Local SEO Strategies for Cannabis Companies in 2020

Local SEO Strategies for Cannabis Companies to Rank Better

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Local SEO for the cannabis industry requires a little more finesse than many other mainstream niches, but don’t let that stop you from trying to rank well. With a partner like SERPNinja, you can improve your local SEO presence and drive clicks and calls from localized customers.

Google’s paid advertising platforms, like pay-per-click, aren’t available for cannabis-related products. Instead, many cannabis businesses focus on generating organic traffic by optimizing their online presence for search engine optimization (SEO).

SEO has been a game-changer for many cannabis companies since they’re better able to generate traffic on their websites, which means more customers. Local advertising on platforms like Leaflytakes a huge chunk of money that could be directed toward your business, and leveraging organic traffic helps lessen that dependency.

Search Engine Optimization For Cannabis Companies

SEO is the practice of optimizing content for a search engine’s organic search results. When someone types a query into Google, the algorithm sorts through different metrics to include relevant results on the first page.

The goal of optimizing your website and content is to appear for those customers searching for your specific product or service. So if you’re a cannabis dispensary, you want to optimize your content, so anyone searching for nearby dispensaries or cannabis-related products will find your business. And this is accomplished through optimizing for local SEO.

What is Local SEO?

When you start a business, you usually start from the lowest and then work your way up. In the beginning, you usually target the audience around you. Local SEO is just the right strategy to use at the beginning of your business. Local SEO is a part of SEO that helps in optimizing a website for a particular area. By implementing local SEO, there are high chances for businesses to rank higher in front of the local audience on relevant search queries. Using this to promote your business, you can ensure that your customers can easily find your business both online and offline.

Importance of Local SEO for the cannabis industry:

All sectors can benefit from using local SEO, and the cannabis industry is in no way left behind. Local SEO can benefit a number of businesses and stores, whether it’s online or offline. It can be very beneficial to use local SEO as a strategy for your cannabis company.

By implementing local SEO, you can help your cannabis business rank better in local search results for people looking for cannabis businesses in your area.

Because there is a lack of competition, local SEO services can be much more affordable when focusing on your company’s ranking factors.

Local SEO is a great method to get started in the industry before switching to national SEO to attract more customers from across the nation.

How does Local SEO work?

For local SEO, cannabis businesses should be focused on attracting nearby customers that are using search to find a relevant service or content. For example, a customer in Los Angeles looking for a local dispensary will likely search “cannabis dispensary near me.”

Ranking on top of the local pack can be game-changing for your business

Google’s algorithm directs the appropriate information to the most relevant search results. There are many different strategies for appearing in these search results, such as using Google My Business, optimizing for Google Local Packs, and general SEO strategies, which we cover below.

Google My Business (GMB):

One of the essential ways to optimize your business is by taking advantage of a free Google My Business (GMB) account. When potential customers search for your business, they’ll see what Google calls its Knowledge Panel. This lays out information like directions to your location, reviews, hours of operation, and more.

Optimizing your GMB listing can be crucial.

This is a free opportunity to take advantage of Google’s search algorithm, especially for local traffic. If someone in your area searches for nearby dispensaries, they’ll find your business listed with directions to get there and hours of operation.

So how can my Google Business Profile be optimized?

Optimizing your Google Business Profile will make it easier for potential customers to find your business easily by entering the right keywords. However, you must first know if your website is properly optimized for local search engines.

You can check this by looking at the source code of your website to understand if the keywords you’ve used are benefitting the visibility of your business and if you need to add new ones. You can use tools such as SEMRush and Wordtracker to access the source code and check the keywords that are in use.

Another way to check your website’s optimization is by looking at the number of searches for the keywords you want to use. You can do this using several online tools where you just have to enter the keyword and get the result.

Listed below are some ways in which you can optimize your Google Business Profile:

•Your business listing should be in the same name as on your website. Adding other names or other terms will make it harder for your customers to find your business and deceive them.

• Keep it small by describing your business in as few categories as possible.• Include high-quality pictures of your business, including the products you offer, the location of your business is at, the logo, and even short video clips.

• Reviews are important for your business. Therefore, leave a space for your customers to share their reviews. Because the more positive reviews you get, the easier it will be for your business to rank higher and for your potential customers to understand your business.

• Keep the description of your business brief but impactful, which describes the goal and mission of your business.
Every information that you add to your website should be recent and updated, including your business’s location, to make it easier for others to find you.

Google Local Pack:

The Google Local Pack is the pack of specific local GMB listings that appears on a relevant search results page.

Fortunately, this feature is reserved only for local businesses since third-party sites like reviews and web content can rank high even during local searches. If a customer is nearby and searches for your product, Google will make sure the customer finds your information in this widget.

Even more, the Local Pack widget appears more prominently on the results page than other organic traffic. Below are some quick ways you can optimize your business for Local Pack, as well as Google’s SEO algorithm.

Expand your listings:

When using local SEO, you should be aware that your business will be based on how visible your business is, the distance of your business from the customers, and how relevant your business is. By using this technique, you must ensure that your online presence fulfills all these factors. You need to make sure that your business is more and more visible to the target audience in your area.

