Optimize Your Marijuana SEO Strategy With These Insights
When implementing an expert marijuana SEO strategy, make sure to focus on Local SEO and the local search results specific to your dispensary/cannabis retail store location because this is where your true competitors are.
If you didn’t know this already and don’t feel bad as it’s not common knowledge when it comes to a marijuana dispensary SEO strategy, the same search query/search phrase entered into Google by different users will often produce different search results in different locations.
So if a potential cannabis customer searches on their phone for a “marijuana store near me”, “buy weed in [city name]”, or related terms, and is closer to one of your competitor’s stores than they are to your dispensary, your retail location may or may not show up prominently in this prospective customer’s search results.
So how do you optimize your marijuana dispensary SEO for the search results that your target audience is most likely to see when they are searching to buy weed?
This is why marijuana SEO and particularly a local SEO strategy for cannabis dispensaries focused on location and user searches is vital to your business.
In this article, we discuss how you, or your marijuana SEO agency, can check Google’s search results for different locations to improve the local SEO rankings for your retail dispensary.
What is Local SEO For Dispensaries & Why Do I Need It?
Before we get into how to view street-level Google search results for your cannabis retail locations and your competing dispensaries, let’s clarify what local SEO for dispensaries is and why your retail store can benefit from using an experienced marijuana SEO company.
Local SEO is for any business that has a physical location where it greets customers or any business that serves a set local geographic area like your cannabis dispensary.
Any local brick-and-mortar stores like restaurants, laundromats, law offices, grocery stores, and marijuana dispensaries are all businesses that should be using local SEO.
What is Local SEO For Dispensaries?
Local SEO is a series of actions and strategies designed to improve your dispensary’s visibility on Google and other search engines when people close to your physical location perform a search or when a search includes a specific location.
For example, local SEO tactics are what help cannabis stores rank in Google Maps or local search results when a potential customer searches for ‘best dispensary New York’ or ‘weed store near me’.
Your marijuana SEO agency should be telling you that you can increase retail and online sales by building online visibility using a local SEO strategy for dispensaries.
Why Do I Need It For My Retail Dispensary?
Local SEO focuses on attracting customers in more focused areas such as people in a particular town or city. It’s usually used by local businesses that aim to reach this audience to drive them to their website or into their physical location.
For many marijuana dispensaries, local customers are the best customers because they’re easier to reach, more loyal, and will keep coming back if they like what they’re getting and how you treat them.
Local SEO for dispensaries is the perfect way marijuana SEO tactic to get in front of these more valuable customers.
3 Ways to Check Google Search Results For Your Dispensary & Your Competitors
Since all retail dispensaries are limited to a particular location for in-store shopping & curbside pick up, and particular city/cities for weed delivery, your marijuana SEO strategy needs to include optimizing your web pages for local searches – that is, the area-specific Google search results.
Location is the most important “modifier” when it comes to planning your marijuana SEO & keyword strategy.
A modifier is a word/words that signal the intent behind any search query. For example, the modifier ‘buy’ signals a person is looking to make a purchase, ‘near me’ or ‘[city name]’ signals a person is looking for something in a specific area.
When a location/city name is added to a search query, this suggests to Google that the user is looking for local weed stores and Google will show these listings first, at the top of the page.
Therefore, the keywords you use to optimize your dispensary website should include your city as well as your address and phone number. This will help Google easily understand where your dispensary is in relation to the searcher.
So when any cannabis consumer searches to buy weed, and they include the city where they want to buy their weed in their search query, your site can show up in the local map pack (example above) if you have implemented an effective dispensary SEO strategy.
Here’s How To Check Street-Level Google Search Results
When it gets to these types of local search results, Google tends to be super picky. Your dispensary could appear in search results when searched from a block away and then suddenly drop off when searched from two blocks away.
This is yet another reason why you should seriously consider using an experienced and professional marijuana SEO firm to manage the local SEO strategy for your dispensary. The website that is optimized best will always rank higher than others.
If you’d like to check where your dispensary ranks on local searchers as compared to your competitors, use the 3 tools listed below.
Remember that the idea is to monitor your “street” presence, figure out who your current competitors are, and gradually expand your area of influence in local search results.
1. Use Chrome Developer Tools
This method is a bit technical for business owners, but any reputable marijuana SEO agency should be able to handle this. Follow these step-by-step instructions to change your location using Google Dev Tools.
First, use Chrome to open Google and launch Developer Tools (CTRL+SHIFT+I for Windows and Command + Option + I for Mac). Your page will change to something like this:
Find the customization menu (three dots) and choose More tools > Sensors:
In the Sensors panel, go to Location and use the drop-down menu to choose Other. Enter the exact coordinates of your locations (to find coordinates, go to Google maps, zoom in to the desired location, click on the map, and Google will supply you with the coordinates).
Now run your search and Google will behave as if you were searching from these exact coordinates.
2. Use a Dedicated Local Search Tool.
In case you don’t feel like getting your hands dirty, there is an easier way to change your location. A tool called Valentin App does essentially the same thing as Google Chrome Dev Tools, without all the complexity.
All you have to do is open the tool in your browser, state your query, choose your locale, and enter your address (freeform — the tool will interpret your input, be it a street address or a set of coordinates).
Click search and you will be transported to a Google search results page that corresponds to your selected location.
3. Use an SEO Tool.
SEO tools can be used to view local search results for street level (as well as city level and country level).
One thing to keep in mind is that the more specific you get with the location settings, the fewer tools can accommodate your needs. For street level, we’d say your best bet is either Rank Tracker or Ahrefs.
We Can Help You With Experienced & Professional Marijuana SEO
If you want your dispensary to get an edge over your competitors and you need to remain compliant with regulations, focus on local SEO for your dispensary and use an experienced marijuana SEO provider.
If you want to reach your intended audience in Google search results, then it’s absolutely essential to know which version of search results is the one they see as well as all the factors that influence the customization of search results.
Location is the most important factor with the most impact.
This is why you, or your marijuana SEO agency, need to be able to view location-specific search results as an essential part of fine-tuning your dispensary SEO strategy.
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