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Local Dispensary SEO Strategies: 2024 Edition

The cannabis industry is highly competitive, making visibility crucial for any dispensary. Local SEO is pivotal in ensuring your dispensary appears in search results and ranks prominently when local customers are looking. This guide will explore the critical aspects of dispensary SEO, providing a comprehensive approach to enhancing your online presence. We'll break down the strategies into actionable steps focusing on practical and measurable results, positioning your dispensary as a leader in the local market.

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What is Local SEO for Dispensaries?

On-Page SEO

On-page SEO refers to the strategies applied directly within your website to improve its position in the search rankings. For dispensaries, this includes optimizing each page's content and HTML source code to make it more attractive to search engines and users alike. Key components include:

Content Quality and Relevance

Creating high-quality, relevant content means providing helpful information that meets the needs and interests of your target audience. Whether it's detailed product descriptions, blog posts about cannabis strain reviews, or guidance on product usage and effects, your content should establish your dispensary as a credible and authoritative source.

A screenshot of a chart on Ahrefs displaying information on keyword topic clusters

Keywords on Ahrefs


Keywords are the foundation of on-page SEO. Use keywords that potential customers might type into a search engine when looking for dispensaries or cannabis products. Tools like Google Keyword Planner, ahrefs, or Moz can help identify effective keywords based on search volume and competition.

A screenshot of a table on Ahrefs breaking down existing URLs, meta titles, and meta descriptions for the dispensary EMBR

Metatags on Ahrefs

Meta Tags

Meta titles and descriptions are critical in improving click-through rates from search results. They should include primary keywords and compel the reader to click on your website. Generating impressions is one thing, but converting those eyeballs to website visitors from valuable keywords is what Local SEO is all about.

URL Structure

URLs should be concise, readable, and include relevant keywords. A clean, simple structure helps with SEO and improves the user experience.

Internal Linking

Linking internally to other pages on your website helps search engines crawl your site more effectively and increases the authority of different pages within your site. Be wary of anchor text. The text that is highlighted links out to other pages. It should be 3-5 words and descriptive. Users should clearly understand where they are being taken based on the anchor text they are clicking.

Image Optimization

Optimize images for fast loading times and include alt text with relevant keywords. Proper alt text descriptions help in enhancing page load speed and accessibility, which are important factors for SEO.

Off-Page SEO

Off-page SEO involves external optimization practices that occur away from your website rather than within it. The main focus of off-page SEO is to build the reputation and authority of your domain by getting links from other websites. Here's what this typically includes for dispensaries:


Gaining high-quality backlinks from reputable sources within the cannabis industry can significantly boost your site's authority and search rankings.

Social Media Marketing

Effective use of social media can drive traffic to your website and improve your SEO performance. It's also an excellent platform for engaging directly with your customer base.

Influencer Outreach

Effective use of social media can drive traffic to your website and improve your SEO performance. It's also an excellent platform for engaging directly with your customer base.

Guest Blogging

Effective use of social media can drive traffic to your website and improve your SEO performance. It's also an excellent platform for engaging directly with your customer base.

Brand Mentions

Being mentioned on reputable sites in news articles or industry publications can enhance your SEO efforts by increasing your brand's visibility and authority.

Technical SEO

Technical SEO is the actions performed to help search engines crawl, index, and render your website more effectively. For dispensaries, this means ensuring that the website's backend is optimized to facilitate better search performance. Key areas include:

Google Page Speed test results for CAA showing a high score

CAA Google Page Speed

Website Speed

A fast-loading website provides a better user experience and is favored by search engines. We provide tools like Google PageSpeed Insights or Lighthouse to analyze and improve a site's speed.

Mobile Optimization

With the increasing prevalence of mobile searches, having a mobile-friendly website is essential. This means ensuring your site is responsive and easy to navigate on mobile devices.

Secure Sockets Layer (SSL)

SSL security is crucial for safeguarding user data and boosting SEO, as search engines prefer secure websites.

XML Sitemap

An XML sitemap helps search engines better understand your website structure and facilitates quicker indexing of pages.


This file tells search engines which parts of your site to crawl and which to ignore, helping to optimize the crawling process.

Schema audit results showing validated markup on EMBR

EMBR Rich Results Text

Structured Data Markup

Using schema markup can help search engines understand the content of your website better and provide richer search results, which can improve click-through rates.

