Are you wondering about SEO for Food Bloggers and thinking it is rocket science?
Are you generating delicious recipes that are easy to follow but not getting enough traffic?
Are you spending hours on your food blog and not earning any form of passive income?
If you are vigorously nodding your head and thinking ME!
Well, thank you for swinging by. This comprehensive guide will teach you everything you need to know about SEO for food bloggers.
You will learn easy-to-follow steps that you can implement to improve the visibility and searchability of your food blog using SEO. This will help more readers enjoy your delicious recipes and soon help you earn passive income.
At the end of the day, that is what we all want right? So sit back and be ready to enter the world of Search Engine Optimization for food blogs.
If you are short on time, here is a quick look at how to help your food blog improve by using SEO.
- Start Your Food Blog Site With Fast Hosting
- Install Essential Plug-Ins
- Have Clear Silos
- Learn Keyword Research
- Use Long-Tail Keywords
- Research Your Competitors
- Have A Nice And Easy Site Design
- Follow E-A-T Directions
- Have Clear Categories and Tags
- Pay Attention To The Calendar For Your Recipes
- Have Beautiful Pictures
- Share Your Experiences If Possible
- Use Videos
- Optimize Pinterest
- Build Links Properly
- Have Frequently Asked Questions
- Offer Alternative Ingredients / Instructions For Those With Dietary Restrictions
- Enhance Your Reader’s Experience
- Optimize Image Alt Text
- Have Clear SEO Titles And Meta Descriptions
- Use Related Links To Boost Internal Posts
Some of the links on here are affiliate links and I may earn if you click on them, AT NO EXTRA cost to you. Hope you find the information here useful! Thanks.
Related Posts on SEO For Food Bloggers:
- 65 Greatest Food Niches For A Profitable Food Blog In 2022
- 285+ Food Blogging Names To Boost Your Traffic!
- 15 Best Affiliate Programs For Food Bloggers [2022 Update]
- 13 Best SEO Course for Bloggers in 2022 (Tried and Tested!)
- 23 Best Niches for Pinterest to Skyrocket Your Income (2022)
1. Start Your Food Blog Site With Fast Hosting
This may seem like a no-brainer, right? But there is no way you can earn from your food blog unless you have a website.
I recommend Bluehost to a beginner for the following reasons:
- It is affordable for new bloggers. You want to keep costs low because there is no income from your blog at the start.
- You get a free domain name for the first year
- You get a free SSL Certificate which is important for your site security
- You can install WordPress with 1-Click
- 24/7 Support using the Bluehost Chat Function – This is so important and I have used it a million times.
Once you have made your site hosting, you need to pick a name for your site. Check out my recommendations for over 285 possible food blog names you can use for your domain.
For extra details, you can read my detailed guide on how to set up your blog using BlueHost and WordPress.
Voila, you now have a properly hosted food blog to which you can slowly add your yummy recipes too and optimize them for search intent.
If you are more of a visual person and like to watch videos for a step-by-step guide, you can watch this free tutorial on YouTube that shows how to create a WordPress Blog with no steps skipped.
2. Install Essential Plug-Ins
WordPress Plugins are little pieces of software that you can attach to your WordPress site. It gives your site additional features and lets you accomplish more things.
For example, WP Forms is a drag & drop WordPress Form Builder which allows you to make contact forms or survey forms.
These are useful if you want to allow your readers to contact you without sending you an email, then they can just insert their request and details on a contact form that is embedded in your site.
Alternatively, if you wanted to build a survey within your site to get feedback from your readers about the type of recipes they want to see, then a survey form will help with that.
To enjoy these features, you need to download the necessary plug-ins.
Some essential plugins are Yoast SEO which helps to improve your SEO rankings on Google. Yoast SEO will show you your SEO score after you have uploaded your blog post and show you where you can improve.
Another important plugin is WP Recipe Maker. It is specially designed for food blogs and food bloggers and helps with on-site and off-site SEO.
It helps you display your recipes with nutritional information using beautiful recipe templates.
Do take note that the more plug-ins you have, the slower your site takes to load. Hence, please be mindful and make sure you only install plug-ins that you NEED.
3. Have Clear Silos
Website Silos refer to a method of placing your content in clusters that have a related link. So for example you could divide your food blog silos into, entrees, appetizers, and desserts.
