In June of 2014, Google launched a free tool called Google My Business. Now called Google Business Profile, that tool quickly became every local business’ best friend. It allows you to promote your business on Google Search and Maps, making it easier for potential customers to find you on Google’s search engine.
With a Google Business Profile, your dispensary can connect with customers, post updates to your business profile, and track how the public is interacting with your business on Google.
It allows you to bring in new clients – for free! That’s because when customers search for products like “Cannabis Pre-Rolls” on Google Search and Maps, your Google Business Profile has the potential to show up the moment they click “search” if your profile is optimized.
Overall, a Google Business Profile gives your business a stronger online presence!
Google Business Profiles are designed mainly for businesses with a physical location that customers can visit or that travel to visit customers in order to offer their services. Organizations, brands, and other online-only businesses are not eligible.
Do you fit the criteria? Are you interested in learning how to optimize your Profile? Next we outline strategies so you can get more clients with a Google Busines Profile:
I Already Have a Website – Do I Need A Google Business Profile?
If you want the potential to increase your cannabis shop’s sales, then the answer is: absolutely yes!
A Google Business Profile is essentially a digital billboard that displays your business information directly in front of customers who WANT what you offer. Like the billboards you see while driving through the city, they’re hard to miss.
You see, having a website without an inbound or outbound marketing strategy to drive online traffic to your cannabis store is similar to taking down your storefront signage.
SEO (Search Engine Optimization), listings on other platforms such Weedmaps, paid ads, and a Google Business Profile, are all ways to let new clientele know that your business exists.
Without online advertising for your physical store, you’re basically depending on foot traffic and (effective but slow) P2P marketing. P2P marketing, known as peer-to-peer marketing, is when your current customers recommend your products to their peers. Yes, word-of-mouth advertising is great, but how many potential customers do you think you’re missing out on?
By claiming and verifying your Google Business Profile, you’re doing the following:
- Letting customers know that you sell what they are looking for.
- Verifying your shop is provincially authorized to distribute cannabis.
- Building your reputation in the form of reviews.
- Telling your customers where you are located and how to purchase from you.
- Creating opportunities to appear in the top search results.
Once you have verified your listing and updated your business name, address, phone number, business hours, and website, you can optimize your profile to take your marketing efforts one step further:
Step 1: Be Thorough When Filling Out Info On Your Cannabis Store
When you are filling out your business info, you want to represent your business to the fullest. This means crossing your T’s and dotting your I’s!
Be sure to fill out every available field on the GBP platform, following these tips:
Be Specific & Deliberate
You want to give customers a quick snapshot of what your business is about, so keep your information specific. You have only a brief moment to make a lasting first impression, so choose only the categories necessary to describe your overall business.
Google allows 750 characters for your business description, so use them wisely – the first 250 characters will be displayed on the Knowledge Panel.
Create One Profile
Only create one profile per business and make sure to remove any duplicates. Otherwise, you may run into issues when it comes to how the Search Engine displays your business information.
Show Off Your Business!
When creating a Google Business Profile, you can add photos and videos of your business. Think about adding some photos or videos that shows off your storefront, interior, exterior, accessories, employees/team, your logo, and your cover photo.
Photos must be in JPG or PNG format between 10KB and 5MB. The recommended resolution for best results is 720px by 720px.
“The photo should be in focus and well lit, and have no significant alterations or excessive use of filters. In other words, the image should represent reality.” https://support.google.com/business/answer/6103862
If you’re familiar with geotagging, you can do that as well.
When it comes to videos, the resolution should be 720p or higher. Videos can be up to 30 seconds long and up to 75MB in size. .
Add a Virtual Tour
GBP allows you to add virtual tours to your profile, allowing customers to get a firsthand feel for your business!
List Special Attributes
If there is anything about your business that makes it stand out from your competition, add it to your listing. For example, if your business is Women-led, make sure to mention that.
It’s important to note that GBP allows you to easily communicate information related to COVID-19 such as curb-side/kerbside pickup, delivery options, and health and safety information.
CTAs urges potential customers to take action such as visiting the sales section of your website, viewing a product or catalog, viewing a menu, or placing an order.
Be sure to add one to your listing. CTA’s have been proven to increase conversion rates and boost sales!
Step 2: Create a Better Experience for Your Customers
You can use your GBP listing to create a better experience for your customers. Engaging with your customers is a great way to make them feel valued and appreciated.
Consider performing review campaigns by sending your customers requests via email, text, or even videos.
And when you do get reviews, you should respond to them whether they are positive or negative. Responding to any questions or messages your customers submit within 24 hours is also recommended. An active business helps promote trust and encourages more engagement from potential customers.
GBP also allows you to publish posts in order to directly communicate relevant and timely information to your customers via text, photos, and videos.
Why You Should Post Regularly on Your GBP Listing
According to Search Engine Journal:
“Regular posting can earn you a coveted spot in the local 3-pack, which is the top 3 business listings for relevant search terms, and this placement alone is a valid reason to add a new post at least every 7 days.”
Not Sure What to Post?
You can share offers and specials as well as post updates about hours of operations and delivery service.
Creating content for Google Business Profile may seem like a lot of work, especially if you already have a website or online store you must constantly update. However, it’s up to you to grow your presence on Google Search and Maps. The sole purpose of a GBP listing is to provide searchers with immediate and accurate information – achieving a high rank on Google takes time and relies on current and relevant information.
Step 3: Create Local Citations That Improve Your Listing Visibility
You can increase the legitimacy of your profile by creating citations that 100% match the info found on your GBP. Citations can be created on business directories such as Yellow Pages, Yelp, Bing, and Apple Maps.
A citation audit is also recommended to avoid creating duplicate business citations as well as updating old and inaccurate entries.
Cannabis Station is not affiliated or uses the following paid resources, and cannot guarantee the level of customer service or results from the services they provide, but they are options you can explore (prices may vary since the publishing of this article):