SEO & Marketing for dispensaries and Brands
How to Reach More Customers Online with Marketing and SEO Services
From dispensaries and small growers to bakers churning out edibles and artists crafting innovative accessories, the cannabis market is booming. The demand for quality cannabis, edibles and creative marijuana products is growing by the day, but dispensary owners and cannabis entrepreneurs aren’t necessarily experts at online marketing. If you have a cannabis business today, the pressure is on to grab your share of a rapidly expanding market, but it’s going to take more than offering discounts on social media.
The secret to effective marijuana marketing is cannabis SEO, which is otherwise known as search engine optimization. If you have a website or blog and perhaps a social media account or two, you have the basic tools needed to make SEO work. All that’s missing is a smart content marketing plan that puts search engines like Google and Bing to work on your behalf.
Why is SEO & Marketing for Dispensaries and Marijuana Brands Important?
Google now receives more than 100 billion search queries each month. Yahoo and Bing each receive more than a billion search queries each month as well. More than 80 percent of consumers report researching products online before making a substantial purchase, and it’s common for buyers to compare prices and search for information about products online before deciding that they want to make a purchase. More and more people also look online to find the most reputable sellers within a niche industry like cannabis.
It’s also common for consumers to look online to find sellers of a specific product in their local area. Nearly 80 percent of location-based mobile searches result in a purchase offline. This means that advertising in your local community alone will limit your reach. With so many people looking to find local cannabis dispensaries, growers and related brands, you can’t afford to ignore search engine marketing.
How to do SEO for your Dispensary or Cannabis Brand
If you’ve heard about dispensaries or other cannabis brands stuffing random keywords into their content, you’ve learned how not to do SEO properly. Search engine marketing is all about understanding your target market and how they can benefit from using your product. It’s more about answering questions and addressing pain points than cramming meaningless keywords into low-quality content. If you don’t know how to kick start your marijuana marketing efforts, the following tips will ensure that you understand the basics of SEO.
On-site search engine optimization refers to everything that you do to encourage search engines to index your website or blog favorably. Think of it as sending cues to the search engine bots to highlight what your website is about, what products you have to offer and what value you offer consumers. Notice that this isn’t all about the quality of your product or your low prices. It’s more about who you are and what you can do for searchers using Google and other search engines.
On-site optimization starts with high-quality content that should include well-researched keywords in a natural manner. Choose keywords that are relevant to your business or products, and then use them as guides to create content that communicates with your target market in an effective manner. Give away some of your knowledge to educate consumers, and you will please the search engines while attracting serious buyers.
Your on-site efforts should also include powerful meta descriptions for each page on your website. This is the short blurb that searchers see under the page title when your site is featured in the search engine results list, or the SERPs. Placing keyword-rich descriptions on your images and writing intriguing titles that include your primary keyword will help as well. What about your subtitles? Using a keyword or two there won’t hurt, but make sure that all of your keywords flow naturally.
Optimizing for Local Listings
It’s easy to focus your marijuana marketing efforts on paying customers beyond your local area, but don’t underestimate the power of the internet to deliver local buyers as well. This is easily achieved by incorporating your city and state into your content in a subtle manner. If you have a blog, you may focus some posts on your local area while keeping it more general to appeal to distant buyers for other posts.
You can also place your contact information and location details on your homepage, in your header and footer, and in some of your subtitles on select pages. How often you work in your city and state depends on how much of your business is expected to come from local buyers, but you should always cater to locals in some manner.
Local buyers will also look for you through Google Maps and many business directories, so make sure that you get listed in as many as possible. Featuring reviews and professional associations can help as well.
Building Quality Backlinks
How much time do you spend reaching out to other cannabis business owners or entrepreneurs? Are you familiar with the cannabis bloggers with massive followings? If you tend to think of other cannabis operations as your competition, it’s time to change your view of the industry. Connecting with other professionals in the business and making sure that your name is familiar to bloggers and social media influencers is critical to cannabis SEO and your overall online marketing strategy.
Start following cannabis bloggers to see what they tend to post and the tone of their content. You can then participate in conversations on their website and start sending guest blog posts for their consideration. Make sure those blogs are original and offer something of value to the blogger’s audience, and you could get your website or blog in front of millions of people with a sincere interest in your product.
If your website and blog is filled with high-value content related to cannabis, other people may also start linking to your site as an authoritative resource and sharing it on social media. This presents you as a trustworthy source and a thought leader in your industry, which introduces you to even more potential buyers.
High Quality Content is Cruical
Your blog is a great place to use those well-researched keywords so that you’re communicating with the search engines while answering questions and providing valuable information to your human readers. This is also your stage to show what you know about the industry or to present unique ideas that you would like others to hear. This is your platform to open lines of communication not only with potential customers but with influencers, bloggers and cannabis professionals around the world.
Blog posts are an extension of your website content. They allow you to go more in depth than you would on a typical website page, so use that space to pump up your SEO and establish yourself as a knowledgeable expert to the cannabis community.
Ready to Improve your Dispensary or Marijuana Brand SEO and Marketing?
Don’t let SEO and marketing stress you out. If all of this sounds too complicated or you just don’t know where to start, call SEO Direct for guidance. We have extensive training and experience in the cannabis field as well as in online marketing, so we can help simplify the process.