Properly optimized cannabis sites are possible.
When is the last time you saw a Local Cannabis site that ranked well?
If you know nothing about SEO, or ranking websites this might go a little deep into nerd lore. If you are already doing digital marketing for cannabis companies then you can breathe a sigh of relief. We have felt your pain.
Most local dispensaries never put any effort into developing a real website. Since there was never any option to trach sales or conversions on the back end, it seemed pretty pointless. There was no way to prove that SEO was working when there was no way to track sales.
This may be the one time where CBD and Diet weed (D8) are better than THC. Their digital marketing efforts produce tens of millions in online sales while cannabis growers and dispensaries are still using cash.
Cannabis dispensaries were left with very few options…. until now.
Real data for real tracking
Below is a screen shot from a small dispensary in a city with a population of roughly 7000 people.
What you can see here is over 80% of their traffic comes from organic search results, and maybe 1% comes from referrals like 3rd party listing sites.
Since there was no option for online payments before we started WeedMart, they are literally paying for both a Leafy and a WeedMaps menu to provide a “menu.” They were also sending roughly 2000 visitors a month to both WeedMaps and Leafly just to view their inventory.
Please realize that if they are not paying for the “premium” ads on those platform, the visitors they are sending will be served ads by their competitors and may choose to shop elsewhere.
So the numbers here break down to roughly 500 visitors, 3000 page views and roughly 2000 visitors sent off site to another platform just to “shop.”
Who really benefits? We can honestly say that the dispensary is the one that has been the victim of some serious gaslighting about the need for multiple menus on big platforms.
Even with 500 visitors a month, if only 20% of them bought a product online at an average of $50 an order that would still be $5000 in online revenue per week. That’s an extra 20K a month in online sales (without PAYING thousands for a 3rd party menu) with 500 visitors in a city with 7000 people.
With a simple conversion tracking code added to the site for your cart (on your store) you can see just how many sales your store does.
No more fishy data from 3rd party providers.
Odds are you or your clients have been relying on heavily filtered data that is provided by the listing site, maps site, geo fencing ad platform or “menu” provider. Since there really hasn’t been a way to directly track conversions on a cannabis site, you were forced to believe their dashboards.
The oversell of impressions and visitors on your listing service was presented as “customers.” This often came with the advice to advertise more and increase your budget to get more impressions on what are essentially the cannabis equivalent of Yelp or Pinterest.
With WeedMart, we figured out a way to optimize cannabis sites, track sales and better optimize for real ecommerce… not just impressions and views.
Say Goodbye to IFrames and Embedded Menus
That GIANT banner sends your website visitors to the signup page for your menu provider. That giant banner put in their IFramed menu that does zero for your SEO is free (for them) advertising on your site.
Not only that but it’s not even a real payment platform. It’s more like a reservation platform. None of the payments are made online and you still can’t track real conversions on your site.
Essentially if you use an IFrame menu or a different “non IFrame” html embed solution like other menu companies, you are giving your ability to sell to a third party.
When your only options have been bad options, it’s easy to see why so many dispensaries have chosen to basically give up on their digital marketing.
WeedMart allows you to operate like a real business and regain control and understanding of where your marketing budget should go.
Own your own content
What most dispensary owners don’t realize when they write out robust product descriptions on 3rd party platforms for their strains is that they are essentially helping to build SEO results that platform. Imagine if you optimized for all of your strains on your own site. We personally know a few strain review sites that get almost 200,000 visitors a month just from people searching strains.
When you embed an IFramed menu into your site, you get little to no rank value from that content. You are pulling in your content from their platform onto yours. If you are hiring writers to produce that content, it is basically wasted money.
When you can host your own products, you gain the benefit of getting the SEO value of those product descriptions. Can we say schema markup? Can we talk about real blog content? Can we talk about educational content?
It’s your site. Feel free to pump as much content onto it as you want.
Google is your friend
Google is your friend when it comes to site traffic. While just about every other marketing platform out there has put a number of restrictions on the cannabis industry, organic Google listings are still the most consistent form of website traffic there is.
Understanding keywords and search intent will help you put better content on your site and attract the right customers to your shop.
Your maps listing will outrank any other paid maps platform. While there are restrictions, you can put photos, website links, your phone number and more. It can even give people directions to your shop… all for free.
When your site is properly put together and your content is written for your customers, you can literally shave thousands off your monthly marketing budget.
OR, you can keep that marketing budget where it is to test where your visitors come from and adjust accordingly.
Just do any search a “dispensary + city” or just type in “cannabis dispensary. Odds are you are going to get Google Maps first and then some local listings with some of the larger 3rd party sites on the first page.
Why pay for a listing service when you can attract visitors for free?
All it takes is good SEO.
Apple is your friend (for maps)
With over 55% of mobile devices running on IOS, Apple Maps (as the default maps platform for IOS) is a commonly overlooked app. While Google may dominate the SERPS, Apple and IOS have a solid market share when it comes to users.
According to Statistica.com 45% of users are on Android, while the other 55% are on IOS. While that may not seem like a big number, please realize that there are over 307 million smartphone users in the US alone.
That means that there are over 160 million Apple users. Their default maps system is Apple Maps. “hey Siri, find me the closest dispensary” is going to be a phrase you want to embrace when it comes to your digital marketing.
Why be Basic?
With a robust dashboard, almost unlimited upgrades and add-on’s and the ability for real e-commerce, WeedMart is the better choice for any cannabis business that wants to go beyond basic.