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Google has been busy strengthening its machine learning capabilities to optimize its ability to recognize diverse topics. Although the updates released this year range across many matters, one particular component underscores the importance of thorough cannabis search engine optimization (SEO) strategy: Google’s analysis of backlinks to identify and direct users to quality content.
Backlinks are embedded hyperlinks that connect one site to another, and in the Google search algorithms, not all backlinks are ranked as equal in caliber. For example, Google is broadly cracking down on affiliate links — often a common method for profiting from written content — in the latest round of updates to eliminate spam. Here are six other tips for curating high-quality backlinks and ensuring your marijuana brand stays at the top of the search results.
Related: Marketing CBD Products Is Still Challenging, but It Doesn’t Have to Be
1. Be an authority
To conquer today’s competition, being an authority is vital. Put your cannabis brand on display with high-quality links to bolster your authority and secure a thought leadership position in your field. Quality links can help build your reputation both for search engines and target customers. In the realm of cannabis content, companies will vie for high-quality links from top cannabis outlets. Getting featured in those publications enhances your brands’ authority and adding the corresponding link onto your site can increase traffic and your ranking. Feature these authority links in a “Media” section of your website, and also by linking to the content intermittently in your website’s blog, social media, in bios, etc.
2. Don’t be a link schemer and manipulator
Link schemes are enticing to some looking to build backlink strategies, but avoid this practice at all costs. Tactics like buying backlinks, creating unnatural backlinks, or hiding links to increase your page rank are not only discouraged — Google will see through this manipulative maneuver and penalize your rank accordingly. There are techniques to grab those high-quality backlinks to serve your site effectively. Backlinks are a vital aspect of any SEO strategy and must fall in line with Google’s requirements. Therefore, it’s imperative to be sure your links are of good quality.
3. Create high-quality content
In the cannabis and psychedelic SEO world, we love coming across keywords and topics that are trending, but not overpopulated. This presents a window of opportunity to become perhaps the sole source of topical information. Whenever you notice a new cannabis SEO entity on the rise, create high-quality content on that subject material, such as a specialized blog. Creating in-depth content such as a comprehensive guide or an authority post showcases your ability to be informative and confident. Stay ahead of the cannabis SEO curve and provide the advice necessary for others to succeed.
4. See success with cannabis directories
Serve your brand’s cannabis SEO link-building strategy by employing directories. Being featured on cannabis directories allow your target audience to find you directly among your competitors. Ganjapreneur is a good example of a cannabis-directory-centric publication. Get featured for cannabinoids, marketing, grow lights, vape wholesalers, or anything else cannabis-related. Cannabis directories make for great backlinks because your brand is featured on a high-tier site, and the links are authentically within your given industry sector. Another way you can do this is by writing guest posts or sponsored posts, but remember: don’t deceive Google when you’re creating content.
5. Merge your SEO and PR strategy
Combining cannabis SEO with public relations (PR) serves you well for generating high-quality links and placing them effectively. Intertwining your cannabis PR strategy directly with SEO will allow you to input keywords directly into press materials, interviews and op-eds. While you’re at it, make use of tools like Help a Reporter Out to build relationships with cannabis reporters. Your brand or team can get interviews and be featured on quality best-of lists, which provide essential backlinks to increase your rank and enhance your authority. Side perk: this methodology also builds your repertoire as a thought leader.
- Fix those cursed broken links
Ultimately, even the most minor components can have significant effects on your cannabis SEO strategy. Remember to fix any broken links on your site. These links can have a massive impact on your overall SEO ranking and, once removed, can considerably benefit your other backlinks. Luckily, you can make use of Google Analytics to quickly check for broken links. Fixing broken links on your site allows Google to simply check your site, note its organized condition, and rank it accordingly.
Boosting your cannabis SEO strategy with high-quality backlinks enables you to look at your brand’s overall marketing strategy while working on some of the most fundamental aspects of search optimization. A well-executed backlink strategy can help position your brand as a leader in your field, driving traffic to your site. By honing in on these key strategies, it will be simple to build your brand authority and SEO rank while increasing a targeted customer base.