SEO optimization for cannabis dispensaries isn’t easy. But it is possible to get your dispensary’s website ranking higher on the search engine results pages (SERPs) and generate more traffic and sales from organic search.
Even though it’s thought that SEO started around 1991, we see new industries thriving with these activities. One industry, in particular – cannabis – needs alternative SEO as prejudice and limitations have made it so traditional SEO practices don’t always work for this competitive space.
To optimize a cannabis dispensary website for SEO, you need to focus on both on-page and off-page optimization strategies. Keep reading to learn more about SEO optimization for cannabis dispensaries and what you should know before investing in it.
Need assistance optimizing your dispensary’s website and achieving better rankings? Contact us now for your free consultation.
Dispensary SEO: The Basics
On-Page Optimization for Dispensary Websites
Performing on-page optimization for any website involves optimizing its title tags, meta descriptions, images, header tags, and content to target relevant keywords. It also involves interlinking where applicable.
Let’s not forget that the content on a page is what gives it the ability to rank. This is, after all, what your web traffic came to see, and search engines want to provide the best experience possible to their users.
As you’re optimizing your website, it’s important to keep in mind that the goal is to provide a great user experience. In addition to using the right keywords, you also need to make sure your website is easy to navigate and that the content is relevant and engaging.
Various factors come into play for on-page optimization, including:
Your title tags should be unique and include the main keyword you’re targeting. For example, if you’re trying to rank for “dispensary near me,” your title tag could be something like “Best Dispensary Near Me – Dispensary Name”.
Meta descriptions are the short descriptions that appear under your title tags in the search results. Like your title tags, they should be unique and include the main keyword you’re targeting.
In addition to being keyword-rich, meta descriptions should also be compelling enough to entice users to click through to your website.
Header tags help break up your content into smaller, more manageable sections. They also make it easier for search engines to understand the structure of your web page.
The most important header tag is the H1 tag, which should be used for your page’s title. For example, if your title is “Best Dispensary Near Me”, your H1 tag would be “Best Dispensary Near Me”.
You can also use H2, H3, and H4 tags to further break up your content. For example, you could use H2 tags for your subheadings and H3 tags for your sub-subheadings.
Make sure to optimize all images on your website by including relevant keywords in the file names and alt text. This will help your images show up in Google Image Search, which can drive additional traffic to your website.
Your website’s content should be keyword-rich, relevant, and engaging. It should also be at least 300 words in length. If you have longer articles, you can break them up into smaller sections using H2 and H3 tags.
In addition to optimizing your website’s content for relevant keywords, you also need to make sure it’s easy for users to read and understand. Use short paragraphs and sentences, and include relevant images and videos to break up the text.
Getting a dispensary website’s technical SEO right ensures it’s properly optimized and ready for off-site SEO efforts. This involves optimizing things like your website’s robots.txt file, sitemap, 404 pages, and more. Most of this will need to be handled by a developer unless you’re comfortable making these changes yourself.
Off-Page Optimization for Dispensary Websites
Off-page optimization includes building high-quality backlinks to your website from other websites, as well as social media engagement. But equally important to remember is that both on-page and off-page SEO are important for getting your dispensary’s website to rank higher in the search engines.
Regardless, building trust with search engines means obtaining off-site trust signals, which is where off-page SEO comes in. The goal is to get other websites to link back to your website using relevant keywords as the anchor text.
This can be done by creating great content that other websites will want to link to, such as blog posts, infographics, videos, etc. You can also reach out to other websites and ask them to link to your content.
Social media engagement is also important for off-page SEO. This involves creating and sharing great content on social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. In addition, make sure to include links back to your website in your social media profiles.
Local MJ SEO
Local marijuana SEO is a little different from traditional SEO in that it’s more focused on getting your dispensary’s website to rank in the local search results. This is important because most people who are searching for dispensaries are looking for ones that are close to them.
To optimize your dispensary website for local MJ SEO, you’ll need to make sure your NAP (name, address, and phone number) information is correct and up-to-date. You’ll also want to create local business listings on directories like Google My Business and Yelp.
And remember to include relevant keywords in your titles, meta descriptions, and website content. For example, if you’re a dispensary in Los Angeles, you’ll want to include the keyword “Los Angeles dispensary” in your title tags, meta descriptions, and website content.
Users are now searching for dispensaries on their mobile devices more than ever before. In fact, over 60% of all searches for “dispensaries near me” are done on mobile devices. That’s why it’s so important to make sure your dispensary website is mobile-friendly.
