We Examined 510 CBD Websites Ranking Highly on Google (SEO Study)



What can CBD companies in the UK do to rank #1 on Google Search?


To find out, we analysed 26 factors across the top 510 ranking CBD websites for 51 valuable CBD keywords.


The result? Over 13,260 different metrics that gave us a clear picture of how to be in the top 10 for the most competitive CBD keywords on Google.


If you have any questions about the study, or would like to talk with us about CBD content writing for your brand, please email Adam@FreshlySqueezed.Online.


Also, if you would like to view existing samples of our CBD blog content here.


Let’s dive into what we learned...


CBD Marketing Study Insights: Coffee Break Overview


If you don’t have time to read everything now, we’ve compiled a useful list of the essential insights from our CBD industry study.


  • Insight #1 - For CBD blog content, 2,607 words are required if you wish to appear on the first page of Google.


  • Insight #2 - CBD blog content needs 26% more words to rank in the top 10 searches on Google for keywords than other industries.


  • Insight #3 - Writing CBD blog content is the easiest way to rank #1 on Google for industry keywords.


  • Insight #4 - Blog posts are the most common form of content to be found in the top 10 search results on Google for CBD keywords.


  • Insight #5 - Product category pages for CBD products should be written like blog posts (2,395 words) to rank #1 on Google.


  • Insight #6 - The top 94% of CBD webpages have the main keyword in the page title.


  • Insight #7 - Titles on top-ranking pages on Google are 18% shorter than the #10 position, while URLs were 16% shorter. Keep your titles at 51 characters and URLs at 45.


  • Insight #8 - Keep your font size above 15 and page background white.


  • Insight #9 - The more comprehensive your CBD blog content is, the more links it will attract.


  • Insight #10 - Too many links to your CBD website can hurt your rankings.


  • Insight #11 - Aim to get 60 unique links on your most important pages to rank higher on Google.


  • Insight #12 - Smaller page sizes tend to rank better 97% of the time. Aim for 2-megabytes or smaller where possible.


  • Insight #13 - The #1 position on Google loads 612% faster than the #10 position. Keep your load time under 2.28 seconds.


  • Insight #14 - The faster your website runs on mobile, the higher your Google ranking will be.


How did we pick these 510 CBD websites?


For our study, we compiled 51 CBD-related keywords.


In total, these 51 keyword receive more than 100,000 searches a month in the UK alone.



These same keywords receive more than 1,000,000+ searches a month in the US, but in different proportions…



These keywords range from “buy cbd oil” to “cbd edibles” and were chosen due to their high search volume and commercial value.


After we did this, we simply took all the results on the first page of Google for the keywords.



  • We’ve analysed over 510 individual pages ranking between 1-10 on Google across 26 variables in the United Kingdom.


  • Resulting in over 13,260 data points and found 14 startling trends, all of which we reveal right here in this article.


Insight #1 - For CBD blog content, 2,607 words are required if you wish to appear on the first page of Google.


Having a word count of 8,000 on every page of your site isn’t economical, so how many words do you need?


We compared the average word count of position #1, position #1 to #10, and position #10.


The results were not what we were expecting...



The highest position on Google (#1) had an average word count of 2,575.


The average of position #10 had an average word count of 2,757.


The average of all top 10 Google positions was a much higher 3,726.


This creates two big questions:


  • Why does CBD content require so many words to rank in the top 10?


  • Why does position #1 have a similar word count to position #10?


It’s likely due to the tough competition of this niche. To be on top, you need to seriously invest in quality content and we believe that quality of content supersedes length of content.


While position #1 and #10 have a similar word count, it’s possible that position #1 has higher quality content.


With the average of all #1 through to #10 positions being higher, if your content can’t be amazing, at least make it longer.


It’s worth noting that causation may not be correlation, but it’s a good idea to aim for at least 2,607 words when writing your CBD-related content to get on the first page of Google.


Insight #2 - CBD blog content needs 26% more words to rank in the top 10 searches on Google for keywords than other industries.


We would have bet our next paycheck that CBD pages needed the same word count to get #1 on Google as other niche topics.


In fact, it’s well documented that the average word count for Google's first page result is 1,890 words.



Although, as we both found out from Insight #1, this wasn’t the case with CBD.


We were shocked to discover that the average word count required to get #1 on Google for CBD content is 2,575 words.



