Rankable Ep.6 – Emerging Markets in the Age of COVID-19

In this edition of Rankable Live, we were joined by guests from Weedmaps and Drizly, to discus the topic, "Emerging Marketings Making the most of COVID-19."

Rankable Live - Emerging markets Making the Most of COVID-19

In this edition of Rankable Live, we are joined by John Chung, SEO Manager at Weedmaps, and Jake Jamieson, Senior SEO Manager at Drizly.

Our discussion revolved around the ins and outs of thriving industries in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

John and Jake went into detail on how and why these companies were able to be so successful in midst of everything that’s been going on, including shifts in digital marketing strategies and more. 

Video Transcription

Michael Dellon:

Hello, everybody. Thanks to everyone who came out today. My name is Mike Dellon. I am the growth manager here at iPullRank. We are joined by Mike King, founder and managing director of iPullRank. John Chung, SEO manager at Weedmaps and Jake Jamieson, senior SEO manager at Drizly. How are you guys feeling today?

John Chung:

Doing all right. Thanks for asking. 

Michael Dellon:

Good to hear. So, as a quick agenda, this is our Rankable Live webinar. Basically what we do here is we get together with like minded individuals in the industry, and we talk through some of the stuff that they’re seeing. So that’s a little bit of agenda. What we’re going to do is kind of talk a little bit about life before coronavirus and everything going on in the world, how things have kind of changed. And frankly, how working at these emerging markets has led to some really great opportunities and generally growth throughout these times.

So really to get things kicked off right now. I’d love to kind of hear a little bit more about you guys and just your general focus. Let’s call it in like January before any of this stuff had gone on. So, John, we’ll start with you, like before we even heard about coronavirus, like what were some of the things that you’ve been working on?

John Chung:

I mean, it was very similar to just any regular SEO strategy, you know, create content that we have gaps in the industry of. Cause I mean, Weedmaps has been around since I want to say one of the first mover advantage for the cannabis industry. So our goal was to fill in the gaps that our competitors have in terms of the keywords that they’re currently targeting. And that’s essentially what the strategy was, right. Create content, target those keywords, and rank for them. That was just essentially the very, very beginning before COVID-19.

Michael Dellon:

Absolutely. And Jake, for you, do you find that to be pretty similar, you know, just, another day in the life trying to fill in the gaps and whatnot?

Jake Jamieson:

Uh, yeah, I mean, for the most part we were focusing on it. SEO is pretty standard, no matter what the situation is, you’re like trying to understand what your customers are looking for and what problems they’re trying to solve. And you’re trying to let them know that you can help them solve it, right? So that that’s going to be, that’s been our main focus. 

So the main, like we had a few different projects we were working on, the big one is what we call our local pages, which are pages targeted at specific cities where we have app stores available and kind of targeting it around alcohol delivery in San Francisco or New York City or whatever. And we focus in late 2019. We basically increase those pages by about 10X. We went from about a hundred pages to closer to a thousand and we’ve just been optimizing the heck out of them.

And that was what we were doing before we ever knew what any of this would happen. And the other thing we did was kind of make it a little bit more dynamic. So we weren’t manually making those, anytime we add a store to a city, we now have a page, a city page for that area, which kind of makes it a lot easier to be able to capture stuff a little bit more quickly than we were before, a little bit less reactive. And we’re kind of ahead of it a little bit, if that makes sense.

Michael Dellon:

Yeah. Yeah. That makes total sense to me. And I think that one of the things that everyone just kind of thinks about when they’re thinking about coronavirus and their work on a day to day basis, is that it kind of just came out of left field and no one was really quite preparing for whether it be the good or the bad that would come along with it for their individual businesses. 

But one of the main reasons, you know, I kind of reached out, out of the blue to tap you guys on is because you two both work for industries and businesses that are really thriving right now. So I’d love to hear a little bit more about just like when COVID-19 first happened, that kind of intense shift that you guys saw. 

I know we talk about this a lot. How, you know, back in the day before all of this, it was really more targeted at the discovery phase. And now we moved all the way down to the decision phase and things. Jake, mean for you, we’d kind of talked a little bit in the past about Drizly. I’d love to hear your input on what strategies you guys kind of implemented to go from basically working through the discovery phase all the way down to now the decision making phase.

