In this episode, we discuss the concept of cannabis local SEO and how it can help dispensaries and other cannabis-related businesses rank higher in search results and attract more local customers. We cover the basics of local SEO, including the importance of claiming your Google My Business listing, building citations, and getting reviews. We also delve into the unique challenges and opportunities that come with optimizing for the cannabis industry, including the need to follow state and local laws and regulations. Whether you’re a cannabis business owner or just interested in learning more about the industry, this episode is a must-listen.
The main topics we cover in this episode include:
- The role of keyword research in cannabis local SEO
- Tips for creating content that will rank well and appeal to local customers
- The value of building backlinks from local sources
- Strategies for managing your online reputation in the cannabis industry
- Ways to track and measure the success of your local SEO efforts
We also share some real-world examples of cannabis businesses that have successfully implemented local SEO strategies to drive traffic and sales.
By the end of this episode, you should have a better understanding of what cannabis local SEO is and how it can benefit your business. Whether you’re just starting out in the industry or looking to take your marketing efforts to the next level, this episode has something for you.
Now, onto the main topics of the day:
- What is cannabis local SEO?
- Why is cannabis local SEO important for cannabis businesses?
- Tips for optimizing your cannabis business for local SEO.
First up, let’s define what cannabis local SEO is. Cannabis local SEO is the process of optimizing your cannabis business’s online presence to rank higher in local search results.
Why is cannabis local SEO important for cannabis businesses? With the increasing legalization of cannabis, more and more consumers are searching for local cannabis dispensaries and retailers. By optimizing for local SEO, you can make it easier for these consumers to find your business.
Here are some tips for optimizing your cannabis business for local SEO:
- Claim your Google My Business listing and make sure all your business information is accurate and up-to-date.
- Use local keywords in your website content and meta tags.
- Obtain high-quality, local backlinks from reputable websites.
- Encourage customers to leave reviews on your Google My Business listing and other review websites.
Thanks for tuning in to episode 14 of the Purple Noodle marketing podcast. We hope you found this information on cannabis local SEO helpful for your cannabis business. Join us next time as we continue to explore marketing strategies for success in the cannabis industry.
[Episode 14 transcript]
Ed Higgins: [00:00:00] Welcome back to the podcast, purple New podcast, helping cannabis businesses grow. This is episode 14. What is cannabis local, s e o. I’m here with my co-host, Nikki what’s going on, Nikki?
Nikki: Another day, another dollar ed.
Ed Higgins: Another day. Another dollar, right?
So what do we talk about today, Nikki? Today
Nikki: we’re gonna talk about your favorite and mine local cannabis SEO O.
Ed Higgins: Yeah. You love local SEO. Do you know why she loves local SEO? Because she is the one that looks up all the things if we wanna do anything. She’s doing the Google searches, she’s doing the looking up on the inner interwebs to find out what we need to do today. ,
Nikki: this is all a true story. We are gonna discuss the concept of cannabis, local SEO, and how it can help dispensaries and other cannabis-related businesses rank higher in search results and attract more local [00:01:00] customers. So we’re gonna cover the basics of local SEO, including the importance of claiming your Google My Business listing, building citations, and getting reviews. Now we’re also gonna delve into the unique challenges and opportunities that come with optimizing for the cannabis industry, including the need to follow state and local laws and regulations.
Whether you’re a cannabis business owner or just interested in learning more about the industry, or you’re just super bored and you like the sound of my voice and I seeth you to sleep, this episode is a must-listen. You’re lucky cuz you’re listening and it’s a must. My question is, start off with Mr. Ed, is what exactly is cannabis local SEO
Ed Higgins: There’s a lot to it, but to break it down, in simplest terms, it’s local citations, which means your address, your phone number, and your business name come up the [00:02:00] same everywhere you go. We had a client recently who changed locations. It was in the same parking lot, but it was a different address.
