CBD SEO is an essential part of growing a CBD brand online. Companies in the CBD industry can particularly benefit from SEO due to paid advertising restrictions.
In this article, we’re going to cover 10 CBD SEO tips to help you increase your organic traffic and get ahead of your competition.
There are many aspects to SEO, including “on-page SEO” and “off-page SEO.” On-page SEO relates to factors that affect rankings on a page itself, such as content, while off-page SEO relates to factors outside of a page, such as external backlinks.
“CBD SEO” is the application of SEO to a website in the CBD industry. While SEO best practices don’t necesarilly change depending on the industry you’re in, CBD is exceptionally competitive and often relates to health-related topics, which can affect how you approach things.
While paid advertising and social media can help increase traffic to your CBD website, most online traffic is from search engines.
Since you can’t technically advertise CBD on Google, SEO is a great way to increase targeted organic traffic to your website.
SEO is also one of the only methods of generating traffic that continues to pay off long-term without significant continued investment.
If you have a successful piece of SEO content, it can consistently bring in organic traffic to your CBD website for years, providing a steady flow of sales and increased brand awareness. An article you pay $200 for could bring an ROI of $1,000 + (and in some cases, much more). SEO traffic is also highly targeted, as people are typing in specific CBD keywords, and you’re providing them with the exact information they’ve searched for.
If you’re a new website, you’re not going to be able to rank for competitive keywords such as “CBD oil for pain.” Regardless of how informative, engaging, and factually accurate your content is, a new site can’t rank for terms this competitive.
Instead, it’s better to target frequently searched non-competitive keywords.
To find them, you need a keyword research tool such as Ahrefs Keyword Explorer.
As you can see, “CBD oil for pain” is searched very often (39,000 times per month in the US on Google), but it’s “super hard” to rank for.
To find a non-competitive term, we can type in “CBD oil for” and filter by “KD” or “keyword difficulty”. Set this at a non-competitive range, such as 0-10.
We now have a list of keywords that are easy to rank for but are still super relevant.
These phrases are all searched over 200 times per month (which is decent).
As a newer website, you have a greater chance of ranking for these keywords. It’s in your best interest to start with these non-competitive keywords. Then, with time, you can begin to target more competitive ones.
Website speed is more important than ever with Google’s Core Web Vitals update, which started rolling out in early May 2021.
It’s simple: the faster your website, the better the user experience.
Google is increasingly placing more importance on website speed, and it’s in your best interest to keep your pages and posts loading lightening fast.
Some standard courses of action include deleting unnecessary plugins (if you’re using WordPress), optimizing images for file size and type, and minifying code.
To understand how pages on your website are currently performing, try using Google PageSpeed Insights.
PageSpeed Insights provides you a score out of 100 for both desktop and mobile. More importantly, it shows you exactly what’s causing bloat and what you can do to resolve any issues to increase website speed.
E-A-T stands for Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness.
EAT encompasses a variety of factors that determine the trustworthiness of a page and domain.
Expertise means having a lot of knowledge in a specific field, ideally with genuine and credible qualifications.
CBD and particular health-related topics about CBD, such as “CBD oil for cancer,” fall under “YMYL topics.” YMYL stands for “Your Money or Your Life.”
Since CBD health-related topics closely affect people’s well-being, Google wants to prioritize the ranking of pages and domains with genuine expertise in these fields. The primary reason for this is to provide users with safe and responsible information.
Suppose you’re posting content about CBD oil and cancer. In that case, it’s ideal to hire a freelance technical writer to write your content, such as a medical doctor (MD) or a Ph.D. in biomedical sciences, rather than a general content writer.
The workaround is to have a content writer write it, and one of these experts “medically review” the content.
Authority is about reputation and what you’re covering on your website.
If you’re a CBD website, stay focused on CBD topics, and don’t branch off too much to unrelated topics.
That’ll make it more difficult for Google to understand what exactly you’re an authority figure on from a domain-level perspective.
Your reputation is also an essential factor for authoritativeness. Are other high-quality domains that Google respects linking to yours? Are reviews about your domain high?
Trustworthiness is about being transparent, legitimate, and providing accurate information.
Providing easy access to contact and support links is also advisable.
Content accuracy is vital for trustworthiness. When it comes to health-related CBD blog topics, your content should cite primary sources from medical search engines instead of other blog posts that aren’t peer-reviewed.
Google wants to provide people with accessible and accurate information that perfectly matches a user’s search intent.
Content that ranks high and maintains a high position long-term is satisfying to search intent.
When you create pages and posts for your CBD website, you have to make sure that the page you’re creating provides people with what they’re searching for.
The easiest way to identify search intent is to type in the focus keyword you’re targeting on Google. Then, see what the top 3-5 posts are and identify patterns.
If you search for “CBD oil and pain,” it’s clear this keyword is appealing to an informational search intent where people want to read about how CBD may help pain.
While if you type in “CBD gummies,” it’s clear this is appealing to a transaction search intent, where people want to buy CBD gummies.
Get inside the person’s head typing in the keywords you’re targeting, and see how you can provide them with more valuable content than the current top-ranking competition.
SEO audits are a great way to identify technical SEO issues with your website quickly.
