Why Marijuana Dispensaries Have to be Proactive with Local SEO
At present, one of the fastest growing industries in the U.S. is that of medical marijuana distribution – especially owing to the fact that more states are now legalizing the use of it for both recreational and medicinal purposes. Although this has resulted in marijuana dispensary marketing becoming extremely popular, marketers have found that they have to rely on local and organic SEO in order to get the word out because of the nature of this substance.
Potential Advertising Restrictions
Although there are numerous online advertising platforms available to marketers of regular products and services, cannabis marketing experts have found that they cannot use them due to the strict tobacco advertising guidelines that they usually adhere to. This makes it a lot more challenging for marijuana dispensary marketing to be conducted by means of the regular online channels. As a result, more and more of them have realized that they will have to make use of a wide range of organic and local SEO techniques in order to successfully promote their products to as many potential clients as possible.
Below are links to policy and guidelines for paid advertising on some of the bigger social platforms.
In many cases, a cannabis marketing expert may be under the impression that organic and local SEO are one and the same thing. However, this is not the case. Organic SEO results will rank according to their relevance and importance, regardless of whether the searcher is looking locally or not. In other words, websites that are updated with relevant content on a regular basis will appear ‘organically’ on page 1 of search results. Local SEO is focused a lot more on providing search results that will be the most relevant to a searcher based on his or her current location – regardless of where that may be.
Harnessing the Power of Local SEO
When it comes to cannabis marketing, it is crucial to learn how to make local SEO work for you. According to data compiled by Bing and Google, as much as 50% of online searches done on desktops, laptops and mobile devices are done in order to find local businesses products and services. This provides an ideal opportunity for marketers of marijuana to advertise their products online without having to worry about violating any of the online advertising terms of service (TOS) simply because it will focus on attracting as many customers as possible from the immediate area instead.
Hints and Tips
There are many ways to ensure that your marijuana dispensary marketing efforts get the recognition they deserve in local SEO searches. The first step should be to set up a Google Places for Businesses page, where you will insert all of your contact information, opening hours and all other pertinent information in the relevant fields. From there, you can link this page to a Google+ Local page, which will provide space for customers to add reviews, comments and questions. When doing this, it is essential to ensure that all of the information provided is kept consistent – phone numbers, addresses and email addresses should be exactly the same on all of the online profiles used for advertising.
Another important aspect that will help boost your cannabis marketing efforts by means of local SEO is to ensure that place is provided for existing customers to post reviews, questions or general comments pertaining to your products and services. As more and more customers start posting reviews, it will send your website and other online profiles as high as possible in the local search rankings, which will make it easier for new clients to locate you.