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The Definitive Guide to Cannabis Dispensary SEO

Time and time again, SEO has proven to be the leading ROI positive marketing initiative for cannabis dispensaries. Indeed, search engine optimization is even more critical for cannabis dispensaries, given that they are not allowed to use Google Ads. Optimizing your website and online presence through SEO is a powerful way to ensure that your dispensary can be found on both Google Maps and Google search results, resulting in the kind of increased visibility that drives more immediate customers and sales. Throughout this guide our team will share valuable resources and insights to help accelerate your SEO. By following these steps you can help establish your cannabis dispensary as a trusted and reputable source for cannabis products within Google’s algorithm, and ultimately, grow your business. 

How to use to apply this guide to your dispensary

To use this guide effectively, follow these steps:

  1. Read the guide thoroughly: Before getting started with SEO, it is important to understand the concepts and best practices involved. This guide covers all the key elements of SEO, so take the time to read and understand the content.
  2. Conduct keyword research: Use the step-by-step instructions in the guide to conduct keyword research and identify the keywords and phrases that your target audience is searching for.
  3. Optimize your website: Use the tips and best practices provided in the guide for on-page optimization, including optimizing website content, images and videos, and meta tags.
  4. Focus on technical SEO: Make sure your website is technically optimized for search engines by improving website speed and mobile responsiveness, structuring URLs and internal links, and setting up Google Search Console and Analytics.
  5. Build high-quality backlinks: Use the tips and best practices provided in the guide for off-page optimization, including building backlinks, leveraging social media and online directories, and monitoring your website’s reputation online.
  6. Optimize for local SEO: Use the tips and best practices provided in the guide for local SEO, including optimizing your Google Business profile, using structured data and schema markup, and building citations and reviews.
  7. Proximity optimization: Use the tips and best practices provided in the guide for proximity optimization, including targeting local keywords, using structured data and schema markup, building citations and reviews, and acquiring backlinks.

Monitor your progress: Regularly monitor your website’s performance using Google Analytics and other tools to track your rankings and website traffic. By following these steps and using the tips and best practices provided in the guide, dispensary owners and marketing managers should be able to rank their business on Google and drive more traffic and sales to their cannabis dispensary.

I) Keyword Research

  1. Keyword research is the process of finding and selecting keywords and phrases that are relevant to your cannabis dispensary website and used by search engines to rank websites. This is important because it helps you understand what your target audience is searching for, and how you can optimize your website to rank higher for these keywords.
  2. To conduct keyword research, you can start by brainstorming a list of keywords and phrases that are relevant to your cannabis dispensary and the products and services you offer. Then, you can use a keyword research tool, such as Google Keyword Planner, AHREFs or Semrush, to get more ideas and see how competitive the keywords are.
  3. When selecting keywords, look for keywords that have high search volume, low competition, and are relevant to your cannabis dispensary. You can also look for long-tail keywords, which are longer phrases that are more specific and less competitive, but still receive a good amount of search traffic. Consider things like delivery, surrounding neighborhoods and local venues. In our experience serving dozens of partners, we have selected 20 top sales driving keywords to optimize for. Follow the table below and adapt to your dispensary’s location and service offerings.
Dispensary Dispensary Near Me
Dispensary [Your Location City] Weed near me
Cannabis store Weed delivery
Weed delivery [Your Location City] Dispensary coupons
Dispensary deals Cannabis


At deeproots parnters, our SEO Strategy and Roadmap helps in this process by identifying the keywords that your competition is targeting, the gaps in their optimization, and the keywords that are likely to be profitable for your cannabis dispensary. 

Would you like help optimizing your dispensary’s organic presence on Google? Schedule a complimentary consultation with us.

