Local SEO for Cannabis Cafes

Posted on April 21st, 2021 to Learn

As a social gathering place, your cannabis café or lounge is an attraction for good times, good cannabis, and possibly good food for locals and those passing through the area. Even though the cannabis café and lounge concepts are relatively new in some areas, social gathering places for cannabis users are extraordinarily popular in states where adult use has been legal for a while.

As an example of how in-demand social cannabis establishments are, plans were already underway for Amsterdam-style cannabis cafés and lounges in NYC before the highly anticipated recreational marijuana bill even passed in 2021. The social gathering business in the world of cannabis is set to be a multi-billion-dollar industry in the near future with more and more states going legal.

To get as much attention as possible as an up-and-coming cannabis café or lounge, your online local SEO strategy is key. Otherwise, the people hanging out in your backyard, anxious for the experience, may have a hard time finding your business at all. Let’s take a closer look at the value of local SEO, how to build a cannabis café SEO strategy that targets locals, and more.

Why Local SEO Is Valuable for Your Cannabis Café

When you are operating a physical storefront, your primary goal is always going to be to get people to come to you to get whatever service or product they are searching for. About 46 percent of all searches online are related to finding some type of local information, including information about a specific business. Another important stat, 97 percent of all customers in every industry get more information about a business online than they do from anywhere else. Two major benefits come along with a local SEO campaign for your cannabis café.

Get Found by the Right People

Local SEO efforts place your business in front of the people that are looking for your business or something your business can provide. For example, if someone in your geographic location gets online and looks for “cannabis café near me,” you want your business to be just what they find. Keep in mind that 88 percent of searchers who find a business online will visit that business within 24 hours.

Stay Ahead of Your Neighboring Competition

As social cannabis-use establishments grow in popularity, competition is going to be quite fierce. When you are offering a similar establishment as other businesses in your area, local SEO gives you the opportunity to both differentiate your brand and get noticed quicker. For example, you can use a well-built SEO strategy to garner the best rankings on search engine results pages (SERPs).

Factors to Consider When Building an SEO Marketing Plan for a Cannabis Café

Building a localized SEO marketing plan is obviously about pulling in new customers in your area. However, it is not as simple as slapping a geographical name on a keyword and hoping that is enough to get people to see you. Certain factors have to be considered, such as:

  • Who is the cannabis café’s target market?
  • What is the searcher’s intent?
  • Where online will a local customer get their information?

You need to know your target market, where they are from. Are the people most likely to be looking for your cafe located in the same city as you? Will they be traveling from outside areas? What is a searcher’s intent is when they get online to find a business like yours. A searcher’s intent is one of the most important aspects of every SEO strategy, including local strategies because it helps you direct your content in a way that fills that specific need and gets you found. You also have to consider where your target audience is likely to be looking for information about local cannabis cafés or lounges. For example, many people go directly to Google Reviews to find information, while others may check you out on social media.

The Core Components of Local SEO for Cannabis Café Recognition

The local SEO strategy tends to involve a full list of efforts. From making sure your website and business are properly included in important places to building up website content with local keywords and phrases, the process must be thorough to be effective.

Your Google My Business (GMB) listing is perhaps one of the most critical moves to get included in local SERPs. This listing offers pertinent details about your business, such as contact information, your address, and hours of operation. You can also upload pictures of your café, products, and location. This listing also offers users the opportunity to share a review about your business, which can be especially important to get noticed by other local searchers.

When people do those “near me” searches, your business is more likely to show up if it is included on Google, so optimizing your GMB is important and the listing should be updated often. Another note, your GMB listing can get you included in the local map pack, which is portrayed at the top of a SERP on Google to offer specific details about top businesses thought to be relevant to the user’s search.

Structured data incorporation is another important component of a marketing plan for cannabis café recognition. Structured data is precisely crafted coding that gets attached to your website. This data is used by search engines to gather information about your café and determine its relevancy when providing a list of sites after a searcher performs a search.

Off-Site SEO Is Vital for Local ‘Clout’

While the bulk of local SEO will involve GMB and enhancing your own website, other off-site SEO tactics can be just as valuable for your cannabis café. You will want the information about your establishment to be as easy as possible to find or even accidentally discover, which can mean working off-site to continually push traffic to your website or gain recognition. A few off-site SEO practices that work well as part of your local SEO strategy include:

  • Backlinking – Backlinking, which involves getting other websites to share links to your website, builds the domain authority of your website to get you prized rankings on SERPs
  • Social Media – A healthy social media presence can boost recognition, enhance reputation, and garner some organic traffic to your website, but it may also be linked to SEO
  • Reviews – Reviews help to establish your café as a trustworthy establishment, but may also help improve search rankings, specifically with reviews left on Google

Ready to Reach Your Cannabis Café’s Target Market?

Search engine optimization involves a lot of moving parts, and when you throw localizing efforts into the mix for a highly unique type of business, things can get even more complicated. If you are ready to make your cannabis café or lounge easier for locals to find, reach out to us at CannaPlanners for help with your local SEO plans. Our combination of cannabis industry experience and marketing expertise may be just what you need to get off to a good start.

VP Digital Marketing, CMO

This post was written by Zach Santarsiero.

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