SEO (Search engine Optimisation) is a powerful tool for getting your website or blog noticed. While I could go on for pages about why SEO is useful, here is a quick overview of what I think are the most important rules of SEO for food bloggers. These points are easy to implement and can have a very positive impact on your blog!
1. Keyword Research
Tools such as keywordtool.io or Google Keyword Planner are free tools that enable you to get an indication of what people are searching for. For example, if you are planning a baking recipe with chocolate, it might be a good idea to check out what searches are popular (See below).
Keywords should be included in the meta data, the title/URL, and the content of the blog itself. You want to do this is a subtle way, and bear in mind that Google does not like keyword stuffing, which is when there are keywords absolutely everywhere in order to get page ranked higher! There is no fooling Google!
2. Don’t forget to Alt Tag Images
If you are using WordPress, you will be able to input an Alt tag for all images used. This helps search engines to read images so people can access your blogs through Google image search. The image should provide an accurate description of the image and include a keyword when appropriate. This is particularly important for food bloggers, with many people using images to search for recipes.
3. Always Update the Permalink
The permalink should be the same as the title of your blog post. Some would say this is THE most important factor for SEO. Bear in mind that search engines can better understand shorter URL’s than longer ones. Again, always include keywords where appropriate!
4. Include a Meta Description
The most important keywords should appear in the meta description. This description is the piece of information seen on Google underneath a URL and gives the user an idea of what the page is all about (see below). The meta description should entice the user to want to click onto your page. A maximum meta description should be between 150-160 characters in length.
5. Social Media
The use of social media is one of the easiest and cost free ways to drive traffic to your blog. Firstly, by building connections you can increase the possibility of a back-link to your blog. The more backlinks you acquire, the higher you will appear on search engines, especially if these links come from a trustworthy ot highly regarded source.
When sharing your own content on Facebook, it is important to remember that the first 18 characters of an update is the meta description and therefore the SEO title for that page. Making the first word of an update a keyword will also improve Google rankings!
Pinterest is also a great opportunity to build up links and improve SEO. Every item you pin will include a link back to your blog. As users share this content, links will build up which means your chances of appearing higher on Google are also increasing. Again, use keywords in your pins, and accurate hashtags.
As I mentioned earlier, SEO has endless opportunities. And I think you might get where this is going… Keywords are important!!