Search Engine Optimization for Dispensaries

  • SEO for dispensaries requires special consideration.
  • Nine out of ten searches for dispensaries happen on mobile devices.
  • Dispensaries need to take advantage of all local marketing tools offered by Google and other local directories and optimize for local search terms.
  • Find opportunities for outgoing links to high-ranking marijuana content. 

There are countless articles and videos online that discuss search engine optimization for marijuana dispensaries. Most of the content focuses on a typical SEO checklist. There are 100 generic articles with the same checklists. You don’t need us to rehash all that. 

But are there any particular tips and tricks to SEO for dispensaries? We’ve got quite a bit of experience with cannabis-focused SEO. In fact, it’s all we do. So we pulled together some of the most important SEO techniques for dispensaries

We hope you find it valuable.

SEO tips for dispensaries

Like any local business, marijuana dispensaries want to maximize the return on their market efforts. And these days, a website is a major centerpiece of any local business’ marketing mix. Following an SEO checklist is a great way to work towards local search dominance. 

But here are some things you can think about that are specific to SEO for dispensaries. 

The vast majority of searches for marijuana dispensaries are done on mobile devises. Focus on those customers.

Oftentimes whoever is responsible for a dispensary’s SEO is sitting at a desk. And that means they’re working on a desktop computer with a decent size screen. And boy does that website look sharp! But it’s easy to forget that the majority of searches for marijuana dispensaries happen on mobile devices.

For this reason, it’s super important to scour your dispensary website for glitches using a mobile device. 

Most website development tools these days allow the creation of mobile-friendly websites. But they’re not always perfect at producing mobile pages.

Your web dev tool should give you the option of previewing your pages on desktops, smartphones, and tablets. Use that feature diligently on every page you publish. Then go and look at the page on an actual smartphone and tablet. Also use different operating systems and browsers. 

When you scour your website for usability issues — whether for desktop or mobile — think of yourself as a gold miner. You’re digging around for the next valuable nugget. Each issue that you find and fix could mean saving a substantial number of potentially lost customers and sales over time. That work always turns into money in the bank!

Don’t bother optimizing for words you use all the time like “marijuana dispensary.”

There’s no sense in optimizing for keywords like “marijuana dispensary” that are used constantly on dispensary websites. For one thing, there’s endless competition for these generic keywords. For another, generic keywords do not focus on the business at hand — selling marijuana to your local customers.

Instead, work to produce content geared toward the problems that your customers are trying to solve and tack on the name of your city. For example, you might have a static page optimized for “medical marijuana home delivery [city name].” Then link to that main delivery page from other pages on your website including shopping pages and blog posts. “We offer home delivery! Click here for details.”

Simpler keywords also work when the name of a city is part of a search inquiry. In order to take advantage of this, however, you have to take part in local search marketing tools offered by Google and other local directories. Being in those local listings is a must for dispensaries. 

Make sure you are using the name of your city on all your pages and blog your posts!

Get listed in marijuana-focused directories.

This is somewhat obvious for anyone that’s paying attention, but it’s important to be listed in as many cannabis-related directories as possible. Start with the ones that come up when you do a search for your top keywords.

So let’s say Yelp and Weedmaps rank highly for your search terms. It would be a good idea to be listed on those pages. 

In addition to seeing which directories come up in Google when you try search terms with your city name, also look at the pages that rank highly for the same key phrases without your city name. If you can find reasons to link to them from any of your pages or blog posts, then do so — assuming it’s not your competitor’s content.

If you’re using Yoast to help you optimize your page and you add the generic keywords, Yoast will warn you that you’re linking to a page that ranks highly for the search term and that you’ll just be helping them rank higher. However, since you’re a local business you should be showing up in the local listings, so fire away.

For example, let’s say you’re optimizing for the term “where to buy dab rigs in [city name].” Search for the term “where to buy dab rigs” without the city name and see if there are any opportunities to add strong outgoing links on your pages and posts.

 Build outbound links to top-ranking marijuana content.

Activity on social media sites — aka “social signals” — is an important part of SEO. Google favors local businesses that are active on social sites and that show follower interaction — likes and comments and whatnot. 

You should have a social post leading to every blog article. Every time you post a blog article it should be pitched on all of your social media pages. And, conversely,  hammer away at your services pages on social media on a regular basis. For example, once a week or so, remind followers that you offer delivery, or that you stock a particular product line, or have a particular strain in stock, and link to the appropriate page on your site.

And finally, every page of your website should prompt visitors to follow your social accounts. Offer some kind of incentive to click that follow button. Also, engage directly with your active followers. 

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We hope you found these SEO tips for dispensaries helpful. Dispensaries should combine these tips with a comprehensive SEO checklist. For similar content, please subscribe to our newsletter.

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In addition to seeing which directories come up in Google when you try search terms with your city name, also look at the pages that rank highly for the same key phrases without your city name. If you can find reasons to link to them from any of your pages or blog posts, then do so — assuming it’s not your competitor’s content.

If you’re using Yoast to help you optimize your page and you add the generic keywords, Yoast will warn you that you’re linking to a page that ranks highly for the search term and that you’ll just be helping them rank higher. However, since you’re a local business you should be showing up in the local listings, so fire away.

For example, let’s say you’re optimizing for the term “where to buy dab rigs in [city name].” Search for the term “where to buy dab rigs” without the city name and see if there are any opportunities to add strong outgoing links on your pages and posts

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