There’s nothing more irritating than clicking on a recipe and being greeted by a wall of text. The recipe is hidden at the bottom of the page under a wall of stories and kitschy photos of the dish. But as annoying as it is, recipe bloggers’ tactics work! There’s a reason we found that recipe. Wondering how they did it? We are covering the 6 things you can learn about SEO from a Recipe Blogger so you can understand how they are showing up in search results. And maybe the next time you end up on a recipe blog you can just give ‘em a nod for a job well done before scrolling to the bottom of the page to find what you want!

Hosted By
Monica Maye Pitts
Monica Maye Pitts Chief Creative Officer

6 Things You Can Learn About SEO from a Recipe Blogger

There’s nothing more irritating than clicking on a recipe and being greeted by a wall of text. The recipe is hidden at the bottom of the page under a wall of stories and kitschy photos of the dish. But as annoying as it is, recipe bloggers’ tactics work!  There’s a reason we found that recipe. Wondering how they did it? We are covering the 6 things you can learn about SEO from a Recipe Blogger so you can understand how they are showing up in search results. And maybe the next time you end up on a recipe blog you can just give ‘em a nod for a job well done before scrolling to the bottom of the page to find what you want!

Transcription

Once upon a time there was a global pandemic which presented me with the opportunity to move my podcasting stations from my lovely downtown office with a view to my nine year old daughter's closet.  And now I am presented with another opportunity to move my podcast yet again into my bathtub because my daughter had decided she is not going to be a YouTube star and is filming videos about dog harnesses.  Mean while my 5 year old is going door to door conducting surveys about what people like and charting her results. They come by it honest. Good news is, my bathtub has a lovely view of my backyard so while it’s not exactly my office downtown it may actually prove to be an improvement over my previous closet abode.

That however is not the story I am going to focus on today.  It may be however the reason for a weird echo which I shall pre-apologise for.  

Today I am going to tell you the story of what we can learn about websites from a recipe blogger. You see the other day one of my web developers, Tyler, was complaining about recipe bloggers. Because he says there’s nothing more annoying than clicking on a recipe and being greeted by a wall of text. He says It’s like the author is just talking to hear themselves talk. All that stuff we want is hidden at the bottom of the page under a wall of stories and kitschy photos of the dish.  

And then I got to thinking about it, and realized actually, as annoying as it is, they’re actually quite good at what they do, and we can all learn a thing or two from a recipe blogger.

Before I get to the heart of this story I want to quickly remind you that you can get the show notes for this episode as well as a link to a nicely formatted blog post and links to any resources I mention at podcast.mayecreate.com.  And while you’re there you can check out our resources section with free downloadable goodies to help you along your way to market your business with purpose.

Alright, back to business.

If you're a natural-born marketer, you're one lucky son of a gun. If you're like most people, marketing, especially online marketing is about as appealing as standing in a police lineup. The mayecreate team of creatives is transformed websites and digital marketing from craptastic to fantastic since 2005. Our podcast marketing with purpose makes sense of marketing so you can make purposeful decisions instead of carrying on with the same old crap you've been doing. And now your host, Monica Pitts, founder of mayecreate with another episode on how to make your marketing not suck.

Here’s the story - we can all learn a thing or two about website from a recipe blogger.

But at first, as a visitor you probably feel like they don’t care about you at all! You want to check out the ingredients. Do they sound good together? Do you have them on hand? How long is it going to take to make the darn recipe?  You’re there to make a decision. To gauge if you want to even bother with the dish or move on to another option.  

WHY DO THEY DO THAT?

As annoying as it is, their tactics work.  There’s a reason we found that recipe.  A reason we clicked on it and ended up wading through that annoying pool of text.  Let's dissect the art of a cooking blog to apply it to our own sites.  And maybe the next time you end up on a recipe blog you can just give ‘em a nod for a job well done and scroll to the bottom of the page to find what you want! 