To rank #1 on Google for CBD keywords, you’ll need to write between 26% more words than other industries.


Also, if you need help writing more blog posts, we specialize in writing affordable, UK-compliant CBD content.


Insight #3 -Writing CBD blog content is the easiest way to rank #1 on Google for industry keywords.


We know that you need to have more words, but what kind of content should you write?


To figure this out, we broke down all 510 top ranking CBD webpages into 4 basic categories:


  • Homepagess


  • Product Categories


  • Product Pages


  • Blog Posts


Before we get into the results of the breakdown, we first have to talk about "Search Intent".


Search Intent is the intent someone has when they are searching for a keyword. Are they looking to buy or learn something new? People search CBD keywords for different reasons.


For example, Transactional Intent means they are searching for something on Google with the intent to buy it, such as the keyword, "CBD Gummies".



We would expect more product categories or product pages for searches with Transactional Intent.


Another type of intent is Informational. These are keywords or phrases that people search for to learn something, but not to necessarily make a purchase.

For instance: "How many CBD gummies should I eat?"



We’d expect more blog posts for informational keywords or phrases.


This is important for figuring out what kind of page Google will rank for transactional versus informational keywords and phrases.


We can expect that Google will rank pages like blog posts higher than a product page, for a keyword or phrases with "informational intent".


We ran this study three times, researching:


  • The average page type across all keywords.


  • The average page type across transactional keywords.


  • The average page type across informational keywords.


We found that 60.78% of top-ranking pages on Google for CBD are blog posts.


Regardless of intent, blog content is the most common page type that appears in the top 10 for Google for our 51 CBD keywords.



Across all #1-10 positions on Google for our 51 CBD keywords, we found that:


  • 60.78% are blog posts.


  • 4.31% are home pages.


  • 22.75% are product categories.


  • 11.76% are product pages.


Right off the bat, this means you have a better chance of ranking a blog post for a keyword than any other page type, by a significant margin.


But does that still hold true for commercial keywords?


Insight #4 - Blog posts are the most common form of content to be found in the top 10 search results on Google for CBD keywords.


When we put our list of 51 keywords together, we chose 3 basic categories:


  • Information: 28.6% of the keywords


  • Transactional: 63.3% of the keywords


  • Mixed: 8.2% (effectively commercial, such as "CBD oil", "Hemp oil").



If over 60% of the keywords have commercial intent, we’d expect that 60% of the results would be commercial pages such as product pages.


But that’s not what we found…



61% of results were informational in nature, even when 63% of our keywords were commercial in nature.


This "magic 60%" even carries over to the #1 position on Google, rather than just the average of all #1-10 positions.



You can’t go wrong with blog content. It’s easier to rank on Google with blog content at any position, including #1, even for commercial keywords.


Blog posts appearing 42.9% of the time at the #1 position on Google for our 51 CBD keywords.



We did, however, find the average word count of category and product pages ranking #1 for commercial keywords to be the same as blog posts pages.


What does this mean?


Well, like we found out before: the top-ranking pages on Google are treating their product and category pages like blog posts…



These product and category pages are being filled with lots of insightful and useful content for consumers, answering common questions in a FAQ-style format.


Insight #5 - Product category pages for CBD products should be written like blog posts (2,395 words) to rank #1 on Google.


How can your product category and product pages rank higher on Google?



These pages have tremendous value as they are ultimately what drive your sales, so we wanted to see how the top-ranking CBD websites are doing it.


To figure this out, we started by looking for the average word count of pages flagged as "product categories" in our database.


We were surprised by the results...



The average product category page that ranks #1 on Google has 2,395 words.


For instance, PureKana ranks #1 for the highly lucrative keyword “CBD for sale” in the UK.


The page that ranks for this term is a product category, which you can find here.



At first glance, it looks like a standard product page.



But once you get to the end, you come across blog-like content covering the keyword "CBD for sale".



This content is packed with words and features common terminology and questions that people search for.



In fact, this page brings in an estimated 148,000 visitors a month, and ranks for over 2,000 different keywords.



How crazy is that? Let’s compare their product page to a low-ranking one from another company...



This page has just 277 words and ranks quite poorly because of this.



To get your CBD product category pages ranking higher on Google, treat them like blog posts by featuring in-depth, keyword-rich content.


Insight #6 - The top 94% of CBD webpages have the main keyword in the page title.


Let’s say you want to get on the top 10 Google spots for the keyword "CBD gummies"...



