How Product-Based Cannabis SEO Maximizes Dispensary Visibility

SEO H Eader

A common cannabis retail strategy is to focus Search Engine Optimization (SEO) efforts on “dispensary near me” style search terms. But this isn’t the most effective tactic to increase relevant search traffic.

While it’s true many consumers are searching for dispensaries near them, there is an untapped gold mine of cannabis keywords related to specific products – called product-based SEO.

Product-based SEO is the strategic optimization of product pages on your dispensary website. The goal is to provide search engines with enough contextual information for your product pages to rank well and drive additional website traffic.

Below, we’ll cover the key elements of product-based SEO with takeaways for cannabis retailers to generate high-quality website traffic.

How does product-based SEO help?

When cannabis consumers are looking for specific products, the first thing they’re going to do is search for that product on Google. You want these potential customers to find your website through this organic search as often as possible to boost your website sessions and sales.

Below is a screenshot showing the traffic for all search terms related to "gummies" from a case study over the last 6 months.


The sudden spike in organic traffic coincides with the client’s usage of product-based SEO.

Once they focused their site to target “gummy” related search terms, Google’s algorithm rewarded the optimization by pushing the page higher. Therefore, website visitors searching for gummies began to find those pages more frequently.

This strategy helps customers to find your products and thus, drives higher numbers of purchases from your marijuana business.

Key components of product-based cannabis SEO

To create or enhance a product-based cannabis SEO strategy at your dispensary, you’ll need a basic understanding of SEO. If you are completely new to SEO, see this beginner's guide from SEMrush.

Each of the components of product-based SEO below should be used together to build a comprehensive strategy used across your website going forward.

On page optimization

Strong on page SEO helps search engines like Google understand the value a person gets if they visit that page.

The optimization of product pages includes everything on the page itself, including page title, H1, product/page description, pricing, and more.

The goal is to make each page as easy as possible for both Google and site visitors to:

  • Understand what the page is about

  • Find the page relevant to the search query

  • Deem the page useful and worthy of high ranking on a search engine results page (SERP)

Every product page should be unique and use diverse target keywords. If you use multiple pages for the same keyword, your pages will compete with each other and your rankings will drop.

Ascend cannabis dispensary menu

Use these tips to improve on page SEO:

  1. Conduct keyword research to understand what products are being searched for.

  2. Give each page a specific title that coincides with that product and page content.

  3. Include THC and CBD percentages in the product description.

  4. Describe any additional cannabinoids/terpenes.

  5. Write a unique, keyword-focused description for each product.

  6. Include customer reviews and suggest additional products.

Structured data

In terms of SEO, structured data is organized within your web design in a particular way to help a search engine understand the information on the page and its ability to return accurate results to the searcher.

In other words, it’s how you tell Google what it’s looking at.

There are many types of structured data but the most relevant to dispensaries are local SEO (local search) data and product data. In both cases, you want to make sure each set of data on the back-end is fully filled out and accurate.

Local search data includes:

  • Location

  • Hours of operation

  • Amenities

To add local business data to your cannabis product page, consult this documentation from Google.

Product data includes:

  • Product type

  • Product name

  • Brand

  • Cost

  • Quantity

  • Reviews

To learn more about how to add product data to your cannabis product page, consult this documentation from Google.

You can test your product page data with Google’s Rich Results Test. This free tool allows you to test your pages to see which rich results can be generated by the structured data they contain.

Rich results are important for cannabis businesses – folks searching the web click on rich results 58% of the time.

Google Rich Results

Structured data and technical SEO are complex and may require outside help if you are new to SEO. You can consult digital marketing agencies, SEO services, or SEO agencies that specifically work with cannabis companies for further help with structured data.

Internal linking

Backlinks help your site users find related content and products, share information about your site to Google, and improve the ranking power across your cannabis website. Every page should have links to and from it.

There are three main types of internal links:

  1. Navigation links – like your site header and footer
  2. Dynamic links – like your most popular posts, or related content/products at the bottom of pages
  3. Contextual links – these generally link to other pages on your site from within the text of a page

Your product pages can easily include internal links by using a “similar products” widget. This is an effective tool to generate 4-5 additional internal links per page.

Ascend suggestions menu

You can also link from blog posts to your product pages. Whenever you're talking about a specific product or highlighting a brand, be sure to include a link back to the relevant product page on your site.

With the right link-building strategy, you can boost the earning potential of your product pages and create clear click paths throughout your website. This will help both your site SEO and your customer's experience on your site.

Product reviews

Product reviews have a huge influence on Google. A general rule is, the more reviews, the better.

Reviews show up in Google search results and have an impact on which businesses will be displayed in Google searches.

To get more reviews on your products, dedicate some time and cannabis marketing budget to encourage customers to leave a review.

Try these tips to help generate reviews:

  • Add a reminder at checkout for customers to leave a review.

  • Send an email to your customer list asking for reviews.

  • Incentivize reviews by offering a discount on their next purchase in exchange for a review.

Product reviews (specifically review rich results) add stars, an overall rating, and the number of reviews to a search result on Google. This helps your cannabis business validate trust with your target audience – 91% of customers say they’re more likely to shop at a business with positive reviews.

Ascend cannabis dispensary reviews

Also, make sure your e-commerce platform can support reviews localized to your store or chain so you can avoid duplicate content. Duplicate content is penalized by search engines and localized reviews are more useful to your customers because of their relevance.

Before focusing on product reviews, make sure you have a complete and accurate Google My Business (GMB) profile. Learn more about GMB from Hootsuite.

Automate product-based SEO with Dispense

For those in the cannabis industry looking to improve their online presence, but not looking to spend additional time optimizing product pages – Dispense creates online menus optimized for dispensary SEO.

Unlike cannabis marketplaces, ​​Dispense does not sell or market your data to third parties. You’re also able to control how you want Google to display your search engine results for products, categories, and brands – perfect for maximizing your product-based SEO.

See how Dispense and Flowhub work together to learn more about our integration.

Jeremy Headshot

Jeremy Johnson

Jeremy Johnson is a digital marketing professional that has fully transitioned into the cannabis space after a wide range of projects from leading mobile and web development teams to managing tech installations for music festivals and large-scale events. Cannabis has always been a part of his journey, as a 2nd generation advocate and medical cardholder at an early age. From 2020 to 2022, Jeremy helped lead the e-commerce and digital strategies for two of Michigan's highest volume dispensaries. After a decade-long career in the digital world, Jeremy is now helping to educate cannabis retailers on how to use e-commerce tools to increase brand awareness, grow web traffic, and increase sales in the fastest-growing channel for the cannabis industry. Connect with Jeremy on Linkedin.

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