Medical Marijuana SEO For MMJ Dispensaries
If you’re learning about the most effective ways to market medical marijuana and your local dispensaries, you’ve likely heard about search engine optimization (SEO) and specific tactics for implementing a medical marijuana SEO strategy.
MMJ, as well as recreational marijuana consumers, are currently searching for information to educate themselves on the safety and health benefits of medical cannabis. Hence the importance of MMJ SEO.
To source this information, we all use popular search engines like Google and Bing to find information, education, and high-quality products, for the most competitive prices.
Therefore, smart cannabis companies and dispensaries who have a cannabis content marketing plan in place and are regularly publishing the highest quality, most relevant, strategically optimized content, will win in this space.
Why? Because smart cannabis companies will have an SEO strategy which allows their website and content to be ranked on Page 1 for popular (read, lucrative) keyword search phrases.
An initial search engine optimization strategy for medical marijuana websites needs to be considered and implemented in the website development stage of your MMJ marketing mix. Hopefully pre-launch.
This article will discuss why a unique marijuana SEO strategy is essential for the success of your recreational or MMJ store and how a customized medical marijuana SEO plan will benefit your 420 dispensaries.
What is MMJ SEO?
Search engine optimization, or SEO, is the data-driven methodology of driving hyper-qualified, intent-driven prospects and customers to your company or dispensary website, through organic search results.
SEO is the non-paid version of search marketing. SEM, or search engine marketing, is the paid form of search marketing.
SEM consists of using paid Google PPC Advertising (Google Ads/Google AdWords) to outrank your MMJ competition at the top search engine results pages.
SEO drives traffic from the free listings/organic listings that appear under the 3-4 paid ads that appear on a search engine results page after you search using a keyword phrase.
In order for your content to rank on Page 1 for targeted and relevant marijuana-related keyword phrases, your website needs to score high with Google’s Relevance, Authority, and Trust factors.
Why Does My Dispensary Website Need MMJ SEO?
If Google deems your MMJ dispensary website to be highly relevant, more authoritative, and trustworthy than your competitors, for popular, cannabis-related keyword search phrases, your dispensary website ranks highest on Page 1 for a targeted user’s search query.
So how does your website gain authority, relevance, and trust? You need to regularly publish relevant, high-quality content that is optimized for users (UX) and search engines (SEO).
This starts with your website’s user experience (UX) design and the design of your site’s user interface (UI).
Then, with a customized marijuana SEO and keyword strategy being implemented in your site’s backend code, metadata, images, links (all Google facing), and also on-page (user-facing) content.
It continues with publishing high-quality and relevant MMJ content on your website weekly, on an on-going basis.
To measure the success of this content marketing plan you’d tracking your keyword rankings in search engines for all new content and existing web pages.
To keep this simple, look at it this way: your customers and prospects view the “front-end” of your website. They see the words, media (images/videos), your site’s page load speed, and your calls to action for sales.
This is all part of the user’s experience (UX) and is important for you to educate your prospects, move them through your conversion funnel, and to become a paid and returning customer.
But, in order for these prospects to get to your website and into your conversion funnel, they need to find your website when they are searching for MMJ dispensary information.
This is where SEO becomes important. SEO allows Google’s search engine “spiders” to crawl your website’s code, images, and media, to understand what your site is about.
This is how Google determines relevance, authority, and trust. By reading the SEO optimization implemented in your code, images, and other media.
Google doesn’t “read” the front-end of your website’s as a customer does. Instead, Google reads the “backend” code and metadata. The stuff your prospects and customers do not see.
This is why a dispensary SEO strategy is one of the best MMJ dispensary marketing ideas that are important to the success for your medical marijuana business.
How Will Your Business Benefit From a Medical Marijuana SEO Strategy?
Research has shown more than 97% of consumers research online to find a local business. 12% of these people look for a local business online every day.
60% of all clicks go to the first result. If your not listed on the first spot, you can be losing 40% of total search volume to one of your competitors, according to a survey by BrightLocal.
If the above two points don’t immediately illustrate why dispensary SEO is essential to your medical marijuana SEO strategy, the following 5 SEO benefits certainly will.
1. You’ll Create MMJ Awareness Without Paid Advertising
Remember, SEO is organic. Your website content gets ranked in Google/Bing search results if it’s optimized for a user’s unique search query.
So if you’re publishing highly relevant content – that is, content that answers the many questions your MMJ customers and prospects have – and it’s optimized for both the user and search engines, this content will be found by your target!
This all happens without any paid advertising.
With current advertising restrictions on recreational and medical marijuana, 420 digital marketing strategies like dispensary SEO and medical marijuana SEO, make super duper good sense for your medical marijuana marketing plan.
