Search engine optimization for a dispensary is essential to ranking really high on Google’s search results pages. (See what I did there?) The vast majority of your potential customers will search Google for local dispensaries near them and use reviews and your website to determine if they will make a visit.

While the laws surrounding cannabis sales may  have transformed in Massachusetts, the legal requirements to market cannabis have stayed the same, putting cannabis dispensaries at risk if they advertise their product improperly. Cannabis startups in Massachusetts should be making the most of digital marketing by staying away from paid advertising and going organic.

Let’s talk about some practical and profitable cannabis marketing strategies using SEO. Done properly, SEO for a dispensary will increase your brand’s online presence and more people will be attracted to your store. It’s also one of the few digital marketing channels that don’t place a boatload of restrictions on your cannabis-related advertising activities.


1.) Setup Google My Business


Setting up Google My Business is easy and will allow your dispensary to show up on Google search and maps when users perform a search for your dispensary or others in the nearby area.

It’s free and will feature your dispensary along with its website, contact information, hours, photos, reviews and any updates you wish to share.

This is absolutely essential. Google is going to be the main way a majority of your customers will find you. Without taking the time to set this up, your dispensary runs the risk of looking illegitimate and loses major search engine juice.


2.) List Yourself on Dispensary Directories


Many cannabis enthusiasts will regularly check out websites like WeedMaps and Leafly to get information on cannabis strains and the latest industry news.

In fact, those two sites pull in 17 million combined users per month. That’s a lot of people trying to increase their marijuana IQ.

Taking advantage of high web traffic is great, but listing your dispensary on directories like WeedMaps and Leafly has the added advantage of giving your website a link from a highly reputable website.

This is crucial. Inbound links pointing to your website are one of the top three factors Google uses in determining where a piece of content will rank.

Add your business to the following Dispensary directories:

3.) Create Useful Content Your Customers Cares About


Content is king. A well-executed content marketing strategy can establish your dispensary as a leader in the industry.  It’ll attract customers to your dispensary for the simple reason that people are much more likely to do business with you if you provide value upfront.

To do this effectively, you have to get into the mind of your target audience.

What do they have questions about? What would they benefit from knowing? How will the content you create be different enough from the competition to stand out?

Pro tip: Don’t think your content should be limited to blog posts. It can take the form of Instagram/Snapchat stories, video, or podcasts. The opportunities are virtually endless.

4.) Create a Menu Just For Your Site


A menu of all the strains you currently sell won’t just bolster your website, it will also dramatically boost your search rankings.

With a menu on your site, you’ll be able to rank for strain-specific searches. This is huge for attracting the coveted high-end cannabis connoisseur (that’s a thing) who is looking for specific strains and will likely find a dispensary he or she likes and stick with it for the long haul.

In short, these people are likely to be loyal customers and you can attract them with personalized content.

Simply setting up a new page for every different strain you offer, along with a good description and lots of pictures will give you a leg up on the competition. You might think listing your menu on Leafly will suffice, but that content isn’t crawlable by Google and even if it were, Leafly is still getting the traffic, not you.

If you’re looking to go the extra mile, there is huge potential for video. You could give people a quick description of the product, recommend activities that go well with it, and take community questions from social media. Another great idea is to offer a virtual tour of your dispensary.


5.) Encourage Reviews


Encourage customers to leave a review on Google, Yelp or Facebook. When it comes to local SEO for a dispensary, reviews are a factor in ranking well and being shown at the top of the list of dispensaries.

Furthermore, reviews are a form of social proof. They will improve your brand’s image and increase your rankings.


Wrapping Things Up


These strategies will help spark local SEO for a Massachusetts dispensary organically.

Local search can make or break your entire marketing strategy. In the age of Google, being found quickly and presenting a positive brand image is essential for converting potential customers.

Following these steps won’t produce results overnight, but with consistent effort and a well-executed content strategy to complement your SEO efforts, your dispensary can soar to the top of Google’s rankings.

Marketing your cannabis dispensary business can be risky, with penalties and bans awaiting any business that steps out of line. Marketing413 is proud to help Massachusetts businesses promote their products properly, and we have the services and products to help you grow too. Give us a call today at (413) 338-5598 or visit us online to find out how we can you pave the way to success.