- Posted by Trevor Weitzel
- On December 4, 2017
- 0 Comments
Chances are, if you’re reading this post, then you already have a solid grasp on the basic concepts of Local SEO, but you’re looking for more.
Local SEO for marijuana dispensaries is a complex beast with a plethora of moving parts.
Building citations is a key factor in improving your local search presence and they are imperative to marketing your cannabis dispensary overall.
But did you know that you can actually do a lot of harm to your SEO campaign if you don’t get them right?
This post will outline everything you need to do to properly build out citations for your business and ensure Local SEO success.
What is a citation and why are they important?
Put simply, citations are representations of your dispensary’s business information across the web including elements like your website, name, address, and phone number.
Google uses them when they are evaluating the overall online authority of your cannabis business. Google loves brands, and citations are a key indicator to Google that your business is legit.
Check out this awesome pie chart that showcases just how important citations are to Local SEO success, making up over 13% of the local ranking factors:
It’s important to note that citations do not need to be linked to your website directly in order to be counted or valuable (but we like it when there is a link).
What is NAP?
N.A.P. stands for:
N = Name
A = Address
P = Phone
Here is an example:
Infinite Wellness Center
1701 Kipling St #104
Lakewood, CO 80227
Make Sure It All Matches.
Just like most aspects of life, when it comes to building citations for your dispensary, consistency is key.
You want to be sure that your NAP info matches as closely as possible. Making sure your business listings have the correct name, address and phone on the most important websites in the local search world is incredibly important.
Be sure you only have one complete and accurate listing on each of these sites. Duplicate listings can ruin your Local SEO game.
Types of Citations
Citations can easily be divided into two categories – structured and unstructured.
A structured citation is your NAP information on a business listing directory. Some of the most common business directories include:
- Yellow Pages
Here is what a structured citation would look like on Yelp:
(For the record, Options Medical Center is one of the best dispensaries in Wheat Ridge so we highly recommend you pay them a visit.)
Unstructured citations are an element that most business owners and even SEO agencies neglect when it comes to Local SEO.
An unstructured citation is essentially any mention of your business information (NAP) on any other websites that are not a directory.
Your NAP info could be mentioned on a blog, a local news publication, wikis, and others and this would count as an unstructured citation.
Here is an example of an unstructured citation for a restaurant:
I could even do an unstructured citation right here within this post:
THRIVE Cannabis Marketplace is by far my favorite dispensary to visit when I’m traveling to Las Vegas. I recommend checking out their downtown location at 1112 S Commerce St. Their phone number is (702) 776-4144.
Get Listed on the Core Search Engines
These are the primary search engines that crawl and receive business listing data.
All of your citation building efforts will feed into your overall success on these search engines so claiming and optimizing your listings on these sources is critical.
Click on the links below to claim your dispensary listing today:
Submit to Primary Data Sources
There are four main data aggregators that collect and validate location data from various sources across the web and then distribute that data to hundreds of other websites.
The four primary sources are:
There are a number of tools listed at the end of this post that can assist you with submitting your dispensary to these aggregators.
Get Listed on Top Tier Directories
Top-Tier directories are the biggest and most well-known directories on the Internet. Getting your dispensary listed on these citation sources helps to enhance the overall authority of your business online.
Some examples of top-tier directories include:
Get Listed on Cannabis Business Directories
Building citations on cannabis-specific business directories can play a major role in enhancing your industry relevance.
Here are some marijuana-specific directories:
In order to find city specific marijuana citation sources, try these search queries:
- (keyword) business directory
- (keyword) business listings
- (keyword) directory
If you need help finding cannabis-specific web directories, be sure to check out our extensive list of citation opportunities for dispensaries.
Get Listed on Local Business Directories
Building out local citations can have a significant impact on the overall local relevance of your dispensary.
Local cannabis directories are ones like the following:
In order to find city specific cannabis citation sources, try these search queries:
- (city) cannabis business listings
- (city) cannabis business directory
- (city) cannabis directory
How to Build Out Your Dispensary Citations
As I’m sure you can imagine, building out citations for your dispensary can be an extremely time-consuming process. If you don’t feel like doing it yourself, you could always outsource it to a professional like MMX.
Tips for building dispensary citations:
- Get a business email address. Make sure it is one that matches your domain name vs something generic like a Gmail address. Using a business email to verify your dispensary listings is a much better trust signal.
- Make sure your NAP information is consistent across every site. If you can’t match it exactly, here is a great list of acceptable variations you can use.
- Properly select your categories. Just like with your NAP info, try to be as consistent as possible with the categories you choose to define your business. Category names are going to differ from directory to directory, but try to get as close as possible.
- Fill out each listing as completely as possible. Utilize as many elements of the listing as the directory provides. Be sure to add things like social accounts, your logo, and photos.
- Verify or claim your listings. Most directories will require you to verify that you actually own the business. Sometimes it’s a phone call and other times it’s an email verification. This is why using that business email is so important. Having a verified listing vs an unverified listing is another great trust factor for the search engines.
Tools of the Trade
Not everything has to be done manually when it comes to building out citations for your dispensary. There are an abundance of tools available at your disposal.
Here are some of our favorites:
- Moz Local – Great for syndication.
- Whitespark – Great for finding citation opportunities.
- BrightLocal – Great for local citation building and aggregator submissions.
Be Sure to Push Reviews
Reviews are another great local ranking factor. You not only want to build out your dispensary’s listings on all these directories, but you also want to push for reviews on them.
In some cases, reviews can actually boost your ranking within that specific directory.
Search engines love to crawl and utilize reviews that specifically mention your products and services as well as your location, so when requesting reviews from your customers, give them a friendly reminder to be as specific as possible.
Taking these steps to clean up and enhance your citation profile will play a huge part in the success of your dispensary from an SEO standpoint.
It’s a long and tough road, but you’ll always have MMX to assist you in any way possible.
Be sure to leave a comment with any questions or ideas you might have.