You may already have created a profile on Google My Business, but there are other directories where you can list your business and benefit from it. You can use local directories such as Weedmaps and Leafly.

These two directories are specially built for cannabis businesses, giving them a platform to list their local cannabis business. Both the platforms charge geo-specifically, including variables like current competition and location. You can create your accounts for free on these platforms. However, if you want your business to appear first, you must pay some amount. Also, make sure that you provide the most current information about your business, as doing this will drastically increase your conversion rate.

What Local SEO strategies can be used for Cannabis Companies?

Different local SEO can help your cannabis business reach higher search engine results if you know what to use and how to use it. Here are some of the most effective strategies that you can try:

Work on your content:

So as we discussed, keywords are essential in increasing the online presence of your cannabis business. However, you cannot add these keywords anywhere on your website. To make sure you can attract more customers, work on your content! When Google’s algorithm ranks a website, it does that according to some ranking factors. Content is one of them.

User intent-related search queries will definitely influence Google’s algorithm. Using the right keyword in your content will allow more customers to know about your business and also enhance user engagement on your website. So, the more relevant words you include, the more chances there are that you will have higher rankings in the local search. The ideal number of words can be at least 500 words that should be included on your promotional and location pages.

Increase your presence online:

By scaling your business, you can increase your brand’s visibility and popularity, which helps expand your business. You can scale your business in various ways:

• Paid ads

Paid ads can be a great addition to your local SEO strategy, especially when you are new in the business. While using paid ads is a bit dangerous, try not to sell cannabis products or promote them under your dispensary’s name but use them to increase your business’s brand awareness.

• Use social media platforms

Social media platforms like Instagram and Facebook have become great platforms for cannabis companies to expand their business. Therefore, make sure that your cannabis business is linked to several social media platforms.

Be relevant:

Google judges relevance by the information publicly available on the web. Adding all the relevant information to your website, GMB account, and more will help Google bring more customers to your specific business.

Including relevant things like profile and cover images, your hours of operation, and the location of your business help business rank higher than those who ignore this.

On-Page SEO:

To rank well in local search, it’s essential to include your keywords and the location of your business in the heading of your content, as well as the title tag, and description tag. This helps the algorithm organically rank your site, your GMB listing, and your content by knowing where to find that information.Other factors, such as your site being mobile-friendly, factor into this ranking. Today’s websites should feature a responsive design that has 2 seconds or less of load time, and that looks the same whether you’re using a phone, tablet, or computer.

To rank well in local search, it’s essential to include your keywords and the location of your business in the heading of your content, as well as the title tag and description tag.

This helps the algorithm organically rank your site, your GMB listing, and your content by knowing where to find that information. Other factors, such as your site being mobile-friendly, factor into this ranking. Today’s websites should feature a responsive design that has 2 seconds or less of load time and that looks the same whether you’re using a phone, tablet, or computer.

Using tools like SurferSEO can be invaluable to your onpage research.

Showcase the reviews:

A vital aspect of online business, positive reviews will show Google that other customers have found value in your products and services. Most customers these days trust online reviews like personal recommendations. An effective way of taking advantage of reviews is to build business profiles on sites like Yelp and Yellow pages. Here, customers can easily leave positive reviews and help your business rank higher.

Improve your link-building strategy:

An off-page SEO strategy, link building, is when other sites link to yours, telling their readers and customers that they trust you and your products and services. When it comes to SEO, links work in a similar way to votes. When more and more sites link to yours, Google’s algorithm sees that you’re relevant for search results and will begin directing more traffic to your site.

By taking advantage of these free local SEO strategies, any cannabis industry will begin to build organic traffic, rank higher on Google, and find more customers. Cannabis companies can now stop hemorrhaging cash for local advertising and focus on actually providing their products and services. If you’re ready to trust professionals with your local SEO, call us today!

Keyword Research:

Keyword research is one of the most important aspects of any SEO. This is especially helpful when you are trying to promote your website. Google’s algorithms are tricky, especially if you do not know what your customers seek. This means that you cannot effectively offer what they want. Here is when keywords can help you easily get to your customers.

You can use keywords that are relevant to your business and your potential customer’s location. However, you have to make sure that you don’t just choose popular keywords by seeing their popularity, as it can become highly competitive for your business. Especially if you are new in the market, choosing highly popular keywords will make climbing higher on SERP harder.

Using tools like Google or Moz’s keyword planners will help you find the phrases people use when they’re searching for your products. By analyzing and choosing these keywords carefully, you can optimize your website’s content to help Google’s algorithm rank it higher.

How to do Keyword Research for Cannabis/Marijuana Businesses

So, you have a cannabis business and want to increase your online presence and attract more customers from organic search. Well, to do that, you will need to understand search engine optimization (SEO) and keyword research strategies specifically for Cannabis-related businesses.

A clear understanding of how to incorporate your keyword research into your content will help you to rank better for more terms and allow you to create a better connection with your customers.

First, let’s cover the basics, then we’ll get into the specifics of researching and developing a keyword list to promote your cannabis business.

