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Episode 227: Food Blog SEO vs Recipe SEO with Liane Walker

In episode 227, we hear from co-founder Liane Walker about the importance of Recipe SEO and how blog SEO and Recipe SEO work for our businesses.

We cover information about how organic recipe searches can be improved by tweaking our recipe SEO, why you need to study your top-performing posts regularly and nothing about SEO is one size fits all!

Listen on the player below or on iTunes, TuneIn, Stitcher, or your favorite podcast player. Or scroll down to read a full transcript.


Guest Details

Connect with Foodie Digital
Website | Facebook | Instagram

Bio Liane Walker is a mom of 3, committed meal planner, wannabe saucier chef, a seasoned systems analyst and content strategist, and Managing Director of Foodie Digital.

Takeaways

  • Food blogging has shifted a lot over the past few years and is much more technical now.
  • The goal with food blog SEO is to have posts appear on the first page of Google’s search results over time.
  • Site speed matters a great deal to food blog SEO as well as core web vitals, particularly right now. Internal linking and link-building are all factors that also influence food blog SEO.
  • The primary goal with recipe SEO is to convert traffic and earn click-throughs.
  • Recipe SEO is all about recipe structured data, which is auto-generated from a WordPress recipe card plugin. So structured data and a standardized format that provides helpful info and explicit recipe information to Google.
  • Many food bloggers have technical breakdowns when it comes to their recipe card plugin and that’s where a lot of opportunity is available for bloggers to grow.
  • There are so many authorship opportunities in both of those tools that are never seized by bloggers when they get started.
  • No-follow compliance matters a great deal online today.
  • It’s important to make data driven decisions.
  • When we talk about recipe SEO, you cannot earn access to the featured recipe results on Google without a recipe card plugging in place.

Resources Mentioned

Become a member of Foodie Digital

3 Best WordPress recipe cards compared

Food Blog SEO vs. Recipe SEO

How to use WP recipe maker properly

A tutorial for how to add a recipe in Create by Mediavine

Tips for using Tasty Recipes

Transcript

Click for full text.

Intro:

Welcome to Eat Blog Talk, where food bloggers come to get their fill of the latest tips, tricks, and insights into the world of food blogging. If you feel that hunger for information, we’ll provide you with the tools you need to add value to your blog. And we’ll also ensure you’re taking care of yourself, because food blogging is a demanding job. Now, please welcome your host, Megan Porta.

Megan Porta:

Food bloggers. I want you to know that I myself am a food blogger. So I understand the need to find those connections and find the answers and create transformations in my business that are actually going to matter and help me to grow and make more money and get more traffic and all of the good things. If you are interested in this too, which you probably are, please consider joining our mastermind groups, which are starting up in the fall of 2021. Go to eatblogtalk.com to find the application. There’s a button there that says, join a mastermind group. That will bring you to an application that will determine whether or not you were a good fit for these groups. As Napoleon Hill, the author of Think & Grow Rich says about the mastermind principle, two or more people actively engaged in the pursuit of a definite purpose with a positive mental attitude constitute an unbeatable force.

Unbeatable force. You can’t argue with that. Weekly zoom calls will have the format of peer to peer learning with members taking turns being in the hot seat. Once a month, we will invite in guest experts who will unleash their knowledge about very specific topics relating to food blogging and relating to ways that you can grow your business in a big way. We convene every single week where we share our struggles, our wins, and we can shine and lift each other up and provide resources and input that will help the other members in the group to grow their businesses and grow as individuals as well. Again, go to eatblogtalk.com to fill out an application, to see if you’re a great fit for the mastermind groups.

Hey, food bloggers. Welcome to another episode of Eat Blog Talk. Thank you so much for being here with us today. I have Liane Walker with me from afoodiedigital.com. We’re going to chat about the difference between food blog SEO and recipe SEO. Liane is a mom of three. She’s a committed meal planner, also a wannabe saucier chef, a seasoned systems analyst and content strategist, and managing director of Foodie Digital. Liane, I am so excited to talk about this. I think it’s something that food bloggers will just benefit from, knowing the difference between food blog SEO and recipe SEO. They sound very similar, but I definitely think this will be a beneficial chat. But before we dive into it, we all want to hear your fun fact.

