Man using Google on iPad

8 Important SEO Tips for Cannabis Businesses

As medical & recreational cannabis expands nationwide, so does the level of competition in the marketplace. From counties to cities to neighborhoods, the number of similar competitors in any given area is growing rapidly, posing a problem for both storefront and web-based marijuana businesses.

Since an estimated 80% of consumers do internet research before purchasing from a business, one of the biggest concerns for cannabis companies should be online visibility. If you’re not yet ready to work with an experienced SEO professional, the following steps will improve your Google ranking and increase your chances of being found on the web:

1. Create a Google Business Profile

This will automatically index your name, address, and phone number with Google. Most importantly, it’s the only way for your business to show up in Google map results when people in your area search for similar services. You can sign up for a profile on Google My Business.

Cannabis Business Profile in Google Search Results

2. Use Social Media

Being active on social media not only improves your relationship with potential customers, but it also helps boost your SEO if done the right way. The best social media platforms for your business will vary based on your particular strategy, but every business should have a Facebook and Google+ page at minimum.

Facebook: One of the most heavily used social media sites out there, Facebook is a great way to reach new audiences and send traffic back to your website. Not to mention it has a very targeted, customizable ad platform that will do wonders for your marijuana SEO & sales when used properly!

Google+: Although Google+ isn’t as popular of a choice among the public, it provides one benefit that most others do not: Google indexing. Every post published in Google+ is indexed for search rankings, so by optimizing your social posts for targeted keywords, you are increasing your chances of being found online!

3. List Your Address & Phone Number on Your Website

Yes, you DO need a website. And if you want to be competitive, it should have an excellent design and quality content. But at the most basic level, it should list your address, city, state, and phone number in text so Google can suggest your marijuana business to searches that come from your area.

4. Add Your Business to Popular Directory Listings

Sites like YelpYellowPages, and Local not only increase the chances of someone finding your business, but provide high quality links going to your website. Several cannabis-related directories like LeaflyWeedmaps, and THCBiz exist for the same reason, but whatever you do, make sure to only use reputable directories and start with just a few, or else you risk hurting your SEO instead of helping it.

5-Star Rating and Reviews

5. Gather Reviews

Once you have listings up on Google and a few directories, ask your customers to leave reviews on them. Of course, it’s great for business when potential customers see good reviews, but it’s also a strong signal to Google that your cannabis business is worth suggesting to others.

6. Have a Blog

The key to great SEO is traffic, and posting blog articles is one of the best ways to keep bringing visitors into your website. Use it to discuss promotions, events, new products, or industry news, but always try to post articles on a regular basis!

7. Apply an On-Site SEO Strategy

Unless you are a very technical person, you may need to get help from a marijuana SEO professional and/or web developer for this. But as one of the most essential parts of building SEO, it definitely shouldn’t be overlooked!

A good SEO strategy will combine:

  • Keyword strategy: Choosing the best & most competitive keywords for your business objectives.

  • Title tags: Naming each content page appropriately.

  • Header tags: Creating an organizational structure for content.

  • Image alt/title tags: Providing contextual information about an image, since Google can’t index pictures by themselves.

  • Content structure: Arranging content pages so visitors can easily find what they’re looking for, and building internal links that help Google understand how the pages relate to each other.

  • URLs: Naming links appropriately so they are easy for Google to decipher.

  • 301 Redirects: Forwarding URLs that are no longer being used, so visitors never hit a dead-end on your website.

  • Quality Web Development: Website coding must pass a range of criteria to be ranked well by Google.

8. Use Google Analytics

It will be difficult- if not impossible- to know whether these strategies are working if you don’t have a way to track them! Google Analytics is a quick way to track your cannabis website traffic, conversions, behavior and more as visitors navigate through your site. There are many other analytics trackers out there, and most can be installed into your site in a matter of minutes.

Cannabis SEO Google Analytics Example

Google Analytics is a must-have for any cannabis business looking to improve SEO.

Overall, optimizing your website for better search results is the best way to increase inbound sales and online visibility. When someone searches for your product or service, quality SEO is the only way to guarantee that you’ll show up- and you do want to show up!

Building your website to the point that it has an abundance of traffic and high Google rankings is possible without a strategist, but usually takes more time to accomplish. Following these steps will put you on the right track, but the key to good SEO is knowledge, attention to detail, and- most importantly- persistence!

Need help improving your cannabis website’s SEO?

