Local SEO For Dispensaries With Franchises & Multiple Locations
For cannabis businesses with retail stores using the franchise model, local SEO for dispensaries can be challenging but don’t worry, we got you.
The local SEO tips for dispensaries outlined in this article will show you how our dispensary SEO agency can improve the online visibility for your cannabis retail store or online mail order dispensary, and create a more positive cannabis shopping experience for your customers.
The success of your cannabis dispensary or mail order weed shop depends on many internal and external factors, but one of the main factors is how high your dispensary website ranks in search engine results.
In order for your retail store to rank on page 1 for profitable cannabis-related keywords, all dispensaries serving a targeted geographic area will need a professional and experienced dispensary SEO strategy to attract new potential customers.
The process for local SEO for dispensaries using the franchise model is different than the dispensary SEO strategy used for regular dispensaries.
To start, you need to make sure that all of your franchise’s websites are optimized with an appropriate local SEO keyword strategy and listed in the appropriate directories both nationally, for online dispensaries, as well locally for cannabis retail shops. This includes optimized content on social media too.
Read on and learn about the 6 effective tips to Local SEO for dispensaries & their franchise locations and how to use dispensary SEO to rank your dispensary franchises in Google and other search engines.
Why Local SEO For Dispensaries is Important For Franchises
With the right franchise SEO strategies, you can increase brand awareness and boost sales without spending a lot on advertising.
For example, Google My Business (GMB) Profile pages & listings are one way to get your dispensary seen by potential customers.
A comprehensive dispensary SEO strategy implemented on your GMB page will help you rank higher in search engine results, which means that more people may find out about all the great things happening at your dispensary.
The best part is that as long as your site stays ranking well in Google search results – which will happen automatically if your dispensary SEO is strong enough- there’s no cost for this traffic whatsoever! It’s “free” traffic from organic search for years!
However, a keyword strategy on your dispensary website and GMB page optimization aren’t enough. You need content on your website in order for your dispensary SEO strategy to be competitive.
That’s why we highly recommend that you regularly publish high-quality & relevant SEO-optimized blog articles on your website that target relevant keywords and use social media marketing channels like Facebook, Twitter, & Reddit to promote this content and drive more “free” traffic to your website.
These dispensary SEO tactics have proven themselves time after again as being effective options for increasing brand awareness while boosting sales online and/or in-store.
Remember, organic traffic from increased search rankings is free. As long as your dispensary SEO strategy can maintain your website’s keyword rankings, you can drive customers and sales at almost no cost to you.
Local Dispensary SEO For Franchises Comes With Unique Challenges
When you’re a cannabis business owner that owns several retail dispensaries in different locations, or you own a few different online dispensaries and mail-order marijuana pot shops you’re going to face some unique challenges when it comes to dispensary SEO.
For example, unique challenges like avoiding duplicate content are top on the list for dispensary owners who want to build and increase the online presence for all of their stores or websites.
While each location or business has its own website, all the websites should look and function similarly so as not to create any confusion about which dispensary’s menu you’re looking at when browsing to buy weed online.
The key thing to understand about this challenge is that duplicate content won’t help your search engine rankings, even if you own both websites the duplicate content is on.
Another challenge franchises will face with their dispensary SEO is identifying the right SEO & keyword strategy. Implementing the right SEO strategy for your franchise website can help you succeed.
The key to success in overcoming this challenge is deciding what’s best suited towards each individual business and their needs.
For example, do they need an optimized content plan based around topics related specifically to local events, local hot spots, and tourist locations, or would they need content that appeals nationwide?
Finally, and this may sound super obvious but you’d be surprised. Make sure that all contact details are up-to-date on all dispensary websites and their respective GMB pages so customers know how best to reach out if necessary!
Local SEO For Dispensaries For Franchises: 6 Steps To Improve Your Search Rankings
Whether you own a licensed retail cannabis dispensary franchise or you operate a legacy mail-order marijuana online dispensary business, following these dispensary SEO steps will help rank your site for your targeted search queries and drive organic traffic.
1. Maintain Consistent Branding on Digital & Physical Channels
A good local SEO tactic for dispensaries is to ensure that your online presence matches what you offer on the ground is by using consistent branding.
The entire purpose of a cannabis dispensary franchise model is so customers can have an identical or very similar experience when visiting each retail dispensary in any location.
This includes having the same menu items offered, the same music played in-store, the same vibe, etc., all while being served with the highest quality customer service.
If people visit your dispensary website but feel something isn’t quite right; namely because there might be some discrepancies between how things happen at their physical location vs expectations based on the website alone, then we’ve lost them as brand consistency is the key to creating an effective user experience.