They know:

Long-ish Form Keyword Rich Content Ranks 

Great Photos Sell

Accurate Yet Enticing Titles and Descriptions get Clicks

Proper Markup Gives You Priority

Consistent Formatting Appeals to Viewers

People will scroll. Even if they hate it

So let's dig into their basket of tricks to see how we can use them ourselves. 

Long-ish Form Keyword Rich Content Ranks

You searched for the name of the recipe that you wanted. And then you clicked on a link that contained the name of the recipe. This is the beginning of keyword rich content. 

Then comes the obnoxious wall of fiddle faddle at the beginning of that blog post. Because recipe bloggers know they need somewhere between 750 and 2,000 words to get google to quickly pick up and display their posts. If all they did was post a bulleted list of ingredients and an abbreviated list of instructions. You wouldn’t find their recipe in your search results. Google needs to be able to scan through a page and see evidence that correlates it back to what you're searching for.  It wants to absolutely know it's delivering the best results for the key term you searched for and long form content is the quickest way to make that connection.

They talk about how to cook it, different things you can substitute in and out of it. They talk about every ingredient that's inside of it and where you can buy it. They do that, because then when you search for that recipe name, plus the ingredient you want to put in it, their blog post will be more likely to show up on google for that search. 

The next thing these guys know is Great Photos Sell.

This is true everywhere. Whether it's a pair of shoes, a parking lot, or a recipe. People make buying decisions visually as much as emotionally. You want the thing that looks the best. All those pictures of hot yummy cookies broken open with chocolate dripping down the side, is your mouth watering, make you want to eat that cookie. So you click on the recipe. 

You know what else great photos will sell? Your service.

Think about your service the way bloggers, think about a recipe. They know what you need to see to want to make that recipe. You want to see the cookie dough and the inside of the cookies. The cookies stacked next to a glass of milk. That's what sells this recipe. 

What sells your service or product? It could be a great quality for the price or the people that make it happen. Show people the awesome professionals you have working for you doing their jobs and photos of the complete product. Maybe it’s the process you take people through to reduce stress and less time wasted by decision makers because they choose to with a professional who knows how to do it right the first time. Show people a timeline of a project from start to finish with photos of each step along the way to and tell them what to expect during that step. You can tell your story with great photos.

Accurate Yet Enticing Titles and Descriptions get Clicks.

You clicked on the recipe because you thought it was what you wanted. How'd you know? Because they gave you an accurate title and description. But you probably clicked because of more than just that accuracy alone - the title appealed to you. It probably said something like best ever, super tasty, or easy or quick.

The title and description are more than just components of your web page.  They are ad copy, a headline and a supporting clause. And you choose the link you clicked on because of your current decision making factors: taste, time, ingredients, cooking level, etc. The title allowed you to quickly evaluate if this is the right recipe for you. 

Tell me, how different are your buyers? They too are faced with a wall of search results, just like you were faced with when you searched for a recipe. What are the things that make them click on the link? Think back to your competitive advantages. Think back to your audience’s decision making factors. Talk about those things in your page titles and descriptions. 

But here’s the reality though, just because you crafted an amazing title and description,  that doesn’t mean Google will actually use them.  Google takes these as a “suggestion”. If your title and description don't match the content you have on the page then Google certainly won’t use them at all because they dont match. One thing’s for sure though - it’s better to give Google something to start with, than forcing it to default and let it make stuff up on its own. Sometimes google titles and descriptions are super accurate but sometimes it is pulling weird stuff from the footer of your website and shoving it up in the description. That is not ad copy, that is google-gook.  Sometimes even the search robot gets confused and includes weird stuff like the links from the bottom of your page. So throw your hat in the ring at least.  You can’t win if you don’t play.

Proper Markup Gives You Priority

Now this is going to get a little technical, but for many types of web content google prefers a particular markup to help better identify it. For example, there's a specific markup for recipes to tell Google that there are recipes. You may have content on your website you could better identify for Google. It might be your contact information, job postings or blog posts. Ultimately, when you give Google these little tips about your content using a thing called schema markup. It can identify the content type faster and it will be more likely to list it with priority. Similar to that recipe you clicked on with the picture above it when you could have scrolled down to the recipes listed below it with no pictures at all.

