Online cannabis directories like Weedmaps have been gaining popularity over the years as a consumer resource for information on cannabis products and dispensaries. They can be an important piece of a cannabis business marketing plan and vital for growing a dispensary. But is the benefit worth the hefty price tag?
We’ve recently learned that Weedmaps is changing things up for cannabis dispensaries in Maryland. They’ll no longer be offering a free version of their listing and have started charging Maryland dispensaries. While a tiered pricing structure has always been part of their model, some Maryland dispensaries that have been using their free service were quite surprised.
So, is a premium listing worth the cost? Let’s take a look at the benefits and how listings compare to search engines when it comes to acquiring new dispensary customers.
The Benefit of a Weedmaps Listing
Weedmaps is one of the biggest online cannabis communities, with thousands of ratings and reviews. It’s kind of like a Yelp for cannabis. Since starting back in 2008, it’s become one of the fastest growing sites of its kind with an impressive number of visitors.
The site gets almost 6 million visits every month from people searching for a local place to purchase cannabis, and listing with them has the potential to really grow your dispensary. The listing also includes a lot of extra features to help you sell, like dispensaries profiles, product menus, and exclusive deals.
With a range of price options – including a free brand page – Weedmaps was once accessible to pretty much any business on any budget. But with the recent push of legal medical and recreational cannabis, the price of a Weedmaps listing has skyrocketed, with dispensaries in some cities paying over $30,000 a month for a top spot on their directory. And to top it off, it seems like their free brand page option is quickly disappearing.
The bottom line? Cannabis directory listings are great, and it’s cool to be a part of a popular online community. But are listings really the way most customers find a local dispensary?
Organic Traffic with Search Engine Optimization
Nothing beats organic traffic, and Google is still the best way to drive new customers to your website. Why? Because when most people search for a local business, they simply type what they are looking for into Google — and cannabis users are no exception.
Think about the last time you went online to find a local business. What did you use?
Most people rely on Google. Only a certain percentage of customers are going to go through the trouble of getting on a directory rather than just picking up their smartphones and using the default search engine.
We love sites like Weedmaps, but as their listing prices continue to rise, it might be worth considering other options for gaining new customers, especially since people rely so heavily on Google to find local businesses.
Advertising options are limited in the cannabis space, and investing in SEO continues to be the best way for businesses to attract new customers. Listings are a great tool, and they should be a part of a comprehensive strategy, but you shouldn’t rely on them as your sole method of gaining new customers. You also need a powerful local SEO strategy for maximum exposure and website traffic.
Is your dispensary getting found online? Foottraffik helps dispensaries get top rankings on Google to grow their customer base like crazy. We’ve been doing it for years. Why not let us help you? Grab your free digital presence audit below and then schedule a time for a strategy session!