- The recipe market is very competitive.
- Sites like BBC Good Food saw +22 percent increases in search visibility. But, it is possible that the good times are over
- Reprise Digital, a performance marketing agency that has won numerous awards, provides advice to its SEO Account Manager about how to rank even though the algorithm update is still in play.
Google is a well-known home for recipes. Google is a popular search engine that sees millions upon millions of recipe searches each day. Users are looking for inspiration or to learn how to make a particular meal, snack, or baked good.
There are many players in the recipe market, including BBC Good Food and Delish, Hello Fresh and Gousto, as well as thousands of recipe blogs that compete for your attention. Google does an excellent job making recipe content attractive in the SERPs. Rich results show user ratings, duration of the recipe, cuisine, and many other details. Searchers can see all the details they need in one glance before clicking on.
Significant increases were seen in recipe sites after the November algorithm update. Sites like BBC Good Food saw dramatic increases in visibility at +22 per cent just a few months later. The same story was true for all major recipe sites. Allrecipes.com saw a 94 percent increase in traffic within a few months after the update. These brand websites saw significant increases as well. Gousto’s visibility increased by more than 150 percent in just three months!
The good times might be over for now. After the May algorithm update, large increases in traffic have been replaced by significant decreases. Sites such as Hello Fresh and Gousto have suffered the most. Visibility dropped by half on these brands.
Blogs have suffered a similar fate…
While the algorithm updates clearly have had an impact on recipe sites’ performance, Google has been playing with recipes for some time. In recent months, many searchers noticed that recipe carousels were being divided by “recipe type” in recent months.
It’s clear that core algorithm updates are focused on recipes. Therefore, now is the perfect time to make sure your recipe content is as good as it can be.
Tips to make your recipe page creme de la creme
Here are top tips to ensure your recipe page is the crème de la creme. These steps will ensure that your content is not only visible at the top of SERPs, but also drives traffic to it by making it more attractive than other results.
1. Additional information
This includes cooking time, difficulty and calories. If you don’t have structured data, it is important to do so!
2. Optimize images that are relevant
Images are great for making recipes more interesting and easier to follow. You should also choose the best image to show rich results. It must be clear and representative of the recipe.
Imagery is your chance to convince users to click on your result in a competitive market. Low-quality images or products out of focus (as shown below) are missed opportunities that could lead to lost traffic from competitors.
Source: Google Search
3. Make a video asset to help you create high-value recipes
Videos are great for recipes. However, it can be time-consuming to create videos for each recipe, especially if there is a large back catalogue of hundreds, or even thousands. Instead, you should focus on the recipes with the greatest potential. Ask yourself these questions:
- Are search terms returning video results for your query?
- Do the main competitors use videos for this recipe?
- Does the recipe have a decent search volume on Google AND YouTube (maximize your ROI)?
- Are you sure the recipe is already ranked near the top? Is the recipe already ranked near the top? If so, can a video elevate it to that next level of success?
- Does it have a recipe that could be made into a video? Are there many steps or variations?
The data clearly shows that recipe content can be volatile, but it is possible to make small changes and improvements to ensure that your recipes rank high and get clicked.
Robert Scott is the SEO Account Manager at Reprise Digital, an award-winning performance marketing agency. Rob has five years of experience in SEO and a keen interest content and holistic searches.
Sign up for the Search Engine Watch newsletter to get insights into SEO, search landscape, digital marketing and leadership.
Join us on LinkedIn or Twitter to continue the conversation.
Search Engine Watch’s first article was Analysis and Advice: Why Recipe Sites saw large fluctuations in visibility
Did you miss our previous article…