Liane Walker:

Hi Megan, thank you so much for having me on today. So my fun fact, as you mentioned, I have three kids. They are eight, six and four, and they all have different hair colors. So one is red. One is blonde and the littlest guy is a brunette. So I have my very own Neapolitan rainbow at home.

Megan:

Love that so much for some reason. Do you ever get questions? Do people ever question you? I don’t know what they would say, but do people ever point that out, I guess in public?

Liane:

All the time and people, even at school sometimes when they learn that my oldest, my middle are brother and sister, they’re shocked because they really don’t look alike at all. So they’re so surprised to find out that they are siblings. But yes, people comment on it all the time because it really is quite unique. I’m a brunette myself. So I have zero idea where the red and the blonde come from.

Megan:

That’s so great. I love it. I love your Neapolitan thing too. So switching gears drastically from that super fun fact, you are here to talk about food blog SEO and recipe SEO, and how those two are very different things. I guess I would just love it if you started out by defining each. Can you just talk us through the differences?

Liane:

Absolutely. So it’s really easy to assume that food blog SEO and recipe SEO are one and the same. But they really are very different and understanding exactly how they’re different is key to maximizing the success of your food blog. Of course we educate our community members about this all the time, but I’m super thrilled to be able to be talking to you about it today and sharing this information with the broader food blogging community too. So let’s start with food blog SEO. So the goal with food blog SEO is to have posts appear on the first page of Google’s search results over time. So it’s the typical process of publishing and then editing and repairing and improving the content in a post. So food blog SEO is typically powered by high quality content, strong user signals such as time on page and pages per session.

Of course, making sure your posts satisfies search intent, which is critically important in recipes and that looks like time, prep time, cook time, cooking method, et cetera. So food blog SEO leans on tools. Common tool like Yoast SEO to power what actually displays in Google search results. So if you’ve ever gone into Yoast and the plugin in the backend of WordPress and edited your SEO title, your meta description, then you’ve also worked on improving food blog SEO. Now of course there are other really important influences that come into play when we talk about food blog SEO, that it’s important to be aware of. Of course site speed matters a great deal, core web vitals, particularly right now. Internal linking and link-building are all factors that also influence food blog SEO. So by contrast, recipe SEO. So the goal with recipe SEO, the primary goal I should say, is to convert traffic and earn click-throughs. Recipe SEO is all about recipe structured data, which is auto-generated from a WordPress recipe card plugin. So it’s structured data that’s built into your recipe card plugin, and it’s a standardized format that provides helpful info and explicit recipe information to Google. So it’s these fields which are called recipe metadata fields, that make up or recipes structured data, and Google uses that information to try to learn more about you, your expertise and of course your recipe. So in summary, that is the difference between those two things. When you really understand how to use each to your advantage, that’s when you can really start to seize opportunities that already exist in your post library. Also you can be a lot more strategic with your time and your effort as well.

Megan:

I think that helps a ton. So really you do have to keep your eye on both. You have to understand both and really understand first of all the differences, but what goes into each, what you need to do for each, but then you can use them together, right? So it’s not something that we as food bloggers need to do separately. We need to understand each of them.

Liane:

Absolutely. So food blog SEO is what I would say the vast majority of our community and the larger food blogging community understands and knows as SEO. But it’s recipe SEO that I think is really overlooked. When we start to actually separate recipe SEO out and use it as a tool to earn click-throughs and conversions, that’s when we can really make a positive impact on our traffic. What we observed when new members were joining our community a while ago now. We’ve been around for about 18 months. But we really observed that for the most part, new members and existing community members understood how to use Yoast. The vast majority of them, we’re doing some light keyword research. They had posts already on Google’s first page, et cetera, perhaps at the top of Google second page.

But a lot of them had technical breakdowns when it came to their recipe card plugin. Perhaps they weren’t using a contemporary enough tool. I mean, this space has shifted a lot in the last several years and become much more technical. So the gaps and sort of the pain points that we observed when we were auditing sites, as they come into our community, really the vast majority of the pain points existed with SEO. So for us, we noticed it was a real opportunity that we could help that community member seize and begin to use that to their advantage. But of course, we had to do some technical cleanup before we could get there.

Megan:

Do you have recommendations for recipe card plugins that you recommend using or a handful of them?