Jake Jamieson:

Yeah. I mean, there were a couple other projects we’ve been working on that kind of helped out with that too. The interesting thing was when people knew about alcohol delivery, there’s a lot of questions for people. Typically there’s a lot more sort of objection handling generally with alcohol delivery. Like, isn’t that illegal? Are you sure that’s okay? Like that kind of thing. And what, all of a sudden we’re in the news being named dropped by all these major networks and suddenly it was like everybody knew alcohol delivery was cool and everybody wanted it. 

Mike King

Jake, from my perspective, I was like bout time, I don’t want to leave the house. 

Jake Jamieson:

Yeah, exactly. And so a lot of that awareness building that we’ve been trying to do a lot of, like trying to grow people like, Hey, yeah, it’s totally cool. As long as we’re in your state, that means that it’s legal for us to be in your state. So a lot of that kind of went away and we actually have sort of similar to those local pages that we were talking about. We also started targeting “liquor stores near me” is a huge keyword that has just a ton of volume around it. 

So we started to try to attract people that were a little higher in the funnel. They don’t know that alcohol delivery is available, but they are just looking for a local liquor store. And then once we get them onto our page, when they’re ranking, well, we’re like, yeah, cool. These are the liquor stores in your neighborhood. Also, they can bring you your booze. And that has really worked out for us well, too. I mean, it was just crazy, like the stuff that we had done last year and at the beginning of this year, after everything that was happening and, you know, we ended up rationing back on a lot of our paid spend and all that kind of stuff.

So the SEO pages were just given like a chance to shine, right? So, in April our SEO new buyers. That’s one of the metrics that I’m really sort of focusing on and trying to build, like we saw this growth go from like, it was 1500%, 1500% plus year over year growth for April in terms of people who just came, landed on those pages and converted. So we’re really now at this point, we’re just trying to make the experience better. We’re trying to make sure those pages load quickly. We’re trying to make sure that we have coverage in those areas and all that kind of stuff.

But that’s been the main, the biggest thing with the projects that we’ve been working on. The other thing that’s been kind of cool and is we already had on a roadmap that we were trying to work on. So like partner links, right? Like we have all these amazing suppliers that we partner with and getting them to link to their Drizly pages, like their brand page or their different product pages that was already on the docket. We have this infrastructure set up, we were like, okay, this is what we’re going to do. This is how we’re going to do this outreach. 

And I’m sure John’s like, Oh, cool partner links. That’s on the first page of the SEO rule book, man. But it just turned out that that same kind of intent shift, all of a sudden these partners who we’d been really trying to court and really were having a hard time convincing them that this was a good thing for them. All of a sudden they’re like, Oh, we’re not able to link directly to retailers. We’re not able to often offer e-commerce on our own site. We want to link to your pages because you can suddenly, you know, within an hour, within two hours or within for shipping a little bit longer, you can sort of help us sort of strike while the siren’s hot. And that’s been a really big, really great push and sort of changing the mindset of people that we’re working with.

Michael Dellon:

Yeah. And I definitely can see how it’s really exciting to see all of that work and then kind of this stuff happens. And then all of a sudden, all that work that you’ve been preparing on is now at the forefront. And it’s the most useful things that a lot of your partners have seen in order for them to grow their businesses. 

But John, I want to ask you the same question, but I think that before we get right into that, I think it’s important, cause a lot of people don’t really understand how Weedmaps might work on the national level of being as well, marijuana isn’t federally legal, so I’d love if you could kind of just walk us through, you know, kind of how everything works being, as some States are not legal and others are llegal and then kind of talk to us about what you’d been seeing. 

John Chung:

That’s a really good question. Because as an SEO that’s working in an industry that’s semi legal, that’s been one of my challenges, right? How do you optimize for multiple different States that are legal, but at the same time your tech stack creates regions and it’s like a batch region release, right? How do you, how do you challenge, how do you work around that? 

It’s like, well, right now the way that we’re currently optimizing is by providing crawlable paths to the ones that we currently have, that the States are currently legal and the regions are legal. Anything that’s not legal, doesn’t get a crawlable path. But the thing is like all those regions are already kind of built out already. So the challenge was like, how do we get these pages ranking over other pages that may not be as valuable?

