As a dispensary owner/operator, you’ve got no end of physical, real-world problems to contend with. From drafting a killer business plan to finalizing your four essential hires to implementing delivery and express pickup options, there’s a lot to manage. So for many of us, tackling “virtual” issues like optimizing our website’s SEO can take a backseat. Trust us: It shouldn’t. Even if you can’t see or touch it, where you rank on search engines—primarily Google, which practically owns the field—could not be more important to your business. Let’s run through a few of the most common mistakes we see dispensary owner/operators make when it comes to google ranking. And more importantly, tips on how to fix the problem pronto.
Are These Mistakes Killing Your Google Ranking? Six Tips for Six Issues
1. Is Your Google My Business (GMB) Listing up to Date?
With a market share just under 92%, Google essentially owns the search market universe. And as we’ve written before, the most current analysis demonstrates that now more than ever, GMB is the essential tool businesses need to build and maintain visibility and ranking. Take a moment to peruse our handy checklist to ensure your GMB listing is up to date and working correctly to bring customers right to your doorstep.
2. Time for Spring Cleaning?
Maintaining a website with all the essentials—live menu, blog, contact info, and more—can quickly get out of hand. What you may not know is that it can also be hurting your ranking. Do you have duplicate content or dead pages? Google’s site-crawling robots can’t distinguish between the meaningful content and, say, an HTML duplicate page that’s designed to merely be a print version. So do yourself a favor and audit your site—or better yet, hire an expert—to make sure it’s as lean, mean, and clean as it can possibly be!
3. Are You Sending Social Signals?
Social media can and should be part of your digital marketing plan. Why? There are all the obvious reasons—platforms like Instagram and Facebook are great matches for our target consumers—but some you may not have considered. Did you know, for instance, that search engines such as Google pay attention to social signals to help determine site rankings? From their perspective, it’s a great way to determine activity and engagement. So use your social media accounts wisely and often; it’ll bring the short-term rewards of “likes” (and help create the longer-term ones of great SEO!).
4. Are You Creating Consistent Content?
If you couldn’t guess, content marketing is a big concern of ours. It draws in and educates our customers, helps establish and build our authority, and—wait for it—even contributes to our overall SEO. Creating consistent, engaging, and SEO content is a must in this day and age. And it needn’t be a chore. Break off small and doable chunks by setting up a content calendar (and sticking with it), and think ahead to tie in your content with holidays, special events, and other newsworthy dates. In the final analysis, it’s fairly clear: Businesses that blog tend to have better SEO, sometimes vastly so.
5. Is Your Site Mobile-Friendly?
Given customers’ increasingly on-the-go buying habits, an outdated site cuts into your bottom line. And believe it or not, it has an effect on your search ranking as well. In fact, it’s so crucial that Google has been moving towards mobile-first indexing for the last few years. It’s time to get on the ball. Have we written about it before? You better believe it. And again, it needn’t be difficult: In essence, it’s ensuring that your site looks good and functions well no matter the device it’s accessed from.
6. Is Your Site Slow?
No one likes visiting a slow website; it can be irritating in the extreme. Does that frustration pencil out to dollars and cents? You better believe it: According to some estimates, some 40% of people abandon websites that take longer than 3 seconds to load. Don’t be one of the slowpokes: Have your site audited and optimized; you’ll retain more customers and (yes, you guessed it) improve your SEO as well. Google pays a great deal of attention to the issue; there’s no reason you shouldn’t either.