This could potentially be achieved by simply optimising your title!


If you have a page about "CBD Edibles", could you reasonably expect to also rank on the first page of Google for "CBD Gummies"?


We wanted to find out, specifically because this can show CBD companies how to structure their category pages.


Is it better to have one product category page for every type of product, or is it better to have larger more broad categories?



86.3% of pages that are on the top 10 on Google for any given CBD keyword have that same keyword in the title of the page.


This suggests that it’s better to have lots of individual pages that are specific to one keyword.


Rather than have one product category page that targets lots of different keywords, it’s better to have lots of product category page targeting individual keywords.


  • yourdomain.com/cbd-chocolate


  • yourdomain.com/cbd-gummies


  • yourdomain.com/cbd-edibles


  • yourdomain.com/cbd-honey


We dug a little further and found that this is especially true for the #1 position on Google, where over 94% have the specific keyword in the title.



Only 5.9% of articles ranking in the top 10 positions on Google for CBD keywords did not have those keywords in the title.


This is pretty compelling evidence that you should write more content targeting specific keywords.


Insight #7 - Titles on top-ranking pages on Google are 18% shorter than the #10 position, while URLs were 16% shorter. Keep your titles at 51 characters and URLs at 45.


We already know that more specific keywords in our titles help us rank higher on Google, but is it possible to cast a wider net by using more (related) keywords in our URL?


Which URL is better and why?




Both of these articles rank on the first page of Google for "CBD Gummies". However, there are some differences between them.


  • The second URL has two subfolders "/blogs" and "/learn".


  • The second URL also stuffs an additional keyword "edibles" in their URL.


  • The first URL is shorter at 50 characters.


  • The second URL is longer at 69 characters.


The first URL ranks #1 on Google and the second ranks #10.


When we analysed everything, we found this pattern continues to be true.



URLs and titles that were shorter tended to get higher rankings on Google.


The ideal URL length is 45 characters for the CBD industry.


The ideal title length is 51 characters for the CBD industry.


By adding lots of subfolders into your URLs and stuffing extra keywords into your titles, you’re lowering your rankings.


Insight #8 - Keep your font size above 15 and page background white.

At this point, we know that you need blog-like content on all of your pages, and a lot of it.


But what should it look like? We wanted to find out by analysing the readability of the top-ranking pages.


In terms of usability, the easier your page is to read, the higher it ranks. Two ways to measure readability are font size and background page colour.


For our study, we compared page colour and font size for the top 10 positions on Google for CBD-related keywords.


The best font size is above 15.



As font size goes up, so does the chance for a higher ranking. The average font size for position #1 versus position #10 is 7.14%.


A larger font is easier to read, which results in better user experience.


The best page colour is white.



We found that the #1 position on Google is a white page 96.08% of the time, versus only 90.20% of the time for position #10.


The more readable your content is, the higher it will rank. Use font size 15 to 16 and a white background with dark text.


Insight #9 - The more comprehensive your CBD blog content is, the links it will attract.


How do the highest-ranking CBD pages get links from other websites?


To find out, we mapped the average word count versus the number of unique links.


As the word count increases, the number of unique links it attracts increases as well.


The more comprehensive your blog content is, the more people want to link to it.



However, the graph above has one big problem: it includes some very big players like Healthline and Wikipedia.


Removing these and focusing on CBD companies, do the results still hold up?


Here’s what the graph looked like after we removed articles that had more than 500 unique links.



The trend lines remain pretty much the same.


More words, more links.



A higher word count also resulted in a larger number of total links, from the same IPs or otherwise.



This shows that a higher word count will attract more unique links.


Insight #10 - Too many links to your CBD website can hurt your rankings.

The more links the merrier, right?

Well, not exactly. We accidentally stumbled across a strange pattern. CBD websites with too many links actually had worse rankings.


Looking at the top page of Google results, 58.5% of the CBD pages on Google’s had less than 100 unique links (also known as referring IPs). 41.5% of these pages had more than 101 referring IPs.



Breaking things down further, we found that 22.8% of those pages have less than 10 referring IPs.



So, what’s the best number to shoot for to maximise your chance of getting on the first page of Google Results?


To find out, we analysed at the pages ranking for position #1, #10, and the entire group.



What this means is the CBD pages ranking for #1 on Google for our 51 keywords had an average of:


  • 237 unique websites linking to their page.