SEO is the practice of trying to increase the quantity and quality of traffic coming to your website from organic search.

When you search the web, what you’re really doing is searching through huge indexes built by website crawlers. Crawlers visit your site and download the content there to a massive database on a server. Now, when people search the internet, they receive results based on all of the website information saved in the search engine’s database. For your site to be found online, it must be available to crawlers, or bots, to index your site and save it to their search engine’s database.

There’s an extra layer of attention required for this type of niche, whether it’s keyword research or a guest posting service that’s trying to find you placements on relevant sites.

What Are Keywords and How Do They Play Into My Strategy?

Keywords are essentially the foundation for any online marketing strategy. They are the words and phrases that people type into search engines to get what they are looking for. Keywords play an important role in describing what a website is about and hence are crucial when it comes to your site’s ability to rank among competitors.

There are different types of keywords with different characteristics:

Branded Keywords –any search term that includes your business name (ex., Dispensary name, dispensary name hours, etc.)

Localized Keywords – search terms that include your store’s city and a cannabis keyword (dispensary in San Diego, San Diego cannabis, etc.)

ProximityKeywords – geo-targeted keywords based on the user’s location (ex., Cannabis dispensaries near me)

General Keywords – generic search terms related to your business (ex., dispensary, marijuana, cannabis, etc.)

Now that we have a basic understanding of how organic SEO and keywords work. Let’s look at some keyword research tips to help bolster your cannabis business.

Conduct Keyword Research:

Keyword research is essential in knowing where your business stands among your competitors. You can conduct keyword research in a few simple steps as listed below:

Step One: Inventory Your Site

Complete a high-level inventory of the cannabis products and cannabis-related content you are offering on your site. One way to do this is by building a list of every page on your site, each page’s intent, and each possible way someone could search for that page.

For example, for a cannabis dispensary, your keywords might include words such as cannabis, weed, marijuana, pot, Indica, Sativa, etc. You want an exhaustive list of search terms that could bring up your site. This is the start of your seed keyword list.

Step Two: Research Your Keywords

Once you have your exhaustive keyword list for your site, it’s time to find relevant keyword variations. For this step, it’s helpful to use SEO tools, like AHREFs.

A couple of clicks on ahrefs can give you keyword data which you can use to optimize your posts

Some quick ways to generate keywords are to use competitors’ URLs and URLs to similar sites to your own. One interesting tactic is to prioritize high-volume keywords that your competitors are not ranking for. By going after these, you can be the leading cannabis business in that keyword search.

Step Three: Filter Out Keywords

Now that you have an exhaustive list of keywords describing your site filter out the keywords that have a high difficulty rating. To do this, go to Moz, and click Keyword Research. Select your created list and view the metrics of your keyword list. Using the Toggle features, filter out the keywords with a difficulty rating above 20. Keywords with higher difficulty ratings are harder to rank for. By filtering these tougher keywords out, should leave you with a list of competitive keywords for your cannabis business.

Step Four: Analyze Your Data

SEO tools are available for you to analyze the traffic to your site. By utilizing sites like Moz, you can get an idea of what keywords are performing and which ones don’t do as well. This can give you an idea of how to tailor the content on your site to drive more search traffic to it.

Leave Your Keyword Research To The Pros:

Keyword research can be complex and challenging for cannabis business owners or marketing teams. Let our team of experts utilize our keyword research knowledge to build you a comprehensive SEO strategy that attracts more clicks and calls!

A lot of your competitors will probably be using advanced PBN’s, so follow our PBN guide for an extra edge.

Conclusion

Local SEO is highly beneficial for a business just starting out and even for a business that wants to target an audience near its proximity. And as cannabis is becoming in various nations, the competition in the cannabis industry is increasing to a great extent. While local SEO can help these businesses in their area, it is important that they know the right strategy they need to use and how they must use it. The rank of the business will improve only if the strategies are executed in the right way. And if you find it challenging to understand, a local SEO agency is always available to help you with their expertise.

FAQ

Is it necessary to optimize the cannabis business website for mobile devices?
Yes, you must optimize your website for mobile devices, especially to increase your brand’s visibility and reach more audience. Since now more and more people are using mobile phones, they expect to search and get results on the go. The website should be easy to navigate and smooth while working, giving customers a better user experience.

How to write content for a cannabis dispensary website?
While writing content for cannabis dispensaries, include keywords that you think the customers will look for by keeping it relevant. Include your business name, contact number, address, and a brief description. You should also write alt text for every image you include, along with the title and keywords in H1.

What are the local ranking factors affecting the visibility of the cannabis business?
Some of the factors affecting this are the related domains that link to your business, photos with your business’s link, Google reviews, and referring IP addresses.

 

Last Updated on March 7, 2023 by Gaby
Gaby Alexander

Gaby Alexander

Gaby is a search marketing enthusiast with a passion for helping agencies improve their ROI through effective link-building strategies. With expertise in Google Campaign Manager, HubSpot Inbound Marketing, and SEMrush, Gaby provides valuable insights and guidance to optimize search marketing campaigns.

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