It’s important to understand that people visiting different dispensary locations or shopping on the various websites of your franchise will expect a similar layout and color theme when they visit any one location or online platform.
This means consistency. You need to make sure everything from color schemes on websites (like logos) as well as page textures match across all channels in order to provide this level of comfort so users are not jarred by unexpected changes.
If people are expecting your website to look one way, and they land on a webpage with an entirely different design, they may exit your page, thinking that they landed on the wrong one.
2. Build Local Content Into Each Individual Dispensary Franchise Website
When building a website for your dispensary franchise, there are certain essentials specific to local SEO for dispensaries that your dispensary SEO agency should implement on your site.
These dispensary SEO essentials will not only help with SEO, keyword rankings, and usability but also provide value in what people want from a weed dispensary website today – which could be why sites optimized with local SEO for dispensaries tend to rank so high on Google.
A Few Essential Tasks For Your Dispensary SEO Agency:
- Optimize your dispensary franchisee location pages with the most popular search localized terms and be sure your dispensary SEO agency includes these keywords when optimizing title tags, and on-page content.
- Embedded Google map of the dispensary’s location.
- Clearly list the hours of operation.
- Add images of your management, budtenders serving customers, product displays, promotions, and anything original to that location. Be sure your Dispensary SEO Agency optimizes these images with keywords from your dispensary SEO strategy.
- Add localized reviews and testimonials from that dispensary franchise location. You can cut and paste Google Reviews to add to this section and link to your Google My Business Page as the source.
- In addition to the Google Map embed mentioned above, add SEO optimized copywriting that covers the direction details for the dispensary from local highways and nearby landmarks. Also, include the geographic areas do you cover.
- A final tip for your dispensary SEO agency – be sure they add Structured local business markup.
3. Ensure Consistency With Your NAP
The Name, Address, and Phone Number (NAP) is critical to local SEO for dispensaries. Since your franchise has multiple locations, your dispensary SEO strategy must use the correct NAP of each location accurately in order to rank higher on Google maps searches.
If one dispensary franchise’s area code comes up with parenthesis around it then you will want to instruct your dispensary SEO agency to use that exact same format on the website, on social platforms, on social posts, in emails, and on your GMB page across so that no confusion occurs with customers and with Google search.
For example, If your phone number is 123.456.7890, it should be listed that way, in that format, everywhere – with the “.” separating the numbers. This is the best practice for any SEO and especially with local SEO for dispensaries.
To be clear, it’s not ideal to have your phone number format as 123.456.7890 in some places online, and then to have it listed as 123-456-7890 or (123) 456-7890 on other platforms.
If you want to include corporate contact details you should do so on a separate page and also make sure that the “Corporate” option is included in your footer menu.
4. Location, Location, Location, & Keywords
This is where franchise dispensary owners will want to hire a professional cannabis SEO expert or dispensary SEO agency to conduct comprehensive keyword research focused on relevant location-based searches close to each dispensary.
It’s important to use creative SEO copywriting to include location-specific keywords on each of your dispensary websites or on your site’s local pages – which should be standard practice for local SEO for dispensaries.
You or your dispensary SEO agency can use free or paid keyword research tools to find competitive, cannabis-related keywords that will allow local people to find you.
Targeting national search terms on each local page or on each dispensary website might not be the best idea for cannabis businesses in the franchise model.
You may rank for them, but the people who land on your page might live far from where the individual franchisee is located so the traffic is essentially irrelevant for the work and investment.
The exception is if you have a national website that automatically redirects people to the nearest dispensary franchise location. This has also become a common tactic with local SEO for retail dispensaries.
5. Create a Blog Content Marketing Strategy
This tip is absolutely critical for a successful strategy for local SEO for dispensaries.
High quality, highly relevant, trustworthy professional content, that is SEO optimized for search engines, is a crucial aspect of any successful digital marketing campaign for any cannabis dispensary.
However, for cannabis dispensary franchises, it can get tricky
Should you blog about general cannabis topics and weed strain reviews that would be highly related to your niche and products?
Or, should you blog about topics that are related to the specific location or area of each dispensary franchise?
As a general rule for local SEO for dispensaries, it’s best, and most strategic, to do the latter.
At our dispensary SEO agency, our SEO & content teams work together to create high-quality, original, relevant blog posts that have nearby residents in mind.
There are two types of locally-targeted blog posts.
The first type discusses general local news and events. This type of blog post is perfect for cannabis dispensaries because your customers are a broad target audience who want the products that you sell.