It’s like, well, we would have to again create crawlable paths and also optimizing the content on the page to add additional relevance to whatever we’re currently trying to target. So that’s been a main challenge. However, because we have first mover advantage for all dispensers deliveries, doctors, brands, keywords, ranking for those specific keywords isn’t too difficult, as long as we have to correct optimizations and the title tags and also in the content. 

So it wasn’t too big of a challenge, but that’s kind of how we are currently dealing with things as new regions open up, it’s like, well, what do we do? So what we create a crawlable path from our homepage, for example, who has the most backlinks that we want to leverage those backlinks into the pages that Google bot is not currently able to see because the homepage does dynamically render the content based off of your location. 

So like, let’s say if Google bot is crawling from Ashburn, Virginia, or like Mountain View, they’re only gonna see Mountain View content. Right. So then how are they going to attribute that kind of content to a specific regional keyword, like marijuana dispensaries in California or whatever. Right. So does that answer your question a little bit? 

Mike King:

Yeah, John, actually, I, we’ve seen the problem you just described, like actually have a big impact on certain sites. So for instance, we were working with a site in the car space and for whatever reason, Google started crawling them from Grand Rapids, Michigan. And so they had no inventory in Grand Rapids, Michigan, so everything became a soft 404 and those pages were falling out of that site. 

So I’m just curious like, how are you guys monitoring that type of stuff? Is there anything that you’re just using to navigate the fact that Google bot may change where they’re crawling from. And then after that, my next question is how are you guys preparing for like, once the world does open up around, you know, marijuana and such, how are you going to make sure that you maintain that first movers advantage? 

John Chung:

So the second question in regards to how to make sure we scale up to all the different regions is that all the infrastructure is already built out. Just like how it’s like with the tech structure and the way the tech is built out. All the regions are basically built on the beginning. So the skill is already there. All we need to do is make sure that we have a crawlable path, optimize the content on the page and also have actual content on the page like listings and it’s an online region and it’s basically listings and yeah, essentially just listings. Right? 

Your first question, could you repeat that one more time?

Mike King:

Yeah. It’s more like, how are you guys monitoring that, you know, Google bots’ activity and behavior isn’t ultimately affecting you because of the fact that you are location specific.

John Chung:

So I think of it more as like, Oh, well, how do I solve from wherever Google bot crawls, right? It’s not just about like, is Google bot crawling from Mountain View. No, it’s like wherever Google bot crawls and decides to start establishing relevance, we want to solve for that equation. So that equation is, again, interlinks. You want to have static interlinks, nothing that’s dynamic. 

It’s basically like all the dynamic info on the page. I just basically crossed that out. I’m like, okay, I’m not even going to take that into consideration because Google bots’ going to crawl wherever they crawl, right. However, the static content at the very bottom of the page, for example, that are interlinks to the regions that Google bot is not able to get to very quickly from the home page, we make sure that the interlink is there and that it is static. It’s never going to change regardless of wherever Google bot is going to be crawling from. 

Mike King:

Gotcha. Back to you, Dellon. 

Michael Dellon:

Yeah. Yeah. And I think that one of the really interesting thing that I’m thinking about, especially as I think about my use of Drizly on a weekly frankly, even daily basis, is it really comes down to, for me, I’m kind of lazy when it comes to leaving the apartment, going out, buying alcohol, when frankly, I can just be sitting in front of the TV and getting it delivered. But I think for most people as they’re itching to get outside, we might see that more people are interested in getting back into liquor stores. And what have you. 

So, Jake, I was kind of curious, like how, how do you guys plan to keep the demand for alcohol delivery? Once things start to reopen and people are looking to get out of the house and potentially go to those liquor stores in person.

Jake Jamieson:

Yeah. I mean, I think we can start playing around with the messaging on some of the pages that we have, but it’s going to come down to basically keeping doing what we’ve always done, which is like, keep driving awareness about us, keep a presence up, you know, stay across those fingers, stay on the first page of search results and keep driving all kinds of organic traffic, drive efficiently through paid channels, all your standard stuff. 

But we’re, we’re really focusing on trying to, you know, just make a good experience on the website. So we’ve started to roll out things like when you go to a liquor store, one of the things that you expect to see is a shelf of liquors that are kind of organized by type and things like that. So we’re actually rolling out shelves on our site. So you can go in and say, okay, here are all the vodkas that I have available to me in my area and things like that. 

