• Greg Gifford

    “it’s high time to help marketers recognize the challenges and opportunities in this fast-growing industry”

    Brilliant writing, my friend…

  • Andrew Shotland

    I like my work to be fully baked before it’s published…

  • Greg Gifford

    Yeah, you wouldn’t want to post something disjointed…

  • Andrew Shotland

    When it comes to putting forth an argument, I favor the blunt approach…

  • danleibson

    It’s better then constantly passing the blu… buck it around.

  • http://localreachlabs.com/ Russell Hayes

    Great article however I’d like to point out that in this “budding” industry these dispensaries for medical, and in states where’s its legal for recreational usage have no need to have any presence on Google. While it is a good idea to get them listed, the merging market is so new and so popular that there are lines around the corners of these businesses. Most dispensaries are even limiting the amount people can purchase for recreational use because they can’t keep up with the “high” demand. They really need some help with site design as most are pretty bad. My point comes from the fact that I know some one who’s intimately involved in this space who does build outs for major growers and dispensaries and paying for SEO or any other type of online marketing is a waste of money, they just don’t need it and aren’t really interested. But hey, thanks for posting.

  • http://pageonepower.com/ Nicholas Chimonas

    I hold the highest regards for all of these commenters.

  • Greg Gifford

    yeah, but you can’t always do that when you’re blazing a new trail…

  • Andrew Shotland

    Russell,

    In my experience, the highly competitive MMJ market in SoCal is a totally different story.

  • http://www.adamdince.com/ Adam Dince

    This post is a hit! Way to get in to the weeds with this.

  • Andrew Shotland

    for the win…

  • Chris Silver Smith

    Andrew provides some real, actionable tactics, here – not just smoke. Excellent grass roots marketing steps.

  • Chris Silver Smith

    Actually, I think that the fast growth in competition means that they do need presence in Google. Each time people drive into Colorado for recreational marijuana, they have to choose who they will buy from — and they will search in Google and Bing. Those stores with more visibility will get more business — while the demand may be nearly outpacing supply at the moment, that’s likely to change pretty quickly. Not to mention, there’s almost certainly some sales of related products to be had.

  • Andrew Shotland

    What Chris said…

    Also, now that I think about it, in a high-growth industry, the long-term victors typically lay the ground-work early. If indeed the recreational businesses are raking in the $, now is the perfect time to start owning the SERPs before some upstart SEO guy starts diverting all of your customers from Google with articles about pot marketing…

  • Greg Gifford

    Yeah, these homegrown tactics can really help businesses in a vertical where it’s easy to get burned…

  • Steve Shackelford

    Definitely a lot of high-grade information here. Really tasty stuff.

  • http://localreachlabs.com/ Russell Hayes

    They’re all using the weed maps mobile app guys. I don’t believe competition is going grow fast as some are thinking. Getting into this industry isn’t as easy as just opening the next restaurant or clothing store. There’s a lot of hoops to jump through to be able to legally operate one of these businesses and as such we won’t see any major increase in the number of new clinics. I might be wrong but I just don’t see a SEO future for this industry any time soon, soon as in the next 5 years. As I mentioned weed maps, people also find their clinics in the alternative news paper here in Denver, Westword.

  • danleibson

    The data just doesn’t seem to support what you are saying. marijuana (recreational and medicinal) related search queries do major volumes in Google. Being competitive with Weedmaps and Leafy for your own brand name and head terms is SEO 101. This is classic first mover advantage. Having talked with marketers at Weedmaps, professional services like SEO services is going to be HUGE for this vertical.

  • http://localreachlabs.com/ Russell Hayes

    Dan yes there are searches I don’t deny that at all but like I mentioned before. Clinic owners don’t need SEO at this juncture and I doubt it will be a viable business expense any time in the near future. Of course the search volumes are crazy but that because it’s a new industry but as users find and locate their preferred clinic that will start to become the end of the major search trends, that’s my opinion on it.

  • Philip Rozek

    Wow, this post really sparked up my interest in Google
    Places…

  • Andrew Shotland

    If that were the case Russell, then local search would not be something like 40%+ of all search queries. Unless dispensaries are so unlike any other local business that customer churn rates are next to nothing, there will always be a competitive market to retain customers and gain new ones.

  • http://localreachlabs.com/ Russell Hayes

    From all the clinic owners I’ve spoken with and that’s been at least 15-20, they all enjoy a pretty high retention rate. Again, as I mentioned before I sorta have an intimate understanding of what’s going on in this space.

  • Guest

    Great post Andrew! In response to Russell, I would have to say as “Organic” SEO gurus we must understand the long term value of the SEO work we do. In other words, the market may have a higher local demand than supply right now however if we fast forward to the not too distant future (say 2 years from now) when the supply and demand are balanced out, then any noobs to the alternative medicine business who want to try and rank “Organically” will have 2 years of catch up work to play. The first to the race tend to get such a head start that they win the long term coveted 1st page of the SERP and make it very challenging for any noobs to catch them. Just a thought…

  • http://www.feralcatproductions.com/ Richard Paredes

    <> Loved that line, Andrew! Has anyone heard directly from Google re their position on this? Maybe if the aggregators send enough “smoke,” they’ll take a more enlightened assessment. Terrific article, Andrew! Chris, thanks for your earlier insights, as well!

  • http://www.discountonlinefitness.com steve

    he said DABbler hehehe

  • Michael Streko

    We are always more then happy to help dispensary’s claim their names across different social media sites – heck our launch date was 4/20/2009 ;-)

  • Curtis

    great stuff my friend!