Dispensary SEO

Read our Dispensary SEO Guide and learn more about our monthly service offerings.

Our Approach

Expert SEO Strategies for Dispensaries

We produce content on your website and optimize it so that it shows up in search results and drives traffic & sales for your business. Continue reading.

What is SEO?

SEO (or Search Engine Optimization) is the practice of increasing your website’s visibility in organic search results. By helping search engines understand & trust your website, we help new customers find your dispensary! Ready to let us take your web presence to the next level?

CannaPlanners Reviews

People are talking...

The CP Team are the absolute BEST for all of your website, SEO, email segmentation, and design needs. We have been working together for 3+ years and we wouldn't be where we are today without them. Thank you for helping us build and realize our mission to improve people's lives through cannabis wellness products. We love you CP Team!

photo of Brendan McKee Brendan McKee CFO, Silver Therapeutics

I actually had a chance to sit down the other day and read through the page(s). Great stuff on the Connecticut crowd. Love all the in depth stuff on the products especially the Wynk and how we are supporting the community. THIS STUFF LOOKS AMAZING!!!!!!

photo of Teresa Matteson Teresa Matteson Manager, Capital Cannabis Community Dispensary

Cannaplanners has been a big part of our success, from development of our logo, to our website design, and e-commerce platform. They listened, asked the right questions, and made our vision a reality. They are always there to help when needed. We highly recommend making Cannaplanners a partner with your business.

photo of Scott Sparks Scott Sparks Owner, Vermont Hempicurean

Vermont NORML was referred to CannaPlanners by a third party and, as someone who has never worked with a web developer before, my expectations have been set extremely high with the outstanding work CP has done. Not only did they build us an incredible, sleek and fully functional website in a matter of weeks, they continue to support my group well after the fact. Ryan Merritt and the whole CP team has been beyond amazing, not only in helping my team navigate building and designing the website, but by being responsive and professional beyond expectations. Could not recommend CP enough, would give them 11/10 stars if I could.

photo of Nicholas Schuermann Nicholas Schuermann Lead Organizer

Dispensary SEO Case Study

Silver Therapeutics came to us in 2019 with a goal of increasing local website traffic & establishing a national presence.

Year 1: avg. monthly organic web visitors went from ~6,000 to ~15,000.

Year 2: avg. monthly organic web visitors went from ~15,000 to ~40,000.

+566% %

Organic Web Visitors

+556% %


+3900 %


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Dispensary SEO Guide

Search Engine Optimization is a process involving a thorough understanding of Google, the tools needed, and the knowledge to deploy best practices. In a rapidly growing industry, getting your site to garner traffic and search authority takes a consistent and strategized approach carried out by professionals. Here we cover the different aspects of SEO like the difference between optimizing for local traffic vs national traffic.

What is Local SEO?

The goal of any local SEO campaign is to increase the chances of being discovered online “in your backyard”. It’s about attracting customers or site visitors that are currently in your geographical location. Since dispensaries are all physical storefronts, local SEO should be at the heart of any winning SEO strategy.

When customers search “dispensary near me” or “where can I buy edibles” – you want your dispensary to show up. But how? Click “Get Started” below.

Learn more: What is local SEO?

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What is National SEO?

If local SEO is trying to get customers near you to purchase your cannabis products, National SEO is about spreading brand awareness and positioning your canna-brand as an expert in the cannabis field. National SEO relies heavily on a strategic content plan. What does this look like?

If your dispensary is located in Boston, but a California resident stumbles onto your website from searching “how much is an eighth of weed,” that would be a great example of a well-executed national SEO strategy.

You may think – why do I care about spreading brand awareness to people who will never purchase a product from me? For SEO value! Generating traffic to your website tells Google that your content is engaging and worth showing off. Blog posts that rank nationally also generate organic backlinks, which is a very important ranking factor.

Learn more: What is national SEO and why is it important?

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What is On-Site SEO?

On-site SEO is the process of optimizing web pages for specific keywords in order to boost search visibility and traffic, also referred to as on-page SEO. It entails aligning keywords with page-specific components such as title tags, headings, content, and internal links. There are many factors to consider when discussing on-site SEO, but the most important ones are:

  • Content
  • Keywords
  • Metadata
  • Internal Linking
  • Page Speed
  • Outbound Links

Learn more: What is on-site SEO?

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What is Off-Site SEO?

Off-site SEO refers to any actions being taken off of your website in order to improve search rankings. Just like on-site SEO, there are tons of factors that come into play. The amount of off-site SEO work that’s needed in order to rank in search results will largely depend on the competition. How authoritative are the domains you are competing with? Are there lots of high quality websites trying to rank for the same keywords as you? Here are some of the most important factors to consider when developing an off-site SEO plan:

Learn more: What is off-site SEO?

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What are some helpful SEO tools?

SEO is all about analyzing data and understanding consumer trends in order to offer website visitors exactly what they are looking for. In order to gain this type of insight, SEOs rely on a ton of different tools. Some of them are free and some of them require a monthly subscription, but these tools will certainly help when it comes time to do keyword research and develop a strategy. Keeping an eye on metrics is also the best way to improve user experience. Some of the best SEO tools are:

  • Google Analytics
  • Google Search Console
  • SEMrush
  • Moz
  • Ahrefs

Learn more: What are some helpful SEO tools?

SEO Crash Course: Buzzwords Explained

You’ll commonly hear a bunch of words used by SEO nerds, like us, who forget that normal people may not know their sitelinks from their sitemaps – and that’s okay – let’s review some of the biggies.

  • Search engine: An information retrieval program that searches for items in a database that match the request input by the user. Examples: Google, Bing, and Yahoo.
  • Index: A massive database of content collected by search engine crawlers, collected by crawling each individual page on every website that exists on the internet. Think digital library.
  • Crawling: The process by which search engines discover your web pages. GoogleBot is Google’s robot spider that crawls around the web, cataloging each piece of code and text.
  • Indexing: The storing and organizing of content found during crawling.
  • Ranking: When someone searches something, what number listing are you? First? Second? 100th? Wherever your website appears is it’s ranking for the query that was searched.
  • Query: A search phrase or keyword that someone typed into Google.
  • Sitemap: A list of URLs on your site that crawlers can use to discover and index your content. You can think of the sitemap like a table of contents for Google.
  • Traffic: Visits, sessions, or users coming to a website.
  • Backlinks: Or “inbound links” are links from other websites that point to your website
  • Meta title: the website or page title that actually appears in search results.
  • Meta description: A brief description of the contents of your website or webpage. Google sometimes uses these as the description line in search result snippets, sometimes they don’t.
  • N.A.P:  Make sure your business’ Name, Address, and Phone number are consistent with your website, your Google My Business profile and all other off-site pages that appear on page 1 of search results (making sure Google has the right info for your business)
  • Highvalue keywords: Keywords or queries that we know are being searched often, and that are highly relative to your business.
  • Longtail keywords: Longer queries/search phrases, typically those containing more than three words. Indicative of their length, they are often more specific than short-tail queries and often come with lower competition.
  • Alt text: Alternative text is the text in HTML code that describes the images on web pages. Generally used by the blind to get context for images.
  • Header tags: An HTML element used to designate headings on your page. Heading tags help to add organizational context within your content.
  • SSL certificate: A “Secure Sockets Layer” is used to encrypt data passed between the web server and browser of the searcher (this comes as part of the CannaPlanners Annual Services Package for all clients!) HTTPS websites will have an SSL certificate while HTTP sites will not.
  • Title tag: An HTML element that specifies the title of a web page
  • Responsive design: Google’s preferred design pattern for mobile-friendly websites, responsive design allows the website to adapt to fit whatever device it’s being viewed on (all CannaPlanners sites are built to be responsive)
  • Link building: While “building” sounds like this activity involves creating links all by yourself, link building actually describes the process of earning links to your site for the purpose of building your site’s authority in search engines. This can be done through company outreach as well as building directory profiles.
  • Referral Traffic: Traffic sent to a website from another website. For example, if your website is receiving visits from people clicking on your site from a link on Facebook, Google Analytics will attribute that traffic as “facebook.com / referral” in the Source/Medium report
  • Qualified traffic: When traffic is “qualified,” it usually means that the visit is relevant to the intended topic of the page, and therefore the visitor is more likely to find the content useful and convert.
  • Bounce rate: The percentage of total visits that did not result in a secondary action on your site. For example, if someone visited your home page and then left before viewing any other pages, that would be a bounced session.
  • Click-through rate: The ratio of impressions to clicks on your URLs.
  • Conversion rate: The ratio of visits to conversions. Conversion rate answers how many of my website visitors are filling out my forms, calling, or buying my products?
  • UTM code: An urchin tracking module (UTM) is a simple code that you can append to the end of your URL to track additional details about the click, such as its source, medium, and campaign name
  • Google Search Console: A free program provided by Google that allows site owners to monitor how their site is doing in search.
  • Google My Business listing: A free listing available to local businesses (not ecommerce businesses – read more about Google My Business

There are many more words used, but these are the ones you’ll hear the most. In addition to understanding the lingo, there’s a whole other side of things when it comes to execution.

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Here’s why dispensaries are relying on SEO

Improving your dispensary website's SEO

Improving your dispensary website’s SEO requires a thoughtful and effective keyword-targeting strategy and high quality content built around those keywords. Forming a strategy involves researching the words or queries that people are searching to find your website or your competitors’ website.