So it feels more like going to the liquor store experience without having to get off the couch. Like you mentioned, and we’re improving the experience, we’re working on site speed right now, we are always sort of expanding our network, building out selection, making things more personalized. And it’s really like, we’re trying to build a brand that people can connect with and that we really believe in. That’s really what it is, is making Drizly kind of an entity that people want to work with. And that’s really what the bottom line of it is.

Mike King:

Yeah. I think that one of the things that’s very beneficial here for both, you know, Weedmaps and potentially Drizly is that people are creating new behaviors right now. And they’re trying out services like you guys when they may not have before. And, you know, the experiences, I mean, we can’t use Weedmaps here and I don’t use it, but Drizly I have used and, like it is a good experience. 

Like the liquor store is literally a block around the corner from where I’m sitting right now, but I’m not going to go there cause I can just use the Drizly and  it’s such a good experience. So I think, you know beyond just the organic search component of it is that you’re building that consumer loyalty on the back of, like you said, you guys have a good service that is pretty valuable.

Michael Dellon:

Yeah. And I think another thing on that, like consumer loyalty and just like brand awareness standpoint that I was really curious about,  for you, Jake, was that I’d love to hear some more about the email blunder. I think a lot of us have heard about that, and I think that you guys did a really great job at flipping that into an awesome way to show how cool and in the know Drizly is. So I’d love to just kind of hear your thoughts on that. I don’t know that you specifically worked on that, but I’m sure you saw it and got a giggle out of it.

Jake Jamieson:

Yeah, it was. I was on the periphery of it. I mean, if anybody didn’t hear about it, we sent out, we had a little email misfire a couple of weeks ago. We sent out this, we call it a personalized email that had a lot of things like placeholders and lorem ipsum and stuff like that. And Twitter kind of blew up a little bit about it. It’s one of those things. It’s an Oh shit moment. Right? You’re like, uh, what just happened? 

And one of the things that I really thought was amazing was how quickly our email team jumped on it, our brand team, someone on the SEO team even jumped into help. And it was just kinda one of those things that could have gone South really quickly. It’s one of those things that you, it’s not a, let’s be honest. That was at worst like a mild to moderate inconvenience, like having to delete an email that wasn’t exactly what you wanted, but the way that our team handled it, it just blew me away. 

Like it was pretty much the most Drizly response possible, right? So brand teams, a bunch of MVPs, they jumped in immediately to send out some communications about, Hey, Mia culpa, her dog did it like that kind of thing. But then on top of that, they offered a promo code that was LOREMIPSUM. 

John Chung:

That was hilarious.

Jake Jamieson:

Yeah, so we sent out a cocktail, we rebranded, it was like just rebranded the vodka cran and called it the lorem ipsum cocktail and just did some jokey stuff and just owned it. We were like, yeah, this was a screw up. We’ll give you something in exchange. And it just really felt like an amazing thing and yeah, super authentic. And the response was amazing. Like one of the things that I thought was great is people on Twitter were saying that we did this on purpose to try to generate buzz. 

And I don’t know if anybody’s ever tried to make anything go viral, but I mean, it’s hard.

Mike King:

Did you guys use that as a link building opportunity once it kind of caught on fire? 

Jake Jamieson:

That’s a great idea, Mike. We should talk. 

Mike King:

Ironically, I just got an email from you guys. It’s about,  how, you know, because of our curfew here in New York, the resellers are closing early. Yeah, so, I didn’t want to say, cause it kinda sounded like I was, you know, saying something bad about Weedmaps, I was not, it’s actually a very well-designed site. I’ve seen it in the structure from an SEO perspective. You guys are doing a great job. 

So I just want to be clear that, you know, I love what you guys are doing. I’m just saying that we don’t use it, or I don’t use it in New York of course. 

Michael Dellon:

You might be surprised to hear that, it definitely does work in New York. If you have a medical card, you can ask my father about that. He uses it all the time. 

