Dispensary SEO: How Native E-Commerce Menus Give You a Ranking Boost

From a marketer’s point of view, e-commerce websites and companies are constantly shifting towards the latest trends, insights, and resources to help better optimize their business website. But when you throw a new or established cannabis dispensary into this mix – why does this process still feel so hazy?

No matter who you talk to in the industry, the mutual understanding between both iFrame and native menus for dispensary websites helps encourage and direct your consumers through the sales funnel and purchase completion.

However, just like other facets of this newly budding industry, many brands are beginning to not only gain a better understanding of this dispensary SEO but reap the benefits as to how and why native e-commerce menus give you a ranking boost.

In this blog, we’ll be exploring the many different aspects of both native and iframe e-commerce menus. This will not only help you gain a better insight into the importance of dispensary SEO but allow you to make a clear and more informed decision on which e-commerce menu type is right for your website, (Hint: You’ll know by the end of this blog).

iFrame vs. Native Menu: Is There a Difference? 

Before diving into the significant differences between an iframe and a native menu for dispensary e-commerce websites, let’s review the basics of each:

  • A Native e-commerce menu is when the whole online shopping experience, from product discovery to checkout, happens all within the same platform and website. From online shoe shopping to ordering mechanical truck parts, traditional e-commerce websites operate with this menu inherited from the website.
  • An iFrame e-commerce menu is an inline frame e-commerce menu that’s inserted into a page on your dispensary website. Think of this menu as another website and its functionality living on just one of your pages.

For dispensaries, an iFrame menu would typically include embedding a dispensary marketplace platform (such as Dutchie, Weedmaps, or iHeart Jane) into the menu page of your website.

Native E-Commerce Menus for Dispensaries 

Imagine the most efficient and easy experience you’ve had with online shopping. Perhaps the products were all neatly categorized and displayed for you to explore, or the website’s online shopping cart had a helpful “People Also Purchased” section to remind you of other products being sold.

Does your online shopping experience live and breathe your brand’s messaging and values? Does it create a cohesive, streamlined experience for shoppers?

Here are a few pros and cons dispensaries may experience with native e-commerce menus.

Pros of Native E-Commerce Menus

  • Full Control of Dispensary SEO: 

Imagine all the contributing factors and details that go into an online dispensary menu. There are product categories, descriptions, reviews, meta tags, and other unique characteristics you can leverage to produce an optimized, user-friendly experience.

All your menu pages (including categories, brands, and products) can be crawled and indexed by Google, allowing people searching for specific products to find your menu pages in search results. A native menu is best for SEO.

  • Ownership of Analytics: 

Reviewing and accessing user data, from the moment they arrive on your site to placing an order, is crucial to analyzing the buyer’s journey and your sales. When you have a native menu implemented for your dispensary website, you have full access and ownership to all analytics and user data – it’s as simple as that. With an iFrame or embedded menu, the data is owned by the marketplace platform.

  • Customizable Features: 

You have full creative control over your brand’s styling, voice, and user interface on menu pages.

Additionally, with these custom feature options, native e-commerce menus allow you to contextually link to products throughout your website more easily. Simply link directly to specific products or categories from anywhere on your site.

Cons of Native E-Commerce Menus

  • Page Speed: 

Our marketing agency reminds you that page speed is a ranking factor. Having a page that loads fast enhances the user’s online experience and plays a role in how well you rank on Google.

When building out a native e-commerce dispensary menu from scratch, there are a ton of complex moving parts featuring rich data for users, which can take time to load. It’s helpful to monitor and optimize your website’s page speed to prevent any lags in the user experience.

  • Time-Consuming: 

Because your dispensary menu isn’t hosted on a larger marketplace platform, it’s up to you to perform routine maintenance and updates to your native menu. Depending on the size of your company, variety of products, and web development experience – the timeline of this process can look different for everyone.

