Get More Foot Traffic
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Dispensary SEO

Written By: Joey Randazzo

Joey Randazzo is the owner and Founder of Portland SEO Growth Partners based in Portland, OR. He’s worked with hundreds of businesses, including many marijuana dispensaries, to build growth-centric SEO campaigns.

Updated: May 29th, 2024

Cannabis SEO Trusted By Brands Like Yours

This Dispensary SEO Guide Has Been Comprehensively Updated for 2024

Due to consistent algorithm updates, the Helpful Content Update in late 2022, and especially the Spam Update in March of 2024, we’ve updated the written content that already existed on the page. We’ve written new content. And we’ve filmed new video content. Everything is up-to-date, fresh, and helpful for your dispensary business to dominate Google for 2024.

Updated Information on SEO For Dispensaries With Multiple Locations

Watch this 9-minute video that shares a detailed walk-through of exactly how to structure your Google Business Profiles, how to create a comprehensive location page for each locations, and more.

How We Help Dispensaries Grow Their Business & See A

5.7x ROI on Their Monthly SEO Investment

Increase Google Rankings

Get your dispensary website ranking on Google for high-value keywords that cannabis enthusiasts are searching for.

More High-Quality Web Traffic

Get more interested ents coming to your website each month.

Increased Foot Traffic

Get more people walking through your doors who have searched on Google for things like “dispensary near me”

You Get Your Time Back

Stop writing blog content or trying to figure out digital marketing on your own.

Here's What You Want To See With Your Dispensary Website & SEO

When Someone Types into Google "Dispensary Near Me", You Show Up Here...

When Someone Types into Google "Dispensary Near Me", You Show Up Here...

Think about the way people search for dispensaries. They’re probably on a work break or relaxing at home, enjoying a quick pinner or nibbling on an edible, and pull out their smartphone.

They go to Google and type in something like “Dispensaries Near Me” – the FIRST thing to show up is the Maps area of Google called the Google Local Pack. The dispensaries that show up here “win” and get the most phone calls.

When Someone Types into Google "Best Dispensaries in [City]", You Show Up Here...

When people are looking for dispensaries, they often use the language of “best dispensary near me” or “best dispensaries in [city]”.

The dispensaries that rank in the Maps area for these keywords get the most phone calls and website visitors over their competitors.

When Someone Types Queries into Google like "Types of CBD Products at a Dispensary", You Show Up Here..

When Someone Types Queries into Google like "Types of CBD Products at a Dispensary", You Show Up Here..

Cannabis enthusiasts ask tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, of questions into Google each day. Questions like…

  • “What is the closest dispensary to my location?”
  • “How much is a dab cart?”
  • “Can you enter a dispensary without a card?”

Ranking for these keywords in Google proves that your website is a trusted “authority” for the dispensary industry.

People Are Searching Differently For Dispensaries Than They Used To

Take a look at the increase in people searching for “dispensary near me” over the last five years:

This screenshot above comes from a tool called Google Trends (a tool created by Google itself). You can see the steady increase in the number of people searching for “dispensary near me.”

See The Common Theme? You Want To Increase Your Dispensary's Digital Presence Online To Be Found By Motivated Customers.

In essence, you want more dispensary regulars in your city to know that you exist. Whenever they do a Google search online around dispensaries, you want to show up over your competitors.

How Do You Get Tangible Results With Dispensary SEO Services?

Step 1: Comprehensive SEO Audit

This is the most important step, and unfortunately, most SEO companies fail to complete it.

How can you get to where you want to be if you don’t know where you are now with your SEO?

We recommend doing a comprehensive SEO audit to determine your:

  • Current SEO performance
  • Current SEO errors
  • What your local competitors are doing
  • Technical SEO performance
  • And more

Step 2: Create a Roadmap Based on Data

We now have tons of data from the SEO audit.

SEO for dispensaries needs to be strategized based on data. Most other SEO companies don’t do this and, instead, assume that any old strategy will work.

