Even if someone isn’t an avid reader of blogs, chances are they read plenty of recipes online. In fact, nearly 90% of people say they search for recipes on the web, and those recipes are housed on food blogs like yours! This is one of the many reasons food bloggers make the highest income of any blogging niche. Your blog posts have the widest audience reach!
This also means, of course, that food blogging is very competitive. So, how can you use search engine optimization to rank high on the SERPs and reach the most readers? We’ve got the answers for you today in our post all about SEO for food bloggers! Let’s get into it:
SEO for Food Bloggers
Food blogging encompasses a lot of things. You could deliver recipes, critique cooking gadgets, or even review local restaurants. The latter two are very similar to any other blogging niche, and you can still apply all the basic SEO principles. But, if recipes and cooking is your game, you might be struggling with how to optimize your content for search engines.
Recipes are generally short, and the language is precise. These two things make it difficult to apply the usual SEO blogging tips and tricks. How can you add personality and length to a recipe? How can you use keywords? And, what about the key ranking factors Google is looking for?
InfluencerSEO has the answers for you. We’ve crafted a list of SEO tips specifically for food bloggers to help you optimize your site and work up the SERP ladder! The best way to reach more readers in the competitive world of food blogging is by optimizing for SEO, and here’s how you do it:
SEO Tips for Food Bloggers
Optimize your recipe content.
First up, you should be using a recipe plugin that helps structure your recipe card appropriately for SEO. Two of our favorites are WP Recipe Maker and WP Tasty. These make it super easy to format your cards for search engines and followers.
When you’re formatting, prioritize creating clear steps. The clearer, the better! So, label each step and provide simple instructions. Additionally, recipes with star ranking systems rate much better than those without. This is because users hang out on a webpage longer when they see others have said it’s quality. Though it’s a vulnerable thing, allowing people to rate your recipes is great for SEO.
The recipe card is one of the most important parts of your post. It’s what the readers want to get to, so don’t undermine the importance of that simple piece. Include a rating system, format with a plug-in, and make sure your steps are obvious and well-explained! This is the first step to your SEO goals.
Use long form content.
Google favors longer content. This is simply due to the fact that long content usually means higher quality content, because the post took more time to craft than something only 100-200 words long. Google is trying to protect its users from low quality posts, which is a good thing! But, it’s hard for food bloggers because recipes just aren’t that long.
However, you should still prioritize making your blog posts long form. Still include your handy recipe card, because many users will scroll right to that when deciding if the post is worth it. But, think of the recipe card at the end as a summary or conclusion of the content before.
You could summarize the origins of the recipe. Or, you could explain the steps in meticulous detail above, while it’s more simplified on the recipe card. It might even be helpful to include tips, substitute ingredients, and nutritional information!
Just make sure whatever you do, it’s what your readers are asking for. Food blog posts already have a bad reputation for being full of non-essential information. So, ensure the long form content before the recipe is valuable and engaging.
Add images and videos.
When it comes to recipes and cooking, people love visuals! Showing the step-by-step process through photo clarification will do wonders for your SEO. Both search engines and your followers will love the user-friendliness of your posts, especially if they not only include clear directions, but include photo and video directions as well!
When you add images and videos, make sure you add alt text. Web crawlers can’t interpret what’s inside a .jpg or .mp4, so the alt text will inform Google that the visuals you added were relevant and not spammy. Additionally, alt text helps your visually impaired readers consume your photo and video content! All around, it’s wise to add visual content to your posts with clear and descriptive alt text.
Include internal links.
Link building is a super important part of SEO. It’s another way Google can see you carefully crafted your content. Internal links are links that connect to other posts on your own website. These particular links are important because when one post gains popularity, so will the other articles you linked to!
Maybe your instructions tell the reader to separate egg whites and yolks. You can link to another article on your website on how to do that! Or, if the recipe uses salmon, you could link to other recipes that include salmon. You could even link to a handy kitchen tool!
The point is, the possibilities with internal linking are really unlimited. You can even plan content specifically for the purpose of added links. Don’t assume your users are going to browse your website to find what they want. Make it as easy as possible for them and this will benefit both you and your readers!
Also include external links.
