Short on time? Save this post on how to grow your food blog with SEO this year on Pinterest!

Client Case Study | Grow Your Food Blog With SEO in 2023

In the world of food blogging, visibility is everything. After all, it is one of the most competitive niches in blogging!

With that in mind, food bloggers need to stand out on Google and other search engines. Every food blogger needs SEO!

Many bloggers know that optimizing your blog for search engines is key to increasing visibility and driving organic traffic. And yeah, it all sounds great in theory, but does it actually work? Can new bloggers implement an SEO strategy, increase in their website traffic, and actually grow their business?

The answer is YES. Absolutely they do!

And I would know – I’m Mikayla, an SEO strategist for women entrepreneurs. My approach to SEO is based on designing a user-friendly website with a good technical experience and keyword-rich content for search engines! My Search Engine Success strategy is something I use with all my clients to help them succeed in ranking on the first page of Google!

In this blog post, I want to share with you a real-life case study from one of my clients and now friend, Alexi from Eat Well with Lex!

This case study offers expert insights, practical tips, and SEO strategies specifically tailored for food bloggers. If you are ready to amplify your food blog traffic and make your site a favorite for Google’s algorithm, then read on. 

Understanding the Basics of SEO for Food Blogs

Before diving into specific strategies, it’s crucial to understand what SEO is and how it can benefit food blogs. SEO, or search engine optimization, enhances a website’s visibility on search engines like Google. Using the right keywords and optimizing your blog’s on-page and technical elements can attract a larger audience and increase your food blog’s success.

With all of the social media platforms out there these days, competition is steep! Optimizing your blog for SEO helps your website stand out. Let’s go over the basics of SEO for food bloggers so you know how to grow your website traffic (and ultimately make $$$ from) your food blog this year. 

Why is SEO Important for Food Bloggers?

SEO is not just a buzzword! It’s a critical part of getting more Google traffic. For food bloggers, mastering SEO can lead to increased visibility, a larger audience, and, ultimately, more business success. SEO can help your blog appear on the first page of Google, making it easier for potential readers to find your recipes and food photos. They may save or share your recipe on other platforms, which lets Google know you have awesome content! 

There are a few ways to make money from SEO, including sponsored blog posts, monetizing with an ad platform, and even selling your own digital products (like meal plan templates or exclusive recipe content!)

So, how can you leverage SEO for your food blog’s success? Let’s dive in!

Start with Keyword Research for Your Blog

Keyword research is the foundation of a successful SEO strategy.

The basics of keyword research involve identifying popular words and phrases people enter into search engines.

When you start a food blog, you should conduct strategic keyword research related to your niche to ensure that the right audience sees your posts. The food blogger landscape is competitive with seasoned food bloggers, your best chance to show Google what your content is all about is by choosing keywords for your food blog that have less competition.

For example, instead of “baked chicken recipe,” you’ll want to be a lot more descriptive! 

Like “baked chicken and green beans recipe,” or “baked chicken parmesan with fresh mozzarella.”

These descriptive, 3-5 word keyword phrases are known as long-tail keywords. The more descriptive you are, the less competition – and the better your chances of SEO success! 

Finding these keywords for food blogs is easy if you utilize tools like KeySearch or the free RankMath SEO plug-in!

(Need some more SEO tips for researching keywords? Check out my blog post Why You Need to Be Using These Best SEO Tools!)

How to Optimize Your Food Blog Posts with SEO

The next step in your SEO journey is to optimize your blog posts. This includes writing SEO titles and meta descriptions, using long-tail keywords, and making sure your content is optimized for search engine success.

One of my biggest SEO tips for food bloggers is to include keywords everywhere – not just your blogs – to grow traffic from Google. Search engines like Google crawl through all your data when they’re organizing search results, so take advantage of every opportunity you have to inject your keywords into your copy and image alt text.

And NO, this doesn’t mean throwing all your keywords into a photo’s alt text or at the end of a blog post to try and game the system. That’s called keyword stuffing, and believe it or not, search engines can tell when you are doing it. It can actually tank your ranking! Your best bet is to use keywords naturally throughout all your copy. 

You DO want to make sure every image has alt text – it will hurt your SEO and really affect your rankings if you share tons of high-quality images on your blog without letting Google know what the content is about. This on-page SEO strategy is a crucial component to reaching number 1 on Google! Just be strategic about the keywords you include in your alt text, so you don’t get flagged for keyword stuffing.

The Role of Recipe SEO in Food Blogging

One of my biggest tips for food bloggers is to focus on recipe SEO.

If you aren’t sure how to improve your recipe post optimization, I recommend installing the WP Recipe Maker plugin on your website. This plugin makes publishing recipes like a food blogger pro so easy. It allows you to do all sorts of things, like group ingredients for easier preparation, prepare your recipes for printing, and create a list of shoppable ingredients that integrates with InstaCart. 

And while all those things are wonderful, my favorite features of the plugin are the ones that help you grow your food blog with SEO. WP Recipe Maker integrates your recipe’s metadata with the RankMath SEO Plug-in (one of the best keyword research tools out there!) and also has a built-in SEO check for your recipe metadata. The plugin is also fully responsive, which means that it automatically adjusts your recipes to fit on any screen. In this day and age, having a mobile-friendly website is a MUST – and it actually improves your search engine ranking!

RankMath also has this guide on SEO for your recipes that is great for bloggers to check out!