We had to go through every online resource that we could find with his address already out there and change just one number, but if we didn’t change one number and all 75 of those different sources, they would not be found on Google Maps. They would not be found on local listings. It’s making sure that the information that your business has comes up correctly in the search engines and that people can find you.
and making sure that anytime your business is mentioned with that information, it ties to your business. The algorithms, the search engine algorithms are giving you that link juice by driving traffic to your websites. You should have seen Nikki’s face when I said link juice.
Nikki: Let’s never see that again.
Ed Higgins: We’re not going back to [00:03:00] the hub. Driving traffic to your website and making sure that you are the correct website that they want to drive traffic to. In order to do that, it’s local seo. And that’s one of the ways it’s by citation. .
Nikki: So this is for brick-and-mortar stores? This would not be specifically for online stores?
Ed Higgins: This would be for brick-and-mortar stores. Yeah. And you find that’s a challenge that brick and mortar stores have, because you’ve mentioned to me before where you’ve searched for things online and you can never find the local store. You cannot find any.
Relay it to a local
All I want sometimes is to be able to go pick up what I want and not have to order it for delivery. If I’m out and about, I wanna be able to search what is where sells this near me and I want it to pop up. They give me a lot of online stores and I absolutely don’t think that those should be included in the near me search because Google, if I’m asking what’s near me, it’s cuz I wanna go.
Ed Higgins: That’s literally why [00:04:00] it was created in the first place, was to make sure that people would find things closest to them. The problem we have is advertising dollars and then businesses changing ownership, which has happened a lot, right? We just had a pandemic. There’s been a lot of change in the marketplace.
There are businesses out there that still have the old name, or they’re not even on Google. because they don’t know how to add themselves to Google, they’re missing out on all that traffic. We have a business close to us down on our main street that was a barbershop and it’s trying to be a spa, but it’s not open, and the old business never changed to the new name.
Now nobody knows what’s going on with it and all they have to do is hit delete and now nobody knows why that business is not occupied for who knows how long. That’s happening a lot all across America.
Nikki: Okay, so we of touched on this, but why is cannabis local SEO important for cannabis businesses?
Specifically [00:05:00] getting people in the door.
Ed Higgins: Here’s one big reason in the industry right now. It’s being oversaturated. It’s being flooded by different businesses. You have, Oklahoma alone has probably close to 3000 dispensaries, which is ridiculous. When you have that many dispensaries in one area, you have to figure out a way.
Differentiate yourself, especially if somebody just puts in cannabis, in Google search engines, they’re gonna find whoever. Then they might not find the closest place to you. So you have to make sure that you list your address correctly, that you list that you’re a recreational old dispensary, that you list your products that you have, and you make sure that the address and the phone number are correct, address and correct.
No phone number. Otherwise, nobody’s gonna call you. They’ll just go to the local spot.
Nikki: I would also like to say, please put the hours of your business Yes. And make sure they are also correct. Because if I come to your business and it says it’s supposed to be open and it’s not, [00:06:00] I’m done. Like I’m, you’re dead to me.
Ed Higgins: That is a problem that’s happening in the industry in all industries because of the pandemic is people aren’t updating their time, so we don’t have enough people to fill the jobs. There’s 2.5 million people. Missing from jobs right now, and they’re not gonna be filled anytime soon. So what that means for businesses is if they want to stay alive and survive, they’re going to have to limit their hours.
Most businesses whoever was handling the Google My Business, the G M B originally, who knows who it is now and who knows who originally owned it. So there are so many, there’s so much churn in these businesses that you might not even know who owns that business listing. And then you have to do a request.
From your business to that business on Google, asking to take it over. And if the business owner doesn’t have the email address, isn’t available to be reached, you are not gonna get that new business [00:07:00] listing. Now you have a Kirfafel on Google.
Nikki: Wait a minute. So if I buy a business and the address is 66 6 Apple Orchard Road and the business before me doesn’t give up their Google business listing or change it. That address is always gonna show them?
