How to Increase Traffic to Your Dispensary Website
Times are changing for cannabis retailers. While physical marketing and in-store shopping are still dominant in the industry, a strong online presence is now the key to increase traffic to your dispensary website.
But if you go to any digital marketing agency’s blog or educational online content, you’re guaranteed to see page after page regarding the importance of search engine optimization (SEO) for website traffic.
While we agree, search engine rankings are critical, it’s not a silver bullet to magically achieve a higher number of site visitors.
Instead, try a holistic approach. Generally, cannabis retailers see greater success when they’re able to reach audiences across channels –– not just on Google.
Whether you’re a single cannabis retailer trying to do it all, a marketer overhauling an existing dispensary website, or you’re just looking for a few tips to improve website traffic –– we’ve got you covered.
This post walks through strategies you can implement to drive more visitors to your dispensary website.
What are the benefits of higher dispensary website traffic?
Just like increased foot traffic in your retail storefront, more sessions on your website is going to positively impact your business.
Here are a few of the most important benefits that greater dispensary website traffic offers cannabis businesses:
- More traffic means more brand visibility. The more visitors you attract to your website, the more people will become aware of your brand. Combined with an effective site experience, these curious web surfers can quickly become loyal customers.
- Higher traffic leads to more website conversions. Website conversions are crucial to retail success because it’s how you get visitors to do what you want them to. While someone surfing your site is important, the ultimate goal is to convert that traffic into revenue. For example, if your website converts 5% of all website sessions into a sale, then more sessions will lead to more sales.
- Greater website conversions lead to more customers shopping online or in-store. Depending on your website’s conversion rate, you’ll see more customer checkouts, newsletter signups, and other goal completions if there are more users on your website. From there, you can nurture this growing audience to keep them engaged and entice them to come visit your shop. In fact, 62% of millennials report that brand engagement is more likely to make them a loyal customer.
4 ways to improve dispensary website traffic right now
Now that we understand the benefits of increased site visitors, let’s dive into unique ways to grow those web session numbers.
Keep in mind that some marketers will emphasize SEO as the number one way to increase traffic to your website. While we agree this is an effective tool for organic growth, dispensary SEO is not the only option available. We’ll talk about some lesser-known options you can implement for your dispensary.
1. Host your dispensary menu on your website
Cannabis marketplaces like Weedmaps have positioned themselves at the top of search engines for thousands of relevant keywords. This means many potential customers may end up browsing a marketplace when they’re shopping for cannabis products.
While it’s still effective to list your products on these sites, you can’t rely exclusively on a marketplace to list your menu. That’s because these marketplaces won’t drive any traffic to your actual website and they leave you to compete directly with other dispensaries in your area. Since customers are not interacting with your brand, their experience won’t feel personalized and they’ll be less likely to become loyal to your online store.
Instead of relying on cannabis marketplaces, embed your cannabis dispensary menu directly on your site. Then you will own the sessions and benefit from users interacting with your website.
2. Utilize email marketing
77% of marketers have seen an increase in email engagement over the last 12 months. Those emails serve as an effective tool to drive more traffic back to your website and keep users engaged.
When emailing your audience, be sure to link back to your website to make sure you capture those sessions.
Here are some popular types of emails you can use for dispensary marketing:
- Newsletter: Send out a monthly, bi-weekly, or weekly newsletter to your audience to keep them up to date on cannabis industry news, educational content, or just provide entertainment.
- Promotional: Update email subscribers about exciting promotions, such as new discounts, product offerings, or store-wide deals. You can link back to your cannabis website’s embedded menu so customers can browse these products online quickly and efficiently.
- Event invite: If you’re hosting an event at your dispensary, be sure to tap your email audience and add a landing page that you can link to in the emails and track performance.
- Educational: It’s an effective cannabis marketing strategy to send emails that don’t include any pressure to shop. High-quality content is perfect for breaking up self-serving emails and offering a useful touchpoint to showcase your product knowledge and teach your audience about cannabis.
3. Acquire more backlinks
Backlinks are links on other websites that send traffic back to your website.
There are a few ways you can increase backlinks:
- Ask your suppliers, vendors, and growers to add a link to your site under the partner section of their website.
- Work with one of your technology providers, such as your point of sale. Ask them to include your logo and link to your website on their partner pages. You can also offer quotes and retail insight that can help improve their blog posts in exchange for a link back to your site.
- Try guest posting. Writing articles for other websites in order to promote your brand is a great way to build exposure and improve site traffic.
4. Make improvements to your website’s technical health
Website health or site hygiene is a leading factor for improved SEO rankings, higher website conversion rates, and a higher number of visitors coming to your site in general.
Everything from the amount of time it takes to load a webpage to user experience to accessible web design contributes to your site’s health.
Here are a few ways you can improve the technical health of your dispensary website:
- Improve crawlability: A search engine’s ability to access your web page and crawl its content is one of the most fundamental aspects of SEO. Make sure Google can find and crawl all of your website pages (that you want it to find) by creating a sitemap and ensuring every page is included.
- Fix 404s: A 404 Error Page (“Page Not Found”) happens when a link is broken. You need to make sure no links on your website return 404 errors and fix any that do.
- Avoid redirect chains: Redirect chains happen when there’s more than one redirect between the link a user clicks on and the final page they end up on. Older websites tend to build up redirect chains because links aren’t always sought out and replaced after every redirect is created. When conducting site audits, go in and clean out and redirect chains to improve your site health.
- Increase website loading speed: The faster your website loads, the better users will feel when browsing. Plus, Google rewards fast websites. Try running your url through Google’s PageSpeed Insights to find out which pages are in the green and which need work.
Increase dispensary website traffic with Clutch
Clutch takes the stress out of dispensary website management. Backed by data-driven insights, we help you make smarter decisions, create user-focused digital experiences, and engage your target audience.
Start a project with Clutch today to begin your journey to higher dispensary website traffic.