To perform an audit, you can use a Site Audit tool. Let’s take Ahrefs Site Audit tool as an example.
First, you input your URL.
Then, you run the crawl.
After some time, depending on the size of your website, you’ll receive a “health score” out of 100. The higher your score, the less urgent technical errors you have to resolve.
You’ll be able to see errors such as pages linking to 404 pages (pages that don’t exist) or pages that don’t have incoming internal links or pages that are missing meta descriptions or short meta titles.
Site audits are a great way of making sure your website is “healthy” and isn’t being held back by technical issues.
Correcting errors, especially more significant ones (such as many links to non-existent pages), is worth regularly doing. You don’t want your epic content to be held back by technical issues.
Your competition is more valuable than you think. Get to know your competitors from an SEO perspective. There’s a lot to learn. Study their SEO history. See what’s worked for them and what hasn’t.
With a tool like Ahrefs Site Explorer, you can view the historical data for any domain. You can see how their organic traffic has changed over time, which keywords they’re ranking for, and what their top pages are.
Let’s say you’re a UK CBD company, and one of your competitors is https://cbd-one.co.uk/.
Here’s what we find when looking at their top pages.
We can see that their post on “is CBD oil legal?” is performing great. It’s getting 567 visits per month.
If we’re trying to find blog topics, this information is very beneficial.
Now you can see what their top pages are, pick those that aren’t overly competitive, and write blog posts that are better than theirs.
Internal links are links between pages on the same domain and are an important part of SEO.
Internal links help users navigate between your pages, and it also gives search engines a clear understanding of your website’s priorities.
The more internal links you point towards a page, the more important you’re telling Google that page is.
You can use internal links to your advantage for product pages. Informative blog posts that answer questions, such as “is CBD legal in texas?” are more likely to receive backlinks from other websites than product pages.
A product page like “Buy CBD Shatter Online” isn’t something people will generally link to. But you can use internal links to provide internal backlinks to these pages to give them a boost.
For example, in a blog post where you mention the word “CBD shatter,” you can hyperlink this to go to your product collection page titled “Buy CBD Shatter Online.”
When adding internal links, be sure to consider the “anchor text” you use. Anchor text means the words you’re hyperlinking.
It’s better to hyperlink the specific word “CBD shatter, or “Buy CBD Shatter” instead of hyperlinking the word “click here” as it gives users a clearer idea of what page they’re going to.
Meta tags are snippets of text that give search engines information about the contents of a page.
To keep your pages and posts SEO-friendly, you’ll need to optimize your meta titles and meta descriptions.
A Meta title, or website title, is a title that appear in Google search results for any page or post. Meta titles entice users to click on your page and help search engines understand the contents of your page.
Best practices for meta titles:
Let’s say the focus keyword is “CBD oil for pain.”
A good meta title would be “CBD Oil for Pain: What the Research Shows.”
This meta title is good because it’s 50 to 60 characters long, it includes the focus keyword early on, and “what the research shows” appeals to the correct search intent.
Meta descriptions are the descriptions under the meta title in search results.
Think of meta descriptions as a preview for your page. It introduces the topic and makes people want to click on your page to find out more. The meta description should also make one confident about what they’re going to see on the page.
Best practices for meta descriptions:
A good meta description for the keyword “CBD oil for pain” would be something like this:
CBD oil or cannabidiol is a cannabinoid sometimes used for pain relief. Here’s what the research shows about CBD and pain.
This meta description is good as it is between 80 to 160 characters, it focuses on what users want to know, and it’s actionable.
Evergreen content is content that remains relevant over long periods.
An example of an evergreen CBD keyword would be “CBD benefits.” While the research surrounding the benefits of CBD will change, people are consistently searching for CBD benefits.
Something that isn’t evergreen could be “Trump and CBD legalization.”
While there may continue to be search volume around this topic, it will peak when it’s hot news and decrease with time as it loses relevance.
Evergreen topics such as “CBD benefits” and “How does CBD feel” remain relevant long after publication.
For SEO purposes, evergreen topics are great because you’re building content assets that will consistently bring you traffic.
Both evergreen and non-evergreen content are fine, but evergreen topics are typically a better way to start. This way, you can build a stable foundation of consistent blog traffic.
Content is king, and backlinks are queen. But one is not more important than the other, as a kingdom needs both.
Backlinks are essential in the CBD space because it’s very competitive. To rank for competitive terms, you need an authoritative domain, and the more dofollow links you have from reputable sites, the better.
Building backlinks comes naturally with time if you create high-quality content, maintain a positive reputation, and make real human connections with other people in your industry.
While links will come with time, you can and should be proactive about building links through white-hat methods.
For example, you can analyze a website with an external link to a blog post that now goes to a 404 page. You can suggest via email to the website owner that they could use your resource (blog post?) to replace the broken link.
There are a variety of methods for building links. Here’s a great article on link building where you can learn more.
CBD SEO is not much different than “normal” SEO. The difference is that CBD is a competitive industry, and it’s also related to health, which requires some extra measures to gain Google’s trust.
The overall takeaway is to publish expert content on topics people are regularly searching for (starting with less competitive topics first). Ensure your website “healthy” from a technical perspective, and do everything you can to provide the best user experience possible.