We recommend creating a comprehensive roadmap based on the data and organize that roadmap based on priority. This is also where a lot of SEO companies go wrong.

Step 3: Implement Highest Priority Changes First

Here’s where it gets interesting:

Not all SEO activities are created equal.

Adding internal links on a blog post from 2018 won’t be as impactful as improving the content on your homepage. And it definitely won’t be as impactful as fully optimizing your Google Business Profile(s).

So, based on the data, you should target the “low hanging fruit” opportunities FIRST.

You don’t have a menu integrated on your site? You should probably build that first before updating the image your About Us page.

Step 4: Local SEO Best Practices & Content Creation at Scale

Google has shared exactly what its looking for when determining local SEO ranking factors for dispensaries.

So what does this mean exactly?

  • Relevance: does your content on your profile match the user’s intent? If they’re searching for an “herb shop” should Google rank your dispensary or a medicinal herb shop?
  • Distance: If someone searches for “dispensary near me” 5 states away from yours, you’re not going to rank. Sorry bout it.
  • Prominence: How trusted is your business? How many reviews do you have? Are you listed on all necessary directories?

But that information is kinda vague, right? What are you supposed to do to actually make a difference?

Google shares a step-by-step process of how to optimize your Google Business Profile to get better local rankings.

“Enter complete data” seems silly, yeah?

Of course you’d automatically add complete data!

Well, that’s not exactly true. Of all the dispensaries we’ve worked with, their Google Business Profiles have been bare. We’ve worked with many who didn’t even write a main description! 

Step 5: Meticulously Track Data

The goal of SEO is to have a tangible impact on your dispensary. You want to see an increase in website visitors and phone calls, which ultimately should lead to increased revenue.

To ensure your SEO campaign is performing successfully, you have to track data. Build a comprehensive dashboard that gives insights into your:

  • keyword rankings
  • website visitors
  • “direction requests”
  • and other important KPIs

Dispensary SEO Services Shouldn't Be 🍪 Cutter - Everything Is 100% Customized To Your Business

Dispensary SEO isn’t the same as other types of SEO. Unfortunately, many other SEO companies don’t do anything different than the same “tips and tricks” that they use in other industries, thinking that it’ll work with dispensaries. That’s not going to get the results you’re looking for.

We treat your business as unique. A strategy to rank your dispensary in downtown Seattle is going to be completely different to ensure your business ranks in a smaller town on the Oregon Coast.

5 Tactical Local SEO Strategies for Dispensaries

Strategy 1: Google Business Profile Optimizations

This is an example of a dispensary’s Google Business Profile:

Well, this is an example of the front-end of a Google Business Profile. This is what someone searching on Google can see.

But wait…why do Google Businesses Profile matter for dispensaries?

Google Business profiles are relevant and important ranking factors for ranking in the Google Local Pack. If you forgot what the Google Local Pack is, here’s an example:

Optimizing your Google Business Profile helps you get found there ☝️

And when you make it into the Google Local Pack, you WIN. You get more phone calls and website visitors than your competitors.

So, how do you properly optimize your Google Business Profile so that you’re found in the Google Local Pack?

Simply put, you have to provide as comprehensive information as possible.

There are several sections that you can provide comprehensive information, such as:

  • Your categories
  • Your main description
  • Your services
  • Your photos
  • Your products

Here’s a quick example to show the difference between being comprehensive and not being comprehensive:

For your main description, you may just be inclined to write a sentence like… “We are a team of knowledgeable budtenders that are dedicated to helping you find the right cannabis products for you.”

That’s great and all, but that’s only one sentence. Google allows 750 characters for the main description. Use them up! Do you offer both CBD and THC products? Do you have special CBD products for dogs? Are there unique edible items on your menu?

Answering EVERY possible question within the allotted characters is how you can be more comprehensive.

Strategy 2: On-Page SEO for Your Homepage and Location Pages

On-page SEO for dispensaries is just a fancy way of referring to the content on your website.