John Chung:

There you go. There you go. One of the old partners or one of the old founders, Justin Harfield actually comes from an SEO background. So actually it’s funny cause legalmarijuanadispensary.com that exact match domain, was actually the first domain name that we created, riight? If you go there right now, it’ll redirect you over to weedmaps.com, but it’s just like, it goes to show how long ago was this domain actually created when exact match domains were still a prevalent thing?

So roughly around 11, 12 years ago. Right? So, um, because of that, the structure is basically built out kind of towards SEO until a certain point where it’s like, and you know, he was working on it for so long and then other people get brought in and it’s like, SEO doesn’t become as big a priority. So there’s a lot of gaps that we can still fill in in terms of technical. But it is definitely built out with an SEO mind at the very beginning. You are correct on that. 

Jake Jamieson:

Yeah, we had kind of a similar thing that our founders are really smart. They thought about SEO, before I even got started. I’ve only been at Drizly for about a year and SEO is a part of the culture, but it’s also kind of that same thing where it’s really the backbone of a lot of the stuff we do. And a lot of the things we do are just right naturally. And now it shifts a little bit with other priorities and things like that.

But it’s kind of funny. Like when I tell people what percentage of our traffic comes from SEO, they’re like, wait, what? And that’s just sort of par for the course here. It’s like, yeah. More than, you know, so much of our traffic comes from this free channel and I’m air quoting a lot today. What’s up, can we fix that and post, so SEO is kind of part of our DNA and it really drives so much. And if I mentioned it to someone like to talking to another SEO professional, they’re like, Oh wow. Like, you know, we strive for that. And it just kind of is the way it is over here, which is pretty cool.

John Chung:

Yeah. We’re the same dude we have, I mean, a lot of our traffic comes from organic search and it’s such a big, especially in cannabis, right? You can’t do a lot of paid media and cannabis like you have to do because the reason being is because Google PPC or AdWords is blocked on any cannabis and vice keywords. So it’s like my paid media guy who is like one of my best friends over Weedmaps has a very challenging job. He has to find all these different vendors that are able to support our kind of ads on different buy ins or different platforms that will actually put our ads on different websites and stuff. And that’s been a very big challenge. And because of that, SEO has been such a big focus, you know, that’s where most of our traffic that comes from.

Michael Dellon:

Cool. and John, while I got you here, so I know that Jake, he’s a work from home guy, but for you, I think it’s important to talk about those people that aren’t work from home type of people and just kind of how your experience has been shifting from being in an office to working at home every day. So I’d love to just hear what’s kept you motivated in this new kind of environment.

John Chung:

Um, so I’m a person that does both, like, I like doing both. I like going into the office because all my friends are there. I mean, I have a lot of friends at Weedmaps. It’s like, that’s how you make that place enjoyable. Right? But at the same time, I like being at home with my dog, you know, SEO is something that you can definitely do remotely. It’s not something that you really need to be in the office for. 


But in my opinion, most of the reasons why I’m in the office is for optics. You want to make sure that, because I want to move up too, right. It’s like you make yourself known. I mean the biggest challenge when it comes to these types of transitions is how do you make sure that your work and your tactics and your strategies are still being heard?

Right. I’m very fortunate that the VP and the GM of Weedmaps was my former boss. Like when he first got there, he was my direct supervisor. So getting a conversation with them to make sure that SEO is a priority, continues to be a priority. It was pretty easy for me. And that was generally my challenge. It’s like, well, just for clarification, I’m the only SEO there. Right? And it becomes like ,if I’m the only SEO, how do I make sure that like, everything’s going right. 

So a lot of it is making sure that you play nice with everyone and also like, making sure that you play with the, you talk to the right players, making sure you have one on ones with all your PMs, all the front end PMs, making sure that anything that gets out has an SEO touch to it, that you’re also pitching ideas to your PMs so that you can create new opportunities for search volume. So that’s been the biggest challenge. Like how do I make sure that my shit still gets touched?

Mike King:

Yeah, John, I got to follow up on that. Cause you mentioned product managers and I’m wondering from your perspective, if you’ve worked in a place where it wasn’t like a product focused company and like what the difference in your perspective is like, and how you get SEO done between those two types of modes.

