learn cannabis dispensary search engine optimization

What is search engine optimization (SEO)?

The medical and recreational cannabis markets are increasing nationwide. Marijuana Business Daily released their 2016 fact book indicating that the industry is expected to inject 44 Billion dollars into our economy. With this accelerated growth, comes an increase in competition. Whether you’re a new MMJ dispensary, an existing medical cannabis dispensary that is transitioning to target the recreational market, or a new recreational store coming to market, search engine optimization will play a vital role in driving foot traffic to your business.

According to Wikipedia, Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of improving the visibility of a website on organic (“natural” or un-paid) search engine result pages (SERPs), by incorporating search engine friendly elements into your website. In layman’s terms, this means that the higher you rank in search results pages, the more visitors you’ll receive from search engines, and therefore the more opportunities you’ll have to convert these leads into customers.

To show you an example of a search engine results page, I performed a search on Google.com for the keyword “dispensary near me.” From the screenshot below, you can see the local three pack, which displays the three most relevant local businesses based on my geographical location. These three companies have added their business listing to Google My Business, which is a free business listing you can create to reach local customers.

cannabis dispensary near me san francisco

Just below the local map pack, are the organic (“natural” or unpaid) listings. These are the most relevant search results Google displays the for your keyword based on 200+ factors, which consist of a combination of on-page and off page

Cannabis Dispensary Beginner's Guide to SEO

This guide will cover the most significant topics to help you optimize your dispensary website for digital success. Learn the fundamental components of Search Engine Optimization (SEO), and how to implement each practice in your SEO campaign.

On-page Optimization

On-page optimization incorporates carefully selected relevant keywords that apply to your dispensary and strategically utilizing them throughout your website. Research and implement one to two target keywords per page, maximum. Here is a list of the top 5 on-page ranking factors:

  1. Keyword in the title tag
  2. Keyword in the meta description tag
  3. Keyword in the H1 tag
  4. Keyword in page copy
  5. Keyword in image alt tags

Off-page Optimization

Off-page optimization improves your website ranking through factors beyond your site, including the number of quality backlinks coming to your site from other locations. Here is a list of the top 5 off-page ranking factors:

  1. The number of linking domains
  2. The number of linking pages
  3. Domain authority of linking pages
  4. Number of do-follow vs. no-follow links
  5. Anchor text optimization

Since there is an extensive amount of factors which influence search engine optimization, Search Engine Land has put together an easily digestible periodic table highlighting the critical success factors for SEO.

Given the complexity of SEO, this is merely an introduction to the concept and language of search engine optimization (SEO). For an in-depth overview of search engine optimization, check out our Beginner’s Guide to SEO for your Cannabis Dispensary.

period table of SEO success factors

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