How cannabis and CBD businesses can properly check their google rankings

When we have conversations with cannabis and CBD businesses about SEO, we usually find that their main goal is to get on the first page of Google. Then we ask, “What would someone be searching for in order to find your site on the first page?” Usually that gets me a “hmm… good question” kind of response, so we’ll ask them how they are checking to see where they rank in Google. The most common answer is something like: “I just search Google for {insert my city} dispensary.”

If that answer describes how you’re checking your Google ranking, this post is for you!

First, let’s talk for a second about why it’s important to accurately check your rankings. Search results are often different for each searcher  because Google tries to personalize results. Some of the personalization factors include:

    • Your search history
    • Whether or not you’ve visited a site before
    • Social connections
    • Your physical location
    • Your device type
    • Emails you’ve received in Gmail

So even if you don’t include a city in your search for a dispensary, Google is probably going to show you results for dispensaries near you.


But if someone else typed that same query “dispensary” in a different city or state, they would see drastically different results. This also happens on a micro level. Somebody on one side of town will likely see different results than someone who performs a search on the other side of town. However the browsing and connection personalization is pretty easy to avoid.

To avoid personalization, all you need to do is use an Incognito or Private window. These windows don’t save history or cookies, so your own preferences won’t influence your results. However, an incognito session can still be influenced by your location (based on IP address) and your device (results will likely be different on mobile and desktop). This is far from completely accurate as the search is still being influenced by your IP address and location even while in an incognito window, but it provides you a much more accurate view of your rankings when compared to doing a non-incognito search.

One of the first things we do when we bring a new client on board here at LIT Consulting is set up keyword rank tracking that shows the keywords targeted, and their rankings over time. In this way our customers are able to see their current real-time ranking at any time in addition to being able to track ranking improvements from the date they started with us.

We are also able to offer a Free SEO Evaluation, which includes determining the most important keywords for your businesses and providing your current rankings for those keywords.