The 5 Best CBD & Cannabis SEO Agencies in 2024

Outsourcing SEO for your CBD or cannabis brand requires care or caution. Here's what to look for in an SEO agency and five of the best agencies out there right now.

If you’ve been researching search engine optimization (SEO) as a growth channel for your CBD or cannabis business – or you’ve been doing it yourself – you know how time-consuming and resource-intensive it is to do it properly. 

But you also know that any type of outsourcing requires care and caution – especially when you’re outsourcing the responsibility for an entire growth channel. A channel where many potential customers will discover you for the first time. 

There are a lot of good agencies out there, but there are also a lot of bad ones. Careful vetting is crucial; that’s why we’ve done the heavy lifting for you. 

In this article, we’re presenting you with five agencies that possess expertise and capabilities required to help you level up your SEO. But before we do that, we discuss what you need to look for in an SEO agency. 

What to Look for in a CBD & Cannabis SEO Agency

If you have high growth goals for your brand, you must have high standards for your SEO agency. Here are four standards we hold to be non-negotiable in any CBD or cannabis SEO agency:

Standard 1: Ability to drive revenue

It goes without saying that if a customer acquisition channel isn’t driving revenue for your business, it’s useless. 

The SEO agency you hire must have a proven cookbook of strategies they can use to drive revenue for your business, and they need to provide case studies proving the efficacy of that cookbook. 

Standard 2: Ability to market compliantly

SEO typically requires the creation and publishing of many new pages, be it blog posts or category pages. 

Your SEO agency needs to understand how to write the content for these pages that comply with FDA advertising standards around CBD and cannabis products – this will prevent you from receiving an FDA warning letter, or worse, a lawsuit. 

Standard 3: Ability to integrate with your company

SEO by itself is a powerful marketing channel, but it gives the best ROI to brands who are able to make it contribute to their other channels, too. 

On the strategy integration front, your SEO agency’s work – be it the content they write for your blog or the copy they write on your category and product pages – should be of such a quality that it can be repurposed as emails, social media posts, and other types of content. 

On the team integration front, the agency you hire should be able to communicate and work with your internal marketing team and other marketing contractors on goal setting, execution, and measurement – whether that team is you and a single employee or a large, well-established group. 

Standard 4: Transparency

“Secret sauce” is a fun term, but if your SEO agency is describing their work this way, you’re probably in trouble. Your SEO agency should be able to – and should want to – show you exactly what they’re doing and how it’s working. 

At its core, SEO isn’t that complicated. Any agency who tries to delude you into believing that it is is trying to get you to pay them money without demonstrating genuine experience – and convince you to trust them even when they’re not generating results. 

You’re hiring an SEO agency to take work off your hands and bring their experience working on other sites to the table, not to execute black magic. They should be very clear and what they do and why. 

1. Aperture & How We Meet These Standards

Best for: Revenue-driven SEO

Best for client type: Consumer-facing CBD businesses (le-commerce and local)

Strengths: Small, responsive, revenue-focused team; all clients have direct access to Founder

Aperture is an SEO agency built specifically for the CBD, Cannabis, and Functional Mushrooms industries. We serve B2C, B2B, local, and national businesses within natural wellness verticals. Our team is lightweight and fast-moving – it’s just our Founder and a group of vetted freelancers. 

We’re uniquely suited to the challenges of restricted industries because of our deep focus on driving revenue and knowledge of compliance. 

Here’s what sets us apart:

1. We drive revenue & hold ourselves accountable

Every aspect of our company is designed to maximize revenue outcomes for clients, from the strategies in our cookbook to the way our client engagements are structured. 

Our strategies aim to achieve a specific outcome: rank your business for search terms that indicate someone wants to buy products like the ones you sell. Simple, not easy. Because of this, we prioritize ranking your product category and product pages for lucrative keywords.

Then, we move up the funnel and develop high-quality blog content designed to build authority – thereby further improving your rankings for lucrative terms – and drive additional traffic and email signups. 

Our client engagements are also revenue-focused by design. 

We use month-to-month contracts. This forces us to provide and demonstrate value each and every month, even in the early few months where you won’t be turning a profit from our services.

We only report on revenue, email signups, and organic traffic. We won’t send you an ultra-complex report to try and distract you from the fact that our work isn’t doing jack sh*t for your bottom line.

In short, we have skin in the game in every client engagement. It keeps our clients and us happy.

2. We market compliantly

We have compliance checklists for transactional pages (e.g. categories and products) and blog posts that we keep updated according to the FDA’s guidance on CBD and cannabis advertising, as well as precedent from FDA warning letters.

Every page gets audited according to these checklists before launching to ensure you can scale your organic revenue compliantly. 

