The global pandemic has caused the demand for cannabis to soar. Businesses in North America are anticipating federal legalization, but the industry is still highly censored in terms of promotional tools. Dispensaries cannot advertise on Google or social media. What they can do is impress users with attractive websites and boost rankings through SEO. This winter season is a great time to work on your search rankings!
You do not need Google ads to generate sales, but your website will not sell itself, either. Do not expect users to miraculously find you. Professionals who specialize in dispensary local SEO provide in-depth tactical strategies to best help businesses achieve results.
What Is SEO?
Search engine optimization is a set of methods and tools that helps websites achieve top positions in search engine rankings. This means that your brand becomes more visible online, so more users see it in their search results. To rank websites, Google considers a diverse combination of factors, from content relevance to domain authority. SEO always includes a complex approach.
As traffic to your website increases, so does the conversion rate — of course, if the visitors like what they see in your store. SEO is just as important as sleek web design. There are no one-size-fits-all solutions. Your SEO team should create a unique strategy based on your existing resources and goals. Consider these effective techniques:
1. Acquire High-quality Backlinks
When Google algorithms assess your website, they consider its domain authority. Establishing credibility in the digital space goes a long way. To earn trust, you need other websites to refer back to you. Backlinks from authoritative sources boost your own status. A strong backlink profile is one of the pillars of an SEO strategy.
Referrals show that your content is valuable. Start gaining high-quality links today! Place your links in well-researched and semantically rich content. You can choose different sources:
- Marijuana directories
- Marijuana forums
- Cannabis websites (guest posts)
When creating your guest posts, focus on writing for users, not search algorithms. Provide educational content that addresses the typical pain points of the audience.
2. Be Active on Social Media
Search rankings are only one dimension of organic traffic. Social media platforms, which now can have billions of people, are the second useful source of traffic. Cannabis businesses may not place explicit ads, but they can establish themselves as credible educators.
Your social media strategy and SEO work in unison. Share links to your educational blog articles, photos of cannabis-themed products, and valuable insights. Note that you cannot advertise your goods directly or include links to your catalog.
Social media lets you achieve several goals. First, more users will become familiar with your brand. Secondly, they will share your content. Thirdly, they will visit your website and potentially buy from you. Finally, this traffic will enhance your rankings.
3. Start a Blog
To gain visibility, cannabis websites should focus on education. A blog is the best way to position yourself as a credible source of solutions to users’ problems. Cannabis is a highly controversial subject, and many consumers are confused about the classification of products, their effects, safety, and legal status.
Devote your blog to addressing users’ concerns. Provide information that answers their questions. Allow them to comment to maximize engagement. Create premium content, and readers will trust your brand. As a byproduct, you will also gain more incoming links.
Your blog should be optimized for the most effective keywords. Distribute them evenly throughout the articles, include descriptive meta tags, and focus on long-form content — texts with at least 1,200 words. Despite shrinking attention spans, users and search engines pay more attention to such articles.
4. Enhance User Experience
Backlinks, keywords, and authority are all important, but Google also considers around 200 other factors. Fortunately for website owners, most of them refer to the quality of the user experience. Google’s mission is to provide accurate results, so users can find what they are looking for on well-designed, well-structured, and credible websites.
The appearance of your e-store, its structure, and navigation can make or break your brand. A pleasant user experience is a key to turning prospects into paying customers. Even the slightest errors can be a turn-off for potential customers
5. Get Listed On Business Directories
Google My Business is another important element of SEO, as it makes you visible in local searches. Claim your listing today and fill in the profile carefully. Include an effective summary of what you do and accurate information about the address, phone number, working hours, etc.
Note that your listing will do nothing for SEO if it contains mistakes. Add attractive images, too. Take photos of the interior and exterior, your products, and your team. All of this information will be available to users through Google Maps.
In addition, find industry-specific directories and get your site featured there. It will help you get noticed by the cannabis community in your area. Directories will contribute to your backlink profile (if they are authoritative), while users will visit your site.
Promoting cannabis and CBD online is not a cakewalk, as dispensaries cannot buy ads. Visibility requires a complex and thoughtful SEO strategy. Use our tips to develop the ideal arsenal of tools and techniques for your site. They will help you rank higher, attract more potential customers and boost the bottom line.