2. You’ll Be Found in Relevant Online Searches
85% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. Positive reviews make 73% of consumers trust a local business more. 49% of consumers need at least a four-star rating before they choose to use a business
This alone is why your recreational or MMJ dispensary needs to be found in online searches.
It’s best for users to find your website and social platforms, on the same page of search results as your Google reviews, Yelp reviews, or any other reviews you have from third-party websites.
Why? Because you can control all of the information the reader sees on your website. You have little control of any of the information or media posted on 3rd part websites.
A solid medical marijuana SEO plan can ensure that your website shows up at the top of Page 1 for all targeted keyword phrases relating to your MMJ dispensary, including reviews.
3. Better ROI Than Other Paid Digital Tactics Like PPC Ads
As mentioned, organic listings for your MMJ dispensary are essentially free. When your website is listed at the top of a search results page, you don’t need to pay for PPC advertising to get a top position.
One of the main benefits of MMJ SEO is that it is the gift that keeps on giving and gives much better the more time goes on.
With a little bit of effort and some money up front to pay for SEO costs, you can watch your website get consistent traffic from highly qualified users.
You don’t have to pay $5-$10+ for every person who clicks on your ad.
Unlike paid PPC ads, your website traffic will not drop to zero when it the ads stop. SEO gets rid of the need to have thousands of ads across the web that need to be managed daily to be effective.
It is important to note here that medical marijuana SEO is a long-term play. SEM and PPC advertising for MMD is a short-term play.
It takes some time for a good dispensary SEO strategy to kick in and show returns. We’re talking anywhere from 1 month to 3-months on the quick side.
But more so, SEO should be given 6-12 months if not 18-24 months to see really solid and consistent results and ROI.
4. Boost Brand Credibility People Trust Google & Bing
Google is the most successful media advertising company in the world. People trust Google.
Most searchers trust that the very first listing in a Google or Bing search is a reputable company. So with effective SEO, your website becomes the brand name.
You’re the MMJ dispensary your competitors want to beat.
The further down the page you are in rankings on Google the more people are skeptical about your website, your company, your brand.
If Google has a spot at the top for your MMJ dispensary website, especially if it is a super optimized listing with other internal web pages listed below the main home page link, it gives your website credibility that no other MMJ ad can top.
With credibility in search comes clicks to your website and eventually sales from your website or in-store sales at your dispensary.
5. Data, Data, and More Data on Your MMJ Customers
We’re a data-driven medical marijuana SEO agency so data gets us really excited. It should get you excited as well.
Good cannabis SEO consultants are powered by Google Analytics and understand consumer data. In fact, our SEO specialist is a Google Analytics and Google Ads/AdWords certified search marketing professional.
By understanding data and how to use it, your MMJ dispensary can discover popular new MMJ products by delving deep into keyword data and identifying what MMJ products your target is searching for the most.
You can use this to your advantage and find a high search volume keyword with low competitiveness and although that may be hard to find, we’ve done it before and found that it has the potential to bring in thousands of sales per month to your website.
Customer data is extremely valuable in this new MMJ business. The data is easily found as long as you have access to the right tools and know what you’re looking for.
Manipulating it to your advantage, with the help of an experienced dispensary SEO company can be exponentially beneficial for your 420 business.
Dispensary SEO Resources To Help You Get Started Now
We pride ourselves on offering a certified and highly experienced SEO plan for your dispensary.
If this article has inspired you to rethink your medical marijuana marketing plan and to put more emphasis into your website optimization and content marketing, here are some more MMJ SEO resources to help you.
Article & E-Book: How To Choose The Right SEO Agency For Your Dispensary [Free Download]
Article: How To Promote Medical Marijuana With 3 Proven Marijuana Marketing Strategies [Read it Now!]
Where Do I Get an Awesome SEO Strategy For My Dispensary Website?
SEO is a complicated digital marketing tactic to understand. I’m hoping you’re now able to understand the benefits of medical marijuana SEO for dispensaries and cannabis companies in general.
The key thing to remember is that users are heavily intent focused when using a search engine. No one goes to a search engine unless they already know what they’re looking for or what question they want an answer to.
This means that your dispensary needs to show up on Page 1 of a local business search for someone looking to find a 420 dispensary asap.
This also means that your website blog content or other website pages need to show up on Page 1 of a given user’s search who is looking for information on cannabis and may not be quite ready to buy from your dispensary, yet.
The only costs to MMJ SEO are your one-time payment for the implementation of a new SEO and keyword strategy on your dispensary website.
If you choose a dispensary SEO plan that requires more management, monthly search rankings, and optimized content creation, you’d have additional monthly fees for a 6-12 month period.
Our team at ColaDigital.ca are Google certified search engine marketing professionals who have optimized over 100 websites across many different B2B, B2C, and 420 related businesses. We can help you too!
Contact us to discuss your medical marijuana SEO plans today.