Denver Dispensary SEO

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Cannabis Marketing Outlook for Denver

Denver is the ultimate mecca of marijuana in the USA. There are a total of 446 dispensaries in the Denver Metro area, with 1,021 dispensaries in Colorado altogether. Therefore, having a proper SEO and marketing strategy for your dispensary or cannabis brand is more important than ever.

According to a recent report from Business Insider, Denver has double the amount of marijuana dispensaries than Starbucks locations. Which, as we all know, is outrageous considering there seems to be a Starbucks on every corner no matter what city you’re in throughout the United States.

The point is – search engine optimization and digital marketing is the deciding factor between a successful dispensary and a mediocre one. With more than 500,000 people Googling “Dispensary Near Me” every single month – it is essential to show up not only in the local map pack at the top of the Google page but also being visible on the front page of the organic results as well.

Denver Dispensary SEO Strategy

SEO is something every successful dispensary and business in Denver actively invests in. Throughout this article, we are going to break down exactly how you can perform all of your own SEO and reap the benefits of ranking #1 in Google. Permitting you have the time and dedication to complete the tasks and execute all of your daily website and SEO needs, you will be highly regarded within the Google ranks and see a MAJOR increase in online and foot traffic to your location.

  1. Create a User-Friendly Website

Any high-quality SEO and conversion strategy in Denver starts with a stellar website. You can either hire a professional web designer or create one yourself. We recommend hiring someone to handle this; whoever you choose should know how to implement the proper SEO on-page optimization tactics for your physical pages. They should also have a strong background in content creation and graphic design – this will help keep your extra costs down to have someone design and create content additionally.

Most importantly, as your customers view your website pages, they need to be able to quickly and clearly find information and be able to contact your dispensary immediately from the top of each page. In addition, you’ll also want a capture form implemented on the site to grab their information or email address. This will give you the ability to use re-targeting and marketing software to engage past visitors and turn them into paying customers.

Here is a good example below of a well-tuned cannabis website :

2. Your Specific Location in Denver

Knowing where you are and who your customers are will drastically help your conversion rates and help you understand exactly how to market to your customer base successfully. Here are a few tips on the different areas of Denver, CO, and what types of customers you will be marketing to :

Downtown Denver 

This is the most widely spread customer type, seeing everyone from locals to tourists. The locals will prefer a more homely experience with knowledgeable budtenders and high-end product quality. The higher the THC percentage, the better for this crowd. Tourists will need a budtender that knows their stuff as most people haven’t the slightest clue how broad and diverse the cannabis selections in Colorado are.

RiNo District 

The Rino District is more of your “hipster” crowd of marijuana consumers. These folks prefer vaporizers, concentrates, and top-shelf craft cannabis flower.

Cherry Creek 

This area of Denver is your top-of-the-line wealthy crowd. They usually prefer something discreet that can be consumed without the smell of smoke or other giveaways to anyone they may see in public. Edible do fairly well in this area as well as vaporizer devices. Flower is a go-top for any marijuana user, but this area is more likely to shy away from it.

North Denver 

 Similar to DownTown, this is more or less the wild west of cannabis. Consumers buy up a wide variety of products at these dispensaries – with flower being the highest-grossing product.

All other areas of Denver and surrounding suburbs mainly focus on flower and concentrate sales. However, having a broad selection of edibles and other product types is a must for any dispensary in Colorado.

3. Know Your Local Competition

With so many dispensaries spread throughout Denver, it can become a crap-shoot for a consumer to choose which dispensary to visit and purchase their cannabis goods. In order to overcome this obstacle, you need to know the following about your competitors :

  • Your competition’s rank in Google
  • How many reviews they have and what people are saying about them.
  • The number of backlinks they have.
  • Their proximity to your location.
  • Any news publications they’ve been mentioned in.
  • Whether they offer online ordering or pickup.
  • Are they partnered or featured in any Cannabis Tours.
  • What type of content they write about in their blogs.
  • Do they offer a loyalty or rewards program to customers?
  • Their claim to fame or tagline

This will help you identify what opportunities and weaknesses they have within their marketing strategy. Also, this helps you mirror the good things they are doing and capitalize on the items they may not be executing.

4. Identify Your SEO Budget

According to a survey from SparkToro, the price and spending on a successful SEO campaign averages between $2,500 – $5,000 per month. This includes content creation, gaining backlinks, as well as obtaining mentions throughout the press and media.

Most dispensaries in Denver hire a cannabis marketing agency to assist with all of these tasks. Performing a results-driven SEO campaign is a full-time job and can be a daunting task if you’re not up to spending countless hours in front of your computer. However, some companies wanting to save money will do it on their own. 

You will be able to do most of the on-page content creation yourself. However, the technical side of your website and the outreach it takes to get backlinks is something we highly recommend bringing on an SEO expert agency for.

You’re going to spend about the same amount on an agency as you would by doing it yourself once you understand how the SEO world works behind the scenes. So it makes sense to hire someone that has the experience and knowledge to execute your SEO strategy efficiently and precisely.

5. Marijuana Directories

Listing your dispensary in the many marijuana and cannabis directories available online is simple to do and provides a great source of publicity to the general public. All you do is simply search for cannabis directories in Colorado, register your account, and then create your listing. Normally, it takes about three days to have your listing approved, and then it will be publicly posted onto the directory site.

