Is SEO Important for Cannabis Dispensary Marketing? (Hint, It Is) 

May 29, 2020
May 29, 2020 Aaron Rosenbluth

SEO is too often shrouded in mystery and expense, but it’s still essential for marketing your cannabis dispensary. 

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is mysterious. Area 51 mysterious. And marijuana businesses are often swindled by dispensary SEO “professionals.” 

Slippery smooth-talkers are preying on innocent business owners, with the skills of greasily coiffed car salesmen. Unfortunately, SEO is only getting more complicated, opening the door to increased deception. 

Here’s a real-world example. 

Our client paid an “SEO pro” $30,000 quarterly to boost their organic search rankings. Did it work? No. SEO scammer stealing from a dispensary owner

Why was it unsuccessful? The contractor didn’t do the work. 

Not all SEOs have your best interests at heart. Scammers know most dispensary owners have only a basic knowledge of SEO, and they’re all-too-willing to take advantage of them. 

But, that doesn’t make cannabis dispensary SEO any less critical for your marketing efforts. Internet search results drive 21st-century commerce. If you’re not on the first page of results, you’re invisible. 

“Almost every major company uses SEO to improve its online standings. It really has no choice. The higher the ranking, the more clicks. How much is the top spot on Google worth? According to a 2010 survey by Optify, being number one drove 34 percent of all traffic, almost as much as the numbers 2 through 5 slots combined. Anything beyond the first screen is pretty much ignored.” – Scammed: How to Save Your Money and Find Better Service in a World of Schemes, Swindles, and Shady Deals, Christopher Elliott 

Here are a few more reasons why SEO is critical for dispensary marketing. 

 

Organic Google search is still the primary way customers learn about cannabis businesses and dispensary websites. 

Organic search is a significant factor in dispensary website success. It’s a crucial part of your buyer’s journey, and Google owns a larger piece of the search market than its competitors.

We’re not implying that all search engines don’t help your cannabis dispensary brand’s visibility. But because Google owns the most significant percentage of the search market, its guidelines are crucial to follow.  

As the most visited website in the world, Google is also the most popular email provider, with over one billion users. And YouTube, owned by Google, is the world’s second-largest search engine. 

The majority of the world visits Google at least once per day to get information. Being a highly visible and trusted source in Google’s eyes is always going to work in your favor. A high-quality website and great SEO takes you there. 

Dispensary locations on a map

Good dispensary SEO ensures a great user experience.

Every cannabis dispensary wants improved organic visibility. Still, most don’t realize that a superior user experience helps them achieve this goal. 

Google knows how to interpret a good or bad user experience – a positive UX is critical to your dispensary website success. If your customers can’t find what they want, performance suffers.

Google is becoming more of an answer engine that directly offers users information on the SERP (Search Engine Results Page). They want to quickly and easily answer the user’s questions with fewer clicks. In this way, SEO helps improve the experience for your site visitors and works in your favor. 

 

Local SEO is your ticket to getting customers through the door.

With the increasing domination of mobile traffic, local search is a fundamental aspect of successfully marketing your cannabis dispensary online

Local SEO optimizes your digital properties so people can quickly and easily find your dispensary – taking them one step closer to a transaction. Optimizing your site for local search helps you focus on specific cities and regions, and establishes a workable medium for getting your cannabis dispensary attention at the local level. 

Localized SEO helps you rank for searches like “dispensary near me,” or “pot shop near me.” Get the picture? 

Professional marketers (like us) optimize your dispensary website with content focused on local search. We also optimize citations and backlinks, as well as relevant local listings and review platforms like Google and Yelp. 

 

SEO isn’t a silver bullet for your cannabis dispensary’s success, but it’s a crucial part of the equation. 

SEO isn’t always right for every business. But with federal prohibition keeping cannabis dispensaries from using most forms of paid digital advertising, showing up on the first page of Google results gets you one step closer to beating out the competition. 

You have to be in the conversation to win. SEO is a crucial step. Did you find this blog through a Google search? SEO works. 

 

Reach out – let’s do great work together. 

Aaron Rosenbluth

Lover of words, stories, and life on two wheels (bicycle). As for the rest, TL;DR.