Dispensary SEO Services 

Problems Our SEO Services Solve for Dispensaries

Our dispensary SEO agency solves several key problems for clients:

“I need more foot traffic to my dispensary”

Our clients come to us struggling to get people into their dispensary. There’s demand for a dispensary in the local area, but potential customers don’t even know their business exists.

One of the main ways people discover businesses in their local area is Google Search, so ranking well in the local business results and regular organic results is crucial to converting this local demand into foot traffic for your dispensary.

Doing this requires a local search engine optimization (SEO) strategy that increases your organic visibility for keywords indicative of the intent to visit a dispensary, such as “dispensary st louis.”

“My dispensary is being outranked by less-competitive dispensaries”

A common complaint from our clients is that competing dispensaries with fewer and less favorable reviews are more visible than their dispensary on Google search. 

Getting reviews does influence your local ranking, but it’s far from being the only thing that matters. For this reason, businesses with fewer reviews can outrank you in the local results – but only if they’re better-optimized than you are. 

For your dispensary to rank well in the local results, your Google Business profile must be up-to-date and complete, your website must be optimized, and you should be regularly publishing helpful content and building links. 

Doing all of these things together is what builds authority and credibility, which results in better visibility on Google and more foot traffic. Our SEO services for dispensaries are designed to encompass all of these initiatives. 

“I don’t have the time or bandwidth to do SEO for my dispensary”

Many dispensary business owners understand the necessity of SEO, and some of them even have enough knowledge to make a good start at it. But the problem is that they don’t have the time to execute SEO consistently. 

Lots of dispensary owners are so busy with sales, operations, and finance that they are unable to put the hours into SEO needed for it to return an ROI.

That’s why we’ve built our dispensary SEO agency to be autonomous. We have the expertise required, but more importantly, we have the systems and quality control in place required to execute revenue-driving SEO efforts without needing to be babysat. Our clients spend less than 2 hours a month thinking about SEO; they can focus on what they do best while we grow their organic presence.

“I’ve sunk money into several SEO agencies, but none of them did anything”

Many of our clients come to us having had bad experiences with other SEO agencies. SEO is a low barrier-to-entry industry; almost anybody can act like they know what they’re doing, and many dispensary business owners struggle to determine who’s actually knowledgeable and who’s using smoke-and-mirrors sales tactics. 

As a dispensary SEO agency, our solution to this problem is twofold. First, we’re always completely transparent about exactly what it is that we do and how it impacts your bottom line. Second, we show receipts for our work. We’ll never promise you an outcome unless we have proof we can deliver it (past results, projections, systems and plans, etc.). 

Most Common Dispensary SEO Mistakes We See

There is a seemingly endless number of SEO tactics, but most dispensary SEO progress comes from getting the basics right. 

Here are the biggest things we see dispensaries do wrong when it comes to SEO:

Not optimizing their Google Business Profile

Many dispensaries rank well in the “regular” Google results for local keywords, but they don’t rank in the Google Map Pack, which is a module in the search results containing recommendations for local destinations. 

Google shows the Map Pack on the vast majority of local keywords (e.g. keywords that indicate someone wants to see results tailored to their local area).

Not optimizing your Google Business Profile in order to show up in the Map Pack has two consequences for dispensaries:

  1. Google shows the Map Pack at the top of the search results. Not securing a top-3 ranking in the Map Pack means your business won’t have visibility at the top of the results, even if you have the #1 “regular” blue-link organic ranking. 
  2. The Map Pack draws far more clicks and attention than the rest of the results. This is due in part to the fact that it’s at the top, but it’s because many people need to check reviews, addresses, and hours when they’re finding a dispensary, plus, they’ll want to view images before visiting a spot. If your dispensary isn’t highly visible in the Map Pack, there’s a much lower chance that a potential customer will visit you compared to a competitor that is highly visible. 

Not writing blog content

Google ranks authoritative websites higher than non-authoritative websites. “Authority” is a bit of a vague concept, but in essence, it’s a set of signals that Google uses to determine whether or not a website is a legitimate entity. The higher your authority, the higher you’ll rank because Google wants to send traffic to websites that will provide users what they’re looking for. 

