With cannabis being legalized in more states as the years go by, dispensaries need to concern themselves with the growing competition. No longer are dispensaries becoming a rare commodity in a community. The amount of dispensaries opening up around the country is steadily growing, and every one of them is doing everything they can to get a slice of the pie.
Every dispensary operator needs to take its digital marketing strategy seriously. They need to ensure they are taking the time to improve their search engine optimization methods for their dispensary website since it’s a necessary part of the dispensary marketing strategy. With dispensaries having a troubling time advertising their wares due to strict regulations on cannabis, organic SEO and content marketing are some of the best ways to drive high-qualified traffic to your website.
While social media is out of the question, using the power of search engines is still viable to reach out to your potential customers. Google is one of the most popular search engines in the world. According to statistics, there are over 70,000 Google searches each second, with almost 227 million an hour and about 5.4 billion Google searches per day. Imagine the amount of traffic you can acquire just by optimizing your SEO to fit Google’s standards.
When it comes to dispensary marketing, those numbers alone are the reasons why dispensaries need to optimize their website and content for search engines. To help you optimize your website, we are going to provide you with everything you need to know about implementing an SEO strategy for your dispensary marketing.
What Is SEO?
Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of creating relevant, high-quality content for your website to drive traffic to your website, website, and a retail dispensary. SEO is entirely organic and does not require you to pay for any sort of service. That means that legal cannabis companies and dispensaries can spread awareness, drive traffic, and boost revenue without having to concern themselves with over-restrictive rules found on social media platforms or paid search services.
Furthermore, most people these days use mobile phones to search for information. Chances are your customers are one of the many people who uses their mobile phones to search things up and even purchase items. It’s one of the many reasons why you want to ensure your dispensary ends up on the first page of search results. That way, you’ll be able to convert search traffic into foot traffic to your dispensary or online store.
Optimizing local SEO
If you have been searching for the best SEO techniques to use for your dispensary marketing to improve your website, there is a good chance that you are getting bombarded with information. The SEO industry has tons of techniques and tools that can help you grow your website traffic. But, not every one of them might be suitable for your needs. Plus, there are always things that you have not added or optimized.
Google is periodically changing the way its algorithms work, which means you need to continue optimizing your website to ensure you’re not using obsolete methods. To understand what is essential for your SEO endeavors, we have created a list below. It aims for every vital aspect of a dispensary website that impacts ranking and ensures that search engines enjoy your website.
Optimizing your content for search engines
Content is one of the most effective ways to rank your website on the Search Engine Results Page (SERPs). It needs to be updated consistently with fresh, relevant content to increase the visibility of your website over time. But, if you do this the wrong way, it could cause far more harm than good. Here are something you should be aware of:
Be specific with your keywords. Generic and bland keywords won’t attract any visitors to your website. Long-tail keywords are excellent due to providing user intent. Google search is based on the person’s intent. If you manage to optimize your content based on the user’s intent and apply long-tail phrases, you have a better chance of standing out and ranking higher on Google search results.
Long-tail keywords can drag in visitors who are searching for the products you are offering. For example, a short form keyword could be “weed,” and the long-form keyword could be “vape pen dispensary near me.”
Proper head size
Google has mentioned in the past that H1 tags won’t cause any penalties, but they need to be used correctly to ensure that Google bots are comprehending the tags, which is critical if you want to rank on the search engine. Remember, Google’s bots first read the page titles when crawling your website pages to determine a ranking. You need to use high-quality long-tail keywords here that are user and search engine-friendly.
H2-subheaders are just as vital for both the readers and bots to understand the breaks in the provided content. Supporting heads need to be used as well. Breaking up the text with paragraph heading assists Google in comprehending what your content is about.
A quality-made meta description is critical for every web page. While Google tends to take a featured snippet from each page, writing a meta description yourself provides you a chance to include decisive keywords and texts that users can see. That snippet is used to convince the person to click on your link. The meta description is an excellent tool for dispensary websites to let their customers know exactly what products they have in stock.
Make sure you are never missing out on a title page. The title page is the core factor considered for banking on the SERP as it holds your primary keyword. The title page needs to be clearly readable for the search engines and visitors.
Outbound links are also another valuable tool for improving your dispensary website. By including outbound links to your content, such as blog posts, you’ll be helping build your domain authority by boosting the relevance of your website on search engines. It also informs the search engine that you have relationships with other established sites. Include links to websites that provide relevant information in the cannabis industry.
Search engine index
To make your website pages more visible, you need to include search indexes. Run some tests on the following to view and improve your website index status.
First, you need to know the number of pages on your website that have been indexed. Do so by typing Google site: example.com. Then compare the number of pages found to the number of pages you have on your website. If the index is higher, that means you have duplicate content problems on your website that need fixing.
If you have been updating your website frequently, make sure that you are publishing the links onto any social media platforms you use. Aside from the exposure to your target audience, it also boosts your website’s chances of being indexed.
Make use of sitemaps to ease the way Google locates not only your website but the individual pages. To gain the benefits it provides, check to see if your sitemap is updated in the Google Search Console. You can find it on the eXtensible markup language (XML) found at example/com/sitemap.xml.
Lastly, check your Google cache to see how the Google bots are viewing your website. Looking at the way Google inspects it provides you insight into what information is being used to rank your website.
Visitors and Google’s site crawlers shouldn’t be confused when trying to navigate your dispensary website. To avoid this issue, here are some tips:
While external links in blog content are great for your website, they should be avoided in the navigation bar. They might indicate that you are using your website as a low-level directory. Doing this can result in a penalty from Google as it is against their regulations.
The link embedded on the logo
Have you ever been lost on a website and clicked on the logo to return to the homepage? To make sure your visitors can return to your website’s homepage from any page on your site, you must embed the link in your logo. Doing so also helps with improving indexing.
Navigation bar text
Only use one or two works per menu options in your navigation bar. Doing so will allow the appearance of the bar to look cleaner and more balanced. If there are too many pages on your website with the same category, use sub-menus to improve the organization.
Try to avoid sharing the same URL between more than two pages. Each page needs to have its own URL for better indexing. Aside from that, if more than one page shares the same URL, it can lead to confusion among visitors who wish to return to a page.
Server and Hosting
Servers and hosting services are the pillars of your website. If you want to ensure that it is not causing you any search issues that could impact your website, consider the following:
Page loading time
The load time of your pages is affected by the size of the content and capacity. Slow load times can cause visitors to lose interest. Which means you just lost a potential customer.
Server error pages
Server error pages can cause issues for your business, and it could cause visitors to tab out of your website. Google also frowns on these server error pages and will impact your website ranking. You should avoid having broken links on your website, so make sure to check up on them constantly and delete them.
With the number of people using mobile phones these days, Google has made it critical for websites to cater to these users. Google goes out of its way to penalize any websites that don’t respond to mobile devices. Considering the vast number of your visitors are using mobile devices to visit your website, yours must be mobile-friendly.
When setting up a theme, make sure that the chosen UI is a smooth mobile responsive layout. It should support every device commercial available and allow visitors to view your content on the website. It should also be easy for them to navigate through their phones or tablet. Frequently run tests to see how responsive your website is when accessed by mobile devices.
SEO plays a significant role in getting your website directed to the right audience. If you want your website to be found by search engines and potential customers, then make sure to check over your website’s SEO. Improving your SEO will boost the amount of traffic your dispensary receives over time.