John Chung:

Yeah, for sure. So I was at an agency for three years before Weedmaps, I’ve been at Weedmaps for three years now. So three years, three years for iin house versus agency. So the biggest differences is like when you’re at an agency, you’re not really working with product managers, you’re working with project managers. Right? And they usually have access to everything. So you can go in and like, and go into the CMS and stuff like that. And then the account managers on the other side, like your clients, they’ll be able to assist you when it comes to executing deliverables and their dev team. If they need to rely on their dev team, right?

Over here at Weedmaps, as an in house SEO, it’s a lot about like getting buy in, right? How do you get buy in from your PM’s to prioritize your shit? Right? And it’s like, that’s been largely like when it comes to the transition from agency to in house, that’s been my biggest challenge. Like, because they have so much on their plate, right? How do they go ahead and prioritize your title tag optimizations versus a product feature that the C level suite has been trying to push for so long now. Right?

And the tactic that I generally like to use is with search volume. What’s my opportunity? Right? So I’ll do keyword research at the very beginning. Like, what is this vertical? How many keywords are out there or, and obviously keywords, that’s a hard number to say like how many keywords are that? Cause even Google doesn’t care how many keywords are there, but what you do is you get as many keywords as you possibly can for parallel keywords, long tail keywords, and also the main keyword target. And you add all that up. And then, you go ahead and multiply it by like what the 23, 33% first position click through rate. And then that’s basically going to be your estimated monthly search volume, like your cap. Right?

And then I go ahead and bring that to my PMs who already have set up one-on-ones and have built rapport over these three years. Right? Because that’s also very important. It’s not just about, Oh, Hey, by the way, I have this opportunity for you. It’s going to be great. No, it’s not. So you have to be, you have to be their friend first. Like, Hey, by the way, I have this great opportunity for you. This is going to be a win win for you and me because I know that your goal is to have increased monthly active users. My goal is to also have increased monthly active users. This is what this will get you. Right? So that’s been my main challenge, kind of like my tactics, getting my stuff done.

And also again, it’s being elevated from your directors, your VPs, your C level suite, because they understand that SEO is also a big player in, especially in the cannabis industry again. Right? So they are going out of their way to go ahead and elevate me, making sure that I’m doing lunch and learns, right. Making sure that I’m meeting with the different directors to teach SEO, right? Not only that, also the level of content editors have how to optimize title tags, how to do keyword research, how to do all that other URL slugs and all the other very entry level SEO tasks. So yeah, I think that does answer your question?

Mike King:

Absolutely. Absolutely. And we had another question come through from the audience. They asked, are you seeing changes in trends as we move from COVID-19 stay at home to phase reopenings and more of downturn economy versus active pandemic.

John Chung:

Well, people love weed, and it’s not like, and I’m pretty sure Jake can say the same because it’s like everyone drinks and everyone smokes weed. So it’s like, cannabis has been deemed essential business. So during the COVID-19 crisis or pandemic, yes, we have been seeing increased in search volume and organic traffic as the turn down and the economic, I guess you would say recession, if you could call it that at this moment, we are still seeing an increase. 

However, from the riots and the protesting, we are seeing a decrease because curfew, people can’t go to dispensaries as much. And people are also being very active when it comes to activism.

Mike King:

What about you, Jake?

Jake Jamieson:

Yeah, pretty much what he said. I mean, we’re an essential business to where we see a huge uptick and then we are seeing some impacts from all the, you know, everything that’s going on around the country right now. And we’re, we’re still trying to figure that out. Like you just got that email saying with the curfews, that the stores are gonna be closing at six, there’s a lot of that stuff that’s gonna impact business, but it’s the right thing to do. And it’s, you know, we’re, we’re trying to do that too.

I think the other thing that I really wanted to ask too is, I’m wondering what a work from home type is. Does that mean I’m like an indoor kid? Is that what it is?

Michael Dellon:

What are you asking me? 

Jake Jamieson:

Yeah. Yeah. I’m just kidding, yeah, I’ve been working from home for like 12 years. This isn’t new to me. But it is really interesting cause Drizly has a very, like bump into someone in the hall culture. It’s a very close knit, everyone’s in the office and the headquarters are down in Boston.

We have offices in Denver, in New York. So, we have a distributed, sorta culture anyway. Right. We have to have like people calling in on the web and stuff like that, but I’m up in Vermont. I’m not able to, I mean, I can get to the office if I need to and things like that when it’s open. But I have really seen a big difference. It used to be, you know, it just happens. Right? Like if you have 30 people in a room and there was one jerk up in Vermont, like dialing in over the phone, it’s kinda hard to remember to leave space for that. 

