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

A picture of a vegan crunchwrap with the title of this article on the Food Blogger Pro blog, 'The Ideal Search Result for Food Bloggers'

Have 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, rich 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 Vegan Crunchwrap Supreme 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:

Google Search result for 'vegan crunchwrap supreme'

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 “vegan crunchwrap supreme.” If we wanted to try to rank for a more competitive (and harder to rank for) keyword we could use “vegan crunchwrap” or just “crunchwrap.”

Note #3: This is considered a “rich result” or “rich snippet” because it displays all of these fun “extras” – ratings, calories, a description, an image, etc.

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

1. Title and Blog Name

Google Search result for 'vegan crunchwrap supreme' with the title underlined

The biggest part of any search result is the article (or in our case, recipe) title and the blog name.

Google pulls the title of the post here, rather than the title of the recipe, so it’s important to title your posts with the name of your recipe whenever you can.

Not only that, title is also a ranking factor, so you’ll want to make sure your post titles are optimized and include your keyword.

We have this set up in the SEO plugin we use, Yoast SEO. If you download the plugin and go to SEO > Search Appearance > Content Types, you’ll see this:

A screenshot of the Content Types in Yoast SEO

For Posts (which is how we publish our recipes), the SEO title format is set to Title, Page, Separator, Site title. In this example, that translates to, Vegan Crunchwrap Supreme Recipe – Pinch of Yum, which is what we see in our search results!

Pretty nifty, huh?

2. Recipe Image

Google Search result for 'vegan crunchwrap supreme' with the picture highlighted

If you do a quick Google search, you’ll notice that some results include images and some don’t. Why is that?

Images in search results come directly from the post’s structured data. We upload the photo directly into our recipe plugin, Tasty Recipes, and that’s the image Google will show in search results – most of the time.

Tasty Recipes editor with an arrow pointing to the photo

Why do I say, “most of the time?” Google does what Google wants. Even if you upload an image there, it’s up to Google to show it in search results.

That said, you’ll want to make sure your image is optimized for search results on Google. Here’s a quick support article from our friends over at WP Tasty all about choosing the best images for SEO.

👉Want to learn more about structured data? Check out this article: “What is Recipe Schema and How Does it Impact My Blog?” 👈

3. Recipe Rating

Google Search result for 'vegan crunchwrap supreme' with the ratings underlined

The recipe ratings functionality usually comes bundled with a recipe plugin. Since we use Tasty Recipes, it allows readers to leave recipe ratings whenever they leave a comment on Pinch of Yum.

Comment box on Pinch of Yum with an arrow pointing to the recipe rating area

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

4. Time and Calories

Google Search result for 'vegan crunchwrap supreme' with the time and calories underlined

Two other pieces of information that Google pulls straight from our structured data via our recipe plugin are time and calories.

We set that information within the recipe plugin itself:

Time and calories are what Google calls “recommended” properties, but we always like to give Google as much information about our recipes as possible.

Filling out this information is simple, is quick, and it gives our readers and Google more information about our recipes. See how important a recipe plugin is?!

👉If you need help figuring out which recipe plugin is best for you, check out this article: “Choosing a WordPress Recipe Plugin.” And if you’re a Food Blogger Pro member, be sure you check out our Understanding Recipe Plugins course! 👈

5. Description

Google Search result for 'vegan crunchwrap supreme' with the description highlighted

Notice how the description under the search result is an actual description of the recipe rather than the first few sentences in the post or an ingredient list?

That’s by design! We setup a recipe description for each post using our Yoast SEO plugin:

The Meta description should be descriptive of the recipe, it should include your keyword, and it should entice the reader to click on the result.

Check Your Work

That’s a [crunch]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. If there are no Errors and no Warnings, you should be good to go!

One thing to note is that Warnings won’t necessarily hurt you; a warning is just telling you that you’re not including a certain value that Google recommends. So if you’re not shooting recipe videos, you’ll have a warning for that.

Errors, on the other hand, should be fixed immediately. You’ll get an error if you’re missing a required piece of information in your post.

We like to include as much information as possible in our posts, so if we have the values for the recommended and required fields, we include them.

If you’re not seeing updates to your search results immediately, you can nudge Google to show your updated information by submitting your URL for reindexing in Google Search Console. If you want to learn more about this free tool, we have a whole course about it on Food Blogger Pro!

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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11 Comments

  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 Tasty Recipes. 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?
    Thanks!

    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!)