SEO case study

HOTH X Link Building Expands CBD Business

Effective link building really is the key to reaching places you never expected with your SEO.

Don’t believe us?

Read this case study from an online bulk CBD supplier who increased their backlinks by 1,092% after signing up for HOTH X.

The power of the backlink is undeniable. It’s not only a top Google ranking factor but carries “link juice” from bigger, more authoritative sites to yours.

While working with this particular client we focused on beefing up their content and gaining backlinks from high-quality guest posts.

At the same time, we helped expand their online presence and let other businesses know they were an authority in the CBD industry.

Keep reading to get more details about how we did it!


An online CBD seller reached out to The HOTH in the summer of 2020 wanting to increase the number of visitors to their site.

This B2B business, based in Colorado, offers a variety of hemp products to shops around the country: tinctures, flowers, seeds, edibles, topicals, and more. They also sell bulk CBD seeds to growers.

The market for CBD has exploded nationwide after the 2018 Farm Bill legalized its sale on the federal level. CBD is different from cannabis because it’s only allowed to contain 0.03% THC, the psychoactive substance in the latter.

We met with this client and found out they are locally-owned and pride themselves on being experienced hemp growers who only sell premium products to other businesses.

Our team knew that the secret to growing this client’s business would be leveraging their expertise in the CBD industry to build backlinks. Their web traffic would spike once we developed them as an authority.

The SEO Audit

Our first step with new clients is to have a conversation to learn more about their business and hear about their goals for the future. Then, we dive right into an audit of their CBD B2B SEO to see what’s happening with their site and what strategies will help them improve.

It was clear from our audit that their website was brand new (approximately one year old) when they signed with us.

Their traffic had grown slightly but as of June 2020, they were only averaging about 15 visitors. And they were only ranking for about 380 keywords.

These numbers were pretty low for a business that was looking to expand across the web so we were happy they reached out to us when they did.

Link building would be important for this client so we checked to see how many links they had before our work started. For June 2020, they had approximately 65 links from other domains.

While they never approached us about digital advertising, we did see that the client had completed a handful of PPC ads in the past. But, it wasn’t enough to move the needle on their site.

Overall, we knew there was a lot of work needed to get this client competitive with similar sites that had higher traffic and more links.

“Easy Wins” Keyword Analysis

Most new clients contact us when their own SEO efforts aren’t working and they need a professional agency to help them.

The problem with SEO is that it can take a minimum of three months before a business sees real change. In some cases, it can even take six months or a year.

New clients are eager to see results so we like to start off by finding “easy win” keywords. These are keywords the client is already ranking for in positions 4-30.

All we have to do is pull out the right “easy win” keywords and use them in new content or web pages. This typically results in a quick boost in rankings as we handle the bigger changes on their site.

And don’t think we ignore keywords in positions 1-3. Those keywords are the endgame, the “Holy Grail” for our clients, but they take longer to get.

So, what kind of “easy win” keywords did we find?

  • “hemp seeds for sale”
  • “pound of cbd”
  • “cbg flowers”
  • “hemp buds”
  • “what does feminized seeds mean”

As you can see, our search for “easy win” keywords led to hundreds of options and even some long-tail keywords.

Our team also focused on selecting terms with lower keyword difficulty (KD) so we wouldn’t have to worry about competing for any of our “easy wins.”

The final step was to ensure that our team of professional writers could include these “easy win” keywords in new blogs, guest posts, or web copy.

Competitive Gap Analysis

With our “easy win” keywords improving the client’s search ranking in the background, we knew it was time to conduct a competitive gap analysis.

Basically, our team conducts research on the client’s competition to see what they are doing right and what keywords they’re using that may apply to a new CBD B2B SEO strategy.

We found 47 domains in competition with our client. Some competitors were more similar to our client than others.

For example, our client shared 890 keywords with another CBD supplier yet that domain ranked for 5,916 unique keywords. That means there’s a big opportunity for us to incorporate some of those keywords into our strategy.

Not every keyword unique to our competitors will work for our clients because not all businesses are the same. But, we found that incorporating keywords like “high grade seeds” or “hemp harvesting.”

Good marketing always starts with competitor research. We needed to understand what our client’s competition was up to.

A New CBD B2B SEO Campaign

After learning about our client and researching their competitors, we were ready to recommend a new SEO campaign focused on increasing their web traffic.

Link building would be our priority but we knew other HOTH SEO products were needed to maximize our efforts.

We had the client register for HOTH X, our fully managed SEO program, which also gave them complete access to all of the services we offer.

That way everything was on the table for our campaign manager to build a winning strategy.

Most of the client’s orders were HOTH Guest Post, our premium link-building service that provides high-quality, contextual links.

Our team of professional writers uses high-performing keywords to write guest posts ranging from 500-2,000 words focusing on domain authority or traffic.

We even publish these guest posts on behalf of our clients. The HOTH has active relationships with hundreds of reputable sites and we work hard to find the best home for your guest post.

The best part of using HOTH Guest Post is that you gain high-quality links without needing to draft your own posts or conduct blogger outreach.

Later in our CBD B2B SEO campaign, the client decided to use HOTH Blogger, one of our most popular services, to fine-tune some of their content.

Each new blog post was SEO-optimized using high-priority keywords we identified for the strategy and covered a topic that was

Once the CBD B2B SEO ball was rolling, the client wanted to explore more digital advertising with HOTH PPC Management. Similar to HOTH X, this product allows you to put your marketing on autopilot.

Our trained and experienced PPC experts will manage your entire campaign, allowing you to be as hands-on or hands-off as you wish.

HOTH campaign managers are Google Ads certified and specialize in creating lead-generation campaigns, retargeting campaigns, call-only campaigns, and Google Shopping campaigns.

Are you curious about what happened with all of these SEO services? Keep reading to see the results!


What makes this case study so exciting was how we got this client major CBD B2B SEO gains in one year!

Their traffic grew steadily over the fall of 2020 and into 2021 but check out what happened in July 2021. They exploded from about 1,000 to 3,000 visitors.

Part of that was the PPC advertising we set into motion but you can see how traffic has continued to increase since. Today, they have a record 3,289 visitors per month.

A chart showing how the client's monthly visitors are now over 3,000 people.

A major contributor to the client’s growth in traffic was an increase in their ranking keywords. When they started working with us in June 2020 they ranked for only 380 keywords.

Their number of ranking keywords grew from 380 to 2,922 today. You can see their growth in keywords ranking in positions 4-10 and 11-100.

A chart showing how the client's total number of ranking keywords increased from 380 to 2,922.

Gaining keywords in the 1-3 positions took time but as you can see below they now rank for 130 keywords in top positions.

A chart showing how the client's keywords in positions 1-3 spiked to 130 during our campaign.

Now is the moment of truth. Were we able to secure them more backlinks and therefore increase their rankings?

Yes and yes!

A chart showing how the client has earned over 750 backlinks.

Total links jumped from 65 to 775. That’s a 1,092% increase from when they first contacted us!

Don’t forget that backlinks are a top Google ranking factor and all of the guest posts we helped them write boosted their online authority.

The client’s website is more likely to appear in searches where people want to learn more about CBD.


You made it to the end of this case study and we’re glad you did. It showed you the benefits of signing up for HOTH X, our fully managed SEO program, and the impact backlinks can have on your site.

This online CBD seller had a newer website that needed to be established but it doesn’t matter what level you’re at in the game. We can help!

From small businesses needing an SEO consultation to major national brands looking for a leg up on the competition, our team has handled it all.

Are you interested in learning more about HOTH X or getting started with SEO services for your business? Simply book a call with us to get started.