Google Maps for Dispensaries: Master Local SEO & Elevate Your Cannabis Store

woman using Google Maps on her phone looking for a cannabis store. Google Maps for dispensaries helps local SEO.

Table of Contents

Drive Traffic, Boost Sales: 11 Expert Tips to Maximize Your Presence on Google Maps

If you are to buy weed from a local cannabis store and you’re in an unfamiliar neighbourhood, the first place you look is Google search, or even better, you search Google Maps for dispensaries

Many cannabis users are increasingly turning to Google Maps as their go-to platform for discovering local weed shops and making well-informed purchase decisions. 

As this trend continues to grow, your business has a prime opportunity to capitalize on this cannabis local SEO trend by ensuring your website is not only visible but also optimized on Google Maps for dispensaries. 

By leveraging this powerful tool, combined with your dispensary’s Google Business Profile (GBP), retailers can effectively reach their target audience, enhance their online visibility, and ultimately drive more foot traffic and conversions to their physical locations.

So now you’re likely thinking: How do I rank my dispensary on Google Maps? How do I rank in the top 3 on the Google local map when people search for a “dispensary near me”?

With those questions in mind, our cannabis SEO experts have outlined 11 key steps to ranking your dispensary higher in Google Maps and increasing the daily foot traffic to your cannabis store!

google map with local pin for seo for dispensaries. Google Maps for dispensaries. Cannabis SEO agency.

1. Create A Google Business Profile For Your Business

The initial and pivotal step in enhancing brand visibility on Google Maps for dispensaries is creating and optimizing your Google Business Profile (GBP), previously known as Google My Business (GMB). 

You can accomplish this by simply searching for your brand name on Google Maps and verifying your listing if you haven’t already done so. 

Once your listing is verified and you’re logged into a Google account, you can edit and begin optimizing it directly from the search results. Super simple!

As Google-owned properties, both Google Maps GBP serve as primary signals to Google of your business’s existence and relevance, with information viewed as accurate and updated. 

Google cross-references these details with those found on your website and other local directories and resources. 

Remember that your GBP is not a “set-it-and-forget-it” marketing strategy. 

Google prioritizes GBP pages that are regularly updated with useful posts and information for your customers, as well as profiles that generate regular positive reviews.

dispensary SEO desk with photos for Google Business Profile posts. dispensary marketing and cannabis SEO agency.

2. Frequently Post Linked Content

For cannabis dispensaries aiming to enhance their local SEO and online visibility, posting linked content on their Google Business Profile (GBP) is paramount. 

Claiming the GBP listing is just the beginning of optimizing Google Maps for dispensaries. Consistent updates are crucial to improving dispensaries’ visibility on Google Maps. Google prioritizes active businesses and rewards them with higher visibility. 

Regular posts on the GBP profile, including special offers, events, blog links, and business updates, signal relevance and engagement to Google’s algorithms. 

Incorporating photos into updates further enhances engagement and SEO for cannabis dispensaries, as visuals tend to increase shares and clicks.

Moreover, including links in posts, especially to the dispensary’s website’s primary category or product pages, strengthens the local SEO strategy.

These links not only drive traffic directly to the website but also signal to Google the relevance and authority of the dispensary’s online presence. This helps increase local rankings in organic search and the local map pack.

By consistently posting linked content, cannabis dispensaries can improve their SEO and attract more customers through enhanced visibility on Google Maps.

man using a tablet with google maps to find a cannabis store. local SEO for dispensaries. Cannabis SEO agency.

3. Optimize Your Web Presence for Local Searches to Enhance SEO for Cannabis Dispensaries

Optimizing your cannabis dispensary’s web presence for local organic search is crucial for achieving high rankings on Google Maps for dispensaries and attracting local customers. 

A local SEO audit is the first step, focusing on keywords, content, and linking strategies. 

Ensuring your website is properly structured for easy crawling and indexing by Google, with rich, locally-oriented content and relevant internal and external links, is essential. 

Google rewards cannabis dispensaries’ websites that provide quick access to answers, prioritizing those that load fast and offer seamless navigation across devices. 

With more searches originating from mobile devices, local optimization and SEO for dispensaries becomes even more critical. 