3. We integrate our efforts with yours

We do our work and engage with our clients in a way that promotes collaboration. We do this in two specific ways:

  1. Our work is high-quality and repurposable. We don’t churn out “SEO content” that’s been doctored with an SEO tool to the point it’s hardly recognizable. Every piece of content we create receives subject-matter input from your internal team and is written according to your brand’s tone and voice. Then, it goes through a rigorous quality assurance process to ensure it reads and ranks well. The result? Our content makes great seed material for emails and social media posts. 
  2. Communicating promptly with all team members. Anybody on your team in charge of any marketing activity can reach us at all times to coordinate with us.

4. We’re transparent

Transparency is built into our culture at Aperture, because we share everything we know publicly on this blog and on our (my) YouTube channel and LinkedIn

But in our client engagements, we make specific efforts to be as transparent as possible. 

We hold monthly video meetings with our clients after sending them their monthly report. In these meetings, we discuss how the work is going and clients can ask us anything they want. 

We’re fast and responsive via email and slack. We have nothing to hide; we stand behind our work and encourage feedback and discussion from and with our clients.

2. Direct Line Development

Best for: Link building

Best for client type: CBD e-commerce businesses

Strengths: Strong link-building and technical SEO capabilities

Direct Line Development offers a thorough suite of web services, including SEO, local SEO, web design, web development, and graphic design. Direct Line Development’s SEO services stand out because they offer link-building in addition to on-page strategies.

Although they work with businesses in many different industries, they list having worked with well-known CBD and cannabis brands like Hometown Hero and Pharma CBD. 

3. Sherpa

Best for: Web design

Best for client type: Dispensaries; local businesses

Strengths: Fast, great-looking website designs in addition to SEO

Sherpa is a web design, web development, and SEO agency that works exclusively with cannabis brands. 

They specialize in crafting strong visual identities for cannabis dispensaries, and their clients praise the level of engagement and attention they give to each project. They’ve worked with brands like Creswell Organics and The Grove Dispensary.

4. Coalition Technologies

Best for: Full-service digital marketing

Best for client type: E-commerce CBD businesses

Strengths: Highly-experienced team with 780+ published case studies across various industries

Coalition Technologies is a full-service digital marketing agency that provides SEO, web design, pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, social media, and email marketing services to companies in a variety of industries, including CBD and delta 8 THC. 

With 780+ case studies, they’re a large, highly-experienced team that claims to have driven over 19 million e-commerce transactions for their clients. They’ve worked with brands like Eighty Six Brand and Rogue Origin. 

5. Cola Digital

Best for: Google Ads & SEO

Best for client type: B2B CBD and cannabis businesses

Strengths: Strong paid advertising capabilities in addition to SEO

Cola Digital is a search marketing agency built specifically for cannabis brands. We say search marketing because, in addition to SEO, they also offer paid search management.

With 20 years of experience and 7 years dedicated specifically to search marketing for cannabis brands, Cola Digital has worked with B2B brands like MMI Agriculture and B2C brands like Zatural. 

Choosing a CBD SEO Company

There are no shortage of SEO agencies out there, and there are quite a few specifically focused on CBD and cannabis, too. So when narrowing down your options, we recommend you think about what you value most:

  • Results. Are you engaging an SEO agency to grow traffic and increase brand awareness, or grow your business? Based on this, choose an agency that employs strategies and processes to optimize for the results you want to achieve.
  • Compliance. Do you have an in-house team member who will review all marketing materials before they’re published, or do you want an agency that can turn out compliant content without your direction? Based on this, choose an agency who has the expertise to do what’s necessary to grow your business compliantly.
  • Working relationship. Is your agency going to act as a growth partner, or a vendor that hands off deliverables every month? Based on this, choose an agency that provides the level of support and engagement that is right for your business.
  • Peace of mind. Do you want to know what your agency is doing and why, or are you prepared to trust that your agency is doing the right thing by your business? Based on this, choose an agency that provides the level of focus on transparency that’s important to you. 

Learn More

  • Our agency. A small, dedicated team that moves fast and drives revenue for B2C and B2B CBD and cannabis businesses who want to dominate their locality or expand nationwide. 
  • Our blog. A collection of high-quality articles that go in-depth on the strategy and tactics required to help your brand grow with SEO. 
  • Our YouTube channel. Weekly videos about key topics in CBD and cannabis SEO and marketing. 
Wells Westmoreland
Wells Westmoreland

I'm the Founder of Aperture and a major proponent of the first-person author bio. When I'm not developing and executing marketing strategies for my clients and for Aperture, I enjoy listening to music, reading books, shooting hoops, and working out.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *