Between Weedmaps, Instagram, and all the other social network opportunities you have to advertise your business, does your dispensary even need a website?
It’s a question we hear often, and rightfully so. Getting a custom website for your dispensary seems like an unnecessary cost when there are so many options out there.
The truth is that every dispensary doesn’t need a website, just like every dispensary doesn’t need more walk-ins, more loyalty, and higher profits. Here’s how a custom website can help with all of that other stuff.
Control Your Branded Search
When someone searches for your dispensary by name, what’s the first thing you want them to see?
If you have a website, you can show them anything you want. With just a little bit of SEO, your website is basically guaranteed to be the frist thing that shows up for a search of your business name, which means you’ll get to control what your audience sees first. Whether you have an amazing sale running, a one-of-a-kind dispensary design, or a slew of awards, you’ll be able to put that front and center on your website.
If you don’t have a website, there’s no telling what might show up first. Maybe it will be your Weedmaps listing, or maybe it will be that Yelp page you haven’t checked in a year. Hopefully it will be something good, but all you can really do is hope.
Attract Different Audiences
Social media is a great tool for marketing your business, but that doesn’t mean all of your potential customers are on the same platforms as you.
By some counts, baby boomers are the fastest growing marijuana market, and they’re generally not on instagram.
While some may think that having a steady stream of baby boomers in their dispensary may cramp their style, smart dispensary owners realize that baby boomers may have more disposible income and free time than their younger counterparts. Baby boomers are also more likely to be first time users who are receptive to your advice and recommendations. Why not give away some free education as a blog post, and follow up with an invite to receive some personalized advice in store?
Having a Website Builds Legitimacy
It can be easy to forget as a business owner that a lot of people consider having a website a sign of legitimacy.
Even if it seems redundant with your other marketing channels, a business with a website simply looks more legitimate, established, and professional than a business that doesn’t have one. Period.
Cultivate and Protect Your Own Marketing Channels
Facebook’s relationship with dispensaries is messy at best. Currently the platform allows dispensaries to have their own pages and publish updates about marijuana, but they won’t let you promote those posts. There’s no telling if all of your Facebook followers will even see those unpromoted updates, and Facebook could change their policy at any time.
Unfortunately, it’s just not the best place to invest your time.
If you start your own mailing list, however, you won’t have to worry about those restrictions. With a mailing list it’s easy to push your latest sale, product, news story, or policy to everyone in your network, simultaneously, without worrying that the platform will suddenly change the rules on you or charge you access to your own audience.
Of course, you might have a hard time getting people to sign up for your mailing list unless you have a form—and a couple of incentives—on your website.
Branding Beyond Bud
With Weedmaps, it’s easy to show which strains and products you offer.
With Instagram, it’s easy to show slices of life from your dispensary and its customers.
But what if your dispensary is about more than just selling weed?
If your dispensary has other things to brag about—like an amazing staff, great new member perks, a history of community involvement, or a rotating selection of gluten-free edibles—then a website can help tie it together. When you can make a customer drive past another dispensary to get to your awesome, one-of-a-kind dispensary, you know you’re doing something right.
The SEO Benefits
If you haven’t heard of it before, SEO, or search engine optimization, is a long and complicated process of getting more (and more qualified) traffic to your website through free search results. That means, if you want to be the first business that shows up when someone searches for a “dispensary near me,” SEO is the way to make it happen.
Of course, that isn’t the only thing SEO can do. You can also make your website show up for long tail searches like “dispensaries with CBD in San Clemente,” informational searches like “what’s the best marijuana strain for glacoma?” or even local searches like “the best nature trails near Oakland.” Done right, SEO can help expose your brand to targeted audiences who didn’t even know they needed your business.
You can learn more about how SEO works here.
That’s Just the Tip
It’s amazing just how many things a website can do for your business that other channels can’t.
We may be a little biased, but that’s only because we’ve seen the benefits of having your own website firsthand, and we’ve helped other business owners see them too.