You guessed it – external links are the opposite of internal links. They link to content outside your website. These are important for some of the same reasons, including the fact that these links show Google your content is well-researched and backed by others (those you’re linking to.)
What’s also great about external linking is that those outside links from trusted websites actually boost your credibility too. (Which, in turn, betters your SEO!) This is usually referred to as sharing “link juice.” If their domain authority is high, you’ll share some of that positive SEO energy!
Prioritize good web design.
When there’s a lot of competition out there, a good user experience is vital. Not only is good web design important for gripping potential followers who are searching for your content, but it’s also essential for those actively using your recipe.
Your readers will be using your recipes while their hands are messy and their kitchen timers are going off. They don’t want to deal with tons of pop-ups, difficult navigation, and slow loading speeds. Users will have little patience for a clunky website when they’ve got more options.
If that wasn’t important enough, Google’s web crawlers will also penalize you for poor web design. If your website doesn’t have a great UX, search engines will not send your posts up the SERPs. So, invest in good design!
Use long tail keywords.
We know keywords are essential for search engine optimization. When users search certain words that are also included in your post, you’re more likely to populate at the top of the SERPs. For this reason, it’s important to predict what phrases potential followers will use when searching.
For the most part, this process is the same as any other blog post. You can use a source like Google Keyword Planner or Ahrefs Free Keyword Generator to find good keywords to naturally integrate into your post. But, with recipe SEO, using long tail keywords has specific advantages.
Often when individuals search recipes, they’re very specific about what they want. People rarely type “chicken recipes.” Rather, they search for something like, “Keto crockpot chicken recipe.” So, when you prioritize using long tail keywords that are much more specific like the latter example, you’ll gain a lot more web traffic! You won’t get lost in the noise of all the other chicken recipes, but you’ll reach the exact home cooks that are looking for you.
Create engaging titles and meta descriptions.
Titles and meta descriptions are the content that appears on a search engine result page. It’s the engaging hook that pulls readers in. Or, it’s the summary that confirms to the user your content is what they’re looking for.
This structured data will make sure you capture the right audience. Additionally, a well thought-out title and meta description will help Google classify your blog posts and direct them to the appropriate searchers. Just watch for length! There is limited space on the SERPs, so you’ve got to accomplish a lot with a little space. Keep it short and sweet.
Structure organized URLs.
A mark of a spammy, non-optimized website is a jumbled URL. You know the kind! The ones with all the random numbers and letters that seem to go on forever. You’ll never remember that!
Structure your URLs in a way that makes them easy to remember and easy to read. Your followers will appreciate this when they try to find your recipe again! Or, they’ll appreciate it when they’re copying it down from a social media post. This fine tuning helps Google see that your blog posts are thorough and high quality, which means they’ll go up and up those SERPs!
Utilize Pinterest and optimize.
Pinterest is HUGE for food bloggers. In fact, recipes and cooking related content are some of the top searched for categories. So, to really build your blog, you need to be on Pinterest more than any other social media channel! But, since Pinterest is a search engine within itself, it requires special SEO know-how.
We’ve got an article, here, on the best Pinterest SEO tactics for your recipe posts. It’ll give you the information you need to get your content populating on Google searches AND Pinterest searches. Soon, you’ll be flooded with organic traffic from this lucrative social media source!
If it all sounds like a lot to manage along with regular search engine optimization, have no fear. At InfluencerSEO we have a special Pinterest SEO package. We’ll take care of all the optimization duties for your blog, including making Pinterest-ready graphics. This is truly a must-have service if you’re a food blogger!
Food blogging is a competitive space, but with search engine optimization, your content will soar up the SERPs!
Search engine optimization for food blogging has some similar tips and tricks to other niches. But, really, food blogging is a whole different ball game in itself. You have unique challenges, fruitful opportunities, and A LOT of competition. So, with search engine optimization, you can form a powerful strategy that will take your blog to the next level!
For more content on search engine optimization for your website, check out our blog! We post new articles weekly to help bloggers like you better your SEO skills and improve your blog overall. If you’d rather not do the optimization process yourself, we have comprehensive SEO packages. We’ll take care of all things search engine optimization while you do what you do best: sharing your love of food with the world. Let’s get writing . . . and let’s get cooking!