The next step is publishing those words on your website using informative and engaging content that lives on your blog or elsewhere on the site. This is how any SEO specialist should optimize your website so that it appears higher in the results for those keywords being searched. Content is king!

Through the creation of great content and a thoughtful approach to site structure, you can improve how your customers engage with you online. Our team of Search Engine Optimization Specialists can build and implement a strategy for you that is easy to understand. We can help your website appear for more relative keywords, and ultimately drive more customers to your website!

Search Engine Optimization is a process involving a thorough understanding of how Google’s algorithm analyzes website content. It involves the utilization of many different tools and the knowledge to deploy best practices. In a rapidly growing industry, getting your site to garner traffic and search authority takes a consistent and strategized approach. Here we cover the different aspects of SEO like the difference between optimizing for local traffic vs national traffic, the importance of off-site SEO, and more:

Quality of organic traffic

You can attract all the visitors in the world, but if they’re coming to your site because Google tells them you’re a resource for dispensaries when really you’re a farmer selling Cannabis, that is not high quality organic traffic. Instead, you want to attract visitors who are genuinely interested in products or services that you offer.

Quantity of organic traffic

Once you’re showing up in search results for the keywords that make sense for your business, your volume of meaningful web traffic will increase. The only question then is how do we keep growing, stay consistent and stay on top of competitors.

Organic search results vs advertisements

Ads make up a significant portion of search engine results pages. Organic traffic is any traffic that you don’t have to pay for.

Content writing is an important piece of the puzzle

Writing unique, engaging, keyword-targeted content that includes highly-searched queries should be a key part of your strategy. When you sign up for SEO with CannaPlanners, we write all of the content for you and publish it on your website so that you can take care of business elsewhere. Leave the writing & technical optimizations like keyword-targeted meta titles CTA-rich meta descriptions up to us while you run your business!

Technical optimizations

These types of changes typically involve getting your site up to speed with best practices. This type of work includes site structure & internal linking, fixing broken links, removing 404s, implementing 301s, considering UX and conversion optimization, etc.


Backlinking is a huge part of off-site SEO. Local backlink research & discovery, guest posts & article pitching as well as directory building & NAP consistency cleanup work are all key factors.

We are constantly evolving the SEO services we offer. Looking to have your dispensary stand out from the competition? Fill out the form and our team will get back to you soon!

How Google Search Works

Now that you’ve launched your beautiful new CannaPlanners website, what’s next? How do you make sure that people find you? How do search engines even work? Optimizing your site is a never ending process.

It comes down to 2 big factors...

The reason SEO is so important for the cannabis industry

SEO for dispensaries is incredibly important, and is arguably more important in the cannabis industry than other business categories. Why? Cannabis businesses are prohibited from using many traditional forms of advertising like social media and PPC ads. This makes attracting new visitors from search results a lot more important. Luckily for cannabis companies, optimizing your dispensary’s website for search is really no different from optimizing other types of websites. The same best practices apply; things like:

  • Robust & unique content
  • A fast-loading site
  • A site that’s universally trusted by other people and businesses on the web
  • A site that’s easy to navigate

1. Paid advertising for cannabis companies is difficult

Any non-Cannabis Industry business is allowed to pay for advertising through Facebook or Google. Cannabis and even legal hemp & CBD companies are basically forbidden from working with these huge networks, as it explicitly breaks the Terms of Service. Unfortunately, Cannabis companies can’t pay to be at the top of Google.

2. You need to optimize your site in order to be found!

CBD brands, dispensaries, and cannabis retailers need a strong SEO strategy if they want customers to find their site & purchase products. Optimizing Google My Business profiles and cannabis business directory listings around the web is an absolute must – but it’s just one piece of an effective strategy. Do a Google search for your business and/or a few products you sell; if you’re not showing up on the first page, you’re missing out on valuable website traffic!

So, how exactly do you do all of these things? What exactly does “optimization” of a website entail? A few easy steps you can take to help your businesses online presence include:

Google Analytics is your friend.  It gives you an overwhelming amount of data, but the basic info revolves around how much traffic your website is receiving, where that traffic comes from, and how that traffic engages with your site.

Watch this quick vid to see how Google works for Small businesses:

The best dispensary SEO companies prioritize these things:

It’s easy to feel lost in conversations about SEO, so if you’re headed into a call with an SEO agency or a local SEO company, it may help to keep the conversation focused on these topics:

Keywords – what should your website to show up for? how will the agency/company help?
Backlinks – how will they get other sites to link to yours?
Local strategy – how will they help your website appear for “near me” keywords?
National strategy – how will they bring new visitors to your website?

Skip the fluff and let us help you achieve your goals. We’re eager to discuss your project and get working on your custom-built SEO strategy.

Ready to get started? Click here.

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