Leafly vs. WeedMaps vs. Google Which is Best For Your Dispensary Marketing Strategy

Article Headline: Leafly vs. Weedmaps vs. Google : Which is Best For Your Dispensary Marketing Strategy Article Description: A detailed comparison of the pros and cons of each platform and how they can all be used to market your dispensary to achieve the "Entourage Effect" Published Date: 2019-07-22 Image URL: https://thc.im/wp-content/uploads/2019/07/weedmaps-vs-leafly-vs-Google.jpg Image Width: 738 Image Height: 113 Publisher Name: THC Internet Marketing Logo URL: https://thc.im/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/THC-IM-dark-1.png Logo Width: 530 Logo Height: 530

    Davis Winn

    Davis has been involved in SEO and Digital Marketing since 2004. SEO campaigns he has managed generated over 10M in sales last year.

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    Adam - August 7, 2019 Reply

    Interesting take that seems a bit self fulfilling for your own business purposes. But I would love to hear how you are measuring ROI for these clients. Is it vanity metrics like CTR or are you measuring in store visits and order volume generated? Also any smart marketer knows Google Adwords and Google Ads is a sure way to get yourself banned and your My Business Listing off platform. So I’m curious to what tactics you’re using outside of generic SEO plays that should really cost way less than $3,000/month to setup a proper SEO strategy. Making some pretty large claims without any data to base those claims on as well as saying a price that was paid without any insight to value from the spend. Could it be that $20,000 translated to 1000 orders for the shop at maybe an average order value of $50 which would far justify the spend. Did the shop even track customer attribution and discovery? Too many variable to make this broad of a claim in my opinion. But nice fluff piece for your business.

      Davis Winn - August 8, 2019 Reply

      Hi Adam,
      Thanks for reading and taking the time to comment. To address your questions,

      Metrics – Because completely accurate customer attribution is impossible, we look at a number of metrics and make inferences from those. One is to look at directions requests on Google My Business. GMB stats are notoriously inaccurate, but the trends seen there track with sales trends in our experience. If you assume 40% of the directions requests are resulting in in-store visits (pretty conservative in my opinion I’ve heard figures as high as 80%) and multiply that by the average sale value ($40 usually), you get a pretty good idea about whether or not your local SEO efforts are bearing fruit. It doesn’t take into account phone calls and website visits which are also of value. I have personally managed campaigns where the directions requests have gone from 30 per day to over 200 per day. During that time period their sales went from 250K per month to well over $1 Million per month. CTR has it’s place, but 50% of of local searches don’t result in a website visit. They call or ask directions from your GMB without ever visiting your site. There is a percentage of people that will simply look at your address and go to your store without doing anything. How do you attribute that?

      ROI – Even Google with their eyes in everybody’s phone can’t completely attribute every in store visit. They certainly don’t share that data with us.It can only be estimated in an in store setting, you need to look at correlations more than anything. The example you give of 1000 orders at $50 for $20K doesn’t justify the spend in my opinion. With a 40% profit margin (double the industry industry average) you are breaking even. $20 a sale acquisition cost? Maybe this is why MedMen is losing $2 on every dollar in sales? My point was that if the guy in the article felt he was getting his money’s worth, he wouldn’t have canceled his plan with Weedmaps. What I’m saying is that for $3K (probably less) I will destroy the sales volume provided by Weedmaps at $20K. Is that a bold claim? Maybe. I’ll stand by it. To be fair, in California Weedmaps has penetrated the cannabis consumer market very thoroughly. You need them. This is why they can charge such prices. In other states the prices tend to be lower.

      SEO Pricing – yes $3000 is expensive for a “generic” SEO play. I made the price high to give Weedmaps a fighting chance. I’ve seen the $750 generic plans people offer. I’ve seen them not get much in the way of results too. Optimizing for a set number of keywords on a set number of pages is the wrong way to go about it in my opinion. While it’s great to rank for “cannabis dispensary near me” the more important question is: “How much relevant traffic is Google sending me?”. We use a combination of Maps visibility, traditional SEO and reputation management (review quality and quantity is a ranking factor and it affects click thru Rates – in itself a ranking factor),
      to bring customers in. We then use email marketing and loyalty programs to bring them back. What’s it worth to have your GMB impressions increase by %800, your Customer Actions by 500% and your sales increase by 500% in a single year? Is it worth $3K per month? I think it probably is. I’m sure most dispensary owners would agree. We’ve done that for dispensaries repeatedly.

      Google Ads – While Google is restrictive with cannabis they do allow promoted pins on Maps. You see them all the time. You also see all kinds of cannabis businesses with paid search results. It’s an algorithm – it’s not that hard to fool. They still take bids on cannabis terms. Other than the promoted pins I don’t recommend Google Ads. There are a lot of business that are willing to try their hand at Google Ads and get suspended rather than not use it at all. I’ve never seen a dispensary have it’s listing removed for using Ads. I think you’d have to get really cheeky with them before they would remove your listing. Usually they just block the ads.

      Weedmaps is useful, I’ve seen businesses with no other marketing channels use it and they stay in business. So it obviously must provide a sustainable ROI.

    Dan Thompson - August 27, 2019 Reply

    NONE of the above!

    420A3.Com is the safest and most secure cannabis search, no others come close.

    NO Tracking Cookies, NO Data Selling/Sharing, NO Geo Location Prompts

      Davis Winn - August 28, 2019 Reply

      Hi Dan , thanks for reading! I don’t know if your pushing the kind of traffic Weedmaps and Leafly are, but I’ll add you to our citation list. You can check it out at https://thc.im/dispensary-directory-citation-sites/ .

        Dan Thompson - February 2, 2020 Reply

        Hello – THANK YOU for adding us to the list!

        I was a software developer for 25 years, so last year was a great learning experience and I’m taking those lessons and moving forward; Being self-funded makes it difficult, but hopefully someday we’ll see traffic similar to WM and LFLY!

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