Link building is a critical part of SEO, and without links from a few great sources, you’re going to have a hard time being found online. Here are just a few ways you might not have thought of to approach dispensary link building.

1. Get interviewed on a podcast

There are tons of podcasts out there that cover marijuana, small business, and local issues. Finding a few that are willing to interview a dispensary owner should be a walk in the park.

Not only would this give your dispensary a little extra exposure, but many of these podcasts also have websites that will link off to their guests. Pretty neat, right?

2. Help a reporter out

Does the podcast approach sound like too much work to you? Help a Reporter Out, or HARO, is a free service for reporters and bloggers to reach out to sources on a variety of subjects.

The fun part about HARO is that, more or less, everyone who subscribes to their newsletter will receive the same 50ish questions and prompts to choose from. Some of these prompts will be fairly mundane, like “give us your best Halloween-inspired cocktails” or “looking for an expert on credit fraud prevention,” while others will be borderline insane:

Checking HARO for dispensary link building

Once you subscribe to HARO, you’ll quickly realize that you’re an expert on more subjects than you know. Check out this guide on using HARO for link building to get started.

3. Join your local chamber of commerce

If you run an up-and-up business, you should absolutely join your local chamber of commerce.

First of all, most chambers provide pretty strong links, just because so many businesses and other associations link to their site. They’ll also typically have links from your city’s website, which means they’re locally relevant to an extreme degree. This can have a big, direct impact on your SEO.

Of course, the link is just a bonus: the real value is in networking. Chances are good that you’ll be the only dispensary owner in your chamber, which means you’ll be able to personally dispell some myths and build your reputation as a thought leader. There’s no telling what kind of doors that could open in the long term.

4. Get added to a store locator

Many smoking products, such as high-end glass brands, vaporizers, and other peripherals will offer store locators on their own websites:

pax store locator

Make a list of the noteworthy products you carry and check their website for locators. You can also search google for them using this advanced search operator, if it’s not easy to find on their site:

how to find a store locator using advanced search operators

These domains are typically very strong and can help quickly move you up the ladder in your market.

While not all of these brands will have locators, and while not all of them will link off to the locations on their maps, some of them will. And if you find one that lists the locations but doesn’t link to them, you can still get a strong citation out of it.


5. Create one unforgettably amazing piece of content

I’ll be honest here: this is easier said than done, but can be the most powerful link building options available.

There are basically three ways to approach this.

First, you can try the Skyscraper Technique. Just find a resource that people already link to, like this guide to the 10 best strains for insomnia and create something that’s 10 times better. Maybe you’ll create a guide to the best 40 strains for insomnia, include pictures for each strain, add another 2,000 words of supplemental information, build it with a table of contents, and include a great educational video to cap it all off. Next, just find everyone who linked to the old one and introduce them to your new and improved one.

It’s worth mentioning that you don’t always have to try to outdo someone else’s idea to use the skyscraper technique. You can also build something that’s never been done before and shop that around for links. The only problem is that you’ll have a harder time finding websites that want to link to it, since no one’s ever seen anything like it before.

The good news about the skyscraper technique is that, while it sounds like a lot of work (and it is!), if you do it right you’ll only need one piece of skyscraper content for your website–ever. Just keep building more links to it, occasionally update it, and let everyone know you updated it so they should link to it again.

The second option is to create an amazing piece of interactive content. And if that sounds too expensive for you, think again.

Our own dispensary name generator attracts thousands of visitors each month, but just between you and me, it didn’t cost thousands of dollars to build.

Pulling examples from other industries, you could also use Google My Maps to create a custom map, like this flood restoration company made for free sandbag pickup locations in their area.

Or how about a text generator? Believe it or not, this 80’s retro wave text generator has earned 727 links from 217 different websites!

The interactive content route is a little tricker because it requires some out-of-the-box thinking, but the payoff can be amazing.

The third option is to display or create something amazing in-store. This could take a lot of forms:

  • A ridiculously large or ornate smoking device that everyone will want to share
  • A really clever sign or memorable art piece that everyone will want to share
  • A remarkable store design, lighting design, or layout that everyone will want to share
  • A rare pinball machine with its own cult following
  • A…. you get the picture

If you manage to get enough social media shares, sooner or later a blogger will pick it up and cover it. And if you think that sounds impossible, just take a look at some of the insanely simple content marketing that gets coverage.