How To Fully & Completly Optimize Your Google My Business Page
Utilize this guide to marketing for dispensaries to maximize your dispensary’s Google Business Profile (also known as your Google My Business (GMB) Page) for better search visibility on prominent search queries related to buying weed close to your dispensary by uncompromising stoners near you.
Your Google My Business Page (GMB) is a complimentary feature from Google that assists cannabis dispensary business owners to manage their online presence across the major search engine we know as Google, and its expanding portfolio of utilities, including Google Maps.
Experienced dispensary SEO experts use GMB pages to utilize a location-based approach for marketing for dispensaries.
Creating a Google My Business page is the very first step to regional & local search success, which makes it absolutely necessary for weed dispensaries to ensure their GMB is fully & completely optimized to be found by people looking to buy weed.
A cannabis dispensary’s GMB page supplies the best online clout when it comes to marketing for dispensaries, particularly if your pot shop is looking for direct exposure in your local neighbourhood.
The fact that cannabis retail stores and local weed delivery or mail order marijuana dispensaries need to use a Local SEO strategy for their dispensary marketing, makes Google’s Local Search feature and a GMB page super important for both brand-new dispensaries and also well-established cannabis companies.
Marketing For Dispensaries Using Google My Business Pages: The Basics
The essential function of a Google My Business page for your dispensary SEO strategy is that it provides a listing of relevant cannabis stores that are nearby to the users and also includes a lot of informative details people need to find a dispensary close to them including:
- Dispensary address
- Retail store hours
- Business category
- Reviews & testimonials
Google’s Knowledge Graph likewise uses a dispensary’s validated Google My Business page details and aids to generate information for its data source about companies as well as relevant entities that relate to specific searches.
As soon as a brand-new GMB account is created for your dispensary, a Google Maps place is also created marking your retail location on Google Maps and this is connected to your GMB.
And magically, all this is synchronized with standard Google Search for simplicity of access and searchability for weed customers.
It certainly helps that the clear majority of natural searches come from Google- around 90% for worldwide search engine market share.
It additionally reveals the value of a GMB page as a tactic for marketing for dispensaries as well as an effective local SEO strategy.
You should utilize this GMB optimization guide to guarantee you’ve fully finished setting up your Google My Business page appropriately and also that you have maximized all feasible elements offered.
Doing this will certainly additionally give the most leverage for your cannabis dispensary visibility on Google search as well as third-party platforms that utilize the Google Maps API to generate location details for individuals.
If local SEO marketing for dispensaries is a rather new venture for you and your team, there are some essentials that all newbies should recognize & understand.
First of all: Yes, utilizing Google My Business Page is free for all businesses including your cannabis dispensary.
And, no, a GMB page doesn’t replace your organization’s website. You still need an e-commerce website that is user-friendly and optimized with a comprehensive local SEO, keyword, and blog content marketing strategy.
Your Google My Business pages should enhance your dispensary website by giving it a public identity and existence with a profile on Google. This makes your dispensary legitimate to consumers’ eyes.
When optimizing your GMB page keep in mind that the info that you provide regarding your dispensary can appear in Google Search as well as Google Maps.
Any type of third-party system utilizing the Google Maps API will certainly also show GMB pages regardless of what device type is being used to browse.
Setting Up Your Dispensary’s Google My Business Page
The initial step to getting your Google My Business page up and running is to really conduct a Google search to guarantee your company does not already have one.
You can likewise utilize Google’s in-platform search feature to find your service on GMB.
If your business has been around for a while (a number of months, or more), it’s most likely it already has a GMB, and you simply need to claim it.
Once claimed and verified, you can manage the details as if you started the GMB yourself. If there is already an account for your company, it will certainly alert you.
It may also alert you that somebody else has already declared your company.
If that happens, comply with these actions.
If your service profile is not currently developed, you can set it up pretty promptly.
Confirmation takes a bit longer to complete, but it can typically be done within a week.
Start with your dispensary’s name prior to inputting more crucial info. Then input your primary business category.
Believe it or not, Google actually provides a relevant category named “cannabis store” for dispensaries to choose from.
Note that this simple step is a critical component of finishing (as well as maximizing) your brand page on Google.
For the next step, you’ll be asked if you intend to “add an area customers can visit, like a store or workplace?”
This is valuable detail considering that lots of dispensaries run as service-area businesses and do not need/allow consumers at the brick-and-mortar location.
For cannabis dispensaries with a retail store that people can visit and shop at, you must add the dispensary address next.
As soon as the address is established, the Google My Business page will ask if you “likewise service customers outside this place?” It lets you set where/how far your dispensary wants to physically go to deliver weed.
If yes, you will have the ability to walk through the exact same service-area organization details. You can include or change solution location details at any time.
If you don’t serve consumers beyond the retail store (i.e. don’t do local weed delivery), pick No, then input call information on the next prompt.
Afterward, you can then click Next to validate the account.
Validating Your Dispensary’s Google My Business Page
You need to validate your Google My Business page to complete the setup. This is done via Google by sending you a postcard by mail, which can take up to 5 business days.
This process allows Google to see that you manage and also do, actually, represent the business you’re claiming.
Validating your company is vital for the exposure and performance of your GMB page.
It’s important to understand that Google won’t display your dispensary or its edits till the business is validated. Without verification, you can not access GMB insights/analytical details or business reviews from the back end.
Verification usually takes much less than a week.
Google will certainly send you a confirmation code postcard that you will need to use to confirm your account, and your company page will officially be live on Google search.
After you complete the verification approach, you can add more information about your dispensary, including store hours, messaging options, a description of your dispensary and location, and also images.
Publishing Your Dispensary’s Google My Business Page
Once you finish this process, you will certainly be taken to Google My Business Page Manager, where you can handle your service profile and modify your information.
Right here are some fundamental however essential pointers for optimizing your Google My Business profile:
1. Enter Complete Data For Your Dispensary
Regional search results prefer the most pertinent outcomes for searches.
Services supplying the most detailed and also precise details will be much easier to offer in search.
Do not leave anything to be guessed or thought about.
Make sure your account describes what your dispensary is about, the products you stock, where you’re located, and exactly how they can buy weed and other cannabis products from your store.
2. Include Your Target Keywords
Just like traditional site SEO, Google uses a variety of signals to serve search engine results so including crucial keywords and search phrases in your company profile will be incredibly handy, especially considering that your dispensary website is linked directly to your GMB page.
Use these in the business description as well as each time you publish a Local Post to your audience.
3. Ensure Business Operating Hours Are Accurate
It’s essential to add your dispensary’s business hours, but it’s equally important to update them whenever they change, like during holidays, long weekends, etc.
Google provides the capability to customize hours for vacations as well as other unique events. It needs to always be upgraded to keep your site accurate and customers pleased.
And, in the age of COVID-19, GMB uses a lot more versatility around hrs and messaging for prospective consumers.
Keep in mind: Extra hrs will not show for your business till regular hrs are set.
4. Include Photos & Images
Photos and/or images are an excellent tactic for marketing for dispensaries and optimizing their GMB pages. Most dispensary SEO experts and business owners probably don’t realize the value of this tactic.
Cannabis dispensaries that regularly post pictures on their GMB pages typically receive 42% more ‘ask for driving’ directions on Google Maps as well as 35% more click-throughs to their websites than dispensaries without images, according to Google.
Keep reading for more GMB photo tips listed below.
5. Manage & Respond To Client Reviews
Communicating with customers by responding to their reviews shows that your dispensary values its clients and the responses that they leave.
Positive testimonials are going to have a favorable result on new customers’ clients when searching to buy weed near your store. They also raise your dispensary’s exposure in local search results.
When discussing marketing for your dispensary with your team members, you should ask budtenders to gently urge customers to leave a Google review on your GMB page.
Many dispensaries we’ve worked with have created a website link on a business card/store flyer that customers can click to leave reviews for your dispensary.
Most dispensary SEO professionals will suggest the same tips in their strategy for marketing for dispensaries. Anything you can do in-store and online to encourage positive customer reviews will benefit your local search rankings and online visibility.
6. Allow Clients Message You
It can be somewhat troublesome at times, but messages to and from customers are just readily available with the Google My Business Page app.
To do so, go to the app, tap Customers, after that tap Messages, then turn this function on through the app.
As soon as messaging is enabled, customers will be able to message your dispensary via your GMB profile by using the Message button that shows up in search.
A cool feature for marketing for dispensaries that Google has is that messages can have a customized automated response to welcome customers for incoming messages.
This helps your dispensary improve its responsiveness and online presence so that response times will not suffer terribly or disappoint/anger customers.
For maximum efficiency, it’s highly recommended that dispensaries respond to all new messages in under 24 hours.
However, clearly faster than 24-hours is much better. Customers are used to “instant messaging” so dispensaries that respond right away, or as soon as possible, will have the edge.
Clients don’t intend to wait for answers and typically, a fast response can be the difference between a new customer as well as a non-customer.
7. Use Local Posts
You can release offers, events, items, and also services directly to Google Search and Maps with posts on your Google My Business Pages. This can be an ideal tactic for marketing for dispensaries.
Posts allow you to engage with your audience as well as keep your dispensary’s visibility fresh & active on Google. And they can be sent out on the go from either a phone, tablet computer, or computer system.
Dispensaries can also influence their Knowledge Panel breakouts with direct feedback about their businesses and the people that represent them.
Some Google-provided ideas for making the most out of Local Posts are: See to it each post is top quality-devoid leading to mistakes, busted personalities, babble, or useless details.
And they need to be respectful and also non-offensive.
The most effective posts include visuals and links, however, the web links ought to always be to sites that are trusted.
Links that cause malware, viruses, phishing, or x-rated material aren’t allowed.
Wait. Can cannabis dispensaries use Google Posts?
Posts from businesses that operate regulated products and services are permitted to utilize posts however these posts can’t have any content pertaining to the products themselves.
These industries typically include:
- Adult services
- Alcohol and tobacco
- Pharmaceutical products and recreational drugs (i.e. your dispensary)
- Health and medical devices
- Gambling-related services
- Financial services
Note that these posts via your GMB page can certainly turn up in a relevant Google search, so make sure you follow these guidelines to ensure your posts actually do show up, get seen, and do not get flagged.
8. Keep Connected During COVID-19
This year has actually provided us with a lot of shocks. The biggest has actually been COVID-19 as well as the craziness it left (as well as continues to leave) in its wake.
Since there are new protocols for buying weed from cannabis dispensaries as a result of COVID-19 restrictions, businesses can update their info on GMB to give the most accurate info to customers.
Recently added features make communicating with current and potential new customers easier during the time of the pandemic.
In addition to customized business hours, Covid protocols, and also Regional posts, your dispensary can:
- Mark store temporarily closed
- Manage delivery options
- Add healthy and safety attributes
Photos & Videos For Your Google Company Profiles
When marketing for dispensaries on your GMB page, one of the most important images is undoubtedly your company logo.
There likely won’t be an image, photo, or video posted to your GMB page that gets more exposure (i.e. views) or has even more of an impact on organic search.
Google recommends that cannabis companies use their logo design to aid consumers in identifying their dispensary with a square-sized image.
In addition to your logo, you, or your dispensary SEO agency, should consider using the following digital assets to help better optimize your GMB page:
Your cover photo should always highlight your brand’s individuality.
The cover photo is the large image included at the top of your dispensary’s profile and will certainly constantly be cropped to fit a 16:9 element ratio.
Not only do interior photos help with effective marketing for dispensaries, but they also help customers better understand the in-store experience & vibe at your pot shop.
Images of your staff, products, displays, artwork, etc, help dispensary owners share the interior vibe of your retail store and this can make an excellent impression on potential new customers!
They also let possible consumers obtain an aesthetic concept of the store, its layout, as well as any kind of possible restrictions it may have.
Videos are one of the most popular media forms on the internet. People love short, entertaining/informational videos the most.
It’s because videos are exceptionally reliable at narrating and/or explaining something that could potentially be tough to describe using just text.
Regularly posting informational, educational, or promotional videos to your GMB page should be an essential tactic used when marketing for dispensaries.
If you’re already posting images & photos, start adding videos!
