As a Canadian cannabis dispensary, do you have a strategic SEO plan?
To the average Canadian, SEO seems like voodoo. Truthfully, it is not straightforward.
Figuring out how and why Google ranks specific pages higher than others is now a multi-million dollar global industry. It’s why Cannabis Code, Canada’s leading dispensary marketing agency exists.
Here are a few quick tips for online dispensaries to get you started on your journey to the top of SERP.
1. Conduct an SEO Audit
An SEO audit looks at your current website to assess any glaring SEO holes. That could mean technical details like meta descriptions and tags or finding content opportunities. Working systematically through the must-fix issues is an easy way to improve ranking.
2. Assess The Competition
Who are your biggest competitors? What keywords and questions do they already rank for? Look at their top pages, and compare them with your own.
Use a competitor’s content as inspiration, but make it better by answering more questions, making it user-friendly, and adding better images and features.
3. Optimize the Back End
The back end of your website might not be visible to the average customer, but it’s visible to search engines like Google. Technical SEO means writing meta descriptions and tags (of the appropriate length, of course).
Then there is the internal linking structure, is that optimized to ensure the search engine indexes every page? Do you have broken links on any of your pages? All these are issues that affect your SERP and need addressing.
4. Don’t Forget Image Optimization
Increasingly, we are an image-based world. The more you optimize the images on your website, you increase your ranks among searchers.
What does image SEO look like? Make sure you have named the images appropriately. For example, a photo of Bubba Kush should be named Bubba Kush.
You’ll also want to make these images accessible for those who are vision-impaired with alt tags. Use keywords strategically here.
Finally, optimize the file size. It has to look aesthetically pleasing to the reader, but big images slow down page loading. Search engines don’t favor slow pages. Resize images around 150-200kb goal posts.
5. Build Backlinks
Do you have a backlinking strategy? The more other people link back to your website, the more search engines recognize your authority. As in, people rely on your website for real answers. Backlinking is almost as integral to ranking as keywords.
There are a million and one ways to build a robust backlinking strategy, depending on how much time and money you have to invest. Start with creating comprehensive, in-depth content or post on review websites. These are only two options among many. A dispensary marketing agency can help create a strong backlinking plan.
6. Engage Your Audience
Social media increasingly plays a big part in your SEO Strategy. And while Facebook remains frustratingly against cannabis, Instagram and others are great options.
Having your content shared across social media also improves your domain authority, which is a part of your ranking. Create content that engages your audience and encourages frequent shares.
7. Work with a Cannabis-Friendly SEO Agency
While it is feasible to pick away at each of these tips to improve your ranking slowly, the fastest and easiest route is with an SEO agency.
Working with a cannabis-friendly SEO agency is a surefire way to see the best results in the shortest amount of time. Your SERP still takes time to turn around, even with a professionals’ help, but an agency can see the entire scope of a project.
An SEO agency’s job is to understand the voodoo of Google. Your’s should be to run the dispensary.
SEO Tips for Dispensaries in Canada
First and foremost, conduct a website audit to see where you can start optimizing. Work through each technical SEO issue, and don’t forget about image optimization.
Then, once the technical areas are dialed in, plan a strategic content strategy, paired with a backlink building plan.
Finally, under the guidance of a dispensary SEO marketing agency, this holistic plan with see results within a few months instead of a few years.