10 Easy Tips for Improving your Food Blog’s SEO

This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy here.

10 Easy Tips for Improving your Food Blog's SEO10 Easy Tips for Improving your Food Blog’s SEO as a happy Friday to all my fellow bloggers! It has been a while since my last blogging post but in the last few days I’ve gotten a handful of comments here on the blog and almost a dozen emails asking for more details about how I have grown my Organic Google search traffic. I figured a fun top 10 (okay 11) would be a nice way to head into the weekend where you will hopefully have a bit of time to review and make some small edits.

  1. Own your own domain, google loves blog’s who are self hosted. It may be easier to start a free blog like dinnerthendessert.wordpress.com but you’ll do yourself no favors when it comes to Google and your options for monetizing are almost non-existant.
  2. Go secure. Google has released info that sites with SSL certificates will be ranked more favorably in new algorithms. Something to note, this may adversly affect ads being served on your page. The ads on my page are managed by AdThrive and in discussion with them, I learned an SSL certificate would impact my ads, so I am looking into other options. If your monetization strategy does not include ads on your page I highly suggest you get an SSL certificate. They can be purchased online for as little as $8.00.
  3. Learn how to use Google’s Keyword Planner and know who you are up against. If you want to rank for Chocolate Chip Cookies it is going to be an almost insurmountable battle against mega-sites like AllRecipes and Food Network. If instead you try to rank for Bakery Chocolate Chip Cookies you have a much better chance.
  4. When you know what your keywords are make sure it is in your post name as well. Ie. my keyword for Bakery Chocolate Chip Cookies could be part of my post title Super Chewy Bakery Chocolate Chip Cookies.
  5. Use your keyword as many times as you naturally can in your post. Instead of referring to the recipe in the post as “These cookies” or “this recipe” I use “These Super Chewy Bakery….” The more often your keyword appears in your post the more Google’s indexing bot will believe your site is a valuable resource to show the person who is looking for Bakery Chocolate Chip Cookies. When you include the keywords, make sure you keep it in the same order. Don’t write “These Chocolate Chip cookies taste like they came from the bakery” and think Google will read that with the same weight as using your chosen keywords of “Bakery Chocolate Chip Cookies.”  I aim for 5 times per post, btw.
  6. Save your images with those same titles. I know it can be convenient to label them “Cookie Bite” or “Cookie Stack” in editing, but for your final edits and uploads you are better off saving them as “Bakery Chocolate Chip Cookies 1” etc.
  7. Make sure the same blurb you use for your Pinterest pins is the same blurb you use in your photo alt tags. It is easy enough to copy/paste. When you upload, click on the field for alt tags in the media manager in wordpress and paste the description there. This gives Google a way to read the photos. The one thing you want to avoid is not putting anything in your alt fields. It will hurt you in Google AND Pinterest (when someone pins the photo the description it will auto detect will be only your file name).
  8. Use dashes (-) in your links instead of underscores or pluses. Dashes are easier for bots to read and therefore to index.
  9. Keep an eye on your design. Google looks at how people before have reacted to your site. If you rank for Bakery Chocolate Chip Cookies and start getting great traffic from it, but the people get to your page and you have 20 ads, some that go over the whole page or some that make people watch a video before clicking through to your page your bounce rate is going to soar. People are immediately going to hit “back” and look for an alternate. Google sees this and knows if your page is driving people away. Dinner, then Dessert normally serves 7-8 ads on the page, but I don’t do any that pop up, any that auto play audio or any that make you wait 10 seconds to view content. While I am all about monetizing, you have to weigh what ads are just too far.
  10. Don’t duplicate content. Google really does not care for posts that are copied from other sources. So assume you do a guest post for another blog and then you make the same post on your own blog. Google is going to think much less of that content since it is duplicated.
  11. Bonus tip, get Yoast! My SEO has drastically improved since implementing Yoast. I use the premium version, but even if you don’t want to use the premium version, the free version will still help guide you in the right direction. Just don’t fall into the trap of, “Oh I have the plugin, I don’t need to do anything else for SEO.”

Hope it helps, and as usual if you have any questions at all please don’t hesitate to ask!

Sabrina

Dinner, then Dessert, Inc. owns the copyright on all images and text and does not allow for its original recipes and pictures to be reproduced anywhere other than at this site unless authorization is given. If you enjoyed the recipe and would like to publish it on your own site, please re-write it in your own words, and link back to my site and recipe page. Read my disclosure and copyright policy. This post may contain affiliate links.

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Comments

    1. My pleasure! I am in the research phase of a blogging ebook and have been working super hard on my SEO. I have to say I used to hate dealing with SEO things and now I love the game.

  1. Nice post. Thanks for this one. I’ve been in seo (sdmall Slovenian furniture market) for 4 years now and I agree with you about keyword as many as possible in natural way in the text.
    Many posts about SEO lately explain keywords are not so important anymore. I am still using them, only I am adding synonims (with monthly search volume) more into text. Of course, also them, a natural way, where is possible.Regards, M

  2. Thanks for the wonderful tips that was very helpful keep up the good work. But right now my site is only four Months old. I am new blogger and learning from other’s experience as well as my own hard work. hope these tip will help me and waiting for more such tip.

    Thanks for sharing with all of us.

  3. You’re so interesting! I do not suppose I’ve truly read through anything
    like this before. So good to find another person with some genuine thoughts on this subject.
    Really.. thank you for starting this up. This
    web site is something that is required on the internet,
    someone with a little originality!

  4. Blog traffic is equivalent to income and if I have to earn more I will have to use the tips that you have provided in your article. I will love to read more.

    Rating: 4
  5. Hey Sabrina, great tips here. However, we do need to update some of them.

    Specifically, #7 and your recommendation to “duplicate ALT Tags for Pinterest.” That’s not really correct advice. ALT Tags should always be unique and “describe” the image to users and machine-learning algorithms. If you are a food blogger and have you have been mistakenly duplicating your ALT Tags on every recipe and not writing for actual users and visual readers, this is a great opportunity to CORRECT that practice.

    With 1 out of every 3 searches image-related, using ALT Tags correctly can really mean a significant increase in traffic. Check-out the new WP Tasty Pins plugin from Pinch of Yum as a way to fully optimize your images for both Pinterest and Google. And if you have any questions on how to write ALT Tags correctly, don’t hesitate to let me know.