The easiest way to build authority is to publish high-quality SEO-focused blog content. Doing so builds topical authority, or Google’s perceived authority level of your site on certain topics. If you have authority for a topic, your pages related to that topic will rank better. 

For dispensaries, publishing dispensary- and cannabis-related blog content helps them rank better for lucrative dispensary-related search terms that drive foot traffic. 

The problem is that many dispensaries don’t do this. Topical authority is a vague concept, and blog posts don’t drive many direct conversions for local businesses because most of the traffic they receive won’t be from potential customers. Many dispensary owners and even cannabis SEO strategists discount the practice of blogging because they don’t understand how building topical authority can help them rank better and drive more foot traffic.

However, there is one silver lining: our clients have less competition. We focus on creating content around cannabis topics for our dispensary SEO clients. The result? They rank better for lucrative dispensary- and cannabis-related search terms.

Ignoring backlinks

Backlinks (links from other websites to your website) signal to Google that your business is authoritative. If everything else is equal between two websites, the website with more backlinks will rank higher in the Map Pack and in the standard results. 

Backlinks alone won’t move the needle, but they can put fuel on the fire if your Google Business Profile and site are already well optimized, and you’re regularly developing and publishing high-quality, SEO-focused blog content. 

For this reason, along with blog content, our dispensary SEO services focus on consistently acquiring links. 

Our Local SEO Process for Dispensaries That Grows Foot Traffic

We grow foot traffic for our clients using a five-step process. Although we build a unique strategy for every client, the main pillars of dispensary local SEO are typically consistent across businesses:

1. Initial audit & SEO strategy

We begin each project by working with your business to research who your ideal customer is, what key problems your dispensary solves for that ideal customer profile (ICP), and how your brand speaks to that ICP (i.e. your brand’s tone, voice, etc.). 

All of these insights inform how we create content for your business as part of our SEO efforts.

We start every dispensary off with a three-part audit:

  • SEO Audit: We take a thorough look at your existing keyword footprint and website to identify which gaps in your current rankings we should fill first, and how we should go about filling those gaps. The audit plays a role in informing decisions about which “money keywords” to target first, which blog posts to update and/or write and in what order, and more. 
  • GBP Audit: We examine your Google Business Profile against our checklist to see which areas aren’t optimized.
  • NAP Audit: We check all the pages online – other people’s as well as your own – that cite your Name, Address, and Phone Number (NAP) to ensure they’re consistent with the NAP on your Google Business Profile. Aligning these citations sends a signal to Google that your business exists at the location specified on your profile, which helps your Google Business Profile rank better.

After we research your customer, your business, and your current organic presence, we build a comprehensive SEO strategy that outlines exactly how we’re going to make your business more visible to your target customers.

Our strategy is completely custom to your business and includes:

  • Opportunities for quick ranking improvements to tackle right away
  • What keywords to target, with what page types, and when
  • Heuristics that dictate how we build and adjust your dispensary’s SEO strategy

2. Quick wins

With the first quarter’s SEO strategy built, we execute on the quick wins we identified. The first thing we do is optimize your Google Business Profile. This is the single highest-leverage local SEO tactic for dispensaries. Then, we do things like:

  • Optimize your homepage to better rank for your main location keywords
  • Improve your website’s internal linking to drive more traffic from your existing pages
  • Test page titles to get more clicks from existing rankings
  • Update your existing blog content to rank better for authority-building, traffic-driving keywords

3. Blog content

We publish four blog posts a month targeting cannabis- and dispensary-related keywords that map to your product line. 

This does three things:

  • Builds topical authority (which helps you rank higher for foot-traffic-driving terms)
  • Drive traffic to your site which can convert to sales if you sell products online
  • Opens up opportunities for link-building

We also offer cannabis content writing as a standalone service.

