If your dispensary is not on Google Maps or doesn’t rank high enough on it to be visible to customers, your business doesn’t exist. To remain relevant, your business should go beyond locals and target vacationers, out-of-towners and casual visitors who don't know their way around. Even if they are familiar with the city, a new cannabis dispensary will still be challenging to find at first.
How to Ensure Your Dispensary Ranks High On Google Maps
The algorithm for a typical Google search is different from that which drives Google Map searches. The latter is dependent on Google My Businesses accounts and reviews. You don't need to have a website to do this. Still, by optimizing your cannabis dispensary’s online presence to be visible on several platforms, you can ensure it pops up on Google Maps immediately for anyone who searches for your products. Here are some ways you can do that:
Claim Your Google Maps Business Listing
You need to first claim your Google Maps business listing as soon as possible and before other dispensaries in the vicinity beat you to it. You only provide your business name, category and location when creating this listing.
However, you can offer more details that cannabis consumers may search for when you claim it. The more information you provide, the higher your dispensary will rank on Google Maps. You cannot do any of the steps in this guide till you secure your Google listing.
Claiming the listing is simple. First, create a free Google My Business account. If you have one already, go to your dispensary’s Google Map listing and select “Claim this business/Own this business.” Follow the prompts to complete it.
Add all business-relevant Information to Your Google Maps Listing
Once you have claimed your Google Maps Business listing and linked your My Business account, you have a solid foundation to optimize for higher search engine rankings. Add more information to ensure this happens.
To do that, log in to your Google My Business account to access the dashboard. Select the “info’ tab and add your dispensary’s:
- Full name.
- Complete address.
- Website URL.
- Phone number.
- Hours of service.
- Special hours (if applicable).
This is what a fully optimized Google Business profile looks like. Make sure that the information you provide remains consistent on ALL platforms. This includes your website, social media profiles, and even websites that belong to others who advertize for you or sell your products. This way, the information will remain consistent across reviews, blog posts and Google Map listings.
Important note: A misspelling can redirect potential customers elsewhere. Review the information thoroughly before adding it to your listing.
Let’s do a deep dive into some of the top data that can enhance your Google Map listing:
Use a Tracked and Your Main Number
Try not to use toll-free numbers for your cannabis dispensary. Google isn’t too keen on them since these numbers are often used for spamming purposes. A local telephone number with the relevant area code will rank higher in Maps, and it will let searchers know where your business is in the area.
If you use call-tracking, make sure you use a tracked number as your primary business number. The secondary number should be your main phone number and used to answer most calls that come through the tracked line. This will help you determine your listing efficiency. With your primary number in the listing, Google will be able to match it with the one on your website and other listings.
Keep Hours Updated On Listings
Google Maps listings tell searchers if businesses are closed, open, opening soon or closing soon. During the pandemic, it also showed if they were temporarily closed, so they didn't lose too many customers. Take inspiration from that by ensuring your work hours are up to date on the listing.
Updated hours will tell Google whether your dispensary is active and, thus, reliable, which in turn, will improve your ranking. It will also prevent customers from going all the way to your store only to be frustrated that it is closed because your listed work hours were out of date. This can cause frustration and, worse, negative reviews that can derail a new dispensary before it has a chance to take off.
Specify Your Location Precisely
As a dispensary, you should ensure your store appears on the top three slots on Google Maps for specific keywords such as:
- “Marijuana in (your city).”
- “Cannabis near me.”
- “Weed in (your city).”
- “Cannabis store (your city).”
- “Dispensary in (your city).”
- “Best cannabis in (your city).”
These keywords have one thing in common – they rely heavily on your city and location. Make sure you use these throughout your website and My Business account on Google so anyone in your city can locate you on Google Maps quickly.
This is important because most people fail to mention their city in their profiles. If you live in a large city with a dispensary on every other corner, you need to be more specific. So mention the name of your neighborhood and district to stand out from competitors in a similar area.
Some of the areas where you should incorporate this information in your Google My Business profile include your dispensary’s:
- Business name.
- Customer reviews (when you reply to them).
Your dispensary's reputation is only as good as its online visibility. Use the tips mentioned in this guide to rank well in search results, and Google Maps cannot ignore your business. Your competitors may outrank you by adding more information in their listing than you did. Beat them at their own game by being thorough.