It includes things such as:

  • Your title tags
  • Your meta descriptions
  • Your header tags (H1, H2, H3)
  • Your images
  • Internal and external links
  • And basically anything that you can put on a website page!

Why does on-page SEO for dispensaries matter? Because Google cares about it.

For single-location dispensaries, the most important page on your website (from the perspective of local SEO) is the homepage. For multi-location dispensaries, the most important pages on your website are your location pages.

When doing on-page SEO for these pages, you want to implement SEO-friendliness by using keywords while also providing as comprehensive (there’s that word again) information as possible to the user (and Google).

For example, instead of a title tag like “The Bud Organics – 503.111.1111” you can provide more context to Google by writing something like “Highly Rated Dispensary in Downtown Portland – The Bud Organics.”

Strategy 3: Website Architecture Best Practices

This SEO strategy for dispensaries is underrated. Your website architecture and your sitemap are intimately connected.

Google crawls your sitemap to understand your website architecture, which then allows Google to understand what your website is about. 

Here’s what a sitemap might look like to Google:

We know, it looks a little confusing. You don’t need to worry about it much. Just know that when Google looks at a sitemap like this, it’s putting together what your website is about (which is really important for local SEO).

The main point is that your website structure should make sense hierarchically. Let’s use two of the main categories of products that dispensaries offer – 1) tinctures and 2) gummies.

Where should these pages live on your site? First, you should probably have a “Products” page that has the URL structure similar to .com/products/

Now, any services that you offer (such as tinctures and gummies) should live UNDER this main products page. See below:

  • .com/products/tinctures
  • .com/products/gummies

This seems obvious, but many websites don’t do this correctly. They lack vertical architecture. Instead, every page lives directly under the homepage. See below:

  • .com/products/
  • .com/tinctures/
  • .com/gummies/
  • .com/pet-products/

With this structure, it’s not clear to Google that “Tinctures” is a category of products that you offer. It’s just another page on your site!

Strategy 4: Content Creation at Scale

This is where the fun begins. Dispensary customers search for thousands of questions into Google every day.

Some are very local:

  • best CBD products in Portland
  • best edibles near Portland

Some are generic:

  • Can you go into a dispensary without a card?
  • What is the difference between indica and sativa?
  • How does CBD make you feel?
  • How do I use a cannabis tincture?

If you answer these types of questions through comprehensive blog articles on your website, it will do 2 things for you:

  1. You may rank in Google for these keywords that people are searching and, therefore, drive traffic.
  2. Google will take notice and see your website as an authority over your competitors. Google will think, “Oh wow, they’re answering all of these dispensary and cannabis-related questions that users have. Their website is therefore more valuable than local competitors who haven’t answered any of those questions.”

Strategy 5: User Experience is a Bigger Deal Than You Think - Stop the Keyword Stuffing!

The old SEO ways are gone. Keyword stuffing… PBN link building… all the stuff that used to work. 

Google’s getting more intuitive and starting to understand that a user’s experience on a website is important.

What does this mean for you as a dispensary?

  • Make it easy for users to find what they’re looking for. They shouldn’t have to spend 5 minutes figuring out if you have CBD salves or not.
  • Make it easy for users to contact you. Your phone number should be clickable on a mobile device. You should consider online ordering with the options of shipping or curbside pickup. Anything to make the user’s experience SUPER easy.

When writing content, you should actually offer value to the reader. Outsourcing writers who produce vague, keyword-stuffed articles isn’t going to fly anymore. Your content should thoroughly answer the user’s questions and add value to them.

The Top 4 SEO Mistakes That Dispensaries Make (Tip: Don't Make These Mistakes!)

Mistake 1: They don’t fill out their Google Business Profile (previously known as Google Business Profile) in detail

The majority of dispensaries spend approximately 35 seconds setting up their Google Business Profile. Not only that, but they leave out critical details that Google’s bots look for. But not only the bots, real consumers!