Ed Higgins: The address I always show them, unless Google finally fixes it. Who knows who’s running Google right now? Skynet? The AI that’s going to be running Google. You couldn’t get anybody before. Now that AI is gonna be involved in Google, there’s no way you’re gonna get ahold of anybody. Hopefully Google starts to put into place that if there hasn’t been any maybe there’s a time limit thing on my email.
If I don’t log in my email over a certain amount of time, it deletes everything. So maybe there’s a cutoff that Google does where if you don’t log into your Google My Business account for a certain amount of time. Maybe we shut [00:08:00] off your business listing. They’re gonna have to do something because right now there’s just so many businesses out there that are not even operating.
Then there’s new businesses that have taken over that have made double listings because they don’t have any way to contact the prior business owner. That may be the case in the cannabis industry, we’re gonna have a kalel here pretty soon if we don’t fix this.
Now Google my business listings. If you search for a cannabis dispensary and you look over the right hand side and you see their business listing there, that’s the Google My Business listing. If you have ownership of that, Google My Business listing then you can go to listing on the internet and add photos or update information, whatever you need to do. Google has a cool thing that I like where they will manage or monitor your phone calls. They’re looking at how busy you are , they manage the phone calls to figure out how many calls you get within a certain amount of hours. So they could tell people you’re usually busy around this time. Then also they will keep an eye on. [00:09:00] What businesses are missing their calls. So you can find out when your busiest time is and if your people are not answering the phone or missing the calls so you can staff accordingly, which I like.
That’s all related to local SEO is the Google My Business listing and the local citations. That’s two of the things that are important when it comes to local seo. .
Nikki: So just to sum up, we want you to claim your Google Business listing and we want your address, phone number, hours, your name to be consistent and everywhere.
Ed Higgins: Absolutely. Your branding should be the same no matter what, everywhere as well. .
Nikki: All right, so we learned beforehand, you, listeners, and I, that SEO is all about keyword. So what are the key words? Now, I heard earlier that it’s something about the city you’re in. You should always mention that on your website, or what are the key words that you can put in that help them find you locally?
Ed Higgins: For example, [00:10:00] Denver, right? We have a lot of clients in Denver. Denver, Colorado is something we mentioned constantly in articles. When we’re crafting articles for their client they’re in Denver, but they’re also in a suburb outside of Denver, so we mentioned that suburb as well.
Then they also service a huge amount of the Denver area, right? Because people will drive from the east side of Denver to the west side of Denver in order to get products if the price is good and they like the brand. We mentioned those cities as well. We’ll do is simple things you can do on your website in order to get this local traffic.
One is having pages on your website about the cities you serve, about what’s cool in those cities. What’s great to see, basically like a Wikipedia page for that city. But on your website, then also in your articles you had mentioned different cities you serve consistently mention the city, the state. You can put the zip code in there, but that really doesn’t matter. It’s mostly city and state. In your social media, [00:11:00] bringing up the city and state, it’s basically enough touchpoints that show that you are somewhere in that general area that the search engine will say, okay, that person’s address is in that area, their zip code is in that area, and they service a 30 to 50 mile radius in that area.
Nikki: So if, let’s say my city had the largest ball of twine in it, I would wanna put somewhere on my website mention largest ball of twine, because then maybe that will come up in searches and people will know when they’re here to see the large ball of twine that they can come buy and then
Ed Higgins: go.
Absolutely. I can even relate it to you, you love ghost, right? Ghosts are your thing
Nikki: Listeners in Minnesota, we call ’em ghosts. Ghosts. And I’m a little bit obsessed.
Ed Higgins: Now, Nikki didn’t know this when I met her, but what I know is [00:12:00] there is a industry of tourism in the United States in the world, and there are different ways to drive traffic to your tourist spot.
One of ’em is coming up with past stories about ghosts in order to get people to go to your place in order to see or hear or feel these ghosts. Now, the greatest thing about this is it’s just like other things that are related to ideas. You believe as much as you want to believe, right? So you’re going to go there looking for this ghost, and maybe you see a ghost, maybe you don’t.