By aligning your web presence with local search intent and ensuring a seamless user experience, your cannabis dispensary can improve its visibility, attract more local customers, and ultimately drive growth and success in the competitive cannabis market.

laptop with schema code used for cannabis SEO for Google maps for a dispensary.

4. Use Local SEO Business Schema

Implementing local business schema markup is crucial for ranking your dispensary higher in Google Maps for dispensaries. 

Schema markup helps standardize and structure content, making it easier for search engines like Google to understand and index your business details. 

With local business schema, you can wrap code around your content, including important information like business name, address, phone number, and operating hours. 

Google naturally cross-references this data with your Google Business Profile, enhancing the validation of your location. 

The more accurate and consistent your location data appears across different platforms, the more likely your dispensary will appear prominently in Google Maps. 

By utilizing local business schema, you improve the visibility and credibility of your dispensary in local search results, ultimately driving more traffic and potential customers to your business.

white jigsaw puzzle written with contact us. Local SEO for cannabis stores. Cannabis marketing agency.

5. Embed Google Maps for Dispensaries On Your Contact Us Page

Embedding a Google Map on your Contact Us page is a strategic move that can enhance user experience and potentially influence your visibility in Google Maps rankings. 

While Google has not explicitly confirmed that embedding a map directly impacts rankings, it’s reasonable to assume that using Google’s tools and formats could be beneficial. 

Including a map provides a seamless and direct way for users to see your location, understand your proximity, and even get directions, all within the context of your website. 

This functionality not only adds convenience but also increases the likelihood of physical visits from potential customers. 

Moreover, by integrating Google’s tools, you are aligning your website more closely with Google’s ecosystem, which may favour your site in terms of user experience. 

A consistent user experience across Google services and your website reassures both Google and your visitors that they can expect reliability and professionalism from your business.


6. Manage and Respond to Reviews on Google Maps for Dispensaries

Reviews matter for cannabis search engine optimization, actively mining and managing customer reviews on Google Maps is crucial for maintaining a robust online presence. Reviews significantly influence local search rankings and consumer trust. 

Customer reviews are a vital part of SEO for cannabis dispensaries and help to increase rankings on Google Maps for dispensaries.

A Google Business Profile rich with frequent and recent reviews, and a business’s responsive engagement with those reviews, signals to Google a high level of relevance and reliability, boosting the dispensary’s visibility in search results.

Responding to reviews, both positive and negative, underscores a commitment to customer service, which can enhance a business’s reputation and encourage more customer interactions. 

Addressing negative feedback promptly and thoughtfully can also mitigate damage and often convert dissatisfaction into a positive outcome, demonstrating that the business values customer feedback and is proactive about continuous improvement.

Encouraging reviews through automated systems like emails or texts post-purchase or service can increase the volume of feedback. 

Regular, positive reviews improve a dispensary’s Google Maps ranking, directly impacting its discoverability and, ultimately, its bottom line. Managing reviews through a centralized dashboard can streamline this process, ensuring that the dispensary remains competitive in an increasingly digital marketplace.

cannabis SEO agency people holding social media icons.

7. Social Media Engagement Boosts Marijuana Dispensary SEO

Social media engagement is crucial in the SEO strategy for cannabis dispensaries. Active participation on social platforms not only helps build brand awareness and engage with customers but also contributes to improving search engine rankings. 

By sharing informative content, interacting with followers, and fostering a sense of community, dispensaries can enhance their online presence and credibility, thereby improving their SEO for cannabis dispensaries.

Additionally, social media profiles often appear in search engine results, providing additional opportunities for visibility. 

Moreover, social signals such as likes, shares, and comments are considered by search engines as indicators of a website’s authority and relevance. 

Therefore, a robust social media presence with consistent engagement and dispensary marketing can positively impact marijuana dispensary SEO efforts, driving organic traffic to the dispensary’s website and ultimately increasing its online visibility and customer base.

GPS location Google Map pin on a laptop. GBP optimization for cannabis stores.

8. Update Local Listings/Citations With Your NAP

Ensuring consistent and accurate NAP (Name, Address, and Phone Number) information across all local listings and citations is paramount for cannabis dispensaries. 