I'm not saying you have to have schema markup to gain the favor of google. I’m saying it helps and we need every edge we can get out there in this cookie eat cookie world out there.

Consistent Formatting Appeals to Viewers. 

You know what every recipe post has in common, other than that obnoxious wall of text at the top? That’s, right, a recipe at the bottom of the page. And almost all of the posts highlight the recipe on a different color background or they put it in a box, they add a clear title above it. First the ingredients are listed and then below the instructions. All of the recipe blogs are formatted the same. And that's how you know to scroll to the bottom of the page to get what you want even when you've never been there before.  You know that's where the recipe is going to be. And you know when to stop scrolling because you’re given a visual indicator of when the recipe starts. They all use this methodology. You might think it’s creepy, I think it’s awesome. And you can do this on your website too.

You can do this on your website too. 

For example, you already do it, leave your navigation in the same spot all the time and put it at the top or on the side where people know to look for it. Your services pages can be formatted similarly, blog posts should look the same, all of your content should share similar formatting tactics. Same colors, same fonts.  If you don't know how you want to format your content, then look at how other people do it. For example, if you're going to post job listings, format them like the biggest job sites out there. Look at LinkedIn and Indeed, how are they posting their job listings? What content do they share and how is it formatted? That's what jobseekers are used to looking at when searching for a job. Give it to them in the same format that they're used to seeing it in, just like the recipe bloggers do for you. Mirroring a layout they already know keeps them feeling in control and comfortable and that consistency builds trust and trust builds relationships. Regardless of the decision they’re considering with your company, whether it’s a career move or a service purchase, trust will aid the transaction.

Last but not least, People will scroll. Even if they hate it. 

I have so many clients that tell me, “I don't want to put all these words on my pages. People don’t want to read and I don’t want them to have to scroll. Scrolling is annoying.” I’m not going to argue with you about how annoying it is to have to scroll to find what you want.  And we already discussed that it’s easier to get your page to rank if you have a lot of words. That’s a moot point - you have to get your page to rank for people to find it.  But here’s the deal - you and I both know we scroll through a recipe blog to get to what we want. So, people will scroll.

As they're scrolling. We have the opportunity to entice them to stop, look at things like our beautiful photos and draw them into the story that we're telling along the way. As they scroll we have the opportunity to catch their attention again and again and entice them to read the things that we wanted them to read. Because they will do it. They will scroll. So even though you don’t want to make them do it, it’s more important to get your page to show up than it is to eliminate even the slightest hint of scrolling threat.

So as much as you may hate the recipe bloggers for all their annoying tactics. Now

you know why they do it, because it works.

They know:

Long-ish Form Keyword Rich Content Ranks 

Great Photos Sell

Accurate Yet Enticing Titles and Descriptions get Clicks

Proper Markup Gives You Priority

Consistent Formatting Appeals to Viewers

People will scroll. Even if they hate it

I'm not suggestions you should be annoying and tell stupid useless stories before you get to the point on the pages of your site. I am suggesting you take a look at the way these recipe bloggers reeled you in and how they successfully rank their content on Google. We can all learn a thing or two from them and maybe if we do it right, get our content to rank too.

Before I sign off just a quick reminder that you can get the show notes for this episode as well as a link to a nicely formatted blog post and links to any resources I mentioned at podcast.mayecreate.com.  And while you’re there hop on over to our resources section to see if there are any other free downloadable goodies you can use to market your business with purpose.

Thank you for your time today.  I know you’re busy, you’ve got things to do.  So get out of here.  Those cookies aren’t going to bake themselves.  Go forth and market with purpose.

Thanks again for listening to marketing with purpose. Head over to mayecreate.com  ma ye CR EA t e .om Yeah, you heard me right, ma ye create.com for podcast  notes and more resources to grow your business. Don't let your marketing suck. Get your pride on market with purpose.

© MayeCreate Design 2020 | 573-447-1836 | [email protected] | 700 Cherry St. Suite C, Columbia, MO 65201