When it comes to the cannabis industry, entering a retail business can be both gainful and tough. Any dispensary business owner in states where weed is legal knows that opening shop means that you will be competing with other stores in a market where demand for cannabis products is strong.

Even during these unprecedented times, patients and recreational users are stocking up on supplies, which means that sales spiked, especially at the onset of the lockdown and stay-at-home orders. However, it is important to keep in mind that more and more companies are starting to set up their very own dispensaries, increasing the number of possible options for your prospective customers.

To compete effectively in this highly in-demand service, you need to step up your marijuana marketing game. The pandemic and stay-at-home setups in many states across the United States make online or digital marketing a much more attractive option. This offers a platform that is much more accessible during these troubled times.

 Dispensaries Should Pay Attention to Google Maps RankingsThere are many digital marketing tools that you want to employ, but you might want to start focusing on your Google Maps ranking. It is an oft-neglected aspect of marketing but is an important element that can help boost your business. Here’s what you need to know:

What is Google Maps Ranking?

Before we proceed with the reasons you should pay more attention to your Google maps entry and how to boost your ranking, you might be wondering what exactly it is. Say, you do a query on Google for VA dispensaries on Google. One of the first things you will see is a map showing the locations of dispensaries in Virginia, followed by the top three stores’ details. Click on “More places” and you will be taken to a results page where you can browse more nearby results.

Businesses get the opportunity to rank on Google Maps simply by entering their business into the service. This is also referred to by Google as local ranking results, which is ranked based on relevance, distance, and prominence. This means that local listings will be matched to your query based on whether it has the right services and products. Usually, the suggestions will be near  your location or in an area that you entered in your query. However, keep in mind that the search engine’s algorithm may suggest a business that is farther is it determines that it is more relevant to your search. Finally, the results will turn up entries that are more well-known or reputable.

4 Reasons Why Local Ranking is Important in Cannabis Marketing

Now that you know exactly what Google Maps ranking is and businesses are ranked by Google’s algorithm, you are ready to know the importance of these local results. Here are five of the most compelling reasons that you should focus on your Maps ranking:

  • Your Consumers Use Google Map

According to statistics released by Pew Research Center, 81% of Americans own a smartphone. Men and women of all ages ranging from 18 to 65+ own these mobile devices. A huge percentage of these smartphone users use navigation applications like Google Maps. In fact, 77% of smartphone owners use such apps with 67% preferring Google’s service, as per The Manifest research. When it comes to discoveries of businesses, 84% of customers discover businesses through searchers while only 16% are direct, said Bright Local.

With such high rates of Google Maps usage and the preferences of nav app users, it is only wise to pay attention to Google’s local rankings in order to drive more traffic to your website and sales. Because of this, you need to take the necessary steps to improve your ranking.

  • Accessible Information Matters

Customers tend to want convenience, especially given the fact that they are using convenient ways to find businesses in their area. This is why you want to provide more information that can make it easier for potential consumers to find you. Google Maps allow you to do this.

Local ranking entries have various useful details that make it a great, accessible resource for customers. This includes the dispensary name, category, opening hours, contact number, address, and website. It even shows star ratings, which can be a compelling factor that can influence the decision of consumers.

  • Reviews Can Make the Difference

As mentioned, reviews are shown in the Maps and this can be a great influencer in the decision-making process of customers. In fact, click on a particular entry and you will be given more information including detailed reviews complete with comments and star ratings.

Having good reviews will position you as an authority in your area and persuade new customers to try you out. We can help you get an edge over your competitors with an influx of glowing 5 star reviews with our reputation management service.

  • Ranking on Google SERPs

Businesses that rank on local results tend to also rank better on search engine results pages. This way, even if users are not searching for Maps details, your dispensary will be able to rank high on the results page. This means that your store will receive higher visibility, thus increasing the likelihood of customers engaging with your website and business.

4 Tips to Improve Your Local Ranking

If you are now planning to focus on your Maps ranking, the first thing you need to do is to add your dispensary on Google My Business. This service lets you sign up for your local business and create a profile, which will be displayed in various Google products and platforms. Once you do this, you are set to take measures that can improve your local rank. Check out these tips.

  • Fill Out Relevant Business Info

The first thing you need to do is to provide all the relevant information, starting with your company name, business description, address, contact numbers, and websites. You should also provide business hours, products, services, and other locations. This will give them all the information they need to engage with your business.

However, keep in mind that the information should be relevant, which means that it should be relatable, accessible, and related to the needs of your potential customer. One way to increase the relevance of your entry is to detail the products and services you offer. You might also want to link your social media or cannabis business social network accounts, in addition to your website, especially as a large majority of users have one form of social networking account or another.

  • Be Consistent and Updated

Now, it is completely understandable that there may be changes in the details. For example, you may need to adjust your opening hours, especially in light of the pandemic. You may also need to change the products or services you offer. No matter what kind of change you are compelled to do, make sure to keep your GMB profile updated.

Moreover, it is always important to keep the details of your business consistent across all your platforms. You do not want to confuse your potential customers about your opening hours which is one thing in your GMB profile but is different on your website, for example. Consistency is always key when it comes to your business’ information dissemination.

  • Ask Your Customers for Reviews

Because you now have a GMB profile, which will be shown in various Google products, you now need to accumulate reviews. Remember that Google’s algorithm considers relevance, distance, and prominence. Reviews play a huge role in the prominence of your business online, which is why you should strive to get good reviews. To get started, make sure to actively ask your customers to give reviews on your GMB profile shown on Google Maps.

We help dispensaries manage their reputation  by helping them get a huge influx of 5 star Google reviews. With more positive reviews Google will show your business in Google maps to more customers which leads to more sales.

Your GMB profile is not simply a place where you place information about your dispensary. You are also given the opportunity to show off your business. Google lets you upload photos, which can greatly increase your reputation. Uploading updated photos shows that you are actively managing your profile, which is always a good sign not only to Google but customers, as well.

Having photos also makes your business more real to potential consumers. Without it, your Maps thumbnail will be a generic map icon, which makes it look unrelatable and non-personalized.

Should Pay Attention to Google Maps RankingsThe Bottom Line

Your local ranking is just as important as your SERP ranking. This directs potentials customers to your location, as well as your website and social media accounts. This strategy will work well with other digital marketing tactics. If you need help from experts, then you might want to work with a cannabis marketing agency for an effective campaign.