6. Building Cannabis Backlinks

Do some research on what the term “backlink” means and how it benefits your overall website’s rank within Google as well as other search engines.

Basically, a backlink is when another website out in the world mentions your company in a blog post or one of their web pages. They link that certain mention to your website’s URL, giving their readers and visitors the ability to click the link and visit your page. Google looks at this as a “vote of confidence” from another company and therefore gives your company credit in its computer system. Google is simply running a popularity contest, and the more you can be mentioned and linked to throughout the world, the better it is for your search ranking.

That being said, how do you go about getting backlinks from other websites? Here are some proven strategies to gain backlinks and mentions on other websites :

  • Contact your current partners and vendors and ask them for a backlink.
  • Collaborate with other brands in the cannabis industry and team-write content to post on both of your websites. Be sure to include some links to your company’s site in the material you write.
  • Post a job opening on an online cannabis job board. Search for job boards in Denver. When you create the job listing, it will give you a space to link to your website.
  • Write guest blog posts for other cannabis blogs on the internet. Many sites give the option to it’s readers to submit their own material to be considered for placement onto their blog. Submit an article that mentions or links to your company 1 or 2 times and see if they accept it. If they post it, you get credit for the backlink.
  • Get on a cannabis podcast. These are a dime a dozen these days, and being featured on one as a local dispensary will get you a mention, and the owner of the podcast will normally link to your site once they post the podcast.

There are many other ways to get backlinks as well, do some research on your own and start crafting strategies. Any link helps your company’s rank as long as the website that mentions/links to you is relevant to the cannabis industry.

7. Mobile Marijuana Apps

 

Having your dispensary or cannabis brand listed on the different marijuana apps is a must in this day and age. These apps provide their users a quick and easy way to find specific cannabis products and brands – then list which dispensaries they can find them at. Also, it shows the user how close they are to your shop as well as gives the ability to place a pickup or online order right through the app.

More people use WeedMaps and Leafly than any of the other apps out there – so start with those two. Be sure to put your full menu of items on the app with prices and pictures included. This will help you convert more sales and attract more customers.

8. When To Expect Results

Depending on the keywords you have chosen to rank for initially, you should expect about a 3-6 month time frame to start seeing the needle move. Furthermore, to really start seeing high traffic and increases in revenue, you’ll need to give your campaign about 9-12 months.

Meaning, if you’re trying to rank for the word “Dispensary in Denver” (the most competitive), it’s going to take about a year for you to make your way to page one. This is because that is the main keyword every dispensary in Denver is trying to rank for. SEO takes time, patience, hard work, and daily tenacity to drive real results to your company.

If you need to see more immediate results, we recommend going after keywords that aren’t as difficult to begin with. Something like “dispensary in Denver with XYZ brand”. Using a longer keyword focus on your page will help you grab customers’ attention quicker, and your chances of ranking faster are increased.

Try using a keyword planning tool to map out your SEO strategy before you start making rapid changes to your website.

Your Online Cannabis Brand

Cannabis branding goes much further than just your logo and brand colors. As your online reach increases and more visitors start seeing your website and other publications – everything you say and do as a company now becomes amplified. It is important to have a certain “feel” for your company.

Start with what you want to accomplish as a cannabis brand. It may be giving access to high-quality marijuana products to your consumers. Or it may be going the route of being the cheapest option for marijuana users in Denver. Whatever your goal is, it needs to be maintained throughout all of your listings and web pages wherever they appear on the internet

What To Do After You Rank #1 in Google

This is where the fun begins! Once you have achieved a number one ranking in Google for a cannabis keyword, you can now start to expand on your website strategy and start attacking other keyword sets and local areas to gain further exposure and market share.  

It is always useful to create a blog for your website visitors to reference for up-to-date news and updates on the cannabis industry in Denver. This also gives you the ability to write articles on other areas of Denver, other dispensaries, cannabis brands, etc.

You will want to link to your blog content from your #1 ranking page and drive your web traffic to read your posts. Also, create some location pages throughout your website to appeal to other locations in Colorado – this helps grab tourists and fellow Coloradoans’ attention from other cities.

Once you have created a new page or blog post, you will now want to repeat the cycle of gaining backlinks and marketing that individual page just as you did your original page. As I mentioned, SEO is a long-term game. Therefore, you will rinse and repeat this cycle of SEO tasks numerous times to keep building and gaining online visibility throughout Google and the entire internet.

Let's Wrap It Up

Overall, SEO is only a section of your company’s marketing strategy, but it should be one of if not the most important piece. The ability to reach customers on Google and the other search engines is unmatched by any other publication or marketing technique. Bottom-line, everyone uses Google to look for products and services regardless of the industry. You need to be number one, no questions.

If you have read through all of this and it seems overwhelming, you’re not alone. Many dispensaries have come to us expressing the need for SEO but lacking the knowledge or time to implement it correctly. 

Feel free to visit our cannabis marketing page and fill out the form to talk to a cannabis marketing consultant about your dispensary or brand. We will put together a custom strategy and fit it into your marketing budget. We have helped countless cannabis companies improve and dominate their markets with our unique approach to SEO and the digital world.