Alternatively, you can also divide your food blog into the main ingredient, such as chicken, beef, fish, and vegetarian.
For example, my silos on this site look like this:
If a visitor came to Out And Beyond, they will find content about:
- Making Money
- Saving Money
- Digital Nomad
Here is a silo for a food blog, All Recipes:
You can see silos for:
- Slow Cooker Recipes
- Air Fryer Recipes
- Appetizers and Sauces
- BBQ & Grilling
- Breakfast and Brunch
- Chicken Recipes
- Dessert Recipes
This tells the reader and Google where the information is placed and how it is grouped.
The more established a site becomes, you can have more silos because you have already built authority for your site, such as All Recipes. But as a beginner, please start clustering all your content into 1 Silo first.
So if you are focusing on chicken recipes, just post as many chicken recipes as you can for a start. This will help Google start ranking you as an authority for chicken recipes, and it builds your site’s domain authority and overall ranking.
Once you have exhausted your chicken recipes, or maybe reached 50 chicken recipes, then you can move on to another silo, such as vegetarian, and start again.
4. Learn Keyword Research
Doing keyword research means that you will know what readers are searching for in Google about your niche.
Imagine if you wanted to upload a recipe about cooking fried rice with leftovers because it is something you like.
You run it through a keyword research tool, and the competition score is very high. This means that you should NOT write about it.
There is too much content out there providing recipes for fried rice with leftovers.
Doing proper keyword research means that you will find out what people are searching for and how much content there is for that particular keyword.
Ideally, you want to upload recipes and cooking tips that are high in demand, but without enough suitable content available. This is the magic sauce for food keywords SEO.
Your next question now would probably be, HOW? How can you know what are the keywords for your food blog and what tool should you use?
Lucky for you, I have an affordable, online self-study course on SEO-Blog Post Training.
I teach you everything you need to know about Search Engine Optimization and how to do Keyword Research for your blog.
You can also subscribe to a free trial for Keysearch, which is the keyword research tool I use.
I highly recommend it because of how easy and affordable it is. Do get in touch with me if you want a discounted rate for this.
If you want SEO keywords for food blogs, Keysearch, is your answer.
PS; Use the code : OUTANDBEYOND, to get 30% off!
5. Use Long-Tail Keywords
Long-tail keywords are 3 or more keywords. If you wanted to rank for Hyderabadi Chicken Curry, that would be a long-tail keyword. It would be easier to rank for compared to writing a recipe about just chicken, which is 1 keyword.
Have you ever googled something with just 1 word and been satisfied with the result? Imagine, if you wanted a chicken lasagna recipe, and you googled, chicken.
This would be the first result on Google
I doubt that you wanted to find out the biology of the chicken when you wanted to make chicken lasagna.
Hence, always look at expanding your keywords reasonably so that you can fit search intent.
6. Research Your Competitors
As a food blogger, you need to accept that you will have plenty of competitors. Your primary goal for your blog is to get on page 1 of Google’s search results for the keyword that you wish to rank for.
This means you need to provide content that is better than what your competitors are uploading.
This is part and parcel of food SEO for food bloggers.
A simple way of doing this is to:
- Insert your desired keyword in Google Incognito mode as a Google Search
- Check out the results on page 1 of Google
- Analyze their recipes and how they wrote it
- Identify how you can do it better.
Some examples of how you can write content that is better than your competitors are to:
- Upload better quality pictures or step-by-step pictures of your cooking process
- Provide tips for using alternative ingredients to get the same results
- Provide recipes using affordable ingredients or easy to source items
- Provide recipes that have faster cooking times
- Include cooking videos and embed them from YouTube into your site
Most top bloggers have repeatedly advised that blogs should not try to reinvent the wheel. Just check out what others are doing, and do it better.
This is how you can show Google that your content is more worthy to be on page 1 and ultimately, the first result. This is one of the best SEO tips for food bloggers.
Do remember, that your goal is to provide useful value that fits search intent.
7. Have A Nice And Easy Site Design
Have you visited blogs that were difficult to navigate and immediately left? It is frustrating, right?
Please keep your site design simple. Recall the information I shared earlier about silos and the 2 site examples?
An example of a messy site would be where there are no silos, and all your recipes are jumbled up together as a long list. This would make it extremely difficult to navigate the site and find your desired recipe.