Maybe it’s dust, maybe it’s a Sprite. Who knows? But you will want to go there. That is the things that people will mention in their articles and in their website and on their media, on videos and social media about the ghost, about that specific ghost, about the goat man, about whatever’s going on with the ghosties or the cryptids or whatever you got going on.
The ball of twine would be one of those things. If you even spell it in a [00:13:00] different way, ball of twine, you maybe you. T W Y N E. Now you have that word and that is your word on the internet, so you can promote that as many times as possible. It will catch on and then people will know to type in Twine with the Y and they will get to your city or town and then you can go visit that ball of twine.
Nikki: Sidebar, if you have a haunted store email and let me know and I will come to.
Ed Higgins: Haunted cannabis
Nikki: dispensary, . Also, it’s not Gottman’s Bridge anymore. It’s Shane and Ryan’s
Ed Higgins: bridge.
Nikki: buggars here. Going back to the topic of not go, you had mentioned reviews and we have another episode about online reputation but how does that help with your local SEO
Ed Higgins: As far as reviews do help because they let people know, whether you’re doing good or bad, but also they can let people know. Yeah. I went there and the door was [00:14:00] around the back. It’s not really big things as far as that goes.
Nikki: Okay. So if you go down to, what is this, the third page where it has 1, 2, 34. Four is engage customers, leave reviews on your Google My Business listing and other review website.
Ed Higgins: The important part about reviews is that when people do leave, first of all, you wanna encourage people to leave reviews on your Google My Business listing, right? And hopefully it’s positive reviews. , the more positive reviews you have, the more you’ll get up what’s called the local three pack, the top three that show up and search, and therefore you’ll be given to more people as they search for certain terms in your local area.
That’s why the reviews are important as far as the Google listings. Is making sure that people leave good reviews, and then also they leave a bunch of reviews so that you can jump up the Google My Business listings.
Nikki: Awesome and have them use the word ghost in the reviews. [00:15:00] Because I search for haunted ghost places everywhere I go. So if you could just have somebody leave a review that says something about something being haunted, . Even if they write, I’m haunted by my experience here. I think one more important thing Ed we wanna touch on is your favorite in mine. Our backlinks. Local backlinks. Let’s talk about local
Ed Higgins: back links, this is important in many different phases of business, especially government of politics is having links on different sites in your area that are important.
So in our area, the city hall would be important. The local restaurants would be important. All these different places, if you can get them to feature your business in some way and you can share or trade what’s called backlinks, where you can do a guest post on their website. They can do a guest post on your website.
Then you can go ahead and build off of each other’s local listings and the [00:16:00] algorithm will give, will benefit you. both. It’ll give you both a boost in your ranking so that, that’s why it’s important for local back links. The more local back links you have, the more it tells the search engines, hey! They are a staple in this area and we want to drive traffic to them. So we wanna show more people they’re listing.
Nikki: Okay. So I have a question.
Ed Higgins: Okay. Your question is
Nikki: QR codes? QR codes are magic. If you have local businesses that say do advertising, we have some local restaurants that do advertising on their tabletops.
If you could give them the name and a QR code, that QR code gets them to the website. While they’re waiting for their pancake, , they can do whatever. We’ve seen a commercial, it’s literally just the name of the business and a QR code on our screen for 30 seconds.
Ed Higgins: Yeah, it worked
Nikki: and it worked. So if you can get into any local newspapers and just get a simple qr code. [00:17:00] That’ll help people get to your website
Ed Higgins: and it’ll help the search engines understand that this person is at this IP address in this area, and they are looking up your business. The more people that you have looking up your business, the more that the search engines start to see, Hey, this person is important.
This person has a lot of traffic going to this site from local people must be an important person. we are volunteering with a nationwide organization, clean Water Action. We are in volunteering with a local unit and we’re creating a sticker for them right now that has a QR coded in it.