Here are some specific mistakes:

  • Writing a 90 character description, despite the fact that Google gives you 750 characters. Instead, fill it up with valuable copy that’s SEO friendly about your dispensary! What year did the dispensary open? Any specialties of the dispensary? Do you have a killer pre-roll game?
  • Not adding information about the specific products that they sell (or services that they offer, such as delivery). Do you have CBD gummies? Do you have indica pre-rolls? How much flower do you have?
    Not filling out in-depth descriptions about the products that they offer. It’s not just listing a product of “Indica Pre-Rolls” and leaving it at that! What specific strains do you have?
  • Not adding as MANY high quality pictures as possible! We’re talking dozens, if not hundreds of pictures of your dispensary – from the waiting area, to the products, to the budtenders.

Mistake 2: They don’t list all of their services and products properly on their website

Some dispensaries believe that a standard website with their address and phone number is all they really need. After all, if customers can find them, why do they need any more information on their website?

The reality is a bit different. An incomplete website can negatively affect Google rankings (thus hurting sales). Google’s bots love detailed, comprehensive websites.

Here are some common website mistakes that dispensaries make:

  • Not listing all of their products ON the website (not just redirecting to Leafly or Weedmaps)
  • Not creating dedicated pages for individual products (similar to the above!)
  • If you’re a multi-location dispensary, not having individual location pages for each of your different storefronts

Mistake 3: They fail to create data-driven content that adds value to their target audience

The fact is, almost anybody can write a blog (including AI). That being said, most dispensaries fail to write blog content that is optimized around high-value keywords and backed by data.

For many businesses like dispensaries, the average conversation around blog content sounds something like this:

“Dylan, didn’t you study creative writing?”

“Yes, I took a class back in 1992, but I really didn’t like i-”

“Congratulations Dylan, you’re now in charge of the blog!”

Dylan is a fantastic budtender, but he may not know how to write comprehensive, data-driven blog content. Most people do not!

Here are some mistakes that we’ve seen happen with blog content:

  • The content is picked randomly and is not based on keywords that actual people search for
    The blog post is too short! (Google’s bots like longer content)
  • They write multiple posts about the same exact topic, such as “how to roll a joint” and “best way to roll a joint” – nearly the same thing! Duplicate content is not good for Google rankings!
  • The content itself is spammy (written to “trick” Google into ranking the post higher) – for example, you’ve added the keyword “best dispensary in Portland” 127 times in one blog post – and not written with actual readers in mind. Google can detect this, and this can actually hurt rankings.

Mistake 4: They don’t have a repeatable process for SEO

Let’s say a dispensary makes a few blog posts that perform really well. Great news, right? They start seeing more online engagement due to their increased rankings. It might be tempting to assume that they don’t need further SEO help.

But as the year goes by, that extra web traffic dries up.

Their blog posts start slipping in rankings. And their latest blog posts are not ranking at all.

This is a fairly common occurrence. Most dispensaries do not have a process in place to reliably and consistently drive web traffic with their blog posts.

Here are some common mistakes we’ve seen:

  • They do not have a repeatable, reliable process for creating their content, analyzing their Google Business Profile performance, etc.
  • They do not plan ahead for their blog content. They do not create a content calendar to schedule their posts
    They are inconsistent with their blog posts
  • They do not engage in any other valuable SEO practices aside from blog posts. SEO involves more than just blogs. It includes many other areas, like technical SEO, backlink building, internal linking, external linking, and more!

On Average, Our Dispensary SEO Services Cost

31% Less Than Other SEO Companies

Compared to Other SEO Companies That Average Between $1.5k and $3k Per Month.

FAQs About Dispensary SEO Services

Here are the most common questions we’ve heard.

What is Dispensary SEO?

Dispensary SEO is a form of marketing that helps dispensaries increase their visibility in search engines, particularly Google. 

