Realizing that a digital marketing strategy plays a huge part in modern day business success is an important breakthrough for cannabis dispensary and delivery service owners. As if regulations and permitting weren’t enough for these pioneers to consider, most don’t know the first thing about marijuana SEO. We’ve compiled 5 ways to get your website ranked by Google that can kick your digital marketing strategy into high gear!

marijuana SEONo. 1 – Identify keywords

Keywords play a primary role in search engine optimization (SEO). They help the crawlers of website search engines like Google categorize and list your website pages. A properly optimized site will have a focus keyword or phrase that is used in the page title, meta description, Alt tags, H1, and once or twice in the front end copy.

Identifying which keywords to use requires keyword research to reveal the words and phrases that have the highest search volume, lowest keyword competition, and cost per click. It’s also beneficial to audit the site to reveal any keywords that the site is already ranking for so that they can be protected. You can protect these keywords by including them into the front end content and meta description of your site.

No. 2 – Include Alt tags and meta descriptions

Making sure to include Alt tags on images provides the page crawlers with a description of the image and a way for sight-impaired individuals to follow along with your content. It’s considered a web development best practice and Google loves it when images include Alt tags.

Meta descriptions used to be more valuable from an SEO perspective before a couple of bad apples ruined it for the rest of us with keyword stuffing. Even though Google doesn’t pay as much attention to the meta description for SEO purposes any longer, it still serves as “organic ad text”, meaning that Google will show the text as a summary of your page when it ranks for a keyword. This helps people decide if they want to visit your site before they go there and become a bounce statistic.

No.3 – Build and optimize content

Keeping your website content fresh can be one of your best strategies to get ranked by Google. Make sure that you scrub your site for outdated information and broken links on a regular basis so that your visitors know that they can count on your site as a trusted resource. Starting a blog is also a great way to curate original content that can be keyword optimized to drive traffic to your site and always provide your visitors with a reason to return.

No. 4 – Target local search into your marijuana SEO

A website is more likely to be ranked higher in the search engines if it’s optimized for local search. Local search optimization means that you’ve verified ownership of your business with the major search engines by completing their process and adding accurate contact information. It’s also equally important to remove any incorrect listings that may be floating around out there on the web. Conflicting and incorrect contact information can damage your page rank, and in a practical sense, make it harder for your customers to find you.

Once the business listings are up to date for the website, geotargeted landing pages can be developed to drive local business from your website into your store.

No. 5 – Backlink strategy

A great backlink strategy is the cornerstone of a healthy website and the quality of the pages linking to the site can have a profound effect on its overall page rank. Initially, performing a site audit can help identify any toxic or suspicious links to your website. Then a routine effort should be made to remove these offending links. Secondly, a calculated attempt should be made to reach out to appropriate websites and suggest opportunities for them to link to your website content. Checking the page authority score for backlink prospects helps identify websites that will most likely benefit your site in a linking relationship. Lastly, keep in mind that a “no-follow” link (this means that a website has linked to your website with no-follow attributes assigned) gets no attention from the search engines.

These 5 strategies will improve your marijuana SEO efforts and drive traffic to your website. It’s common knowledge that the more traffic your website gets the higher it will rank on Google search. Making sure keywords are identified and your site is optimized properly is step 1 and 2.  Then a focus can be placed on building meaningful content for your customers in the form of killer front end content and a regularly published blog. Keeping your business listings up to date and developing geo-targeted landing pages should follow so that your local customers can find your physical dispensary and your competitors don’t take all of the business! Finally, an ongoing effort to remove toxic links and attract high-quality link relationships should ensue and be part of your website maintenance plan.

Our team of marijuana SEO specialists can guide you through this process and get your site the traffic it deserves. Call us today to discuss these and many more smart solutions for the cannabis industry.