Liane:

Great question. So we’re pretty agnostic here when it comes to recipe card plugins. We’ve seen the gamut in our community, but approximately 75% of the foodie digital community does use WP Recipe Maker. I would say the balance uses Tasty Recipes. Those are the two tools that we see used most frequently. When we are migrating a new community member away from an existing tool that they have that is outdated and no longer serving them, the vast majority of the time we are migrating them to WP recipe maker.

Megan:

Do you have any recommendations about just little ways to use a recipe plugin like WP Recipe Maker in addition to what is obvious? I know I’ve recently received a little tidbit about how to use it. I hope I say this right, is it the keywords section inside of there? Little things like that? Do you have any little tips for us?

Liane:

Yeah, absolutely. So when a new member joins Foodie Digital, we actually do a recipe card plug in audit. I think we’re literally the only group out there that combs through the configuration of the tool. Also the use of the tool when publishing posts. I can tell you, Megan, we have never seen a recipe card plugin configured correctly coming into the community. Really, I think it has people that are so excited, they just get to publishing and they don’t necessarily stop to make sure that the configuration of that tool is set up to actually suit their content strategy. So you know, speaking about WP Recipe Maker in particular and actually this same goes here for Tasty, but there are so many authorship opportunities in both of those tools that are never seized.

Of course, EAT. I know we’re not talking about EAT today, but EAT as a concept, which is expertise, authoritativeness and trustworthiness, matters a great deal today. So ensuring that you have your recipe card plugin correctly set up to ensure that your authorship, your first and last name and your organization name is set up correctly, matters a great deal. I recognize that’s very under the hood type stuff that shows up in recipe schema. But I’d say that’s probably one of the biggest opportunities that we find when we do our recipe card plugin audits. The other one, and you know I always joke that I’m on a personal mission to make sure the entire recipe web is no-follow compliant, but no-follow compliance matters a great deal online today. That means ensuring that you are adding no-follow attributes to very specific links on your site. Then of course, one of the reasons we love WP Recipe Maker is you can actually set a lot of the external links in your recipe cart to be no-follow by default. So, just in case sometimes you’re quickly working on a post and you don’t remember to add that no-follow attribute, by ensuring that the tool is configured correctly from the outset, you’re kind of setting yourself up to be successful in hedging yourself against possibly forgetting to do it the moment you publish a post.

Megan:

Interesting. Okay. Those were both really interesting and not what I was expecting. So thank you for sharing those. I think you’re right. There’s a lot of education to be had in this realm, because what you said is so true. I came from Squarespace a handful of years ago, and I was just so excited at the concept of having a recipe card because for so many years, I did not. I wrote my own code, which is ridiculous that I went to those lengths. For years I did this. Then when I came to WordPress, I was like, oh my gosh, there’s a card here. I can actually just put in the ingredients and the instructions. I was so excited about that, that I did not give anything, any thought, nothing. I was so thrilled. So I agree with you. I think it’s something that we definitely overlook. Clearly there are details that we need to be thinking through. So can you tell us Liane, a little bit about Foodie Digital, because I know you feel really passionately about your community. What do you offer this community? How do you help food bloggers? Maybe just tell us how you got started. I’m curious to hear that story as well.

Liane:

Absolutely. Well, I can’t start the story without a mention of Carla Alrich, who is our technical director. I describe her really as my coast driver in the creation of the Foodie Digital community. We’ve been at it for a little while now, so it’s always fun to go back and sort of talk about how we got started. So Carla and I have actually worked together on and off for about 12 years or so. She’s a web developer and I’ve always just respected Carla’s opinion so much. She’s so thorough. She’s really exceptional. I was working on a contract. This is many moons ago now, but I was working on a contract and it was focused on nutrition. I was doing the work as an analyst and my scope of work was to go and study a lot of what was out there on the food web. So in the course of my research, I quickly came to realize that I was looking at a lot of recipe sites, some big, some small and I realized a lot of stuff was really broken. Whether it was site speed, some of the sites were loading very, very, very slowly. We’re talking about broken links. We’re talking about issues with just getting your recipes discovered. I mean, I was shocked, actually, at just how much was broken. So I started just doing some research and looking to see what kind of content was out there to actually support food publishers and recipe developers.