4. Link building

We build 3-5 links per month to your website using digital PR and other safe methods. This steady trickle of links helps build your site authority, which helps you outrank competing dispensaries. 

While 3-5 is a small number, with link building, quality far outweighs quantity. Additionally, most local businesses do not build links – you could beat most competition even if you only built 5 good links per quarter.

5. Reporting

We send monthly reports to our clients and hold short meetings to discuss these reports. We report only on the most-essential SEO metrics for dispensaries, and we measure our impact based on increases in each:

  • GBP “action” metrics: Google enables you to track actions that happen through your Google Business Profile. These actions include clicking on your website, requesting directions, calling your business, and more. Engagement with your GBP is a proxy for the amount of interest your business is receiving from searchers. 
  • GBP views: The number of views your Google Business Profile gets is a reflection of how visible you are in the local market, which is a loose proxy for the amount of foot traffic you’ll receive. 
  • Local search rankings: Your Google Business Profile ranking for local dispensary keywords (e.g. “dispensary boston ma”) is a lead indicator for the number of views your business will receive.  
  • Organic traffic: Like GBP metrics, your website’s organic traffic is a measure of how much interest your business is receiving. 

FAQs About Our Dispensary SEO Services

What metrics do you report on?

We report on – and hold ourselves accountable to generating – foot traffic (we measure the closest proxy metrics) and organic traffic. Depending on your business, we may also report on additional metrics that we mutually agree are valuable indicators of growth. 

How long does it take to see an ROI?

Our clients typically see payback in 3-4 months (i.e. we’re making as much for your business as you’re paying us) and a 4-5x ROI in 6-8 months. 

If your brand has significant amounts of existing SEO traction or organic traffic, your payback period may happen in just 2-3 months. Likewise, new brands with very little SEO traction may need to wait longer to see an ROI. 

Do you require a long-term contract?

No. We work on retainer with a monthly rolling contract. However, we recommend you work with us for at least 6 months in order to begin seeing significant business impact from our efforts.

How soon do you get to work?

We send onboarding materials over to you as soon as you sign our contract and pay our first invoice.

We aim to begin shipping high-impact work for your business no later than the second week after you sign our contract and pay our first invoice. 

Do you understand industry compliance?

Yes. We’re an agency built specifically for the cannabis space, and we understand the FDA restrictions that apply to advertising these types of products. We use checklists and a thorough editing process to ensure that every page we put on your site complies with these rules.

How can I be sure that the content you write for my site is high-quality?

In addition to the obvious (editing), we employ four quality-assurance measures to ensure our output is high-quality. 

First, during onboarding, you’ll fill out a content style guide so we have an in-depth understanding of your brand voice, tone, values, and more. This style guide will be continuously updated based on your feedback. 

Second, we interview you or one of your employees for every blog post we write so that we’re able to include accurate, interesting, and on-brand insights, rather than copying the articles that are already ranking.

Third, each piece of content is written by someone with cannabis expertise. 

Fourth, we offer you the amount of latitude you wish in terms of content review. Most of our clients don’t feel the need to review each piece of content we review, but you may review and provide feedback on each article before it goes live – if you want. We use your feedback to update our style guides and inform the way we conduct our interviews to ensure continuous improvement.

Do you use AI to write content?

No. We use AI (ChatGPT-4) for data analysis, brainstorming, and other similar tasks, but we do not use AI to write copy or content for your brand.

What do I have to do?

We ask for two things from our clients on an ongoing basis: attendance at a monthly reporting and strategy meeting (~30 minutes) and the provision of a subject-matter-expert (you or an employee) on a monthly basis that we can interview to develop content for your site. Our clients have a total time commitment of under 2 hours per month. 

What level of customer support do you offer to me and my business?

You will have access to our team five days a week by email and by a personal Slack channel that we will set up for you. 

We respond to all communication in one business day at a maximum, barring team members being out of town and away from their devices (which you will be notified in advance of).

Our founder, Wells, is also typically reachable seven days a week by email. However, he can only guarantee a response Monday-Friday.

Ready to grow your dispensary with SEO?