Why Food Photography is Important for SEO

Have you ever heard the term “a picture is worth a thousand words”? Well in blogging land, we like to say: A picture is worth a thousand keywords!

To grow a successful food blog in the eyes of Google, you need to create recipe content AND have beautiful images to go with them!

Plus, shareable images can boost your social traffic as people salivate over your wonderful creations on social media. 

If you know the phrase “we eat with our eyes first”? Well, that’s especially true on a food blog! 

Beautiful food photos can enhance user engagement AND your rank on Google.

Mouthwatering food photography can help website visitors stay on your blog for longer periods of time, and can convince them to come back time and time again for new content. Take the time to compose strong, keyword-rich alt text for each photo in your recipe posts. Remember, search engines look through that data when ranking websites, so you need to focus on it!

Harnessing the Power of SEO Tools for Your Food Blog

From RankMath SEO to Google Analytics and Google Search Console, and Ubersuggest… there are TONS of SEO tools that can help you optimize your food blog and track its performance. These tools provide valuable insights, help identify any SEO issues, and offer recommendations for improvement. 

RankMath makes implementing and adjusting your SEO strategy a breeze – check out my guide if you’re interested in learning more about how to monitor your SEO with RankMath. It also gives you a readability analysis along with an SEO analysis. This way, you’ll know whether your food and recipe blog will appeal to a large number of readers. 

Google Analytics provides data that is, simply unmatched. It tells you who is visiting your website and what they are doing there. It can even track your website conversions – are visitors buying your recipe guides? Are they clicking to sign up for your email list? Are they looking at a recipe and then leaving without clicking anything else? Think of how valuable all that information is for you and your blog. What changes could you make to your SEO strategy if you see that no one is visiting based on the keywords you researched?

Ubersuggest has a free keyword research tool that gives you hundreds of keyword suggestions. I love that it also shows you how all your competitor’s keywords are ranking. If you want to rank higher than them, you need to understand their keyword strategy! 

It’s the tool I currently use in my business right now, but KeySearch is a great lower-cost alternative. 

Interested in going more in-depth with these tools? Check out my blog posts Learn How to Improve Your Website’s SEO in 2022 and How to Monitor Your Website’s SEO Using RankMath.

Learn from Successful Food Bloggers – Alexi’s SEO Journey

Now that you’ve got a good basic understanding of all the ways SEO tactics are beneficial to food blogs, I’d love to show you how much of an impact it made on one of my clients turned friends, Alexi from Eat Well with Lex.

Read on to see how SEO shaped her blogging and exploded her business!

When we started working together Alexi was sharing all her content on social media. She didn’t have a place of her own (her website) to share her content and grow her brand. But she knew that if she really wanted to grow her business she needed to start blogging.

She had already invested in her domain name through BlueHost. 

But, she was struggling to set up her WordPress because she was more focused on with WordPress because she was focused on getting her theme and colors just right and finding the perfect plugins for her food blog.

She wasn’t thinking about the thing that would make the most impact on her business: SEO. This is where I came in!
(And one of the many benefits of working with an SEO professional to grow your blog)

Alexi and I focused our efforts on analyzing her competition, researching keywords, and creating a blogging schedule she could stick to long-term. 

Plus, uploading and optimizing her previous Instagram content for SEO!

Now, she’s generating thousands of clicks per month to her blog. She’s on track to apply for a high-paying ad-network like Mediavine before the end of this year.

Here’s a quick version of how we achieved this:

1) Researching the competition

It was vital that Alexi looked at the competitors in her niche! Those food blogs were ranking on the first page of Google, so they were obviously doing something right. We needed to analyze what they were doing and figure out how we could leverage those same things for Alexi’s business. We used SimilarWeb, Ubersuggest, and MOZ for this part of the process.

2) Finding low-competition keywords

Next, we looked at low-competition long-tail keywords using MOZ, Ubersuggest, and KeySearch. According to WordStream, long-tail keywords are longer and more specific keyword phrases with a lower search volume.

(I really love asking AI to generate keywords or search queries for this task – read through my blog post Ultimate List of 9 AI Copywriting Tools for your Small Business, for more information about how AI can help you.)

3) Commit to blogging & doing the work

Alexi also committed to blogging long-term. Search engines love fresh, quality content that is posted on a consistent basis. This can feel overwhelming at first, but Alexi decided to optimize all her images and old content for SEO while she created new content – this helped her get on track without giving her too much to manage at once. 

Now, Eat Well with Lex is thriving! A year later, she is getting over 1000 (yes, you read that right – THOUSANDS) of clicks a month from Google Search! She is using her website to increase her following outside of social media, is exploring new blog sponsorships and passive income opportunities, and has the confidence that comes with knowing she can manage her blog and use SEO to drive traffic. 

Short on time? Save this SEO Client Case Study for later on Pinterest!

Improve Your Food Blog SEO with These Tips

Jealous of Alexi? You don’t need to be! I can help you and your food blog just like I helped Alexi. In a year you could be right where she is today – or you could be stressing nonstop about all the new algorithm changes on your social accounts. Don’t you want to know what it would be like to let go of all the headaches that come with trying to keep up all the different social media platforms and their algorithms? SEO for your food blog is the best way to get that freedom. 

Join me in my Search Engine Success Lab and learn how to leverage search engine optimization for your website so you can spend more time doing what you love. The Search Engine Success Lab will teach you everything I taught Alexi, and you’ll learn how SEO is the key to building a lasting online business. I’ll be cheering you on every step of the way!