Your site’s credibility will suffer if your readers are quickly leaving your site. This means that your site’s bounce rate is high.
Having a high bounce rate will negatively impact your SEO.
Google will find out that your site is not fulfilling search intent. Hence, your site will be much harder to rank.
Here are some examples of beautiful food blog designs to inspire you to create a professional and captivating food blog.
Some lightweight free themes you can use are :
- Generate Press
8. Follow E-A-T Directions
This is a directive by Google to ensure that the quality of its search results is useful.
This is more important for sites that are speaking about sensitive topics that fall under YMYL which is Your Money, Your Life.
YMYL blogs are usually legal, financial, or medical and require the creator to have formal education and certification.
Luckily, a food blog does not fall under YMYL. However, adopting E-A-T on your site will be extremely helpful in increasing your site authority and ranking.
You can increase your E-A-T by highlighting:
- Your cooking expertise, any cooking certifications, or courses you have attended
- Videos and pictures of you cooking with finesse
- Reviews or testimonials of your cooking or recipes
- Writing clear recipes
- Explaining the impact of doing certain things wrong such as cooking undercooked chicken, consistently eating medium-rare meat, etc.
- Your professional cooking experience in restaurants or cafes
9. Have Clear Categories and Tags
Categories and tags are useful to help readers navigate your site effectively. Categories are slightly similar to your silos where you categorize each post into your groups.
So you can name your categories after your silos so that they are in sync. Ideally, each recipe must be within 1 category. That way, your readers will not be confused.
Examples are, chicken, beef, fish, shrimp, and vegetarian. So the category directly groups all your recipes according to the main ingredient.
You can have multiple tags on one recipe, such as Christmas, Thanksgiving, and child-friendly. So basically, it helps users search for recipes that they can consider using during this holiday event or to feed their kids.
10. Pay Attention To The Calendar For Your Recipes
This is a surefire way to promote recipes that fit search intent. Think of the type of food you are promoting and when it is best eaten.
If you are providing recipes that fit certain celebrations or holidays, then please plan your recipe uploads for your readers accordingly.
Have you noticed how all your favorite bloggers share recipes for roast turkey and stuffing in preparation for Thanksgiving? Hence, please be mindful of preparing recipes in advance of the celebration.
This gives your readers time to follow and cook your recipe during the actual celebration.
11. Have Beautiful Pictures
What makes you want to follow a recipe that you have read online? Is it the picture or video of the finished product?
The meal looks divine, and your tongue is salivating at the thought of trying it yourself. This is the power of excellent food photography.
If you want your readers to love your recipes and for Google to rank you as an authority, you need to have great photos of the food that you have prepared.
This will show Google’s quality raters that you have the expertise and know what you are doing.
You can check out this awesome guide that gives you some in-depth tips on how to improve your food photography for your food blog.
If you are looking for cameras for food bloggers, check out this helpful guide on the best recommendations.
12. Share Your Experiences If Possible
This may seem a bit controversial, as people have mixed opinions about it.
Have you gone through recipes where they spend ages sharing about how their grandmother or their cousin’s donkey cooked this dish and everyone loved it?
Then the recipe only appears at the end of the blog! This is quite frustrating as well. However, if you do it tastefully, you can increase your blog’s SEO ranking.
This is because, if you only wrote a recipe, it is pretty factual. It can appear like you copied it from anyone and didn’t add anything unique or YOU about the recipe.
Here is an example of a food blogger who has shared her experiences or history about the food and weaved the recipe beautifully into each of her posts.
13. Use Videos
Some people can write recipes so clearly that it is easy to follow. But there are still readers, who enjoy reading a recipe and watching a video as well.
Videos are extremely easy to follow. The downside is the time it takes to edit it.
After studying the growth of different food bloggers, they all started with basic videos that had minimal editing.
Examples of these are:
- Recording the entire cooking process and uploading a mighty long video on YouTube
- Recording live cooking sessions and then just upload it to your social media profile
There is absolutely nothing wrong with this. It shows your credibility as a cook, which is more important than your credibility as a video editor.
As some food bloggers became more popular and started earning more income, their videos naturally became higher quality. A clear example is this Malaysian Food Blogger, Khairul Amin.