So while you’re drinking at the breweries and you’re supporting clean water, that you can go ahead and use your camera over the QR code and go to the website and maybe if you want to donate, you can donate as well. , but you’re seeing what’s going on in action as you’re enjoying a brew. That is one of the ways that the QR codes are utilized and they’re gonna see to see based on how many people go to that QR code, we can see[00:18:00] the traffic from that.
And then we can judge, okay, did this work? Did people actually use their phone to scan the growler or the beer? And then did it bring them to the website. , it’s a good way to track the traffic and make sure that your advertising is actually working.
Nikki: You can tell the difference if someone went online to look up a website versus used QR code?
Ed Higgins: Yes, because the QR code platforms that you create the QR code on, they track the traffic. Okay. You’re basically going through their website to get to the website that you want. That’s when you see those shortened links, they’re bitlys or anything like that is a tracking code that brings you to that website and then punts you to the other website.
You’re playing a little bumper pool, ping pong. You’re going from one site to the next site. It’s so fast now, you don’t even notice it, and it tracks and says, okay, this person, it doesn’t know who you are. It just says that this [00:19:00] phone went to this website.
Nikki: The man is always watching you
Ed Higgins: guys.
Big brother’s, always watching, but really the Internet’s always watching, right? Unless you have a V P N. And we would like to be sponsored by Nord, v p n, cuz we use it all over our devices. So Nord, v P N, if you’re listening, please come on in. We’d like to get a sponsorship.
Nikki: Here’s a little secret between you and me listeners.
If you get a Nord vpn, you can watch baseball games that are blacked out in your area. , which is usually the only time I use it because go Minnesota Twins, . Ed is mostly talking about online stuff. Me being the people person, I like to do stuff in person. So once again, we have we talked about this in a podcast earlier, but get out there and get active in your community.
Somebody will take a picture, maybe the city will put you on their Facebook page. Here’s our local business, blah, blah, blah, at our winter festival. So anywhere that, once again, puts the city name with your [00:20:00] name and can connect, that is going to be great for local seo. Try to get out there. Work with other small business, work with the city.
Donate time somewhere.
Ed Higgins: Yeah. The big deal right now in Minnesota is this HF 100 or this SB 74, all about cannabis laws and bills. It’s great because the whole Minnesota community is showing up at these hearings and then taking pictures, putting ’em on their social media, putting ’em out on, in their articles in their website.
They’re helping build each other’s traffic by doing this. And also educating the masses about, like Jesse Ventura showing up to testify at the capitol today. That’s a great way to build up local traffic.
It’s working within your area and when we work in places, we make sure not to cannibalize traffic, so we’ll only interview one person or one business in that area for our [00:21:00] client in order to make sure that we don’t cannibalize our own work and that we’re not ripping off our clients.
Ed Higgins: One thing I wanted to mention is it’s important when you’re doing local seo that you involve yourself in the keyword research, that you involve yourself in finding a whole bunch of keywords that basically describe your area.
Maybe they’re major businesses, maybe they’re business outlets, their streets, their cities, everything around your area that basically describes your area almost like you are in 1980s. Again, you have to describe how to get to your house, everything that you can include, streets business names, anything that’ll give people an idea of where you’re at.
Also give the search engines an idea where you’re at. So if you want to go ahead and include that in your keyword research, I would heavily recommend it. .
Nikki: Yeah, put any local landmarks, any historic, any theaters that might be doing something. We have a big brewery pop up all around us. Anything that’s having an event, try to mention [00:22:00] it so that when they look for that go to the event and then come see us.
Nikki: Let’s sum up for our listeners, ed, what are we looking at here?
Ed Higgins: Tips for creating content that will rank well, it appeal to local customers. An easy way to do this is go on your Facebook and look up your local events.
