The marijuana industry continues to push boundaries in legislation, with more than half of the states allowing medical marijuana and a few ones permitting the sale of adult-use cannabis. Amid the current social and economic climates, some states are in the process of giving permits to marijuana operators while others are considering the transition from MMJ to recreational cannabis.
With this continuing development in marijuana legislation and public perception, there is a need for cannabis businesses like yours to up their game when it comes to appealing to consumers. Many of your potential customers are looking for the right dispensary and products for their medical needs and recreational purposes if they live in states where weed is legal.
For them, one of the tell-tale signs of quality is the company’s reputation. Just look at the number of people opting for name brands for many of their purchases. Your business’ reputation can influence new buyers to transact with you and can convince existing customers to come back.
Now, if there is one platform that can help exhibit your dispensary’s reputation, it is your website. It contains all information regarding your products and business, making it a powerful tool for reputation management.
Aspects of Your Website that Can Improve Your Reputation
In cannabis marketing, your website has the most potential in establishing an excellent reputation for your company as it carries all the things your customers need. Your customers can place their orders, find your contact info, read up about your offerings, and get to know your business better just by browsing your pages.
The first step to using your website to manage your reputation is to make important improvements. Your brand, content, website’s authority and overall user experience it offers are all vital aspects that can affect how customers perceive your business.
The Role of Branding in Reputation Management
Any business starts with an idea, which entrepreneurs then develop to become their brand. The brand solicits initial reactions based on how the general public and your target market view your company. Just think of how people think of the words ‘premium’ and ‘quality’ when they hear about Apple products. This has become the company’s reputation, which makes a lot of consumers prefer this brand name over others.
That’s because the company was able to associate such concepts with their branding. In simple words, branding is how you frame your marketing activities to exude the concepts you are going for. This includes the message you want to convey, coloring, visual style, tone of voice, and your logo. Your website contains all of these branding elements, which makes it a pretty influential platform for reputation management.
Given that your branding strategies can influence your reputation, it is important to invest in these activities. Your website is one of the less expensive and more effective ways to improve your brand. For your dispensary website, make sure to incorporate the colors you want to be associated with your brand, then come up with a memorable logo that expresses the message you want your customers to receive.
For example, if you are going for an eco-friendly angle, you might want to use greens and other natural colors, along with a logo that conveys this idea. This color palette can serve two purposes: first, as an indicator of your eco-friendly practices, as well as a representative of the cannabis plant. Just be careful not to be too similar to other marijuana companies. You can choose a unique tone, tint, or shade of green to create a unique palette.
Leveraging Your Content
Branding strategies on your website also involves your content as these elements can carry your message and tone, as well as your visual style and colors. The types of content you can use on your website include images, videos, and texts.
While your website serves as a virtual location for your business, it is important to keep in mind that your viewers will not only be visiting your website for the sole reason of transacting with you. Most of the time, they are only there to see what your business is all about before deciding to engage, or worse, leave. This is why you should use your content to capture the attention of your visitors. Remember, what they see on your site will help create the initial impression they have on your website.
This is where search engine optimization (SEO) comes in. In marijuana SEO, it is important to ensure that your content is interesting and unique while passing Google’s algorithm standards. If you are not familiar with SEO, the first thing you need to know is that digital marketers use this to increase your chances of appearing on the first page of search engine results pages (SERPs). Google ranks websites based on the quality and relevance of its content. The higher your ranking is, the close you will be to the first page or the number one spot.
The thing is, success in SEO calls for high-quality content. This means that your content should be unique, relatable and relevant. The subject matter you tackle on your site can influence your reputation. Think about how visitors will view your business if you publish informative and valuable content as opposed to hard-sell and spammy content.
Website Authority: What exactly is it? Cannabis Backlinks
To the uninitiated, the process of searching for the right business to transact with is simply composed of using Google and clicking on the results. For digital marketing experts, this process involves making your website a high-authority one through various techniques.
A high-authority website means that your site is seen as an authority on the subject matter you are tackling, in this case, cannabis and cannabis products. Users can see your site’s score using various tools such as Moz. While the average user is unlikely to use such tools just to find out which site is high-authority, there is a preconceived notion that links at the top of SERPs are more valuable than those below them. Remember that one of the factors search engines consider in placing your site or page in results pages is authority.
Cannabis SEO also plays a role in elevating your site’s authority. As mentioned above, popular and trusted sites have higher authority score. SEO offers techniques on how to organically increase the popularity of your website. This involves the quality of your content, which Google’s crawlers will index and present, as well as cannabis backlinks.
Now, you might be wondering what backlinks are. In general, these occur when another website posts content with links to your own site. The thing about this is that backlinks from high-authority sites can also increase your authority. You can see this as a referral from a reputable party. This can benefit you whether visitors follow the links or not.
User Experience and Your Audience
As a rule of thumb, you only have a few seconds to reel visitors in when they enter your website. So, you want to make sure that the user experience is superior and efficient. Visitors tend to leave sites if the loading speed is slow if the layout is cluttered and if the site map is confusing. These will not only hurt your chances of converting visits to sales but also your brand. Remember, first impressions can last, so it may be difficult to convince them to come back once they leave.
This is why you should make sure that that your website provides a quality user experience. You can start by improving your web design, from layout to site map. You want to make sure that navigating your site is hassle-free. Rearranging your homepage and other pages will greatly help present your webpages in a more organized manner. Plus, it can make your site appear more pleasing.
You should also consider hiring a team of digital marketing experts to overhaul your site in order to improve loading speeds. As mentioned, visitors can leave in a matter of seconds and if you waste this window because of slow loading speeds, you are losing your chances of showing off your brand. Worse, it can paint your company in a negative light.
If you are wondering what visitors are saying about your site and brand, you might want to check out services such as The Brand Grader. It shows how companies are performing in terms of their brand and reputation. Another tool you can use is social media. Simple key in your brand name and you will be able to see what if users are talking about your business. The best thing is, you can join a cannabis business social network, which is focused on marijuana-related topics.
The Bottom Line
Your online reputation is one of the most valuable assets of your business. Your website can serve as a multipurpose tool to manage your reputation, sell your products, and promote your business. If you are new to digital marketing techniques such as web development and reputation management, look into hiring a cannabis marketing agency for professional assistance.