You probably know that SEO is an acronym for "Search Engine Optimization", what you may not know, is that there are often special considerations to take into account when crafting an SEO strategy for a dispensary. The uncertain regulatory environment creates some situations where the normal rules do not apply. SEO on it's own is not enough, it makes up one important piece of an integrated dispensary marketing strategy.
Why Rankings Don't Matter the Way They Used To
Here at THC.IM we take a different approach to SEO. Rankings simply don't matter the way they once did. For a variety of reasons, if you are paying an agency to get you rankings, you are looking at things the wrong way. There are two main reasons why tracking rankings can be a fool's game.
Personalized Search Results
Google now personalizes results so thoroughly that they have become almost impossible to accurately track. If you and I search the same term, we will almost get a different results page. In fact if you search a term on your phone while connected to WiFi and then search the same term while connected to your provider's mobile network, you will likely get different results. When you factor in different users at different locations on different devices even at different times of day - the variables quickly become overwhelming. This is not to say that rankings shouldn't be tracked at all, it just means they don't provide the benchmark they once did.
People Don't Visit Your Site
Studies have shown that 50% of searchers don't visit a company website from the search results. They will read reviews and request directions or phone you first. These are the metrics that need to be tracked. Consumer behavior has radically changed. They are visiting websites less and less. Instead they see a 3 pack listing, read reviews and either call now or request directions to your store, or read more reviews and call or request directions after.
The Map is Where Buying Decisions Are Made
The 3-Pack receives the majority of actual clicks on a results page, at a 44% rate, according to Moz . However, the click doesn't lead to your website, it leads to your Google My Business Listing. Once there potential customers read reviews and choose to take one of three actions:
The Metrics That Matter
Can You Guess Which Action Is the Most Desirable?
If you guessed "Request Directions" then you guessed correctly. 80% of directions requests result in a customer visiting your store within 24 hours. You can also bet that a large majority of those requests are from new customers. Why would someone request directions to somewhere they've already been? While we can certainly provide you with reports on what keywords you rank for and what backlinks we've built - are these the metrics you are truly interested in? Wouldn't you rather know how many customers we've sent you?