Having an effective website is crucial to the success of your cannabis dispensary. A dispensary website will not only help to market your business but will also help you to establish an online presence, grow awareness, boost credibility, establish trust, and build your brand. But just having a website is not enough. Your website has to be constructed in a way that helps you to achieve your business and marketing goals, whatever they may be. If your marijuana dispensary website is not pulling in enough traffic, helping you connect with local consumers, or effectively growing your brand, it may be time for a retooling.
How Can You Tell if Your Website Is Working for You?
Is your site working to boost sales? Grow your brand? Pull in traffic from search engines and social media? Convert leads into paying customers?
Whatever your business and marketing goals are, you need to carefully consider if your website is helping you to achieve them. If it isn’t, then don’t hesitate to make the necessary changes needed to improve your site and to help you reach your goals.
One of the most practical things you can do to boost your site’s numbers is fixing your SEO strategy to draw in more organic traffic.
Fix Your SEO
One of the main advantages of having a dispensary website is that it allows you to better connect with potential customers. Establishing your presence online with a website is great, but your site can only attract traffic if it is optimized to do so.
If your dispensary website is not pulling in enough organic traffic, you may need to rethink your search engine optimization (SEO) strategy. How can you best go about optimizing your SEO strategy?
Here are some of the most important things you need to consider when it comes to your website’s cannabis marketing and SEO strategy.
Analyze Your Current SEO Success
Before you start making changes to your SEO strategy, take a moment to carefully analyze and understand your existing organic traffic. Analyzing your current traffic can provide you with valuable insights as to where visitors are coming from and how they are interacting with your website.
The easiest way to do this is by scraping the data from your Google Analytics account. Take a look at which of your pages are attracting organic traffic and carefully consider what makes them more successful than the rest of your site. Identify which content works and think about what your most successful content has in common.
Optimize Your Keyword Strategy To Account For Search Intent
Google has become a lot better at understanding the intentions behind a user’s search. Understanding the search intent of your organic traffic and creating content with search intent in mind is crucial to boosting your website’s organic traffic.
‘Search intent’ refers to the why behind the user’s search (the what). Searchers may be looking for answers, directions, information, or to make a purchase. Google’s algorithm considers just what is behind a user’s search when deciding which pages to show them and how they are ranked.
If you want your website to rank, then you’ll have to create your content with search intent in mind. Search intent should be integrated into your content strategy in order to capture leads at all stages of the marketing funnel and to successfully push them towards converting.
Optimize Your On-Page SEO Signals
After optimizing your content strategy, you should take some time to also optimize your on-page SEO signals as well. Each and every individual page on your dispensary’s website should be optimized with the necessary on-page elements.
What does on-page optimization cover?
- Title tags
- Meta descriptions
- Keywords (in content; avoid keyword cannabilization!)
- Header tags
- Image alt tags
You should also take some time to fix any broken or missing pages in your site’s network. 404 errors can make it harder for Google to crawl your site and can also increase your site’s bounce rate, hurting your overall SEO. To check your site for 404s you can use Google’s Search Console to generate an error report tht can point you in the right direction.
Optimize Your Site For Mobile Browsing
More people are browsing the internet on their smartphones and tablets than ever before. As a result, most websites are now built with a mobile-first design process that prioritizes building the mobile version of a website before the desktop version.
You don’t necessarily need to take a mobile-first approach to building your website. Just make sure that your website is optimized for mobile browsing as best as possible.
Optimizing your website for mobile won’t just improve the user experience and make your site more accessible, but it will also provide a serious boost your SEO.
Need to check if your website is mobile friendly? You can use Google’s free Mobile-Friendly Test tool to find out.
Optimize Your Dispensary Website’s Speed
A slow on-site browsing experience will not only frustrate your audience and send them running, but will also negatively affect your overall SEO.
Page speed became a direct ranking factor in 2018 with Google’s page speed algorithm update. You can now expect a page’s slow loading speed to negatively affect its ability to rank in Google’s search results.
If a page is loading too slowly, take a close look at its individual elements. Elements that may be too large in terms of file size may be slowing down the page’s load speed. Images tend to be the usual culprits, but there may be other problematic elements as well.
A slow browsing experience can also increase your website’s bounce rate and reduce time spent on page. A site’s bounce rate is reflective of the amount of visitors who view only one page in your network before immediately navigating away. A high bounce rate won’t directly affect your site’s SEO signals, but it is indicative of underlying problems that may do so.
Feature Reviews on Your Site
Additionally, you’ll want to make sure that your website features customer reviews of your dispensary.
Customer reviews work to build credibility, trustworthiness, and legitimacy, for both your dispensary and its website. It’s always great for business to feature positive customer reviews on your website, but it can also help your SEO.
How important are customer reviews? A 2014 consumer review survey found that 88% of respondents trusted online reviews just as much as personal recommendations.
As such, you should also think about developing a customer review response strategy that can be applied all over the web. Responding to your Google, Yelp, and other online reviews signals that you are a legitimate business that cares about its customers. A recent review of SEO signals found that online customer reviews may contribute to as much as 15% of your site’s total SEO signals.
Integrate Social Media Into Your SEO Strategy
Social media signals also play a role in your website’s SEO.
Google prefers to rank websites with a high number of shares and other social media engagements. As such, social media activity can actually boost your site’s organic traffic.
Additionally, sharing your content on social media is likely to increase its views and improve engagement. Having your social media follow share your content will expand its reach and provide you with another mechanism for generating organic traffic for your website. A 2018 study by Hootsuite found that the content in their study with the most social shares received a 22% ranking boost on average.
While it’s not a massive share, social media signals are believed to account for as much as 3% of your total SEO signals. Integrating social media into your SEO strategy is both simple and effective.
Add Your Dispensary To Directory Listings
Lastly, don’t forget to take some time to add your dispensary’s website to online cannabis and business directory listings.
Adding your dispensary to directories like the Yellow Pages, Yelp, and Local will increase the likelihood of local shoppers finding your dispensary. Additionally, listing yourself in cannabis directories like Leafly, will expose your business to shoppers looking for cannabis-specific businesses.
And when it comes to SEO, having your NAP (name, address, phone number) listed on authoritative websites can give you a boost when it comes to local rankings. Just make sure to be consistent and provide the same accurate information to each directory.
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