Types of SEO Queries

Understanding different types of SEO queries is crucial for tailoring your SEO strategy effectively. These queries represent the intentions behind people's searches, which can significantly influence how you optimize your content and website. Here's a breakdown:


Navigational queries refer to a searcher looking for a specific website or page. For a dispensary, this could be a search for your dispensary's name or a particular location. Optimizing for these queries involves ensuring your website is easily accessible and identifiable with consistent branding and straightforward navigation.


Informational queries are when searchers seek information rather than a specific website or product. These could include searches like "benefits of CBD" or "legal cannabis states." For these queries, content is king. Creating detailed, authoritative, and educational content that addresses these topics can attract a broad audience, establish your expertise, and build trust with potential customers.


Commercial queries indicate that the searcher is considering a purchase and is looking more closely at their options. These might include "best dispensary near me" or "top-rated CBD oils." You should highlight unique selling points, customer testimonials, and trust signals like awards or certifications on your website to capture these users.


Transactional queries are those where the intent is to complete a purchase or another conversion activity. Examples might be "buy CBD oil online" or "dispensary with delivery near me." For these queries, it's essential that your website not only ranks well but also provides a smooth and efficient user experience. This includes having a straightforward navigation path to purchase, clear calls-to-action, and optimized checkout processes.

Measuring Local SEO Results

To effectively gauge the impact of your Local SEO efforts, tracking specific metrics that reflect your website's performance and visibility is crucial. Here's how you can assess the effectiveness of your SEO strategies:

A chart showing changing Google My Business profile visibility and interactions over time on the Adriel BI tool

EMBR Adriel BI Screenshot

Search Visibility

Search visibility indicates how often your site appears in search results for relevant queries. Utilizing tools like Google Search Console can provide valuable insights into your visibility and help you identify areas for improvement.


Traffic metrics measure the volume of visitors coming to your site from organic search. Google Analytics is essential for this, allowing you to track the amount of traffic and the detailed behaviors of visitors, such as which pages they visit and how long they stay.

Engagement Metrics

Engagement metrics include bounce rate, pages per session, and average session duration. These indicators help you understand how well your content resonates with visitors and whether it effectively keeps them engaged.

Conversion Rates

Conversion rates are critical for evaluating the success of your SEO strategy. Monitor how many visitors complete a desired action, such as purchasing, signing up for a newsletter, or filling out a contact form. This helps determine the practical impact of your SEO on business outcomes.

A grid overlaying a map displays EMBR's local search rankings based on the source of the search

EMBR Lake Elsinore BrightLocal Local Search Grid

Local Rankings

Monitoring how well your site ranks in local search queries is particularly important for local SEO. This metric shows how visible your dispensary is to the local community, directly affecting foot traffic and local sales.

Regularly reviewing these metrics can refine your SEO tactics to serve your target audience better, enhance user experience, and increase conversions, boosting your dispensary's overall online presence and market dominance.

Dispensary SEO Clients

Highlighting the success of previous clients not only serves as a testament to expertise but also provides tangible examples of how effective Local SEO can be for dispensaries. Here's how we've helped transform the digital presence and increase the market reach of our clients through strategic SEO implementations:6

Interior of an EMBR dispensary


EMBR Dispensaries set their sights on becoming a local favorite. We crafted an airtight strategy encompassing local SEO, data-driven content, and reputation management. The result? An unparalleled local presence that made EMBR the talk of the town.

See how we helped EMBR in their desire to dominate the local market.

Interior of an Fyre Ants dispensary

Fyre Ants

Fyre Ants Dispensaries needed to differentiate in the competitive cannabis landscape. With our expertise in local SEO, tailored content marketing, and profile management, we carved out a niche for them, creating ripples in the local market and elevating their brand above the noise.

See how we helped Fyre Ants corner Easthampton.

CAA is Your Go-To Dispensary SEO Agency

Effective Local SEO is a powerful tool for dispensaries looking to establish a solid online presence in their local communities. Our client success stories demonstrate that the correct SEO strategies can significantly increase both online and foot traffic, ultimately boosting sales and customer engagement.

In this guide, we've explored the essential aspects of SEO for dispensaries, from on-page and off-page strategies to technical optimizations and more. We've highlighted the importance of measuring the results of these efforts to ensure continuous improvement and maximum efficacy.

Whether you're just starting or looking to improve your existing SEO efforts, focusing on dispensary SEO can provide a competitive edge in the burgeoning cannabis market. If you're ready to see similar results, consider partnering with a proven Local SEO agency that understands the unique challenges and opportunities within the dispensary landscape. Together, we can achieve growth and establish your dispensary as a leading player in your local market.

Looking for Dispensary SEO Services?

Eric Allred

Head of Product

APR 4, 2024, 9 Min


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