All those events that are populated, work them into your content somehow. Maybe even sponsor them, maybe even show up to their events. Building back links. We talked about that. Strategies for managing your online reputation in the cannabis industry. We’ve talked about that before, but it’s making sure that you respond to those reviews and respond to ’em in the most professional way.
You’d be surprised a lot of times once you get to those reviews, you’re not gonna get them taken down. But if you respond to those reviews, the next person that sees you responded, you may get a be better customer interaction from. And then in order to track it, you have Google site kit for WordPress.
You have Google My Business for online search engines. You have [00:23:00] all types of different tools. aHrefs. SEM Rush, there’s all types of different tools out there you can utilize to track and measure the success of your local SEO efforts. In Sim Rush, we have a tool that shows us the heat map of the local areas and the keywords that we have based on that heat map in that local area.
Is there anything else you wanted to bring up?
Nikki: I did wanna bring up everybody that Valentine’s Day or Valentine’s Day is coming up, it’s next week. Hopefully that’ll be true. When this episode goes out and all your girl wants is edibles and in chocolate form, because correct me if I’m wrong, but there’s yet to be like T h C Cheese, right?
Ed Higgins: As far as I know, yes.
Nikki: So once they make, little cubes of cheese with that in it, I’ll have to settle there. Oh, what was it? It was like pumpkin white chocolate, and it was delicious. Put one in with her other [00:24:00] chocolates. She’ll mellow out. He’ll mellow out. They’ll mellow out.
I’m not gonna judge who you be loving that day. We hope that you all have a great Valentine’s Day and love yourself. Love everyone around you, love your puppies, love your kitty cats. Love the earth. Give out love that day
Ed Higgins: right in.
Yes, I was actually gonna give a shout out to one of our followers who’s been promoting our stuff, kennebis.co.
I saw one of their videos on Instagram and she was talking about how most of the edibles, cuz we eat edibles pretty much every night, most of the edibles that we take are not sour. and I love sour edible, so apparently she found some that are a sour edible. I wanted to give her a shout out cause I saw that was cool.
She says, will we puff our pass on this sour gummy? And it looks like it’s a mango gummy. Mini grown min, mini grown mango [00:25:00] gummy. I’m gonna go ahead and follow them because are in Cannon Falls, Minnesota mini grown. I’ll have to check it out. But yeah that’s something I like too. You’ve gotta get your partner, your lover a Valentine’s Day. If you’re gonna involve yourself in this capitalistic holiday, go ahead and get them. Sour edibles or cheese, edibles, whatever you want. Whatever you need, just do everything in moderation. That’s all we ask. And safely.
Nikki: All right. Thank you everybody for tuning into episode 14 of the Purple Noodle Podcast, and we hope you found this information helpful for you and your cannabis business. Join us next time when we talk about dun search engines.
I’m trying to make it sound super exciting and mystical. Search engine.
Ed Higgins: We’re gonna explain a little bit more about search engines and a lot of people, maybe 30 and under might be like, what the heck are they gonna discuss? I think you’ll be very pleasantly surprised when we discuss these important things, especially as it relates [00:26:00] to cannabis and cannabis dispensary. So this episode is sponsored by Purple Noodle Marketing, l c, helping cannabis businesses grow organically. We are a cannabis marketing firm specializing in cannabis, s e o, cannabis, e-commerce, and cannabis marketing.
Check out our new book on Amazon and our website purple noodle marketing.com. Also, check out a podcast and follow us on YouTube. and that’s it. We out.
Nikki: We out. Bye
Ed Higgins: bye.
“This episode is sponsored by Purple Noodle Marketing LLC, Helping Cannabis Businesses Grow Organically. We are a Cannabis Marketing firm specializing in Cannabis SEO, Cannabis Ecommerce, and Cannabis Marketing. Check out our new book: https://www.amazon.com/Purple-Noodle-Marketing-Organically-Entrepenuers/dp/B09ZCVYW7H
Our Website is; https://www.purplenoodlemarketing.com
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