For local cannabis businesses, Google My Business (GMB) can be an incredibly helpful tool for attracting new customers. Google My Business is a service platform that allows searchers to find information about local businesses right on the search engine results page. When optimized correctly, GMB profiles provide valuable information about how to find and contact businesses in a searcher’s area, as well as important details about services provided by a business.
Not only do Google My Business listings help patients find out about your cannabis business in local search, they also help customers actually navigate to your business’ locations, leave reviews, create user-generated content, and much more. By sending organic traffic to your website, capturing new leads, and spotlighting local events or promotions, a properly set up Google My Business account will help your dispensary grow substantially.
But, in order to reap these benefits, the profile needs to be set up correctly. Here are some tips for optimizing and leveraging your GMB profile to its fullest.
Set Up Your Account
Before you can get the full potential out of GMB, you must first set up your account. A fairly simple and straightforward process, setting up Google My Business requires you to have a Google account that will be associated with your business. If you do not already have one, they’re free to create. Next, you’ll want to head to the Google My Business portal online. Hit the “Manage now” button to begin the process.
First, try searching to see if your business already has a listing. Sometimes, these listings are generated by Google for local businesses from information provided by searchers as well as other sources. Sometimes, your business listing will have already been created by someone else. Activating your business requires verification, which can be done by postcard, phone, or through bulk verification if your business meets a certain number of minimum locations.
If you don’t see your business, go back and click the “add your business to Google” link. You’ll be asked to provide the name of your business. Note that doing so constitutes an agreement to Google’s terms of service and privacy policies.
Enter Relevant Information
You’ll be asked to provide a business category. While you have the option to designate your category as “cannabis store,” don’t worry as this information can be updated at any time. You’ll also be asked if you want to add a physical retail location that cannabis patients can visit. You will need to provide an address. If you do not want to provide a physical location, you can instead provide a service area of local cities. This, too, can be updated at any time.
You’ll be asked to provide contact information, including the phone number and website of your business. Once all this is completed, you’ll have a basic account. You will still have to make sure to verify your ownership of the business with Google.
Optimize Your Listings
At this point, you can start to optimize your listings. The best ways to do so is to provide images, a description, services like curbside pick-up or delivery, hours of operation, and other details. The more information you provide, the more value potential customers will get out of their search.
It’s important to make sure to keep this information updated at all times, including holidays or other special times when your hours, phone number, or even location might change. Google will notify you when something doesn’t look right about the details provided. Sometimes, users will alert Google if a phone number isn’t working, if an address isn’t right, or if the category of the business isn’t appropriate.
Pay Attention to Reviews & Questions
There are many areas of Google My Business you should pay special attention to if you want to be as successful as possible. One such area is the reviews section. Google My Business allows searchers to contribute reviews of your business. Encourage positive reviews with great customer service and quickly address any negative reviews that might occur. Keep in mind, these reviews will be visible to any searcher that clicks or taps into your business’ listing, so staying on top of them is crucial.
In addition to reviews of your business by existing customers, Google My Business also provides the option for prospective patients to ask the business owners and operators questions. Answer these questions promptly to make sure that other prospective customers get all the information they might be searching for when they see your listing.
Don’t Forget About Images & SEO
The next important area of your Google My Business listing to stay on top of is the images you provide. Much of what attracts people to one listing over another is the quality and quantity of the images provided. Make sure to take pictures outside and inside of your location, spotlight happy customers, and any special events that might take place. Give searchers a real impression of your business and put your best foot forward by updating your images consistently.
Google My Business will also surface relevant search results in your listing, so make sure to do PR and local SEO so that customers doing their research find the best possible information.
By keeping your listings up-to-date with the best, most relevant information, great pictures, and responses to questions and reviews, you’ll guarantee that you’re getting qualified and enthusiastic traffic not only to your websites but to your locations as well.
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