Food blogs are as hot as a Carolina Reaper at the moment. Unfortunately, the ever-increasing popularity of cooking and baking also means food bloggers often face a relentless stream of competition for website rankings.
On the bright side, there are some effective solutions that will help your culinary content be consumed faster, even in a pot that is overflowing with competitors.
In this article, we present you with the best SEO optimization techniques for a food blog to help boost your traffic and convert your visitors.
Why do SEO optimization techniques matter for a food blog?
Before we get into the nitty-gritty, you might be wondering why exactly you need SEO optimization for your food blog. If you bake heavenly cakes and have a wealth of inspiring knowledge to share, surely interested users will show up on their own, right? Not exactly.
While having appealing photos and sharing your culinary wisdom is wonderful, you might be disappointed to find that nobody is actually looking at your artsy snapshots or reading your informative posts.
This is because you don’t just need to please your visitors, you also need to satisfy Google’s hunger for relevant websites to display when users perform a search.
In this sense, the key to higher search rankings lies in using best SEO practices that will help persuade Google’s algorithm to make your food blog visible to your target audience.
Focus on long-tail keywords
Keywords are one of the most important factors to consider when optimizing your food blog. However, because the food blogging market is highly saturated, long-tail keywords are often the best way to connect with your desired users.
This means avoiding super simple keywords like the plague and instead focusing on longer phrases for your main keywords. The more specific the niche, the better.
Here’s where your keywords should appear:
- Title tags and meta descriptions
- Headers (H1, H2s, etc.)
- Body (avoid over-stuffing)
Essentially, you will have a better shot at ranking an article titled “How to Make Cheesy Pull-Apart Sourdough Bread with Pancetta and Garlic” on the first page of Google than “How to Make Sourdough Bread”, which has undoubtedly been covered thousands of times. Sites like AnswerThePublic can help you find inspiration for articles and you can use Google AdWords to find keyword volume and difficulty.
AnswerThePublic’s “question flower” provides inspiration for content.
Implement structured data on your food blog content
Structured data communicates specific information about the content of your pages to Google. It helps Google comprehend your blog article’s subject matter and which users are most likely to find your content useful.
If you run a food blog, chances are a good portion of your content will be dedicated to recipes. If this is the case, you can use the Recipe schema markup to communicate a wealth of details to Google, including:
- The cooking method used
- Nutritional information
- The type of cuisine
- Individual ingredients
- Dietary restrictions
These indications will help users find your recipes and increase your organic traffic.
Leverage your social media
Social media and food blogging go together like ham and cheese. With this mind, social media should be a fundamental part of your overall SEO strategy.
While the jury is still out on whether social links boost your search rank, it is well-known that social media profiles can also rank in Google and that they contain their own internal search engines.
In other words, an effective social media strategy can help users discover your brand and drive qualified traffic to your website.
If you like taking beautiful, mouth-watering images for your blog articles, you can benefit from sharing them on platforms like Instagram and Pinterest. Be sure to make efficient use of hashtags to reach a wider audience.
If you have a quality camera, you might also want to consider starting a YouTube channel where you can post step-by-step recipes and kitchen tips to gain a significant following that can be directed to your blog. Channels like Laura in the Kitchen have amassed millions of followers that they link to their personal food blogs.
Laura in the Kitchen’s YouTube landing page with a link to her food blog.
In short, social media allows you to create a genuine personal brand that people will recognize across different platforms.
On-page SEO optimization
Whether you want to increase your landing page conversion rates if you sell a product or service through your blog, or you simply want more readers so you can demonstrate value to advertisers, on-page optimization is crucial. Here are some useful tips that help you attract qualified traffic.
Internal linking means linking from one page of your blog to another. This helps distribute authority across your website and give your various pages an SEO boost.
When creating internal links, they should flow naturally with your article and be placed on an appropriate anchor text that contains a keyword for the page the user will arrive on when clicking the link.
Food blogs often contain a large number of images. Each of these images contains a Title Tag and an Alt Tag.
Both of these tags should be used at all times. Title Tags help improve the user experience and should describe the image itself while Alt Tags are meant for SEO purposes and should include the keyword of your page.
We mentioned the importance of keyword placement earlier in this article but what we didn’t mention is that you can use synonyms and related words to reinforce your main keyword.
Moreover, it’s never a good idea to bloat your content with the same keyword over and over again and using variations lets you further optimize without appearing spammy.
Use seasonality to your advantage
One technique that works particularly well in the food blogosphere is adapting your content to the season. Think about planning recipes and articles for holidays such as Christmas, Thanksgiving or Mother’s Day well in advance so they have a chance to rank before the day arrives.
In addition, make sure your general content fits with the current season. People aren’t looking for BBQ tips and homemade ice cream recipes when there’s five feet of snow on the ground.
Summing up SEO for food blogs
Food blogs are up against some of the fiercest competition for Google rankings but with the right SEO optimization techniques, they can organically reach a dedicated audience. Long-tail keywords, structured data, social media, on-page optimization and seasonal adaptability are powerful strategies that, when correctly implemented, can greatly improve your website traffic.
If you want help defining an effective SEO strategy for your food blog or any other website, don’t hesitate to contact our team of SEO specialists today.