This translates to having a responsive design that automatically adjusts to the user’s screen size. It also means making sure your website loads quickly on mobile devices, as users are less likely to wait around for a slow-loading website.
It’s easy to test a website’s mobile-friendliness with Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test tool. Just put your website’s URL into the tool and Google will inform you whether or not the site is mobile-friendly.
SEO Optimization Tools for Cannabis Dispensaries
Optimization tools are essential for SEO success. They help you track your website’s performance, find and fix technical errors, and improve your off-page SEO.
Some of the best tools for optimizing dispensary websites are listed below. We’ll provide a brief summary of each to ensure you know precisely what these tools will do for your rankings.
Answer the Public
Answer the Public is a great tool for finding relevant questions to target with your content. Simply enter a keyword related to your dispensary and the tool will generate a list of questions that people are searching for on Google.
You can then use these questions to create blog posts, infographics, or even videos that answer these questions. This is a great way to target long-tail keywords that you may not have thought of before.
Google Search Console
Google Search Console is a free tool provided by Google that gives you insights into how your website is performing in the search results. Simply add your website to the tool and Google will provide you with data on your website’s impressions, clicks, click-through rate, and position in the search results.
This data is valuable as it can help you identify which keywords are driving traffic to your website and which ones need more work. It also allows you to see how your website’s ranking has changed over time.
RankMath SEO Plugin
The RankMath SEO plugin is a must-have for any WordPress website. It’s a free plugin that allows you to easily optimize your website for the search engines.
The plugin includes features like automatic title and meta description optimization, XML sitemaps, rich snippets, and social media integration. It also provides you with data on your website’s SEO performance, so you can track your progress over time.
Ahrefs is a paid SEO tool that provides you with data on your website’s backlinks, traffic, and keywords. It’s a valuable tool for understanding your website’s link profile and identifying opportunities to build more links.
This tool also includes a keyword research tool that allows you to find relevant keywords to target with your content. You can use the Ahrefs Keywords Explorer to find long-tail keywords with low competition that you can rank for.
SEMrush is another paid SEO tool that provides data on your website’s traffic, keywords, and backlinks. It also includes a keyword research tool and a competitor analysis tool.
The competitor analysis tool is useful for understanding what your competitors are doing to rank highly in the search results. You can use this information to improve your own SEO strategy.
Moz has been around for a while now, and they’re still one of the best in the business. They offer a suite of tools that includes data on your website’s traffic, backlinks, and keywords. It facilitates site audits and page optimization, making it one of the best SEO tools dispensaries can use.
They also have a keyword research tool and a competitor analysis tool. The Moz Keyword Explorer is particularly useful for finding relevant keywords to target with your content.
Google Keyword Planner
The Google Keyword Planner is a free tool that allows you to find relevant keywords to target with your content. Simply enter a seed keyword and the tool will generate a list of related keywords.
You can then use these keywords to create blog posts, infographics, or even videos that answer these questions. This is a great way to target long-tail keywords that you may not have thought of before.
KWFinder is a paid keyword research tool that allows you to find relevant, easy-to-rank keywords to target with your content. Simply enter a seed keyword and the tool will generate a list of related keywords.
You can then use these keywords to create blog posts, infographics, or even videos that answer these questions. Over time, this increases website topical authority and traffic.
If you’re not checking Google Trends, you’re missing out on some seriously valuable data. Google Trends allows you to see how popular a keyword is over time.
This is valuable information as it allows you to adjust your content strategy accordingly. For example, if you see that a particular keyword is becoming more popular, you can create content around that keyword to capture this traffic.
Every SEO in the industry is using Google Analytics to track website traffic. It’s a free tool that provides you with data on your website’s traffic, keywords, and backlinks.
This tool also allows you to see how your website’s ranking has changed over time. This is valuable information that can help you adjust your SEO strategy accordingly.
Any SEO who is unfamiliar with Screaming Frog has probably never done a website audit. Screaming Frog is a website crawler that allows you to audit your website’s SEO.
This tool is particularly useful for identifying broken links, duplicate content, and other technical SEO issues. Once these issues are fixed, your website will be in good shape to start ranking higher in the search results.
Final Thoughts on SEO Optimization for Cannabis Dispensaries
SEO optimization is essential for any dispensary website that wants to rank highly in the search results. By following the tips and using the tools listed above, you can optimize your website for search engines and start seeing real results.
If you want to learn more about dispensary SEO, be sure to check out our other blog posts on the topic. We cover everything from keyword research and link building to on-page optimization.
Need help creating and implementing an SEO strategy for your dispensary? Contact us now for a complimentary consultation.