II) On-Page Optimization

  1. On-page optimization refers to the optimization of the content and elements within your website, including the text, images, videos, and meta tags. This is important because it helps search engines understand the relevance and quality of your website content and how it should rank in search results.
  2. To optimize your website content for search engines, make sure that your website is easy to navigate, contains quality and relevant content, and uses keywords in the text, images, videos, and meta tags. You can also use header tags, such as H1, H2, and H3, to structure your content and make it easier for search engines to crawl your website.
  3. When using keywords in your website copy and meta tags, make sure that they are used in a natural and relevant way. Avoid keyword stuffing, which is the practice of overusing keywords in an attempt to manipulate search engine rankings. 


Our Foundational SEO helps in this process by optimizing your website’s content, meta tags, and images to ensure that your website is properly optimized and search engine friendly. This includes all content vital to rank your dispensary in competitive areas.

III. Technical SEO

A) What technical SEO is and is it important?

Technical SEO refers to the technical aspects of your website that affect its search engine visibility. This includes factors such as website speed, mobile responsiveness, URL structure, and more. It’s important because these technical elements directly impact how search engines crawl and index your site, which in turn affects your site’s ranking and visibility in search results.

B) Tips for improving website speed and mobile responsiveness

  1. Minimize the size of images and videos on your site to reduce load times.
  2. Use a fast, reliable hosting provider to minimize downtime.
  3. Implement lazy loading, which loads images and videos only as they come into view, rather than all at once. Use a responsive design, so your site adjusts to the size of the screen it’s being viewed on.

C) Best practices for structuring website URLs and internal linking

  1. Use descriptive, keyword-rich URLs that accurately reflect the content of each page.
  2. Create a clear and easy-to-follow hierarchy of pages, with the most important pages closer to the root domain. Use internal links to help users navigate your site and search engines understand the relationships between pages.
  3. Tips for setting up and verifying Google Search Console and Google Analytics

Set up a Google Search Console account to monitor your site’s performance in Google search results and receive alerts about any crawl errors. Verify your site ownership in Google Search Console to access all of its features. Set up Google Analytics to track traffic, behavior, and conversions on your site.

A Must Have Resource: A template for the perfect dispensary location page is important to have because it provides a proven and effective framework for optimizing your dispensary’s online presence. This template has been designed over years of research and development, and has been proven to increase visibility in Google search. By following the best practices and techniques outlined in the template, you can ensure that your dispensary’s location page is optimized for search engines, effectively reaching your target audience and increasing your visibility in Google search. 

Click here to swipe our perfect dispensary location page template.

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IV) Off-Page Optimization

A) Explanation of what off-page optimization is and why it’s important

Off-page optimization refers to the activities you undertake outside of your website to improve its visibility and ranking in search results. This includes building high-quality backlinks, leveraging social media, and improving your online reputation. It’s important because these off-page signals help search engines understand the quality and relevance of your site, which in turn affects your site’s ranking in search results.

B) Tips for building high-quality backlinks to a cannabis dispensary website

  1. Create high-quality, valuable content that other websites will want to link to.
  2. Reach out to other websites in your niche or industry and ask for links.
  3. Collaborate with other websites to create joint content, such as guest posts or resource guides.
  4. Monitor your backlink profile and remove any low-quality links that could harm your site’s ranking.

Organic outreach backlinks are considered the best type of backlinks for several reasons. Firstly, these links are earned through genuine outreach efforts, such as guest blogging, broken link building, and other tactics, rather than being purchased or acquired through automated means. This makes them much more valuable in the eyes of search engines, as they are seen as a testament to the quality and relevance of a website’s content.

In contrast, link farms are collections of low-quality websites that exist solely for the purpose of providing backlinks. These links are often not relevant to the content of the linking website and can actually harm a website’s search engine rankings.

Unfortunately, acquiring high-quality backlinks in the cannabis niche can be difficult due to the sensitive nature of the industry. Many websites and directories are hesitant to link to cannabis-related content, making it challenging to build a strong backlink profile in this niche. 

 Example of an organic link vs a linkfarm. 

