Let’s be straightforward.
Every cannabis dispensary website wants to show up at the top of Google’s search result. The reason is simple. 61 percent of potential cannabis buyers turn to search engines when looking for a reliable medical shop. Since 75 percent of searchers are only looking at the top three results on the first page, if your medical shop or station is not at the top three, you are losing your business to competitors.
There is no doubt on what the solution is. A fully working cannabis dispensary search engine optimization (SEO).
What is Cannabis Dispensary SEO?
To make it short, sweet, and succinct, cannabis dispensary SEO is the meticulous process of increasing your cannabis dispensary website’s search engine ranking so that your shop or your medical station can reach great number of buyers looking for cannabis or medical marijuana.
Why spend more in Cannabis Dispensary SEO?
Let’s face it, the traditional way of doing things hasn’t been effective for a while. Thanks to the digital advancements in consumer services, buyers look for new medical shops and stations with the use of their mobile devices. Because 75 percent of searches won’t even consider looking below the top three search results, not investing in SEO would mean you are letting go of clicks to competition.
Most medical shops thinks that having pay per click (PPC) ads on Ads is enough. I know, PPC is an ideal way to get attention from search engine users if you are already pressed for time and don’t have any ideas to come up with a thousand pages of rich content.
That is basically a band-aid solution. Using PPC instead of SEO is not a sustainable answer to getting more business online. It would suffice only for a short amount of time and you would have to think of a more sustainable resolve. If you come to think of it, content marketing gets thrice the leads per dollar spent in comparison to paid search ads.
How to use Cannabis Dispensary SEO to Get Your Marijuana dispensary to the Top of Google’s Search Results
There is an explanation why certain things appear to the top of Google’s search result. Google logically outputs results based on an algorithm that is designed to give the most relevant answers and links to search queries. While there are a couple of hundred actual ranking criterias that the algorithm considers, in general:
- Your cannabis dispensary website will have to be mobile friendly, secure, and fast
- You will need a lot of quality pages where the contents are optimized for cannabis dispensary SEO
- You need to select the right cannabis dispensary keywords
- Your web pages should cannabis dispensary schema, title tags that are optimized, and meta descriptions.
- Your images and videos need to be optimized
- You need a lot of off-site social signals, directory citations, and top of the line backlinks
- You need to fully fill out your Google My Business page
Let me give you further details about each of these.
Your cannabis dispensary website will have to be mobile friendly, secure, and fast
The speed of the website, security and the ability of being mobile friendly are all ranking factors. If your website takes too long to load, the majority of the web visitors will leave your site. Google is aware of this, since they aim to give the best resources, there is no way they will place a slow website in that top spot.
The initial step is to speed up your website. How fast? The threshold according to Google is 2 seconds, but their target is less than half a second. Although the speed of a website is not the most critical ranking factor, it highly considered along with security.
Security is an obvious factor. If you are a medical or cannabis dispensary and you don’t have a secure (HTTPS) website, SEO is not your biggest problem. I recommend you read about website security articles.
Mobile friendly websites have higher weight in search engine factors because 82 percent of smartphone owners use a search engine when looking for a local medical facility. Based on Google’s data, 77 percent of smartphone users have used their device to find local health and medical facility in the past 6 months, and 79 percent of those individuals even said that they are more likely to revisit and share a mobile site when it is easy to use.
You will need a lot of quality pages where the contents are optimized for cannabis dispensary SEO
Apart from being fast, secure, and mobile friendly, your website also needs to have page after page of quality and original content that is optimized for SEO.
What is valued as quality content? A quality content is a content that provides better experience and ease of use to your target audience. In short, you will require content driven by your consumers’ demands. You will need a content that is optimized for each of the consumer’s micro-moments, and you will need to plan out the distribution of these contents.
Here’s how Google defines quality content, as outlined by their Search Quality Guidelines:
- Consider that pages are for users, not for search engines.
- Never be deceitful to your users.
