SEO For Food Bloggers
When I started my food blog, I focused solely on SEO to drive traffic to my food blog recipes.
I feel it is the best way to get readers to recipe posts and I think the result is the most consistent organic traffic.
It also helps that I have been doing SEO since 2009 and I have multiple food blogs.
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization and in a nutshell, it’s the process of optimizing your content and website for the user and Google so that your recipes are found in search.
You might be wondering why you would want people to find your blog in search engines.
The two biggest reasons are, building your brand and authority, and also monetizing your website with ads like so many of us food bloggers do.
On-page SEO is the practice of optimizing a website’s content in order to increase its visibility on search engine results pages. This includes improving keyword placement, titles, and meta descriptions.
They are to provide what the searcher was looking for when they did their query on Google.
Having the correct on-page SEO also helps the Google bot crawl the page and it helps the bot understand what the content is all about.
Headings and how you structure the text with specific size fonts and bolding content can all play a factor.
This is by far one of the most important things to do for SEO for your food blog. If you do not do internal linking correctly it can have a huge effect on your ranking.
Usually, this is one of the easiest fixes that I can find with a food Blogger when I do an audit for them.
The anchor text of the internal link is important and you should really focus on the keyword of the post that you’re linking to or in the case of a food Blogger most likely it’s just the title of the recipe.
Tip: Focus on using your internal links within the paragraph and within the content. Don’t just post a big bulleted list with a bunch of recipes and link to them.
There are many different strategies and a lot of different nuances for internal linking which I covered in more depth and great detail in my course.
Titles and meta descriptions
The title is one of the most important factors in SEO. Titles should be keyword-rich and the keyword should be closer to the beginning of the title.
The goal should really be focused on answering the query or the searched recipe in the title.
The meta description is also a really important part of the SEO for a Food Blogger. This is a description of the blog post that is shown in the SERP’s and helps the reader understand the content of the blog post.
It’s also a great way to show Google what your content is about. We often forget that Google is not a person it’s an actual computer trying to figure out what your recipe or blog post really is all about.
Headings are so important to show the structure of your recipe and the blog post. These headings give a hierarchy to the content and help the reader understand the steps and process of a recipe.
The heading should be nested in a certain way with the H2 above an H3 and the H3 above an H4.
This is not only important for the reader of the blog but it is also really important for the Googlebot to help it understand the content that’s on the page.
We are constantly battling to rank higher in SERPs doing all these things correctly it’s going to really give you the advantage over another Food Blogger.
Breadcrumbs are a navigation system in which users can see the number of steps they have left to take and what they have already accomplished.
Breadcrumbs can help provide information about the history of where users have been.
Food bloggers typically use Yoast to apply breadcrumbs to their food blogs. Some themes can also provide breadcrumbs like the Kadence theme.
When you add structured data to your site, you help the search engine better understand what your content is about.
As a result, your site may rank higher in the search engine results pages (SERPs), and you may get more clicks from users.
The best way to do this as a food blogger is by adding recipe schema to your website. If this is done correctly Google will reward you in the recipe carousel at the top of the SERPs.
The easiest way to add this schema to your website is through a recipe plugin for WordPress and I review those down below.
A go-to schema that could benefit the reader is a FAQ schema. This you can add to the bottom of your recipe post answering frequently asked questions that are related to that recipe.
Another schema that’s a good idea is about schema that you put on your about page. This is a great way to build some authority with Google and help the algorithm E-A-T.
This algorithm stands for expertise authoritativeness and trustworthiness.
This is one of those things that is really important for food bloggers but people seem to think it’s not such a big deal because it wasn’t a big deal in the past.
Now your page speed on your website whether it’s mobile or desktop is actually a ranking factor.
Having a slow website can affect your core web vitals and your mobile page experience which all affects how well you rank on Google.
Pagespeed can get tricky as a food Blogger because we’re trying to balance ads that can slow down your website.
But I can tell you my food blogs pass all core web vitals and mobile page experience with flying colors and this includes running Mediavine ads.
So, the thing is, it can be done you’ve just gotta do it correctly.
I highly recommend a really good theme like Kadence Theme and also a great cache plugin like WP Rocket as well as a plugin for WordPress that will optimize your images.
Image optimization is important for multiple reasons for SEO. They can affect whether you actually get to show up in Google discover and also in the image section on Google.
Here are a few best practices…
Off-page SEO is exactly what it sounds like. It’s the total opposite of on-page SEO. These are typically backlinks to your website.
Links from other food bloggers can help your website rank better on Google. People also use a platform called, HARO help a reporter.
For me, building backlinks is not a major part of my SEO.
This is also done by building traffic to your website from social platforms. It’s another way of building authority and showing Google that you and your food blog are legitimate.
Building out your Facebook page, Pinterest Page, and good old Instagram page. They are not only going to bring traffic to your food blog but it is also going to build some trust with Google and other Search engines.
I like to focus more on the content. Creating the best content for Google and for the users looking for my recipes.
This is typically done with process shots, and videos, really focusing on the how-to of the recipe, and don’t forget a really good recipe card.
This is one of the most important parts of a food blogger’s SEO if not the most important step in the process.
If you don’t get your keyword research correct you might be choosing a recipe or blog post that is so competitive that you have no chance of ranking for it.
The way I look at this is, that you want to stay in your lane. If you’re ranking for recipes that get say 5000 sessions a month then those are the blog posts and recipes that you want to create.
As you build more authority and trust with Google and you naturally build backlinks from people loving your content, then you’ll start to see that you can rank for those posts really easily.
Now you can step up your game and look for a higher search volume say 10,000 sessions to 20,000 a month and start creating those recipes and start ranking for them.
All things aside, you can jump to the front of the line in some SERPs if you start doing all the SEO correctly.
In the end, SEO is a long game and there are no real shortcuts when you’re doing it in the highly competitive food space. It is really important to do all the things and not just one or two.
We Offer 3 Services
We focus on 3 key areas that provide the most impact for a website to succeed in the SERPs.
Keyword research tools
- Ahrefs: This is by far my favorite tool for keyword research for a food blogger. The main reason is that it really gives you the best idea of how competitive the keyword is.
- Google Search: Yep, google search is a free way to do research and is one of the best tools because Google literally tells you what people are searching for.
- Semrush: This is a really popular keyword research tool that is used by a lot of bloggers. I just don’t find it is as good as Ahrefs with showing how competitive the keyword is.
WordPress is a great platform for content marketing because it has a huge community of other WordPress food bloggers.
If you want to be competitive with the other food bloggers you really need to invest in a good quality recipe plug-in.
There’s a huge amount of traffic that you can get from ranking in those rich snippets on the top of the page in the carousel.
This recipe carousel is probably the biggest traffic driver when it comes to organic search for most food bloggers.
Three of the best recipe plugins for WordPress are WP Recipe Maker, Tasty Recipes, and Mediavine’s Create.
I have used tasty recipes and WP Recipe Maker and I think by far the best one (and the one I use on my food blogs) is WP recipe maker also known as WPRM.
The plugin comes with a bewildering array of settings and options but you don’t have to use them all.
No, getting all your lights green in WordPress when you’re writing a blog post is not doing your “SEO”. There are so many things that are important and this is not one of them.
This can be no further from the truth. Learn SEO from the beginning, it will help build your traffic and authority with the search engines and Google.
Hands down after you build trust with Google and you start ranking in the top three positions you will see consistent traffic over and over.
Social traffic is so unpredictable you can lose it instantly with an algorithm change.