And it’s sometimes it ends up just being like, and this isn’t just Drizly. This has been anywhere I’ve worked. It’s like, Oh, anybody on the phone? I’m going to say no. All right, cool. And you know, and that’s really shifting a lot because now every meeting we have, everyone’s logging in from their laptop. So we’re seeing 200 people’s faces in tiny little tiled fashion in Google meet. 

But it feels more inclusive for me. I don’t feel kind of like that, that kid standing off on the side being like, Hey guys, remember me?  But it is shifting the way that we communicate with each other. And I think a lot of that’s going to stick around even once our office reopens. I think we’re gonna have some people who probably likes to work from home more often. And I think it’s going to just affect the total culture of the company as being able to integrate folks. 

I’m not the only remote employee at Drizly by any means. But I think we’re going to be able to see a little bit more integration of folks joining in different ways and being part of the conversation.

John Chung:

I think that’s, just to add onto that. I think that’s a super great point in terms of like the culture thing, like Weedmaps has been saying that we’ve been largely very effective and efficient and very productive ever since we’ve been working from home. Right? And, actually the COO has said like, you know what, after this whole thing, we’ve noticed that, you know, being home with your families and being productive and commute time, all that drop down, it means that once all this pandemic and lifts up and you can start going to work, the main focus isn’t about coming to the office anymore. It’s about flexibility. 

That’s what, that’s exactly what the CEO said. And I was like, how can I not back this company, even more, the C level executive and saying like, Oh, by the way, once this pandemic is over, working from home shouldn’t be an issue anymore. Right? I was like, Oh, okay. That’s fucking dope.

Jake Jamieson:

Yeah, we’re seeing that too.

Mike King:

So guys we’re at time, but I do want to leave a little space for you guys to share, what’s your like one GoTo tip or tool or takeaway that you want to share with the folks at home that they can, you know, use as an actionable from this discussion.

John Chung:

No, I can go first, I guess, interlinks bro, technical SEO. Okay. So I always think about like there’s three pillars of SEO, right? Technical, on page, off page. Technical, it’s like basically the foundation, does everything it’s the on switch on, off switch off kind of thing, on page is like your horizontal reach and off page is like your vertical reach. 

When it comes to technical SEO, Weedmaps was my very first foray into that kind of field. And you don’t really realize the importance of interlinks until you have a really, really big website and until you have a dynamic website. So for me, a lot of my journey here has been like, how do I connect all these nodes that are pages like these nodes are pages, right? How do I connect all these notes so that when Google crawls this page, they can go ahead and go to other parts that are relevant. Right? So my takeaway interlinks, man, if you could find places to interlink, fucking do it.

Jake Jamieson:

Yeah, yeah, for sure. And that’s basically the same thing, I’m an old technical SEO nerd from way back. And like we finally got our server logs. Like we have server log integration now where I can actually go and compare how Google’s interacting with our site versus how humans are interacting with our site and try to draw some paths between that. 

And it’s been that information that is life changing. I’m like a kid in a candy store every time I open up bot clarity. So I’m in there like mucking around every day and it’s really helped kind of figure out things like faceting and pagination and this huge, massive site that we have, try to make sure that, that, yeah, it’s SEO 101 again, but that humans and machines can interact with it and understand what’s going on with it. And it’s made a big difference.

Mike King:

Cool. 

Michael Dellon:

Well, guys, I wanted to thank you so much for taking some time to chat with us today. I think we all got a fair amount out of this and I’m really appreciative of that. If there are any other questions that come up, whether that be in the chat or just in general, you guys can always hit me up on LinkedIn. I can actually post my LinkedIn here. If anyone has any questions for me.

But thanks everyone who came out today, join the conversation, I hope everyone’s staying safe, healthy, trying to make the most of what we’re going through these days. And until next week, I think we have an atomic next week. Is that right, Mike? I don’t remember. Well, I’m sure you’ll get an email from us. Yes. I’m sure everyone who has joined this will get an email about our upcoming webinar that we got going next week. But until then, thank you all so much and enjoy the weekend!

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