Dispensary Website Design & Google’s New Search Ranking Signal
Google has a new search algorithm and a new search ranking signal rolling out in May 2021. Core Web Vitals are Google’s new standards for evaluating whether a page on your dispensary website provides a good user experience. If your cannabis website meets 3 key metrics, Google could reward your site with an increase in search engine rankings!
Is your cannabis dispensary website design optimized to get lots of free traffic from organic search engines like Google & Bing? Or, is an increase in organic traffic a marketing goal for your business this year?
If so, we have some super exciting news directly from Google that can help you increase your dispensary website’s search engine rankings using strictly white-hat cannabis SEO tactics.
Google is getting ready to release a brand new search algorithm and ranking single that is focused on the “page experience” your dispensary website design offers your website visitors.
If you didn’t know it already, the user experience (UX) of your website is directly related to the amount of user engagement you’ll get on your website.
And, both of these metrics are super important ranking signals in terms of how high Google will rank your website.
Therefore optimizing for these metrics, as well other UX metrics like page speed/page load time & mobile friendliness become vitally important to your dispensary website design and SEO strategy.
So what do you need to know to take advantage of these cannabis SEO changes that will directly affect your dispensary website?
We outline everything below including the key to increasing search rankings for dispensary websites this year – Google Core Web Vitals. What exactly is that? Read on.
What Are Google’s Core Web Vitals For Dispensary Website Design & SEO?
So Google has recently released a set of three benchmarks for all websites including cannabis, CBD, and marijuana dispensary sites.
These 3 benchmarks should be a priority focus if you are building a brand new website for your cannabis retail dispensary or CBD online store because meeting them all will qualify your website for the ranking single boost rolling out in May 2021, according to Google.
This bears repeating, Google itself says that all 3 Core Web Vitals may need to be met in order for your dispensary website to be rewarded with a boost in search rankings.
In the highly competitive world of cannabis retail in the United States and Canada, you can understand why this news is significant for your new or existing dispensary website design as well as your dispensary SEO strategy.
So What Are The 3 Core Web Vitals?
Core Web Vitals are Google’s new standards for evaluating whether a page on any website, provides a good user experience. This includes all CBD e-commerce sites and retail cannabis dispensary websites.
Specifically, Google identifies the core user experience needs as: loading, interactivity, and visual stability.
Google emphasizes the importance of Core Web Vitals over other metrics as they’re critical to all web experiences.
Core Web Vitals are the user experience needs that all websites should be striving to meet. This is especially true when it comes to CBD and cannabis dispensary website design & development.
Here’s how these vitally important user experience needs are measured. The metrics consist of:
1. Largest Contentful Paint (LCP)
Measures the speed at which a page’s main content is loaded.
Largest Contentful Paint (LCP) is a user experience metric that measures perceived load speed and marks the point in the page load timeline when the page’s main content has likely loaded.
- This should occur within 2.5 seconds of landing on a page.
2. First Input Delay (FID)
Measures the speed at which users are able to interact with a page after landing on it.
First Input Delay (or FID) is a user experience metric that measures responsiveness and quantifies the experience users feel when trying to first interact with the page.
- This should occur within 100 milliseconds.
3. Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS)
Measures how often users experience unexpected layout shifts.
Cumulative Layout Shift (or CLS) is a user experience metric that measures visual stability and quantifies the amount of unexpected layout shift of visible page content.
- Pages should maintain a CLS of less than 0.1.
It’s important to note that Google says the minimum threshold for all Core Web Vitals must be met in order for your dispensary website to benefit from the associated ranking signal.
What Should Dispensary Website Designers Do?
This new set of page speed and user experience metrics for cannabis dispensary websites is designed to help site owners with their dispensary website design.
Your CBD website developer should measure the user experience they’re providing with their approach to your dispensary website design when it comes to loading, interactivity, and visual stability.
My advice is to listen carefully to what Google says about this upcoming update:
“Core Web Vitals are a set of real-world, user-centered metrics that quantify key aspects of the user experience. They measure dimensions of web usability such as load time, interactivity, and the stability of content as it loads (so you don’t accidentally tap that button when it shifts under your finger – how annoying!)”
Here are a few notes to understand if any of this is hard to understand.
These new Core Web Vitals metrics are not set in stone. This means that Google may change or update them from year to year, depending on what users expect out of a good dispensary website design & experience.
At this point, the Core Web Vitals are the 3 metrics listed above. Google will certainly update the public if and when these benchmarks change.
How Many Sites Fail To Meet The Minimum Threshold?
You’d be surprised.
Out of the dozen or so websites our team has reviewed in the past 2 weeks, over 80% of the websites failed to meet minimum thresholds on any of the 3 metrics required in order to benefit for the rankings boost.
The biggest issue most websites have is the first metric, Largest Contentful Paint (LCP), which measures page speed/page load time. That is, how fast the page content is loaded on the screen so your customer can engage or shop.
Page speed is a highly important factor for every website. People are impatient and will not wait long for a page to load. If a website loads too slowly, most people will hit the back button and go choose another website or dispensary.
Google will reward websites with higher rankings if they provide a good user experience.
Fast page load time provides an excellent user experience and dispensary websites that are designed to provide a site with pages that load in less than 2.5-seconds will see their rankings increase higher than competing websites with slow page load times.
How Can You Test Your Website’s Core Web Vitals?
The good news is all CBD and dispensary website designers & site owners can measure your site’s Core Web Vitals.
Since Google announced that Core Web Vitals will be incorporated into their search ranking algorithm, the company is adding measurement capabilities to many of its existing tools.
You can do this yourself or ask your dispensary website developer to run your website through these tools:
We Can Help You Improve Your Dispensary Website Design & SEO
If all of this is a little too much for you to handle or something you just do not want to deal with, we can help you with everything!
If you ran your site through any of the free tools above and you’ve realized that your website does not pass all 3 of these Core Web Vitals, we can help you optimize (i.e. fix) any and all issues.
Call us for a free 30-minute phone consultation or email us to request a quote.