  • 115% less links than the position #10.


  • 31% less than the global average.


We’ve noticed a pattern…


Position #1 results on Google had an average of 237 unique links, while the #10 position had 511.


What could possibly cause this? Aren’t more links always better?


No.


The quality and relevancy of your link are equally as important.


In fact, here’s a great example of what a bad link is and how we found it.



One of the CBD pages we analysed had a link from a Mexican restaurant’s website located in Spain.


Looks tasty, right?


So, why was this page linking to a CBD company in the UK?


We investigated further and found that Cantina Mexicana’s website only had 6 public pages…


They did, however, have 1,088 hidden pages on their “little” website ranging from bizarre content like “Buying Russian wives” to “Best CBD Oil.”


Why is https://cantinalamexicana.es/ flooding their website with fake pages never meant to be seen by human eyes?


This is likely because the website is part of a network of fake pages owned by an SEO "expert". This "Expert" is then selling their services to an actual CBD company.


That service includes getting links to their website on pages that have "CBD" content.



The sad part is many of the CBD companies we analysed are paying SEO "experts" for this work, which is causing them to drop in rankings!


This technique will be spotted by Google eventually and is against Google’s Terms of Service.


Google could potentially remove your CBD site entirely for this practice.


You should be building a small collection of high-quality links rather than lots of bad links from shady SEO freelancers.


The best way to attract powerful organic links is by writing high-quality blog content that other websites want to link to.


Insight #11 - Aim to get 60 unique links on your most important pages to rank higher on Google.

The average number of unique links for position #1 on Google is 237.


If you’re sweating about how you could possibly get 237 links to pages on your website, don’t worry.


It turns out that 237 is the average, not the median.


A small number of these websites have extremely high referring IPs. This is why the average is so high.



In other words, these hyper overachieving pages throw off the average.


To find the number you should actually be aiming for, you don’t have to have a multi-million-pound marketing budget…


We compared the median number of unique links for position #1, the entire group, and position #10.



The results were pretty awesome.


The ideal number of links you need to rank on the first page of Google is only 60.


Sure, that is still a small mountain to climb, but it’s still 74.6% less links than the average.


Interestingly, these 60 unique links held true against the entire spectrum of the top 10 positions.


An increase above the median of unique links did not result in a higher chance to rank #1 from #10.


While 60 is ideal, you can still get to position #1 with 1 to 10 links. We saw plenty of examples of this.


You can, however, increase your chances by hitting 60.


Insight #12 - Smaller page sizes tend to rank better 97% of the time. Aim for 2-megabytes or smaller where possible.


Page speed, size, and load time can affect rankings. So, we used one of my favourite speed tools to analyse all 510 CBD webpages.



The average page size of the #1 position in Google is 97% smaller than the average position. 29-megabytes vs 58-megabytes.


Many CBD pages are quite large because the product category pages feature unoptimised images.



A reduction of 2.8-megabytes to 2.0-megabytes makes a pretty big difference in terms of search rankings. This makes sense because smaller pages load faster which affects the user experience.


  • Keep your pages at 2-megabytes.


  • For larger, product categories - optimise your page to be below 30-megabytes.


Insight #13 - The #1 position on Google loads 612% faster than the #10 position. Keep your load time under 2.28 seconds.


In our last insight, we concluded that smaller pages (in terms of megabytes) tend to have average rankings.


What about pages with a similar page size? Do faster-loading pages rank higher?



To find this out, we charted the average page loading time (in seconds) against the ranking position using the same speed tool.


The results were dramatic.



Pages in the #1 position on Google loaded 612% faster than pages in the #10 position on Google…


Making load time one of the most jaw-dropping insights in this entire survey.


Do your best to keep your loading speed below 3 seconds.


Here’s a guide on how to keep your loading speed low.


Insight #14 - The faster your website runs on mobile, the higher your Google ranking will be.


Mobile search is only getting bigger.



Using the Varvy Mobile Speed Score tool, we plotted the mobile speed of the 510 CBD webpages against the Google rankings positions.


The results were just what we expected.


Out of a total score of 100:


  • #1 Google results have an average score of 67.


  • The average score of all #1-10 rankings is 62.


Better performance on mobile results in a higher average ranking.


Ready to transform the prospects of your CBD website with an SEO content writing strategy?


Browse Through Our CBD Blog Content Samples


Please take a browse through our CBD blog content samples.


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