- Avoid tricks that only aims to better your search engine rankings. You have to think if you’d be comfortable in telling your competitor or a Google employee on what you’ve done to your website. Another simple way is to ask, “Does this help my website users? Would I do this if search engines didn’t exist?”
- Consider your website’s uniqueness, value, or ability to engage users. Further your website to ensure it stands out from others in your industry.
Avoid the following techniques:
- Content that are automatically generated
- Link schemes Participation
- Having pages with no to little original content
- Redirects that are sneaky
- Hidden text or links
- Doorway pages
- Scraped content
- Joining in affiliate programs without adding enough value
- Creating pages with irrelevant keywords
- Loading pages with phishing or installing viruses, trojans, or other malicious behaviours
- Abusive use of rich snippets markup
- Triggering automated queries to Google
Follow good practices such as:
- Monitoring hacking on your site and removing hacked content whenever it appears
- Preventing and removing spam on your site even those that are user-generated
Another reason to keep an eye on high quality content is medical web pages what Google deems as Your Money Your Life (YMYL) pages. Pages like these are what Google considers in the category of one that could possibly impact future happiness, health, or financial stability of web users. The standards are objectively higher since low-quality pages could actually be dangerous and have consequences.
You need to select the right cannabis dispensary keywords
To make your content SEO optimized, you will have to include content around the right dispensary keywords.
Every need for cannabis is different, but considering that most consumers are looking for medical cannabis dispensary, you may build the foundation with the set of SEO keywords below:
- Medical Cannabis + your city
- Medical Cannabis + your county
- Medical Cannabis + your state
- Medical Marijuana + your city
- Medical Marijuana + your county
- Medical Marijuana + your state
And so on…
However, keywords differ based on your supply as dispensary. A useful site to refer to is ahrefs.com Google. Below are some of the keywords you can use alongside the average volume of searches.
Your web pages should cannabis dispensary schema, title tags that are optimized, and meta descriptions.
One of the major ranking signals is the title tag of a web page. Although the meta description is now generating automated meta description based on the content, both sections still needs to be fully filled out.
Plug-ins can be installed to edit your titles and meta descriptions if you have a WordPress cannabis dispensary website. You can try using SEO Ultimate for this.
It is recommended that you include your keywords in both your title tag and meta description, then adding schema for marijuana. Schema is a kind of code for websites that gives additional context and information about your page to Google.
Yes, schema will not automatically shoot you up to the top of Google, but it will make it easier for search engine to interpret your content which in turn will make it included in the search result.
Your images and Videos need to be optimized for Cannabis Dispensary
Marketing through videos has become one of the most known ways to consume content. There is a relevant increase in organic traffic from SERPs that was experienced by web pages that added video contents. In comparison to traditional websites, having a video has 50 times more likeliness of appearing on Google’s first page.
You need a lot of off-site social signals, directory citations, and top of the line backlinks
Off-site SEO indicators such as links back to your websites is one of the ranking factors of Google. Google view all kinds of offsite authorities as badges of approval, which can be links back to your site, your directory listings, and even your different social media profiles.
You need to fully fill out your Google My Business page
Consumers wants services and suppliers that are close to home, so speaking of offsite authority, you need to complete your Google My Business Page. You need to appear in Google’s local pack in order for local consumers to find you. Local pack is a group of 4 to 5 listings that appears above the organic search results. This is the only thing the searchers see in mobile without scrolling down.
Primarily, the details in the local pack of Google is pulled from your Google My Business page.
The Final Diagnosis: If You Want Better Google Rankings and More Customers, You Need A Cannabis Dispensary SEO Strategy
It is a no-brainer that SEO is the key to getting your medical facility to the top of Google’s search rankings. You must understand though that SEO should still be tailor-fit solution. A complete diagnosis is a must to get the full picture. Begin with digital competitive analysis on your SEO journey is highly recommended. It will give you an idea how your web presence compares to the web presences of your competitors and find out what your digital marketing priorities should be.