If you scroll down his Instagram, you would find that his videos were pretty straightforward but still, extremely delicious and easy to follow.
As his popularity increased, he created his food product for sale, which is a Malaysian Chilli Paste. It constantly got sold out every time new stock arrived.
Due to his income growth, he was able to invest in making higher quality videos which ultimately boosted his business as well.
His audience saw his genuine efforts to make delicious recipes that were high in demand. In turn, they supported him by wiping out his products every time they became available.
Here are some tips to enhance your cooking videos.
14. Optimize Pinterest
Pinterest is a visual search engine. People go to Pinterest for ideas and to get inspiration. This is exactly what your food blog is designed for right?
Your recipes are meant to inspire your readers to get off their butts and cook something yummy at home!
Pinterest is not a platform that every niche should go to. But Pinterest is THE platform for food bloggers to try to optimize besides SEO.
Here is a helpful guide on how Pinterest can be extremely helpful for food bloggers.
You can find out about some of the Pinterest courses I recommend here. I have taken a lot of them myself and they are of great value!
15. Build Links Properly
Honestly, this is a heavy topic on its own. However, I will simplify it as much as possible concerning SEO for food bloggers.
Firstly, building good links from high domain authority sites will help boost your own blog’s ranking on Google.
However, you must not be paying for links or getting them from spammy sites.
Examples of good methods to build links for your food blog are:
Doing guest posts on other food blogs and contributing food recipes to their sites. They will reference the author (you) by linking to your site. Food bloggers and their readers love SEO optimised well written foodie articles!
Quick tip! Make sure that your guest post is EVEN BETTER than your post on your site. This will highlight your quality and get you more invites to do more guests post.
This is a proven method that is still gaining me lots of traffic and invitations.
Write Product Reviews or Testimonials
If you use a certain cake mixer or cooking pot, and it regularly features on your site, then this is for you. You can make a pitch to write a product review or testimonial about using that item.
It will help the business that you are writing for because it is genuine and comes from a food blogger who has expertise. Then they can highlight the name of your site with the testimonial.
Request for Back Links
Ask for a backlink from a legitimate site that is related to your niche.
For example, if you only specialize in desserts, and someone wrote a post about good desserts to eat with their particular appetizer, they could then link to your recipe.
Please do not ask for backlinks from totally random sites. Google hates it and you will be in trouble.
16. Have Frequently Asked Questions
Your recipe may be clear for you. However, not everyone would have the same level of expertise. You have to accept that most of your readers are not as experienced and may have really basic questions.
If you can answer them in your post rather than losing the reader to another site, you have done your site’s ranking a huge favor. Hence, you can consider including some frequently asked questions that are relevant to that recipe.
One way of finding the FAQs related to your recipe is to google your recipe and the relevant keywords you wish to rank for, in incognito mode.
Then, scroll down to the People Also Ask section.
I googled Chicken Lasagna, and there are some pretty useful questions that you can add to your recipe post under a header called Frequently Asked Questions about Chicken Lasagna.
The best part about using this method? You need not crack your head thinking about what to include. Google tells you everything!
17. Offer Alternative Ingredients / Instructions For Those With Dietary Restrictions
You may have used certain ingredients which could be more costly or just not suitable for people with certain preferences or restrictions.
Do consider adding some alternative ingredients, such as eggless options, changing meats, cheaper ingredients, differences between flours such as plain, whole wheat, self-raising, option for cooking with wine / no wine, etc.
By doing this, you provide your readers with an option to adjust your recipes using ingredients they have or are allowed to use.
18. Enhance Your Reader’s Experience
Write for your reader, not for yourself! Make sure your recipes are easy to follow and delicious. Bring your readers on a culinary journey.
Simple tips you should adopt are:
- Short paragraphs
- Not overly cluttered with advertisements
- Easy to share and comment features
- Perfect grammar. This is a non-negotiable requirement.
19. Optimize Image Alt Text
In simple terms, your image alt text highlights your image’s relevance to your topic. If you are writing a recipe for beef soup, and there is a picture of a random cat somewhere, it is irrelevant.
It is not like you can describe the image of the cat and say, this is a drinker of beef soup? It is senseless and Google will not like you.
Hence the image alt text is a written description of what your image is about. And that description has to be as close as possible to your main SEO keywords.