For example, let’s say you have a few dispensaries in several cities. In this case, it would be best to blog about local events, local holiday functions, and offer promotions at the end of your posts to drive in-store traffic or online sales.
As a general rule, however, it’s more beneficial (and thusly more profitable) for your dispensary SEO agency to focus content on cannabis but with an emphasis on location-specific information such as what foods are popular here or which festivals occur around this time compared against other locations.
6. Claim & Optimize Your Listing on Google My Business & Other Local Directories
You will need to create a separate Google My Business (GMB) Page Profile for each retail dispensary in your franchise. Each location must have its own GMB profile.
You have several ways that you can manage access and control of these valuable GMB pages with your franchise owners and their teams.
For one, you can have each franchise owner create their listing, depending on how responsible they are for marketing.
Alternatively, you can set up each listing under your own Google account (you can use one account for all listings). Then, you can add franchise owners as users to manage and control their listings.
Either way, having a GMB profile that you link to each franchise’s website is critical for local SEO for dispensaries.
As you may already know, when people search Google for local cannabis dispensaries – or any other local business, websites aren’t the only results that show up.
Google’s GMB (Google My Business) profiles have replaced the old local pack and provide a more engaging way of showing off your business.
These features include ratings and other engaging data which can be crucial to help your dispensary stand out from competitors if you have better information than they do when someone is searching online to buy weed locally.
GMB & Google Maps
Google Business Profiles are a great way to show up on Google Maps – which is another key app to optimize for local SEO for dispensaries. In fact, many searchers use this tool before they search for a place to buy weed near them.
The data Google provides users includes the distance of your dispensary from them so they will be able to spot your store and other nearby locations that fit their needs. Personally, I always recommend adding info such as if parking is available.
If you have several franchise dispensaries within the city, there’s a good chance you’ll show up in any given search.
However, creating a Google Business Profile is just the beginning to your local SEO strategy. You also should create profiles on other popular local directories, including Yelp, TripAdvisor, Bing Places for Business, and Apple Maps.
While those are national directories, you should know that they are optimized for and appear in local searches.
In addition to large platforms like your Google My Business Profile, you should be building listings in as many relevant cannabis directories as possible – WeedMaps, Leafly, to name a few.
Getting citations and links from local directories will do wonders for your search engine rankings – the more local citations you can build, the better your strategy for local SEO for dispensaries will perform.
Incorporating the correct contact data into your GMB listings and local citations is critical to increasing their chances of being seen by customers.
As mentioned above, You should use a similar NAP format as you would on your dispensary franchise websites or local pages, and make sure that store hours are up-to-date.
Some local directories will allow you to upload images of your dispensary and/or products. You should absolutely take advantage of this and upload images whenever allowed.
Google Business Profile also allows you to publish post updates, which you should do from time to time to show that you are active. Different post types are available on GMB and they should each be used as a tactic for local SEO for dispensaries.
Some can include general updates, while others can announce discounts or promotions, new product launches, a change of hours, or new stock updates.
You or your dispensary SEO agency should include your top target keywords in your GMB profile description, as well as in your post updates.
Each platform and directory will have different requirements.
In general, however, try to add as much relevant information, upload as many images, and target as many relevant keywords as you can.
Once you created listings on GMB, Yelp, and other directories, encourage customers to leave reviews. Dispensaries with GMB profiles that have many positive reviews tend to rank better in local searches.
Many platforms forbid incentivized reviews, so you can’t give customers discounts or freebies in exchange for reviews.
However, you can encourage reviews by putting up stickers or posters in each dispensary franchise location reminding customers to look you up on Google, Facebook, Yelp, etc., and share their feedback and comments.
An excellent hack is to create QR codes that take users to your official profile on Google or Yelp and put those QR codes on your menus, storefronts, receipts, and other materials.
We Can Help Implement Local SEO For Dispensaries
SEO is a fantastic tactic for every cannabis business including licensed retail stores as well as legacy online dispensaries that sell mail-order marijuana regionally or nationally.
Local SEO for dispensaries is a super effective digital marketing tactic for licensed retail dispensaries and legacy weed delivery services.
If you implement the above 6 local SEO tips you can be sure your dispensary website will see some improvement in organic traffic to your website and online visibility in local searches.
I can understand that dispensary SEO may not be your jam and that’s why my team and I would be happy to help you by implementing a customized local SEO & keyword strategy for your dispensary website.
Contact us via email to request a quote or call us for a free 30-minute phone consult.
We’re Ready To Help You Grow!