary online.
Verifying your listing is also important because it helps Google confirm that your dispensary is a legitimate business. This can improve your search rankings and increase your visibility in local search results.
Provide Accurate and Consistent Information
It’s crucial to ensure that your GBP listing information is accurate and consistent across all platforms. That includes your website URL, social media profiles, and other directory listings. Having inconsistent information can lead to confusion among customers and hinder your local SEO efforts.
Make sure that your business name, address, and phone number (NAP) are the same everywhere they appear so that Google can identify your business and display accurate information to potential customers.
Add High-Quality Photos and Videos
Adding high-quality photos and videos of your dispensary, products, and staff can increase engagement and encourage potential customers to choose your dispensary over your competitors. Your photos and videos should showcase your dispensary in the best possible light.
To stand out from competitors, consider hiring a professional photographer or videographer to create visually appealing content for your GBP listing.
Respond to Reviews
Responding to Google reviews is another important aspect of optimizing your GBP. When customers leave reviews, make sure to respond promptly and professionally. If you do, you’ll show that you value customer feedback and are committed to providing excellent service.
Interacting with reviews can also help improve your search rankings. Google rewards businesses that engage with their customers and provide excellent customer service.
Update Your Listing Regularly
Finally, make sure to update your GBP listing regularly. Stay on top of any business hour changes, add new products or services, and respond to customer inquiries.
An up-to-date listing will ensure that potential customers have access to accurate information about your dispensary. This can also help improve your search rankings and increase your visibility in local search results. Creating Google Posts is a great way to do this.
2. Use Local Keywords in Your Content
Another effective way to improve local SEO is by utilizing local keywords in your content. Incorporate keywords that people are searching for when looking for local dispensaries in your area. Strong keyword optimization can increase your chances of appearing in relevant search results and attract more potential customers to your dispensary.
Conduct Keyword Research
Conducting keyword research is crucial to identify the keywords that people are searching for in relation to your dispensary. You can use tools such as Ahrefs and Semrush to find the most relevant and high-traffic keywords for your business. This will help you to optimize your content for those keywords and improve your search visibility. Get started with our local keyword research guide.
Incorporate Keywords Naturally
While using local keywords is essential for improving local SEO, it is equally important to incorporate them naturally into your content. Overstuffing your content with keywords can result in poor user experience and can even lead to penalties from search engines. Therefore, it’s important to use keywords in a way that feels natural and makes sense in the context of your content. This approach will keep your content engaging and useful for readers while also improving your local SEO.
3. Create & Update Content Regularly
Regularly updating your website with fresh, high-quality content is another effective way to improve your local SEO. You’ll start to establish your dispensary as an authoritative source in your industry and attract more potential customers to your website.
So what types of content should you focus on? Well, that depends on your customer base. If your target audience prefers to watch videos over reading articles, then short, informative videos may be the way to go.
If your audience prefers reading, a blog is a great tool for sharing information and increasing search visibility. You can even combine the two by creating videos to accompany your blog posts.
By providing valuable and informative content, you can build a loyal following of customers who trust your brand and are more likely to choose your dispensary over others.
Once you have quality content on your site, monitor its performance and periodically update it so it remains fresh. Tackle your updates with these tips.
4. Encourage and Manage Customer Reviews
Customer reviews are a powerful tool for improving local SEO and attracting new customers. Positive reviews can improve your ranking in local search results and encourage potential customers to choose your dispensary over your competitors.
But how do you encourage customers to leave reviews, and how do you manage those reviews once they start rolling in?
Ask for Reviews From Satisfied Customers
One of the easiest ways to get more reviews is to simply ask for them. After a customer makes a purchase, consider sending a follow-up email thanking them for their business and politely asking them to leave a review on your preferred platform.
Another option is to include a note on your receipts or invoices asking customers to leave a review. You could even print out small cards to include in each purchase, thanking customers for their business and asking for their feedback.
Consider offering incentives or discounts to customers who leave reviews. This can be a great way to encourage more reviews while rewarding loyal customers.
Respond to Reviews Professionally
Once the reviews start coming in, respond to them professionally and courteously to show that you value your customers and are committed to providing excellent service.
When responding to negative reviews, it’s important to acknowledge the customer’s concerns and offer a solution if possible. This can help turn a negative experience into a positive one and show potential customers that you care about their satisfaction.
When responding to positive reviews, thank the customer for their kind words and let them know that you appreciate their business.
Showcase Positive Reviews on Your Website
Share positive reviews on your dispensary’s website to provide social proof. Showing off stellar reviews can help improve your local SEO and attract new customers who may be on the fence about choosing your dispensary.
Consider creating a dedicated testimonials page to feature some of your standout reviews. You could also add a widget to your homepage or sidebar that displays your latest reviews.
5. Build Local Citations
Local citations play a pivotal role in local SEO. They are online mentions of your dispensary’s name, address, and phone number (NAP) on other websites, directories, and platforms. These citations help search engines verify the existence, legitimacy, and relevance of your business in a specific geographical location and can significantly influence your local search rankings and overall online visibility.
Why Are Citations Important?
- Relevance and Trust: Search engines use citations as a way to validate the accuracy of the business details you provide. A consistent NAP across various platforms increases trust and can positively influence your local rankings.
- Local Visibility: Citations can help your dispensary get discovered by potential customers. Many local directories and platforms are frequented by users looking for specific services or businesses in their area.
- Competitive Edge: In competitive markets, having a higher number of accurate and consistent citations can give you an edge over competitors who neglect this aspect of local SEO.
How To Build and Manage Local Citations
- Start with Major Directories: Begin by listing your dispensary on major business directories like Yelp, YellowPages, and Bing Places. Ensure that your NAP is consistent across all these platforms.
- Industry-Specific Directories: There are directories and platforms specific to the marijuana industry. Sites like Leafly, Weedmaps, and MJLink can be valuable platforms for listing your dispensary.
- Local Directories: Don’t forget about local business directories and community websites. These can be especially valuable for reaching a local audience.
- Check for Consistency: Regularly audit your citations to ensure that your NAP is consistent across all platforms. Inconsistencies can confuse search engines and potential customers.
- Respond to Reviews: As with your GBP listing, it’s essential to engage with reviews on other platforms where your dispensary is listed. Higher engagement can influence potential customers and show that you value feedback.
- Update Regularly: Business details can change. Whether it’s a new phone number, address, or even business name, update all your citations accordingly.
- Monitor and Remove Duplicates: Duplicate listings on the same platform can confuse both search engines and potential customers. Regularly monitor for and remove any duplicate citations you find.