There was a lot, there was a lot of info there. So I was kind of confused as to why I was seeing so many errors. So I actually turned to Carla. I sent her a note one night and I said, Hey, here’s what I’m working on. Here’s what I’m seeing. Am I crazy? Why does this gap exist? I think I may have sent it to her on a Friday night. She was like, oh, I’ll have a look. Maybe I’ll flip you a note back next week. By Saturday morning, she was like, this is wild. Why are there so many gaps? Oh my goodness. Our skill sets would serve this space so well. She’s like, I’m in. I was so pleased and so surprised. But you know, I really trust Carla and I knew that if she was seeing what I was seeing him and we both have very different backgrounds. I was looking at it really from that content perspective. She was looking at it from a technical perspective. If we were both seeing those gaps, we thought, okay, there’s something here. So you know, we both have kids and we both at the time were working on different contracts, but we decided together to run a proof of concept group and to see, and to just sort of listen to food content creators and recipe developers, and actually hear firsthand what they were experiencing, their pain points. So we recruited 12 food content creators. We worked with them for free for nine months and we used our skills and our background and our expertise to really support them and strengthen what they were doing.

Really the only exchange was we just wanted to listen to them and hear their problems and hear what people on the ground actually ran into every day. The problems they ran into every day. So we learned so much during the course of that proof of concept. It has informed so much of what we do in the community today, which is to actually listen to the people who are creating the content and the real life problems that they’re having and their individual circumstances. We decided to take that proof of concept and launch. So we came up with the name Foodie Digital, literally standing in my kitchen with my husband. Bought the domain from a super nice gal down south in the Southern states. We just started. I should share too, for the first really nine months of Foodie Digital’s existence, both Carla and I were working on other contracts still.

So it has only really been our full-time focus for about the last year. But I’m so grateful for those early days and those proof of concept participants, because they were so real and so open, so trusting. A lot of them are testing concepts with us that really haven’t been proven yet. So they’re very brave and that’s their life’s work. So I’m so grateful for those women who took part. But I mean, it’s been a sprint ever since. We’re growing very quickly. I think it really boils down to the fact that we actually listened to people. We also take the approach where we don’t just audit and then give you a big long list of audit findings. We do do that when you onboard, but we have the approach where we do guided implementation, which means we actually help you implement those audit findings.

Some of them might be tasked to you as a member, because it’s well within your skill and competency to do that, but some of them are a lot more technical and require the skill of perhaps a very seasoned developer. We will do those things on your behalf. A lot of that pertains to your core vitals and site speed and performance. But it’s been an incredible year. Our team, who supports the community, has also grown very quickly, which is really exciting. Sometimes I’m so impressed that we’ve reached this point, but really it’s all because of the openness that our community members come to us with and they’re really seeking support and help. It feels great to be able to use our skills to help them to execute on the work that they want to complete.

Megan:

It sounds like it’s also great that you guys actually listen. I think that’s something that we can all learn from when it comes to whatever, whoever our audience might be, whether it’s a food blog audience or somebody else. Listening, that is the key. We ask the questions, but then we actually have to listen to what people are saying and deliver that. I think it sounds like you guys have done that really well.

Liane:

What we’ve observed over the last year really is there’s a lot of concepts in SEO. We hear from people all the time, they say they feel like they’re drinking from the fire hose. It’s so true. I mean, there are so many concepts and in theory, they are great. They all sound great. Written in a post or in an article. But what we observed is when it comes to applying that concept in your own individual circumstance at home alone, behind your computer, that’s where things break down. That’s where we come in and that’s where we really help people actually apply the concept in their own individual circumstance. That makes all the difference. Because then our community members report they save time; they don’t get lost going down YouTube rabbit holes.

They don’t feel like they’re banging their head against the wall because they know this is the concept that they’re supposed to be applying, but they can’t figure out how to make it work in their own way. So that’s where we step in and we really help people through guided implementation. Actually take that concept. We listen to what they’re experiencing in their own environment and in their own site and their own content. Then we help them execute on that. We do that through a wide range of ways that we do a lot of video tutorials in individual sites for community members here. Just to not only help them to understand the purpose of the concept, but also the why behind it. That’s really important because if you don’t know why, the motivation isn’t going to be there to actually complete the task successfully.