We are a team of highly skilled developers and SEO professionals that have mastered the technique of growing website traffic, and would love to do the same for you! Contact us today for an SEO analysis and free consultation, and give your cannabis business the boost it needs to really perform online.

Bridget Renee

As KindTyme's leading marketer, SEO strategist, and account representative, I juggle several roles every day. But the most important, and my personal favorite, is helping cannabis businesses find new ways to meet their goals and expand their market reach.

  • Veronica Chenevert
    Posted at 13:00h, 23 April Reply

    Thankyou for allowing me to post a comment on your article. It was very interesting and has helped me to widen my consideration. I have already utilised some of the information you provided. Thanks again!

    • Bridget Renee
      Posted at 11:08h, 25 April Reply

      That’s great to hear Veronica! Please let us know if you’d like any additional help with SEO, and have a great day!

  • freelance web designer
    Posted at 06:24h, 06 October Reply

    Hello, I read your blog regularly. Your
    writing style is witty, keep doing what you’re doing!

  • Weedpress
    Posted at 12:12h, 27 December Reply

    Thanks for the great crash course on Cannabis SEO, we loved it!

  • Robert Hising
    Posted at 06:42h, 21 February Reply

    Interesting information Bridget!

    For local cannabis businesses such as dispensaries and clinics I find that Google Business is key to success. Without Google Business there’s showing up on map searches and it is much more difficult to rank for keyword phrases like “dispensaries near me” or “dispensaries open late”.

    My only concern moving forward is that directory websites are starting to charge ridiculous amounts for listings. With Yext taking over many of the mayor directories I believe it’s time to start looking for new places to build that initial linking.

    Any advice on where to find free or cheaper places to list your dispensary?

    Much love!

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    Posted at 06:38h, 09 May Reply

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  • Alena Sham
    Posted at 04:05h, 07 June Reply

    Thanks for your suggestions!!! Now I have regular traffic to my blog thanks to your articles! and my email subscribers list increased too So I would say that I’ve learnt a lot from your website!
    Have a good day!!

  • Frank
    Posted at 08:24h, 06 October Reply

    Bridget! Your tips are amazing and really helpful.
    Have a good day!!

  • Sandra Brown
    Posted at 00:41h, 16 October Reply

    I have read your article very carefully and have written some tips in my note book.
    Thanks for sharing your great experience!
    I have a simple question, How much effective keyword proximity and keyword prominence for Search Engine Optimization?
    I am waiting for your reply.
    Thank you!!

    • Bridget Renee
      Posted at 20:45h, 16 October Reply

      Hi Sandra,

      Glad you were able to find some helpful tips here! I’m not sure I understand what your question is asking. Are you looking to find out how important those factors are? Or are you looking for info on how to best approach them?

  • Decibel Green
    Posted at 21:20h, 23 December Reply

    This was a good read! Thanks for sharing some best seo tips for cannabis business. I’m looking to read more blogs from you.

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  • Niche Practice
    Posted at 03:29h, 27 February Reply

    Great suggestions! You really add good points that are important to improve ranking for a website! Thanks for posting this article, really helpful.

  • Jim Gibson
    Posted at 17:32h, 03 May Reply

    SEO is a great online marketing strategy. I have learned a lot from the tips you have just provided. Let’s go for engaging and informative contents! Reap the best rewards at the end.

  • Jennifer Smith
    Posted at 17:08h, 30 December Reply

    I like to ensure my website is SEO optimized. Great learning! Thanks for sharing!

  • Karen Page
    Posted at 02:01h, 12 January Reply

    Diversifing good SEO strategies will result to success!

  • Jude Lindquist
    Posted at 15:01h, 19 January Reply

    So Google and Facebook won’t allow cannabis ads…but they will allow cannabis pages?

  • cbdhempjuice
    Posted at 01:20h, 21 February Reply

    Ꮐood article. Ι’m dеaling with a few of these issues as well..

  • Kevin Murphy
    Posted at 06:59h, 28 July Reply

    I highly agree with this tips it could really helpful if you want to build business using cannabis the first you will gonna do is to create a Google Business Profile.

  • Athea Jo
    Posted at 18:43h, 06 August Reply

    Great article! This is very helpful to those who wanted to build a cannabis business. Thanks for sharing these tips.

  • Monique Perry
    Posted at 19:15h, 28 August Reply

    Wow! Thank you for sharing and giving us ideas on how our websites or blogs could look like. The important thing is the content but coupled with good graphics is a plus!

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