SEO for Medical Marijuana Dispensaries

Boost your dispensary's online presence with these 6 free SEO techniques.

I hear it all the time, "no one does SEO for us."

Well, we do. And we've done it for dozens of businesses that sell weed legally. We're happy to help you to. We want to help your business rank on the first page when someone types into Google, "marijuana dispensary [enter your city]". Because you have a local business, we often see results very quickly.

Getting started with SEO for your medical marijuana business

As the business owner, you don't have a lot of time for marketing so I've outlined the top 10 free things you can do right now to optimize your medical marijuana dispensary's online presence. If you're the type of person that likes to do as much as you can yourself, start there. If not, then we can definitely do it for you.

Beyond the free things you can to enhance your online presence, there are very necessary updates to your website that we will need to make. Keep reading to learn what those are. By the way, if you need a website, we do that too. Just reach out and let us know what you need.

Onsite SEO for Cannabis Dispensaries

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Onsite SEO is all the areas on your website that we can optimize. Specifically:

  • Title Tags
  • H1 Tags
  • Meta Descriptions
  • Image Alt Tags
  • Page copy and keywords
  • Page load time

We start with a very thorough onsite analysis and determine exactly what needs to be fixed on your site. By the way, if you want to run a lighter version of the test on your own site for free, you can do that here.

After we have the diagnosis of what's what's wrong with your site, we get to work. All of this takes less than five business days. After we implement the changes, it's on to the Offsite SEO work.

Offsite SEO for Cannabis Dispensaries

It's all about authority. The more relevant websites that link to you, the higher your page authority will be. The key is relevancy. You don't want a local furniture business linking to your website; you want marijuana.com linking to you! And even local cannabis bloggers in your city. This tells Google that you're a trusted website (which you are!). So how do we do it?

We employ talented writers that produce high quality articles and content. We then leverage our existing relationships with authors, editors, writers, and bloggers in the marijuana industry and pitch them our articles that contain a link to your website. Not all of them get published. But we keep at it until we get you enough backlinks.

The publishers get free content and your cannabis website gets a backlink. It's a win-win. And it's all copacetic by Google's standards. Pretty cool, huh?

So, if you want your dispensary to rank on the first page of Google, why not have the agency that is trusted, has done this many times before, and is the highest rated SEO company in NYC (without the NYC prices).

Not quite ready to get started with us yet? Still shopping around? That's cool. Why not get a free Website Score while you're here. Takes 30 seconds to generate. Try it.


It's a Good Time to Start a Medical Marijuana Business

As the country comes to terms with the changes in the law of marijuana consumption we are seeing a whole new industry open up. Medical marijuana can be beneficial for many people who suffer from illnesses such as epilepsy, high blood pressure, glaucoma, acute pain, anxiety problems, and many more. And as research continues we are seeing new benefits that the properties of cannabis can have on the human body.

Although the sale of medical marijuana is still not as easy as many other industries, it is a new, exciting and fast growing area that many people are trying to get in on. So, if you are a medical marijuana dispensary, there is already a certain degree of competition out there.

Selling Medical Marijuana Online

A great way for medical marijuana dispensaries to sell their products is online. It gives you the chance to not only show off your products, explain what they are about and how they can help people, but also cut overheads through the need for less – or no – rental area.

However, just like almost every other business which is run online, your competition is great. And this is why, even in a relatively niche, new industry, businesses are needing to make their websites stand out from their competitors.

SEO for Medical Marijuana Websites

Just like with other businesses, people aren't going to be able to buy from you if they don`t know that you exist.

Of course, there are recommendations and word of mouth, but generally people find companies that they want to buy from online by using search engines such as Google.

So it is vital that if you have a medical marijuana dispensary, you appear near the top of the search results list.

This is one of the most common phrases that people search for on Google when looking to legally buy medical marijuana. Where does your business rank on Google in your city for this term? Find out by scanning your website.

This is one of the most common phrases that people search for on Google when looking to legally buy medical marijuana. Where does your business rank on Google in your city for this term? Find out by scanning your website.

SEO for medical marijuana dispensaries websites is much the same as for other businesses.

The first step is to do your research into the type of keywords that people will be searching for. I've gone ahead and done the research for you as you'll see below.

But first, let's take a look one mind blowing statistic about the first page of Google!

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The first page of Google receives over 92% of the visits.

If your medical marijuana dispensary business is not on the first page of Google, you're missing out on a lot of traffic.

92% is very large number. This really underscores the importance of SEO for medical marijuana dispensaries.

What are the top search terms for medical marijuana dispensaries?

I went ahead and logged into Google Keyword Planner and generated a report of the top phrases that people are searching for. Here they are:

These are the top 10 terms that people search for. 

These are the top 10 terms that people search for. 

As you can see, marijuana dispensary and medical marijuana are among the highest searched terms. No matter where you are in the country, people will be searching for those terms.

So it's a good idea to optimize your site for those terms and the city your in. Here's a good example of an optimized homepage Title Tag:

Medical Marijuana Dispensary in Portland, OR | Company Name

For the rest of your pages, try to keep your keywords as specific as possible for each page to avoid having to compete with every single medical marijuana dispensary under the sun.

Remember that each page should have a 100% unique Title Tag. You can read all about Title Tags here.

You then need to know where you should be placing keywords within the pages, as well as adding images and back links to improve the customer experience.

Content needs to be informative, interesting or useful to for the search engine algorithms to give it any attention. You should also be linking your website content with your social media for the best SEO results.

Yelp as a Tool to Increase Your Online Presense for Your Medical Marijuana Dispensary

Let's back up a moment and look at the search results page of Google again. Did you notice the fourth result was a link to Yelp?

Yelp is notorious for this. Yelp auto-generates the "best of" links for almost every imaginable business category. When you click on the link, it takes you to a list of the highest rated businesses in that category.

So, if you can't rank on the first page of Google, the next best thing is to rank on Yelp! 

Yelp commonly appears on the first of Google. It's a highly trusted site with millions of visitors each month. You'd be wise to list your medical marijuana dispensary on Yelp. The first step is to claim your business on Yelp.

Yelp commonly appears on the first of Google. It's a highly trusted site with millions of visitors each month. You'd be wise to list your medical marijuana dispensary on Yelp. The first step is to claim your business on Yelp.

Although your website can be seen globally, you will only be looking to attract local business. The right kind of SEO can help you to target more specific locations getting you more local business.

An important part of SEO is understanding what makes your business unique compared to your competitors. By expanding on this as well as applying the basic SEO techniques which apply across the board, you can begin to see your medical marijuana dispensary website rising to the top (or near to the top) of those all-important search results.

If you need help getting your medical marijuana dispensary to appear on the first page of Google, give me a call: 917-231-4369.

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Steven Matt, Digital Marketing Instructor & SEO Expert. Former Vice President of Digital Marketing at JPMorgan Chase & Co.

Steven Matt, Digital Marketing Instructor & SEO Expert. Former Vice President of Digital Marketing at JPMorgan Chase & Co.