Looking to give your dispensary real leverage and increase your impact in the digital realm? Standing out from the competition can be hard, but if you want your customers to find you, you must invest in dispensary SEO.
Dispensary SEO: Improving Your Local SEO Standings
By now, you should be familiar with the concept of Search Engine Optimization (commonly referred to as SEO). Simply put, all it means is tailoring the content you share online in order to improve the quantity—and the quality—of organic traffic to your website. Essentially, you’re including the specific words and phrases your preferred customers are searching for so that search engines will know your site is highly relevant.
Because most web searches are for highly local content—dispensary near me, for instance—small businesses have an advantage over larger ones in presenting this highly localized content.
This isn’t the same as on-page SEO techniques, a topic we’ve discussed before.
Today, we’re focusing on specific types of content to share on your blog. (You have a blog and you post regularly, right?) Content—and especially local content—can help boost your dispensary SEO standings. If you can demonstrate to search engines such as Google and Bing that you really are a relevant source of information on local and specific topics—say, “the largest selection of cannabis tinctures in Terpene City”—your site will start appearing in the crucial “above the fold” listings of search engine results pages (SERP).
If you need tips on how to research what those customers are looking for, you can access free tools such as Google’s Keyword Planner and Google Trends. You can also start by listening. It’s a safe bet that customers who ask specific questions in person are doing the same thing online.
Here are 9 types of content that can help you boost your local SEO and maybe even get you into the vaunted local pack.
Create Content that Centers on Your Business
This is the simplest and most direct approach. Are there new products people should know about? A roundup of tabletop vaporizers customers are dying to try? Get writing!
Better Yet: Content on the Industry and Specific to the Area
You’re already inserting plenty of local references and appropriate keywords in your content, right? But if there’s a cannabis-related development specific to your area, make use of it, whether it’s a change in state policy or a city council open session on a topic relevant to your business. You’re already up on local developments; now use that knowledge to create super-relevant and timely content!
Piggyback on Local News Stories
Similarly, if there’s an especially relevant local news item, share your version of it. If it’s of interest to you, it’s likely of interest to your customers. Again, that hyper-local content is pure SEO gold.
Remember, our customers do other things when they’re not at your dispensary. Create lists of favorite restaurants, shops, and more. You’re not only doing them a service, but you’re boosting your own SEO. Bonus: Add in cannabis-centered content, like pairing hot strains with seasonal events, movies or concerts.
If you feel the local cannabis industry is underreported, you can take the job on yourself. Make a list of local dispensaries with accurate, authoritative content. Include your own, of course, but don’t hype yourself (and definitely don’t trash the competition). The idea is to generate very local, industry-specific content that will help customers and boost your visibility.
Write About Local Events
Seems obvious, but it’s always worth a reminder. You don’t have to write only about the cannabis industry, nor should you. Your customers seek all kinds of local activity. Lead them to those highly local happenings and they’ll thank you. Open Mic night at the local comedy club? Free karaoke at your favorite dive bar? Cool gallery opening by a local artist? Sharing local events shows that you’re involved in your local community and care about what’s happening.
…Or, Generate Them Yourself
Sometimes, when it seems there’s not enough in your community to write about, it may make sense to host or sponsor them yourself. What’s a fun, attention-getting (and legal) way for you to invite people in, and—just as importantly—create something newsworthy you can share on your blog and social media channels, before, during, and after the actual event? Host speakers, open mics, or a book club—it’s up to you. Find out what your customers are interested in and see if it works with your mission. For example, if you’re a medical dispensary, patients may be interested in attending informational sessions led by a physician. Many patients aren’t sure how to approach medical cannabis and would love guidance from a professional.
Get Local Media Coverage
Is there something truly noteworthy about your business? Make a press release and try to drum up some coverage. Depending on your market it can be a long shot, but interest in cannabis is growing, and if you can demonstrate your newsworthiness to a local media outlet, the coverage you get could be invaluable.
One great way to add variety to your blog—and, just as importantly, attract an audience from outside your usual channels—is to invite guest posters. It could be someone in the industry, a local figure, or a popular musical artist or author. Chances are they’re happy to be asked, and you’ll be reaching a new and untapped source of readership and interest.
No Time? Hire a Dispensary SEO Company
These 9 types of content can help you improve your local SEO standings—as long as what you’re posting is quality content that is relevant to your target audience. You’ll also want to post regularly—which is where many companies experience hiccups. Creating a content calendar and a digital marketing strategy can help ensure that you are posting on a schedule and generating fresh content to keep your audience engaged.
Of course, all of this takes time. And for a dispensary owner or manager, time is often in short supply. If you want to boost your dispensary SEO standings, a digital marketing firm that specializes in cannabis companies can help!