Getting noticed is important for any business. Being able to reach your audience is the only way to succeed and grow. Depending on the market around your cannabis company, there can be plenty of competition, from small local businesses to large corporations, so you need to find a way to stand out. This can be difficult for anyone, but cannabis brands face a few extra problems.
Strict advertising restrictions mean that cannabis marketing and promotion can be challenging. It is for that reason that having your content be highly visible online is one of your most effective means of promoting your dispensary.
Being at the top of Google gives you the visibility you need. Here are some ways to improve your search engine optimization to get your dispensary website to the top of Google.
- Google My Business
One of the very first things that you should be doing is claiming your Google My Business (GMB) page. This is an extremely valuable local search asset. Once claimed, your business profile appears on the first page of results when customers search for dispensaries on Google Search or Google Maps.
This act alone makes it much easier for you to create and update your Google Business Profile.
- Bing Places for Business
Hot on the heels of claiming your GMB page, you should be claiming your Bing Places for Business account. You probably think of Google right away when you think of online search. Most people do. You may not be aware, however, that when it comes to search, Bing has a respectable 33% market share. This is not something to overlook.
Use Bing Places to optimize the website, URL, locations, and phone number of your business. This is one of the easiest, yet most effective means of improving your dispensary’s SEO and local visibility.
- Choose the Right Category
This might not seem like the most important thing you can do, but in truth, choosing the right category for your business in GMB and Bing Places is very helpful for your local SEO strategy. When creating and setting up your accounts, be sure to choose the proper categories. Ideally, you should also choose as few as possible, while selecting the most accurate.
Choosing your category allows you to inform GMB and Bing Places about what precisely your website is about. This is particularly important for those seeking the dispensary closest to them. It is also important when you are trying to rank for targeted, relevant keywords.
- Add Some Photos
Here’s another tip that, while simple, can have an impact: add some photos of your dispensary and various locations. You can include images of your product, or even your customers, provided you have their permission. Anything that is relevant can help to build your credibility and aid in your local ranking.
Make sure that your photos’ file names are optimized by adding your info (dispensary name, address, etc.) to the photo file when you upload them.
- Claim Your Listing on Review Sites
While we are claiming things, let’s also go ahead and claim your listing on review sites. Do not make the mistake of overlooking them as some businesses do, or—worse yet—waiting until there is a bad review posted on a public website.
After claiming your search engine business pages, claim your dispensary’s listing on the popular review websites. There are several, but some of the most important include Google Reviews, Yelp, BBB, Angie’s List, and Glassdoor.
Claiming your listing means that you will be able to control how you respond to any reviews you receive, positive or negative.
- Push for Good Reviews
Now that you have claimed your listings, put in some good hard work to earn yourself some positive reviews. While there are many factors to consider when determining search rank, positive customer reviews demonstrate three things that search engines like to see: authority, trust, and relevance.
Getting a good review directly on Google will help you even more than reviews on the other popular sites. Google even states that positive reviews improve your visibility in search.
According to Shopify, 93% of customers have their buying decisions influenced by reviews that they read online.
Aside from the boost to SEO, reviews also give you better insight into the thoughts of your customers. Are you doing something right? Are you doing something wrong? Your customers will tell you.
- Social Media
You probably knew this one was coming after all social media plays a large part in the lives of countless users. If your social profiles are optimized and have a good rate of engagement, they can appear in local search results.
Google watches for social signals—the likes, shares, votes, and pins received on social media—because they provide details of what’s trending and relevant to queries. This information is useful to their search algorithm.
If your brand is being liked, shared, or otherwise talked about, this improves your ranking in the Search Engine Results Page (SERP).
- Mobile Responsiveness
Google places a great deal of emphasis on user experience and satisfaction. With the trend toward mobile search, it is important to have a website that is responsive to mobile devices, especially smartphones.
According to Google, more than 51% of smartphone users have discovered new products and companies while using their smartphones, and 89% of those who have a positive brand experience on mobile is likely to recommend that brand.
Getting your dispensary website to the top of Google takes a bit of work and practice, but once you have learned how to position yourself at the top of the search results, you will reap the rewards in improved visibility and greater traffic flow to your website.