The Ideal Search Result for Food Bloggers (and How to Get it for Your Blog)

The Ideal Search Result for Food Bloggers | foodbloggerpro.comHave you ever Googled one of your recipes and been disappointed with how the result is displayed in Google (if it even displays at all)? This happens for one of two reasons:

  1. Google has decided to show your post that way.
  2. You haven’t set things up correctly on your blog.

You can’t do much about #1. Even if your blog is perfectly formatted Google might still decide that they’re going to leave out certain information from a search result. Google does as Google pleases. There’s not much you can do about it except make sure that you’re not falling victim to #2.

There is something that you can do about #2, as there are multiple components that factor into the ideal search result for food bloggers. None of them are complicated, but they do require some time to set them up properly.

Keep in mind, this post is not necessarily about how to get your food blog to rank high in Google. It’s about how to set things up so your food blog has as many “bonus” search elements as possible.

I’m using the healthy sweet potato skins recipe from Pinch of Yum as an example for this post. You can view the original post here and the search result here. Otherwise, here’s a screenshot of the search result:

The Ideal SEO Search Result for a Food Blog

Note #1: It’s important to know that Google doesn’t automatically reflect updates in the search results (remember, Google does as Google pleases). If you want to check to see if things are formatted correctly you should use Google’s Structured Data Testing Tool.

Note #2: We’ll be using the term “keyword” or “keyword phrase” in this post. Your keyword phrase is the phrase that you’re trying to rank for in Google. The keyword phrase for a recipe post is usually just the name of the recipe. In our example, the keyword phrase is “healthy sweet potato skins.” If we wanted to try to rank for a more competitive keyword we could use “sweet potato skins,” or an even more competitive keyword phrase of “potato skins.”

Let’s break down each element and talk about how you can replicate these results for your food blog.

1. Bolded Text

Bolded Keywordsb in Search Results

Have you ever noticed that Google bolds the words you search for if they’re present in the search result? In our example this is happening in three places.

  1. The title (most important)
  2. The URL
  3. The description

For a food blogger, the title and URL will usually be the name of the recipe. If you notice that your title or URL aren’t correctly formatted then be sure to check that you’re entering them in correctly when you first draft the post, like so:

Title and URL in WordPress

The description, or meta description as it’s technically called, is a little bit easier to overlook when drafting a post. There are different ways to go about accessing the meta description area, but the easiest is by using a plugin like WordPress SEO by Yoast.

A plugin like this gives you access to a number of SEO features, one of which is a meta description area. Use this area to add a brief description of your recipe. Remember that you want to have as many bolded words as possible, so be sure to include your keyword phrase somewhere in the meta description. Don’t overdue it though. You want to be smart with your description, not spammy.

Meta Description Area in WordPress SEO by Yoast

Sometimes Google will decide to use different text than the text you’ve provided in your meta description. Google does this because it thinks the text that it is using is better than the text that you’ve provided. There’s not much you can do about this. Google does as Google pleases. 🙂

2. Recipe Rating

Recipe Ratings in Google Search Results

The recipe ratings functionality usually comes bundled with a recipe plugin. We use a plugin called Easy Recipe on Pinch of Yum. The ratings feature can be turned on or off in the General Settings area of Easy Recipe.

Recipe Ratings Setting in Easy Recipe

When this setting is enabled users will have the option to rate the recipe when leaving a comment.

Recipe Ratings in WordPress

Google will show the average rating and the total number of reviews in the search results.

3. Recipe Image

In Easy Recipe, the recipe photo selector is the second tab.

Select a Recipe Image with Easy Recipe

The recipe image size that Google shows is only 70px by 70px, so you want to be sure and select a photo that is easy to see and doesn’t have many distractions in the background.

4. Google+ Profile

Google+ Profile in Google Search Results

Having your Google+ profile show up below your post is great for three reasons:

  1. It adds credibility to your post.
  2. It allows users to click through and view other posts that you’ve written.
  3. It increases the possibility of someone following you on Google+.

Setting this up isn’t necessarily difficult, but there are a few steps involved. Here’s what you have to do:

  1. Setup a Google+ account
  2. If you haven’t yet, install WordPress SEO by Yoast.
  3. After you install the plugin, go to Social > Google+ and make sure that you are selected as the user to show for the homepage.User Google+ Settings
  4. In WordPress, navigate to the “User” area and make sure that you have your Google+ account listed.Google+ Information for WordPress User
  5. In Google+, find the “Links” section and make sure that you have your blog listed in the “Contributor” section. If it’s not there, click the “Edit” button and add it.Google+ Contribute Information

Check Your Work

That’s a wrap! You can check to see if your updates were successful by pasting in a URL for one of your posts into Google’s Structured Data Testing Tool.

Structured Data Testing Tool Results

How did it go? I’d love to hear if you successfully made these changes or had any issues along the way.

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  1. This might be a dumb question, but I’ve noticed that sometimes Google
    will show my thumbnail image and sometimes not. I thought it was part
    of the Google voodoo magic. Is there anything I can do to encourage
    them to show the image?

    1. No dumb questions Denis. 🙂

      The best thing you can do is make sure that your recipes are probably formatted with the correct meta data. The easiest way to do this is to use a plugin like Easy Recipe. You can check to make sure that your post is probably formatted using Google’s Structure Data Testing Tool.

      This would be a good thread to check out for more info: https://www.foodbloggerpro…

  2. I use Easy Recipe Plus, and there is no “Photo” tab for selecting how the Google Recipe View should be. I’ve got lots of other tabs (General, Label, Print Styles…). Any idea why my tabs might be different than yours?

    1. Hey Shelly. I think you’re looking at the Easy Recipe General Settings. You want to be looking at the settings when you’re editing the recipe within the post.

  3. Hi Bjork! I love your wife’s blog, and am so happy I found yours lately! I really enjoyed this article. I have the attached fields that automatically show up under my post main entry field. Will using these fields accomplish the same as the SEO plugin you recommend, or should I still download the plugin? (I try to keep my number of plugins as low as possible, as I’ve seen working at a web dev firm that WordPress plugin updates can mess up a site!)