SEO Tips for Marijuana Dispensaries
When it comes to marketing your business, one concept that everyone should be familiar with is SEO. SEO (search engine optimization) is a marketing process aimed at increasing your business' exposure using search engines. Like with any other business, using seo to market your dispensary is a crucial move to gaining notability. This can make or break your business. SEO by itself is a million dollar industry. Some businesses will even outsource their SEO to third party agencies. That said, you don't need to invest millions of dollars to increasing you dispensary's internet exposure. Thinking about the dynamics of SEO is important. In this blog, we're going to cover some helpful tricks to developing your SEO without exhausting too much of your company's resources.
Content and keywords
Keywords are important. In fact they are so important some keywords, depending on your market, can be appraised to their dollar value. Think about your customer and what they are going to type into Google to search. At the very least, a typically consumer will type in "where to buy weed." Why shouldn't your store be the first result when this phrase is searched? Including articles and readable content gives google something to go on when they are indexing your website. User-readable content means content that is best relate-able to any average Joe. Meta-keywords and Meta-descriptions are all code functions that aid in Google in indexing your information. A meta-description is the content that appears right under the search result before you click into the link. This alone is a million dollar industry and some owners will pay third party agencies to generate effective keywords and phrases or them. Keywords are an art and a science. What works in one area may not work in another. Or, you can stumble upon the holy grail of word combinations. It doesn't matter. What matters is you are providing user-friendly human readable content.
The more content included in your website the better. Content is where you really give power to your keywords. However, don't mistake more content for useful content. Random blurbs of nonsense is not good enough. You've probably noticed how most websites will include blog and news sections. Writing blogs can be tedious, and if you're not big on writing, you're probably thinking this is not what you signed up for. However, without these important blocks of content, how else is a search engine going to properly index your site. Writing content shouldn't be a daunting process anyways. Writing about topics you have knowledge on makes it all the more easier. As a business owner, you should be on the clock 24/7. If you want to run a successful website for your dispensary than take the time to build content for your website that will provide value to your customers. After all, they want to learn more and you want to be the authority. Including good, high quality, and unique content is important for providing your keywords and meta-descriptions with relevant context.
Using good quality code to program your website is important for search engines to rank your website. Ranking is the process in which search engines decide where to put your website when it is searched for. Usually this is done by assigning points to your site. Good code work on your website works in your favor to increase your point scoring. Google, for example, uses a point system to rank your websites using specially designed algorithms designed by Google developers. What Google doesn't want to see is spam. Just because you are not spamming, doesn't mean Google won't look at your site as spam. This is the machine equivalent of trying to reach out to someone you don't know and not trying to sound spammy at the same time. So, this is done by using clean to-the-point code. As a dispensary owner, you might not be experienced with code this why most developing firms exist. Spend the money to have your website developed by professionals. At the end of the day, it's worth it. Having too many unnecessary functions and computer gibberish in your code, will make your website responsive, but it won't look good to search engines. A lot of code functions are universally responsive to most machines. It is very possible to have a fully responsive website without including obsolete code. Your developers will be aware of this. However, if your website is a DIY project, master the basics and don't get too sophisticated before knowing what the functions are and why they do it.
Accessibility is important too. Depending on your region, accessibility policies may exist and be enforced under the penalty of fines. For example, in Ontario, Canada, alt and title tags are required for users with seeing impairments. Although, depending on where you are, taking the time to ensure your code is accessible to all people is always good practice.
A good website is as developed on the inside (code) as it is the outside (what the user will be interacting with). With that said, an html page you designed using free website making software won't do. Every feature on your website, including links and urls, should be fully responsive. You want to avoid broken links, beit images or files, explicit content. This includes: nudity, charged political speech, or curse words. You can design your website to be whatever you want it to be but you won't gain any favors with search engines if they find your website to be too inappropriate. Search engines like Google are in the business of providing their users with high quality websites to fulfill their searching needs. If users are coming across poorly build, explicit websites too often they will not be prompted to use that specif search engine. Therefore, if the search engine doesn't think your website is appropriate to showcase in their results, they simply won't. Given the cannabis industry is still subject to some stigma and scrutiny, you'll want to be extra careful in ensuring your website comes across as legitimate and professional as possible.
Every feature of your website should be functioning and purposeful. Image and file names also play a part in gaining SEO. If you spend hundreds of dollars on a photographer to take great quality photos of your product only to give them non-descriptive gibberish names, you won't be doing yourself any favors. Even the way your url displays carries weight. If you haven't noticed, top Google search results will often have urls that resemble something along the lines of "website.com/seo/this-is-a-url-page." These are human readable and easy to index. You'll want to stay away from serialized urls that only make sense to your computer.
Links and Traffic
Sometimes you might come across a top search result website and see that it has violated every rule we have described here in this article. So why is it a top result? There could be a number of reasons for this. The most likely, is the site used to be good and then got forgotten about. However, in its time, it probably became the authority of its domain and widely referenced by users and other websites. For this reason, because it still may be so highly referenced, Google will not relieve it of its ranking. So how do you gain this sort of notability?
For one, a lot of the internet is a popularity contest. A website can be a business of it's own so as well as attracting customers to your dispensary you'll want to find away to bring users to your website. Otherwise, what's the point. This is why you see separate social media accounts for a website. The more exposure the better. Follows and likes are a business in themselves. Remember you can buy your likes and pay relevant account users to share or retweet your content. This is valid business. You have to spend money to make money. All this goes to say, the more traffic you bring to your website, the more exposure you are giving to your dispensary. Exposure legitimizes your organization. The more time you spent in running a legitimate website the higher your returns will be when the website begins to gain traffic. Nothing ever happened in a day, designing a popular highly responsive website can be long and pain-staking. However, real/active users are big business especially when they are gained organically.
We have covered a lot in terms of SEO in this article. However, this isn't even the tip of the iceberg. SEO is dynamic and on-going. There is always more to be done and it can always be done better. We understand managing a dispensary is already work enough and to spend this much time and effort on a website just seems unreasonable. However, in a lot of the cases a good website is what separates the amateurs from the professionals. The more effort you put into something the more you can expect to get a return from it. A lot of people will outsource their internet presence to agencies specially developed for this purpose. At the same time, everything comes with a cost so it is up to you to decide what you are willing to spend and what you want to gain from it. That said, we hope this article has been helpful in teaching you about SEO and how to improve on it. Always keep working and growing. Never get discouraged.