Google Maps for dispensaries and customers rely on this data for accurate business location and contact details. Inconsistencies can lead to confusion, decreased trust, and even penalties from search engines. 

Third-party citations, including directory listings and review sites, are vital in establishing a dispensary’s online presence and credibility. 

Conducting regular audits to identify and correct any discrepancies in NAP information is essential. 

This can be done manually by searching for your business name across various platforms and contacting site owners to update information. 

Alternatively, automated local listings services streamline the process, ensuring accurate NAP information is maintained consistently across all online sources. 

By prioritizing NAP accuracy, dispensaries can enhance their visibility, credibility, and trustworthiness in the eyes of both search engines and potential customers.

local backlinks and online connections concept

9. Build Local Backlinks

Building local backlinks is a crucial strategy for improving local SEO for cannabis dispensaries. 

These backlinks validate your business’s credibility and relevance from both local and service/product perspectives. 

By having pertinent, local third-party sites link to your primary website pages, you enhance your authority in the eyes of search engines like Google. 

It’s important to ensure that your business listings in local directories are properly categorized and include links to your website. 

Ideally, these cannabis backlinks should be “follow” links, which Google Maps for dispensaries recognizes and follows back to your content. 

While some directories may charge for inclusion, opportunities to secure non-paid links from relevant partner, or service organization sites should also be pursued. 

By actively building local backlinks, cannabis dispensaries can strengthen their online presence, improve search engine rankings, and attract more local customers.

adult friends giving a high five at a retail cannabis dispensary they found via Google Maps.

10. Engage With Your Community

Active engagement with the community is a powerful dispensary marketing strategy for boosting the local SEO for cannabis retailers. 

Just as Google rewards activity on Google Business Profiles, it also values businesses that are actively involved within their communities. 

Establishing a strong presence and authority in the local area involves engaging with local service organizations, sponsoring events, and collaborating with other top businesses. 

By actively participating in community events and initiatives, cannabis retailers are recognized as integral parts of the community by both Google and local residents. 

This engagement can include publishing and promoting linked content, such as event announcements and partner pages, as well as physically participating in local events and activities. 

Getting mentioned or linked in local news stories or publications further enhances the retailer’s visibility and credibility within the community, ultimately contributing to higher local search rankings and increased customer trust and loyalty.

alphabet beads with text keyword.

11. Pay Close Attention To The Long Tail Keywords and SERPs

Paying close attention to the search engine results pages (SERPs) and incorporating long-tail keywords into your dispensary’s SEO strategy can significantly enhance your online visibility and attract more local customers. 

Monitoring your rankings in both Google Maps and regular SERPs is crucial for evaluating the effectiveness of your optimization efforts. 

Utilizing rank monitoring tools or performing manual Google searches can help track your progress accurately.

Long-tail keywords, which include local identifiers and qualifying terms like “near me,” “best,” and “affordable,” play a key role in attracting highly targeted traffic for Google Maps for dispensaries. 

These specific phrases may have lower search volumes individually, but collectively they can drive significant traffic to your website. 

Focusing on long-tail keyword groups lets you capture niche audiences and compete effectively in local search results.

By prioritizing long-tail keywords and closely monitoring SERP rankings, you can refine your dispensary’s SEO strategy, improve your online visibility, and ultimately attract more local customers to your business.

people in a circle making peace sign

Conclusion: Optimizing Google Maps For Dispensaries Helps Local SEO

In conclusion, achieving high rankings on Google Maps for dispensaries requires a multifaceted approach that integrates various strategies tailored to enhance local SEO and visibility.

By following the 11 key steps outlined in this comprehensive guide, dispensaries can significantly elevate their online presence and attract more local customers.

From optimizing Google Business Profiles and posting linked content to managing reviews, engaging with the community, and leveraging long-tail keywords, each step is crucial in driving growth and success in the competitive cannabis market.

With a focus on consistency, relevance, and engagement, dispensaries can confidently navigate the digital landscape and ultimately position themselves as top contenders in their local market and beyond.

If you’d like help optimizing your Google Business Profile or your dispensary on Google Maps, please contact us for a free consultation or to request a quote.

Request a Cannabis SEO Quote banner. Dispensary SEO pricing. Dispensary SEO Agency. Marijuana SEO company.