Megan:

I absolutely love this concept of not only delivering SEO value that pertains to you as an individual blogger, but helping you to guide you through it because so many of us have received SEO audits in the past, but then it’s here is your list of things to do. There are SEO auditors who are very, very gracious and say reach out to me if you have questions and that sort of thing, but it does seem more one size fits all. You know what I mean? You guys seem like you’re doing very individualized assessments. Whereas I feel like it’s really been put on us that it is a one size fits all topic and it really is not. Correct?

Liane:

Absolutely. Completely correct. I mean, when I hear about the concepts and the theories and everything, I’m like, yes, I’m bought in. I’m into it. But not every single one of those concepts and theories actually applies to you, in your individual content strategy. So it’s really about determining what’s going to work for you, what’s a priority for you. Then allocate the time and effort behind your highest impact opportunities. So, Megan, I mean, at this point we’ve done so many onboarding audits and I mean we do a series of seven audits when a new member joins and they are listed on our site. So I won’t itemize them here, but we’ve done so many audits at this point and no two have ever come out the same.

Megan:

So interesting to hear that.

Liane:

We certainly have patterns. There’s no doubt about it. There are some things we do see on a recurring basis but no two have ever come out the same. That’s because everyone’s tool stack is different. Meaning, the tools they’re using, the plugins they are using,, the size of your library and the size of your index is different. The images are different. There’s so many variables, that it really does take an individualized approach. I should also say everyone’s subject matter area of expertise is different. Seizing opportunities that align with your subject matter area of expertise also matters a great deal. I think we managed to do a lot of that big picture in concepting in theory stuff really well here at Foodie Digital, but then we also deliver. Meaning that we do also take that individualized approach. For the most part, people report back to us that yes, results matter a great deal. There’s no doubt about it, but they get a better night’s sleep. They have more peace of mind. They also feel like they can cut out the noise. People report, they leave Facebook groups and they do all these sorts of things to trim down on the noise. When you know what your priorities are and you’ve got a plan in place to execute on them, you really cut out a lot of those distractions that frankly really don’t apply to you in your individual circumstance.

Megan:

I’m all about cutting down on the noise. I actually wrote that down and circled it because this is such a noisy space, as you know, and we can get so sidetracked by all of the information coming from Facebook groups and email lists that we’re on and oh my gosh, I could go on and on and on. So I can see where this is very, very valuable for people. If people are interested in becoming a part of your community, do you have information for them where they can go, what they can expect, that sort of thing?

Liane:

Absolutely. You can visit our site foodiedigital.com and we also do some light education on Instagram or at Foodie Digital. We do have a waitlist at the moment, but listeners are more than welcome to join the waitlist. For us, we really start educating on that day that a new member joins. New members join at Foodie Digital on the first step each month. We do cap the cohort start size each month. That is really for two reasons. We want to make sure that new members who joined on August one or September one are getting the exact same quality and thoroughness of onboarding audits that our very first few members got more than a year ago now. But also we want to maintain the same level of exceptional service for existing community members. So we don’t want them to feel the impact of the growth. We want them to benefit from the growth. That means that as new members join, we learn more and more and more and more that we can share with the broader community. So we’re quite intentional about our pace of growth, which is why we do have that wait list in place at the moment. But those are probably the two best places to connect with us.

Megan:

So we’ve touched on this a little bit, but how important is it do you think, for food bloggers to really dig into both sides of SEO? So food blog and recipe SEO. Is it something that should definitely be on our radar? Is it a B-list priority? How important is this?

Liane:

Okay, great question. I think focusing on recipe SEO is the single largest opportunity that the vast majority of food bloggers have available to them and right in front of them. So let’s look at a scenario that I think comes up a lot in food blogging to unpack just the power that focusing on recipe SEO can have. So I’m sure you’ve heard this Megan, but you know there’s this arbitrary rule in food blogging that you shouldn’t touch top performing posts. Don’t even look at their direction, don’t sneeze on them. We just simply don’t subscribe to that at Foodie Digital. So instead, we encourage our community members and they do this with our help and support of course, but we encourage our community members to actually make data driven decisions. So this means you should study your top performing posts closely and regularly. So sure, if a top post of yours is already in the featured recipe results and it’s consistently earning good quality star ratings. Simply monitor that post, make sure you’re responding to reader comments, blog comments, but you really want to keep an eye on it. Reason is, this space is a lot more competitive today than it was a handful of years ago and there’s a lot of people coming up. So at that point, it’s not just about having a top traffic generator, it’s about maintaining that top traffic generating position. Those are two very different things and there’s different ways to do both of those. Another, we want to think through all the scenarios, but maybe if it is your only well-performing posts, all your eggs are sort of in the basket of that top post. Okay. Don’t monkey with it. Don’t rock the boat if it’s your one and only. Instead, at that point, we would encourage you to focus on diversifying your top traffic generating posts so that you don’t just have that one top performer, but you’re starting to hedge yourself against any changes that could happen with that top post when they do happen. But here we actually see a lot of posts that do okay. I mean, we’re talking like we’re supporting a lot of individuals, so the scenario actually comes up frequently. But we see a lot of posts that do okay. But could convert a lot more traffic with a few small, really intentional updates that helps the posts more closely match search intent. The traffic impact that can happen when a post moves from let’s say position seven or eight on Google’s first page into the featured recipe results, can be tremendous.

So featured recipe results, on desktop, there’s typically three. On mobile, sometimes there’s two, sometimes there’s four. But this is where about 75% of the clicks are actually earned. 75% of clicks are earned in posts and positions one to three. Then the balance kind of trickles out, 4, 5, 6, 7, et cetera. Quite simply moving from position seven or eight up to position two, three, I mean, that can make a massive impact on your traffic quite simply as a result of conversions. So I want to be clear here though, that the decision to update a top performing post needs to be really carefully considered. This is not something you should be doing willy-nilly or on the fly. But you know, if you’re looking at your data and you’re making really well-researched and thoughtful updates that actually help a reader to successfully make a recipe and you’re being really smart and strategic about it, then it may be worth it.

This is recipe SEO. Going from possibly, around position seven or eight, maybe six, maybe in the top of Google’s second page, getting that post up to be a real top performer into position one, two or three can make a significant impact on traffic. What I actually did in advance of the call today, Megan, is I wanted to have some use cases to share with people, and I’m not going to be sharing names here, but I want to demonstrate the wins. I’ve got a couple of losses too, but I want to demonstrate some of the wins that Foodie Digital members have had in the last 12 months, quite simply as a result of taking a moderately well-performing post from positions seven, eight up into the featured recipe results. We have a formula that we use to educate our community members on how to effectively repair and update a post. One of our community members who followed this formula and executed very well, beautiful photos, excellent recipe of course, increased the traffic on that one post close to 340% in a single month. That broke close to 10,000 additional clicks.

Megan:

Oh wow.

Liane:

From one post by beginning to focus on recipe SEO and focus on making smart, strategic, thoughtful improvements to the posts that satisfies search intent that allow it to actually move up into the featured recipe results. Here’s another one. Again, this is an improvement in a single month, but another member did the same following, a really strategic formula and increased the traffic for a single post by 170% in one month. That resulted in close to 3,400 more clicks just for one post. We all know food bloggers have huge libraries. So this is really just a needle in a haystack, but I mean, that kind of improvement on a single post can be a very big deal in terms of your bottom line traffic. We all know that the vast majority of traffic comes from you. If you’re lucky, maybe two dozen posts, maybe a few more than that, if you’re really working at it. But just focusing on strengthening a single post can sometimes really change things overnight.

Megan:

I love hearing those numbers and you’re right. Even if you improve one single post, that can be thousands and thousands of extra page views a month, which is a big deal, that’s a huge deal.

Liane:

Absolutely. Of course, doing it in combination with smart strategic improvements for food blog SEO as well. But when we talk about recipe SEO, I should make clear here that you cannot earn access to the featured recipe results without a recipe card plugging in place. That is what makes your post eligible for the featured recipe results. So by ensuring that your recipe card plugin is configured correctly, you’re filling out all the recipe metadata fields, you’re being very strategic about the title of the recipe that you’re putting in the card. All of that actually is critically important to ensuring that, once that post reaches the featured recipe results, that it actually can convert. Megan, it’s always helpful. This is SEO, so not everything is a win. It’s an ebb and flow. I think it’s really important for the community to hear that as well. We look at a lot of data on aggregate here and not everybody gets those types of wins month over month over month. So I think it’s also important to share a couple losses and the decrease in traffic that people have received by losing featured recipe results positions, because they’re not guaranteed. We want to seek them out as much as possible, but there’s certainly not a guarantee and changes can happen. I mean, with the most recent Google algorithm update in June 2021, I mean, some Foodie Digital members lost some featured recipe results positions that were big, a big part of their library. So some losses happen. I think it’s important for the community overall to know it’s a marathon, not a sprint.

They have to focus on the long term here too, especially, SEO is a slow burn. But let me summarize just two losses here for you. To demonstrate just the power of what being in the featured recipe results can do. So another Foodie Digital member, this was actually this past spring, dropped out of the featured recipe results. They were in position two and they landed at the bottom of the first page. They lost close to 7,500 clicks in that single month just from that post. Here’s another example. Again, this is month over month in a single month. Another Foodie Digital member dropped out of the featured recipe results. They were in position two and they dropped down to actually, they stayed pretty competitive and they just moved down to position four.

But they lost close to 4,300 clicks in a single month too. Of course, we’re fighting to get those positions back with them and supporting those members in smart ways in which to do that. But I hope that outlining those wins and those losses just really starts to get people to focus on the fact that 75% of the clicks are earned by posts in the feature recipe results. We call it here, you’re within striking distance of the featured recipe results. We say that because we want our community members to know, if you move up, that’s where you’re going to have a real traffic impact. Just really understanding the impact of that recipe SEO can have on a single post’s traffic is really the message that I’m hoping to share with you and of course your listener today, too.

Megan:

Wow. I loved hearing you talk through those numbers. That’s really impactful and it might seem small, but over time that’s not small. Those are big deals. So I hope I don’t make anyone upset here, but I was on Squarespace for a long time. I mentioned earlier, without a recipe card, writing my own recipe cards, and that was a big deal. That impacted me very negatively. So what are your thoughts on that? If someone is really concerned about Google and their traffic and organic traffic and getting seen and ranked by Google, they need to be on WordPress. Is that the consensus?

Liane:

There’s a lot of members in our community who were previously on Squarespace and then switched to WordPress and then joined our community. We don’t actually do migrations, not sort of things from Squarespace. A lot of people think that we do, but we don’t. We don’t build sites. We’re not a design shop. But we do see a lot of people having migrated from Squarespace to WordPress who’ve come into the community. Now I’m thinking of one use case in particular, the switch to WordPress. Finally, beginning to out output recipe schema made a significant impact on their traffic. Granted this was already a highly authoritative site. They had a lot of things working in their favor already. But quite simply in their case, gaining access to the featured recipe results, which we’ve just been talking about, the conversions went through the roof because they were finally in the featured recipe results as a result of their switch to WordPress. This wasn’t just for a handful of posts. This was pretty broad for that community member. So it’s not to say that that’s, can’t get there with Squarespace. You’re going to have to have really strategic support in place to make sure your site is very performant; fast with core vitals being in the mix now, and you’re going to want to make sure that you’re working with a SEO specialist who specializes in Squarespace. We’re exclusive to WordPress at Foodie Digital, and we do that for a reason. That’s because we’ve become real power users in a lot of ways. So I don’t want to totally write Squarespace off, but there is a reason that the vast majority of food blogging sites use WordPress and that’s because the WordPress community develops super smart, outstanding tools that you, as a content creator and publisher can use to your advantage to make your site more performant and to take advantage of food blog SEO and recipe SEO. So it’s certainly our area of focus and that’s the platform that we exclusively support. But it is worth it to make the change if you really want to compete today, otherwise I would encourage you to really seek out the right fit in terms of tech and SEO support to support you in your Squarespace environment.

Megan:

That was great advice. Very well said. Thank you for that. Okay. Is there anything we’re missing? Do you feel like there are gaps in our chat that people, food bloggers listening need to hear before we start saying goodbye?