The specific SEO strategies that are used for dispensaries vary greatly (which is why all dispensary SEO is NOT created equal). 

Strategies include:

  • keyword research
  • on-page SEO
  • off-page SEO
  • local SEO
  • Google Maps optimizations
  • content creation
  • landing page creation
  • PR 
  • and more

Why is Dispensary SEO Important?

Dispensary SEO is important because it allows you to get in front of your target audience (the cannabis customers looking RIGHT NOW to find a dispensary that offers the products they’re looking for).

Think about how social media marketing for dispensaries works: People are scrolling through Instagram or Facebook and stumble upon an advertisement for a dispensary in their city. They could be actively looking for a dispensary, but it’s unlikely.

On the other hand, SEO puts you in front of motivated buyers looking for what you have to offer.

SEO for dispensaries allows you to show up in Google for people actively looking for a dispensary. People searching for “best dispensary near me” or “dispensary in downtown Portland.” Ranking for those keywords has a MUCH higher conversion than people scrolling on Instagram.

How Long Does SEO for Dispensaries Take To Work?

Dispensary SEO can take 1 week – 6 months for you to start seeing results. It depends on a variety of factors:

  • How high your website’s “domain authority” is
  • How big of a city you’re in
  • How long your website has been around for
  • How your current SEO is performing
  • And much more

Some of our clients have seen 2x – 3x the phone calls within a month after starting their SEO campaign. Other clients don’t see noticeable increases in phone calls for 2-3 months.

Think about this, though:

If everyone could make a couple of tweaks on their website and rank overnight for the HIGHEST value keywords out there, like “best dispensary in LA” then the internet would be chaotic.

These things take time. Google purposely built their algorithms that way.

What Dispensary SEO KPIs Should We Track?

Dispensary SEO should be tracked meticulously.

You want to know, with absolute certainty, that the hard-earned money you’re investing in SEO is working for your dispensary.

So, you need to track certain metrics to ensure that the campaign is working:

  • Keyword rankings: Are you ranking on Page 1 of Google for your most important keywords? How are your keyword rankings changing from week over week? Month over month?
  • Organic website traffic: Is your organic website traffic from Google going up or down? Which keywords are driving the most traffic?
  • Phone calls: Are you getting more phone calls from people searching on Google? How are phone calls changing over time?
  • Online lead submissions: Are you seeing more online leads? How are they changing month over month?

What Type of Content Should Dispensary Websites Have?

Dispensary SEO should include content that your target audience is actively searching for on Google:

How do we know what keywords/content your target audience is searching for? We use advanced software and tools that give us insider information and data. We, for example, know that 2,900 people per month (on average) search for “Where can I buy CBD oil near me?”

With that said, we do extensive keyword research to find the topics/questions that dispensary frequenters have. 

Questions like:

  • “Can CBD lower blood pressure?”
  • “Is hemp oil the same as CBD?”
  • “How many plants can a dispensary grow?”

If you create content that answers these questions, then you may potentially rank in Google when people search for these.

Also, Google will favor your site more than competitors because it will trust your site more.

What are the Most Valuable Dispensary Keywords for SEO?

How To Work With Us

Before you go on, know that we don’t work with all dispensaries.

We only work with dispensaries that:

  • Are motivated to grow their business
  • Have the bandwidth to take the growth that will come from working with us
  • Treat their employees and their customers well
If that sounds like you, then go through the easy process below:

Step 1

Request a 'Free SEO Audit'

This process takes about 2 minutes.

Step 2

Check Your Email

In less than 24 hours, one of our talented SEO specialists will send you a 3-5 minute customized video analysis. It will explain opportunities for you to outperform competitors.

Step 3

Sit Back And Watch Your SEO Skyrocket

Just glance at our case studies of the success that other Portland businesses have seen. You can have the same results.

If you’re looking for Portland SEO services, we can help. Give us a call today to learn more about our pricing and availability. 

Let's Take Your Dispensary From the "best kept secret" to the "most sought after brand"