With cannabis legalization advancing and the industry constantly evolving, even competition in slower-developing markets like VT and PA is heating up. How can you get your dispensary or cannabis/CBD brand found on Google and noticed? Here are five ways to attract more engaged dispensary customers with Google.
Pay Attention to Intent
There was a time when you could rank in the top ten for “Dispensary in My Area” for matching that exact keyword and having it on your business website. Those days are long gone.
As in-flux algorithms endlessly evolve, so must your SEO strategy. Now more than ever, Google rankings rely heavily on Search Intent. What was the dispensary-goer looking for when they searched a given keyphrase and arrived at your site? Does your content address a precise need, or answer a specific question that Google users are searching for?
Answering questions is already a top way to rank on Google’s first page for just about any keyword or phrase. The team at Google is currently unveiling the Beta version of their new Questions Hub feature. Without question, Questions Hub will be a cornerstone of good SEO strategy in 2022 and beyond.
As Google’s algorithm evolves, how your website solves a user’s problem is much more important than matching exact keywords. That is, of course – you have a healthy, SEO-friendly website at all.
Develop an SEO-Friendly Website
While online menus are important, that’s about where some dispensaries stop when building their website. We think giving customers access to current menus is a given, but… Some dispensaries don’t update their menus all that well.
Due to COVID-based workplace chaos, up-to-date menus were a huge issue in both the food industry and cannabis industries alike in 2020. Maintaining a current menu leads to 5-star reviews, which leads to trust points towards the Almighty Algorithm.
Another way to ensure your website is SEO-friendly is to maintain good sitemap health. Have you checked your sitemap? A healthy one is another way to help tell the almighty Algorithm that your site is trustworthy. Google tends to shun sites with broken links, internal server errors, and especially spam.
Perhaps most importantly, is your dispensary site optimized for mobile? If not, say goodnight. About 60% of all internet access occurs on mobile devices, and that will only continue to increase with the widespread use of smartphones.
Use Recent Quality Photos
Along with outdated menus, another head-scratcher is how many dispensaries fail to put quality, hi-res photos of various products. Google image search results are trusted more often by consumers, as users tend to trust visual information more than text.
With this in mind, it’s stunning how many dispensaries and cannabis brands are lacking quality photos of their product. Hi-res images of flower, concentrate, and edibles are a huge driving force on what gets dispensary customers in your door.
To not show them what sweet-leaf-based delights await their arrival at your spot is a big-time fail. Additionally, be sure to diversify where you post your images. Cannabis brands have notoriously been shadow-banned by social sites – as you might be aware.
Post Fresh Content Weekly
And speaking of diversification of content, be sure to post fresh blog articles every week. This drives more eyeballs to your website because your content is good (we’ll just assume it is).
More importantly, a regularly updated website scores trust points with the Almighty Algorithm. Another way to get in the Algorithm’s good graces is to have your website visitors stay on your blog page longer than the average user does on your competitor’s sites. A great way to make this happen is to offer value-driven content that identifies their issues and offers easy-to-understand solutions.
Offer Infused Beverages – Another Great Way to Get Dispensary Customers
By now it’s no secret – cannabis-infused beverages make up one of the fastest-growing parts of legal cannabis. The sector made $2 billion last year and will be worth at least $3 billion by 2025. One great idea shared by an increasing number of cannabis brands is to offer cannabinoid-infused beverages.
While edibles have been popular for decades, healthy canna-beverages are a relatively new concept. Before, the majority of cannabinoid-infused drinks were loaded with sugar and artificial chemicals. Now, there’s a lucrative market that keeps growing exponentially.
Brands like Tinley’s offer “hangover-free, THC-infused craft tonics, and mocktail mixers.” Some customers might choose to add booze to their Tinley’s drinks, but just as many enjoy it as is.
A huge part of the edibles market this summer is social tonics, which are sparkling seltzers with a low dose of THC. This dose is potent enough to have you feeling good but upbeat enough to be social. One of the brands leading the way is Cann.
It’s not just companies in California who get to have all the fun with cannabinoid-infused beverages. Vermont-based TreTap is the first company ever to offer CBD-infused, organic sparkling tree water.
TreTap’s “Healing without the High” CBD sparkling tree waters are low calorie, and low sugar, with a hint of organic fruit sweeteners – making them tasty and healthy alternatives to soda.
It’s important to note that since cannabis beverages are such a new product, their availability is limited. State and local laws may prevent your dispensary from selling infused beverages, so be sure to check the compliance guidelines.
Although most of the quality canna-bevs are currently made on the west coast, we hope to see that change soon. As the layers of the war against cannabis continue to be peeled back, we will see quality canna-bevs offered in more and more states. Either way, offering cannabinoid-infused beverages is a great way to attract new dispensary customers.
Bottom Line: 5 Ways to Attract More Engaged Dispensary Customers
Consuming the same cannabis products can make two people feel very differently. As is the case with cannabis businesses. For this reason, always remain adaptable, and never get set into one form to keep existing dispensary customers and attract new ones. As Bruce Lee said, be shapeless, formless – be water, my friend.
The Almighty Google Search Algorithm is as In-flux as the growing cannabis industry. Be sure to stay up to date with everything by checking back to our blog! Keep in mind the premise of this article is that you own a brick-and-mortar business and want to attract better dispensary customers. For you e-commerce folks, don’t worry, we’ve got upcoming content tailored just for you.
If you made it this far into the blog post, we are assuming you are enjoying our content – and we hope you are! You’ll want to check right back here every week, for more valuable posts just like this one.
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