Liane:

Well, one of the things that I think is really important to mention, to add to our conversation here today, Megan is the concept that we’ve talked about about recipe SEO and food blog SEO, I mean, recipe SEO in particular. We think that this education is really valuable because it applies to big search volume, highly competitive words that the super seasoned and established food bloggers are chasing, but it also applies to lower search volume and longer tail keywords tools. Those who are new to food blogging, new to the food blogging field should be focusing on gaining some new traffic and traction. I mean, it applies in both circumstances. So if a recipe post makes it into the featured recipe results, it has a massive impact on your traffic. Regardless if you’re chasing a search term that has a hundred thousand searches a month or a search term that has 500. If you earn, if you’re chasing something in the monthly search volume range of 500, 700 and you get into position one, you’re going to convert that traffic. So that’s what I really love about this concept as well is it isn’t just an advanced tactic that gets shared with these big traffic sites in the recipe niche. I mean, it really applies to all because you apply it in your own individual circumstance.

Megan:

I love how you said that. I think that will resonate with a lot of people. Oh, this has been great. This has been a very eye-opening conversation and I’m going to be looking at my recipe cards in a new light, for sure. So thank you for all of this Liane, this was super valuable. Thank you for your time today.

Liane:

Of course, Megan. Thank you so much for having me. It’s been a pleasure talking to you. I mean, I love talking about this stuff and making it feel really digestible and approachable. People come to us all the time feeling really overwhelmed. They don’t know where to start. All this sort of stuff and, and really one of the things that gets me most excited and gets the team at Foodie Digital the most excited is actually supporting people in a way that meets their needs and makes their work day more enjoyable. Of course, like I said, results matter a great deal, but so does feeling really great about the work that you’re putting out and feeling like the time and effort that you’re putting into the content you’re creating is actually paying off. So thank you so much for having me and maybe we can talk again.

Megan:

Oh my gosh. That would be great. I would love that. This has been such a pleasure. Before you go, though, we do want to hear if you have a favorite quote or words of inspiration to share with food bloggers.

Liane:

I don’t know how well this will apply to food bloggers, but I know the team at Foodie Digital hears me say this all the time. My favorite quote is, “nothing will make you feel better except doing the work.” I’m a Virgo and I’m a yes person also, which means I take on a lot. Of course I’ve got three kiddos at home and they’re still pretty little. So, they require a lot of attention. Sometimes the to-do list or the list of tickets in front of you to review for the community can get pretty long. So I always sort of settle into that quote, nothing will make me feel better except doing the work. That really means you’re taking things one at a time. Just working on each task really thoroughly and really effectively and ensuring I’m educating our team well in each thing. That gives me a little bit of peace. As the community grows and as the work becomes more and more and more each day, I feel a great peace in that and also makes me feel like I want to be able to say yes to a lot of things. So it makes me feel like I can still say yes and have the confidence that I can actually get through that to-do list as well.

Megan:

I actually love that. That’s great. I think it applies very much to food bloggers. So thank you for sharing that. We are going to put together a show notes page for you, Liane. So if anyone wants to go peek at those, you can find them at eatblogtalk.com/foodiedigital. You talked us through earlier where to find you foodiedigital.com. Are you on Instagram? Where else can people find you, Liane?

Liane:

Yeah, our handle is at foodie digital on Instagram, and we do do some light educating there. Actually Megan, I should add, we actually drafted a post, a blog post, to support this conversation today to outline the concept, a food blog SEO versus recipe SEO for the community. So we do have a blog post on our site, specifically dedicated to this subject matter. So people can go have a look and have a read there. Connect with us on Instagram. There’s always lots of great little tidbits that the team prepares and shares there. While we maybe don’t get into the technical nitty-gritty on Instagram, that’s not really the forum for it, it’s a really lovely, positive community. If we can help educate there, that helps people conserve time and know what to focus on a little bit more, we’re happy to help.

Megan:

Awesome. Well, thank you for all of that. I’m excited for people to check you out and just have the food blog SEO versus recipe SEO on their radars so that they know what they’re digging into. So thank you again for all of this Liane, it’s been a pleasure and thank you so much for listening today, food bloggers. I will see you next time.

Outro:

We’re glad you could join us on this episode of Eat Blog Talk. For more resources based on today’s discussion, as well as show notes and an opportunity to be on a future episode of the show, be sure to head to eatblogtalk.com. If you feel that hunger for information, we’ll be here to feed you on Eat Blog Talk.


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Megan
Megan

Megan started her food blog Pip and Ebby in 2010 and food blogging has been her full-time career since 2013. Her passion for blogging has grown into an intense desire to help fellow food bloggers find the information, insight, and community they need in order to find success.

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