If you are working in the marijuana niche, you do know how competitive this business segment is. Attracting online and food traffic to a store or dispensary is quite tricky. But there is an approach that might be of use — local SEO.
How does it work, what are the benefits of the local SEO for cannabis dispensaries, and how to make use of it? In this post, we will reply to these queries. Get to know more about local SEO and apply this knowledge to promote your cannabis store or dispensary.
What is Local SEO?
It is a strategy in the search engines, owing to which it is easier for different projects to reach high positions in the results by responding to the so-called geo-dependent requests, which means that the user specifies in the search bar:
- specific location (country, city, district);
- clarifying words “near me”, “nearby”, “nearest”, etc.;
- or the option to recognize their location is activated.
On the first SERP pages, a user will see local companies. These are the businesses that use the Google local functions to get into the TOP list of SEO results.
Such a function is essential and very relevant for businesses, including the cannabis niche, because people mainly use search engines for their local queries. As per statistics, today, more than 45% of the total number of requests on Google belongs to local queries.
As a result, local SEO promotion has long ceased to be one of the advertising tools but has turned into a struggle for regional search results, becoming a priority for local businesses in attracting customers.
As practice shows, the results of the efforts spent on building local SEO strategies are justified. By optimizing its business for the local audience, the company receives:
- an increase in low-frequency traffic;
- bringing conversions to a higher level;
- success in competition with bigger brands — monopolists of global search engines.
If a business has optimized its website for the geo (by indicating the location where the client can be serviced or purchase goods), it considerably increases its chances of becoming part of the search results for potential buyers. In other words, even if a person is not specifically looking for your cannabis store or dispensary, those sites that are optimized for the geo will be located at the top of search results.
The Specifics of Local SEO
Every year, there is active growth in mobile search. Today, around 60% of queries in search engines are typed by mobile shoppers. Google defines the geolocation of the user and offers them the most optimal results.
The first page of Google is filled with contextual advertising, Maps, and additional services of the search engine. If the niche is competitive, and the cannabis industry is highly competitive, your website may appear on the third or further page. As a rule, users find the data they need on the first two pages, so if a business is interested in geotargeting, it is crucial to ensure their presence in this block.
Optimizing a site for local search involves a complex strategy that consists of applying various tactics. The simplest, most profitable, and fastest way to optimize your site for the local search is by setting up Google My Business.
Local search results depend not only on general ranking criteria but also on such factors as:
The physical address of the cannabis store
The closer the store or dispensary is to the user, the higher chances of getting into its local search results. This is possible when specifying the actual address on the title page of the site.
The availability of the info about your store or dispensary in other services (Google My Business, Google Maps, etc.)
Assist Google to collect more brand data. Google My Business is especially effective, and the registration on it allows the company to be displayed on Google Maps.
Mentioning your store/dispensary by local authoritative resources — media, directories, thematic forums, etc. All this will increase the overall visibility of your company in the region of interest.
The availability of reviews/ratings of local users
Ask your clients to leave reviews about your store or dispensary on Google. However, keep in mind that you are not allowed to reward your customers for this since there are penalties from the search engine for this.
The use of regional keywords/phrases in the text, titles, title tags, and page URLs makes the company’s website attractive to the search engine.
When choosing a domain name, using thematic words makes the brand visible to search engines in the process of picking results for relevant queries.
Conclusions on Local SEO Promotion
Local promotion is an effective tool for improving the positions of small and medium-sized cannabis businesses in search results. The correct implementation of the local promotion strategy is a really effective strategy for small companies and start-up brands that do not have considerable promotional budgets but intend to outperform competitors. This is an opportunity to compete with dignity, standing out from the background of even the largest representatives of your business niche.