Luckily, our extensive experience in designing custom dispensary menu solutions helps remove some of the stress of hosting a native e-commerce menu.

iFrame E-Commerce Menus for Cannabis Dispensaries 

When you embed a marketplace or iFrame menu, you’re essentially integrating this marketplace menu listing into your dispensary website.

Embedding an iFrame e-commerce menu also means you will have established a marketplace on that platform and therefore gain brand exposure. On the other hand, your dispensary may not have as flexible accessibility to pertinent user data and information.

Here are a few pros and cons cannabis dispensaries may experience with marketplace e-commerce menus.

Pros of iFrame E-Commerce Menus

  • Security & Updates:

The original marketplace platform is solely responsible for the security of user data and information. All data lives on the iFrame’s database, which means you don’t have to worry about monitoring or reducing the risk of failed cyber security.

All maintenance and updates required for your dispensary’s iFrame menu are addressed by the marketplace platform itself, leaving your company with one less detail to worry about.

  • Installation Ease: 

No matter if you’re a newbie to website development or a web coding master, the installation and setup process for iFrame menus is simpler than that of native menus. Embedding a marketplace menu will also integrate with most cannabis dispensary POS systems.

Cons of iFrame E-Commerce Menus

  • Mobile Responsiveness: 

Compared to directly editing or adjusting the layout of a native menu, mobile formatting and responsiveness can be challenging on iFrame menus.

Although some marketplace menus claim to have these mobile formatting and customizable features, display or mobile accessibility issues may arise.

  • Custom Styling:

Styling features are mainly reflective of the platform’s branding. The stylized look tends to be the same across all websites that use this form of e-commerce menu. You may be able to change the theme color or add your dispensary’s logo, but these customization options are still pretty limited.

This could interfere with your dispensary’s voice, styling, and overall brand messaging strategically implemented throughout your cannabis website.

  • SEO:

iFrame menus are often invisible to search engines, which means nothing within the menu will be crawled or indexed. This type of menu has little benefit, if any, to SEO.

Hennep Dispensary: Driving Results with a Native E-Commerce Menu Solution

At our cannabis marketing agency, we meet numerous brands looking to overcome the challenges of dispensary SEO. Our team of combined experiences and insights has allowed us to create the ultimate dispensary SEO strategy to help your brand get on the map.

Hennep is a recreational cannabis dispensary in Provincetown, Massachusetts that came to Cannabis Creative for assistance in increasing online visibility and brand awareness while driving customers to shop their dispensary online.

Our SEO and web development teams strategized a native menu layout for Hennep, featuring the dispensary’s products and categories all displayed in a clear and simple layout for a user-friendly experience.

We also optimized each product category page with meta tags and educational copy that help Hennep rank in Google for keywords based on the categories.

Hennep’s new native dispensary menu launched on March 7th, 2023. About a month later, a quick performance overview showed following:

  • Organic traffic was up 69.68%
  • The conversion rate improved 104%
  • Transactions were up 145%
  • Revenue was up 74.3%

Cannabis Creative: Dispensary Launch Package

In conclusion, native e-commerce menus can act as fuel to your SEO fire. Everything about your users and their engagement, plus the work you implement towards your dispensary SEO, is all transmitted directly to Google.

Adding a native dispensary menu to your cannabis website is full of advantages for both you as the dispensary brand and for online users themselves. You have full reign in customizable styling, have total ownership of all user data, and gain the ultimate value of SEO strategy.

Created with a startup budget in mind, our cannabis agency’s Dispensary Launch Package has got everything you need to successfully catapult results on your dispensary SEO, sales, and visibility online.

Why go through all the trouble of embedding a marketplace dispensary menu for all the hard work and details not to be crawled by Google? Let us help you blast onto the scene with marketing strategies that will make the most immediate and long-term impact. Our search and content team at Cannabis Creative is here to assist in organically getting your dispensary at the top of search results through intentional content strategy and website development.

Get a custom-coded, user-friendly, mobile-accessible native dispensary menu and website – all done for you.

Ready to get started on optimizing your dispensary website or build out a brand new native dispensary menu? Reach out to our team today to start collaborating!