This way, your written post, and your images are all fitting search intent.
Please use only relevant images that add value to your reader and support your main point.
As a food blogger, the best images you can add are steps in your cooking process, or how your dish looks after each step.
20. Have Clear SEO Titles And Meta Descriptions
A meta description is a short text that appears as a description in your search result like the one below.
The description, “This is a very easy recipe to make. A tender cut of beef is sliced thin and marinated with lemon juice and soya sauce for at least an hour or longer.”
It tells your reader at a glance from your search results, what your post is about. Imagine if the description started talking about Filipino culture or how beef is consumed, it won’t fit the recipe’s purpose.
Yoast provides comprehensive tips on how to write your meta descriptions with plenty of examples.
21. Use Related Links To Boost Internal Posts
If you see at the top or bottom of my posts, you will find related posts.
These are extremely helpful for SEO because if a reader wishes to learn more information related to this topic, they can get it from within my site.
Additionally, it helps to boost topical authority in the eyes of Google. If you wish to hear more about this, do check out my interview with Niche Pursuits where I discuss this extensively with Jared.
How can you do this for a food blog? Check out the screenshot below from Natasha’s Kitchen.
The post is for carrot cake cupcakes, but within the first paragraph, there is a link for the cream cheese frosting which is used on the cupcake as well.
This is another way you can use internal linking with your related posts.
The main benefit is that it keeps readers on your site and provides them with additional related recipes.
How Do Bloggers Do SEO?
Top-notch blogging that incorporates SEO helps by positioning your website as a relevant answer to your customers’ questions. Articles that have fulfilled all the SEO requirements such as meeting search intent and providing comprehensive information will outrank articles that do not fit these criteria.
If you are reading this as an outsider and want to help your food blogger friend or family member, you can always consider buying them any of these gifts for food bloggers.
What is an SEO Food Blog?
This article is a complete search engine optimization (SEO) guide for food bloggers. This article was done by incorporating the experiences of successful food bloggers who took clear steps to grow their food blogs using SEO.
If you use all the recommendations shared above in your food blog, you will have a food blog that will quickly rank on Google.
Which Blogging Platform Is Best For Food Bloggers?
I shared above about the benefits of using WordPress which is hosted on Blue Host. There are additional platforms you can consider as a food blogger.
Square Space is another website builder like WordPress. If you are unsure about the features, you can always try a free trial first and then decide to subscribe to it later on if you feel it helps your food blog.
Silvrback is a website builder that was specifically made for food bloggers. You can try out their free trial as well and test the features to see if it helps your food blog.
Having shared the above, I still stand by WordPress as it is the most common website builder. This means getting support for issues related to WordPress or BlueHost will be easier and more affordable to find, including free YouTube tutorials.
How Do Food Bloggers Come Up With Recipes?
Food bloggers need to take a specific set of steps before sharing and uploading their recipes. You need to do the right keyword research to see what recipes are being searched for.
Then you must test out existing recipes to see how you can improve them further. Finally, if there are steps you can remove or amend, to simplify the process, do share about them.
You should not be waking up one morning and feeling like writing a recipe about something and then just uploading it. Why? Because it may not fit search intent when you do keyword research about it. This goes against the practice of SEO for food bloggers.
Why Do Recipes Have Stories?
The stories on recipes will help people get to know the types of foods [and] flavors that specific recipe creators enjoy. This is important to help the blog’s SEO in the eyes of Google, as it builds authority and trust.
If your blog posts just had recipes without explaining how you got them or how it is enjoyed in your home, it will look like you are just copying a recipe from someone else.
The stories in your recipe help SEO especially for food bloggers.
Well, there you have it, folks! This is your most comprehensive guide on SEO for food bloggers. As you can see, it is not very technical and can be easily learned if you slowly incorporated all the steps.
Furthermore, you will find that there are tonnes of things you can improve to help your blog’s overall Google ranking. This means you can take it slow and steady, especially as a beginner without feeling overwhelmed.
You may start by listing down all the tasks you need to do, and then categorize them in order of easy, intermediate, and advanced.
Start with the easy tasks and slowly go from there. This will help you feel more confident and motivated when you see your blog’s ranking slowly improve.
I wish you lots of good luck and well wishes! Thank you for reading this article!