Organic outreach links are difficult to obtain, especially in the cannabis niche, where many websites may not want to associate themselves with a controversial topic. However, our team has developed a process that is specifically designed to secure these valuable links for cannabis dispensaries, giving your dispensary a competitive edge in the search results. By leveraging our expertise and proven methods, you can gain a significant advantage in your local cannabis market and drive more traffic and sales to your dispensary.

C) Best practices for leveraging social media and online directories

  • Set up social media accounts on platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
  • Share content from your site on social media and engage with your followers. List your dispensary in relevant online directories and encourage customers to leave reviews of your dispensary on platforms such as Google Business Profile and Yelp.
A Must Have Resource: This list is a must-have for all dispensary owners looking to increase their online presence and drive more sales. This list of 20 cannabis niche directories is a valuable resource for dispensary owners looking to improve their search engine rankings and online visibility. These directories are specifically tailored to the cannabis industry and have a proven track record of boosting search engine rankings. By submitting your dispensary’s information to these directories, you can increase the number of backlinks to your website, which can help improve your search engine rankings and reach more customers. 

Click here to swipe our top 20 dispensary citation resource.

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D) Tips for monitoring and improving website’s reputation online

  1. Set up Google Alerts to receive notifications of any mentions of your dispensary online.
  2. Respond promptly to any negative reviews or comments about your dispensary.
  3. Encourage satisfied customers to leave positive reviews of your dispensary.
  4. Monitor your online reputation regularly and take steps to address any negative information about your dispensary.

V. Local SEO

A) Explanation of what local SEO is and why it’s important for cannabis dispensaries

Local SEO is the process of optimizing a website to rank higher in search results for local searches. It’s important for cannabis dispensaries because it helps them reach nearby customers searching for products and services in their area. This is particularly crucial in the cannabis industry where regulations and laws limit the visibility of dispensaries on traditional advertising platforms.

B) Tips for optimizing Google My Business listing

Google My Business is a free listing that allows businesses to manage their online presence across Google, including Search and Maps. To optimize your Google My Business listing, make sure you have accurate and complete information, including your business name, address, phone number, and hours of operation. You can also add photos and descriptions of your products and services, respond to customer reviews, and post updates about your business.

C) Best practices for using structured data and schema markup

Structured data and schema markup help search engines understand the content of your website and categorize it correctly. By using structured data and schema markup, you can provide more information about your cannabis dispensary to search engines, such as the type of business you run, your location, and the products and services you offer. This helps search engines return more relevant results for local searches.

D) Tips for building citations and reviews

Citations are mentions of your business name, address, and phone number on other websites. The more citations you have, the more credible your business appears to search engines. Encourage customers to leave reviews of your dispensary on websites like Google and Yelp, as these reviews can also contribute to your local SEO ranking.

VI. Conclusion

A) Summary of key takeaways from the guide

In this guide, we covered the importance of SEO for cannabis dispensaries and provided tips for conducting keyword research, optimizing website content and technical elements, building backlinks and citations, and leveraging local SEO.

B) Offer for cannabis dispensary owners to contact for more information or assistance with their SEO

If you’re a dispensary owner looking for help with your SEO, feel free to reach out for more information and assistance. Our team would be happy to assist you with your SEO needs.

C) Additional resources for learning more about SEO

For more information on SEO and how it can benefit your cannabis dispensary, check out the following resources:

  • Moz’s Beginner’s Guide to SEO
  • Google’s Guide to Local SEO
  • Ahrefs’ Guide to Link Building


Don’t miss the opportunity to improve your cannabis dispensary’s online visibility and reach more customers. Schedule a call with our team to learn more about how we can help you with your SEO.

JP Donahue

JP Donahue

JP Donahue is a former corporate litigator turned successful writer, with over 25 works produced for major film and TV studios. He’s also a founding partner of Tropicanna, one of Orange County’s top cannabis retail brands. Leveraging his experience in both Hollywood and cannabis, JP advises dispensaries on branding, marketing, and operations. He’s a Jiu Jitsu Black Belt, certified Yogi, meditator, dog father, and a member of the New York State Bar and Writers Guild of America West.