Examples of the types of videos or images you should post should show off what your dispensary can do for its customers. This can include:
- Goods and/or services your organization offers
- Organization staff working and/or assisting customers
- The outside of the business and also offered vehicle parking
Here’s where Google actually makes marketing for dispensaries easy, not challenging.
While you may not be able to publish photos of weed and other cannabis products on your GMB page using posts, you can certainly add photos of your cannabis products on your GMB.
Just make sure all of your images comply with Google’s best practices:
- Format: JPG or PNG
- Size: Between 10 KB and 5 MB
- Minimum resolution: 720 px tall, 720 px wide
- Quality: The photo should be in focus and well-lit, and have no alterations or excessive use of filters. The image should represent reality.
Google additionally provides the possibility for a Virtual Tour, which will certainly further improve your dispensary’s profile & exposure.
A 360-degree interactive experience can drive website traffic and in-store visits because this makes you stand out from other pot stores in your area that aren’t using this tactic when marketing their dispensaries.
Tracking Your GMB Page Insights & Analytics
Over the last number of years, Google has actually made tremendous strides with readily available, logical, and actionable data for your dispensary’s Google My Business page.
Currently called Insights, Google supplies companies with various ways to identify how customers engage with your company profile on Google. For example:
- Exactly how customers find your profile
- Where customers find you on Google
- Customer actions
- Direction requests
- Phone calls
How Customers Find Your Profile
This section of Insights demonstrates how clients discovered you in a “Direct” search (they looked for your business name or address) versus a “Discovery” search (they searched for a classification, item, or service that you provide, and your profile appeared).
These areas have the following in the bulk Insights report:
- Overall searches
- Direct searches
- Discovery searches
Where Customers Find You On Google
This section demonstrates how many customers found you by means of Google Search or Google Maps.
Besides Listing on Search and also Listing on Maps, you’ll see the number of views your profile obtained from each platform in the time period you’ve chosen.
According to Google, “views” are similar to “impressions” on various other analytics platforms.
To see the number of people who discovered your dispensary on a specific product on a certain day, place your cursor over the proper segment of the graph on the day you’re interested in.
These sections have the following labels wholesale understandings reports:
- Overall views
- Look sights
- Maps views
This area shows what customers did once they found your dispensary’s local page on Google.
Total actions offer the total amount of the following sorts of actions that customers took on your GMB page:
- Visit your website
- Request directions
- Call you
- View photos
The following tags are available as reports in this reporting section:
- Overall activities
- Web site activities
- Directions actions
- Phone call actions
- Instructions requests
This part of Insights makes use of a map to reveal where people are, geographically, that are requesting directions to your dispensary.
Your business area is identified on the map as well as a few of the typical places that people search for directions to your company are revealed.
It even breaks down the total direction request searches by city or neighbouhood.
This area shows when and also how regularly customers called your business using your GMB page.
On top of the area, Total phone calls provide the total number of phone calls for the selected period.
There’s also a graph that offers the capability to watch trends by phone calls by either day of the week or time of day.
This allows dispensary marketing professionals and cannabis business owners to know when customers are more than likely to call after seeing your GMB.
Images & Photos
Lastly, GMB allows you to check out exactly how often your dispensary’s images are being viewed in a Google search with the Photo views graph and also Photo quantity graph.
There are also lines on the charts that compare your dispensary’s image data with photo data for various other pot shops near yours.
Reporting components consist of bulk insights for:
- Total owner photos
- Owner photo views
- Total customer photos
- Customer photo views
We Can Help You With Your Dispensary SEO & GMB Strategy!
If you’d like to increase your dispensary’s online visibility, keyword rankings, website traffic, and overall digital exposure on Google search, we can gladly help you.
Our dispensary SEO team has been managing marketing for dispensaries since 2017. We work with everybody from licensed cannabis retail stores, legacy mail order marijuana dispensaries, and legacy weed delivery services.
We experience working with cannabis companies in Canada, USA, as well as several countries in the EU including UK, DE, IT, ES, CH, & FR.
Please call us for a free 30-minute consult or email us to schedule a call or request a quote.
We’re Ready To Help You Grow!