Easy SEO for Food Bloggers
So you´ve started a Food Blog and you´ve heard of the term SEO and your first question is what is that?
Incy Wincy – Google – Spider
Google has developed automatic algorithms that rank your site. They send out what are called “spiders” to “crawl” your site and check it for over 100 indicators that determine whether your site is valuable or useless. These indicators include things like backlinks, domain age, traffic, fresh content, etc. says the Blog Tyrant in his post: Beginning Blogging SEO.
SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is live and well
Although Google can change their algorithm as often as my 5 year old son changes his shoe size, it doesn´t matter, because if you want to be seen and get noticed between tons of other food blogs, and believe me when I say there are tons out there, these points below are super important…
- Building relationships with your readers and other Bloggers in your niche,
- Building your brand on social networking platforms (for food blogs I recommend: Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Yummly and Stumble Upon). Why is this important you ask? Blog Tyrant shares that Google is now looking to social media as a signal of a post’s authority and relevance. If thousands of people are tweeting about it then chances are you have written something pretty good. And the best way to get tweets is to build a loyal following and write killer content that they just love to promote for you”.
- Great (no scrap that – Amazing Photos),
- Killer content
- and last but by way no least, S-E-O (but please note SEO is only one way..)
How to apply SEO to your Food Blog?
The ladies from Brilliant Business Moms say: “As a search engine, Google’s goal is to provide the highest quality, most useful search results to all of its customers (the searchers). By writing high-quality, helpful, recent, and relevant content, and then ensuring that you give Google hints about the topics you’re covering, you can be that high-quality search result that shows up on page one. The point of SEO is to give Google what Google wants – no tricks or black hat strategy are involved. By giving search engines what they want, you won’t be affected by algorithm changes, which exist to weed out low-quality search results”.
I love this. It says what I believe. To be successful at this blogging thing you need to work hard at it (very hard!) and one of the ways you can make a “name” for yourself, create a niche for yourself, is to ensure that each blog post you write has SEO covered, but more importantly to make sure it contains great and relevant content!
Plug in to this plugin!
When you write a new blog post, you need to ensure that you have planned your keywords. See this post I wrote on how to use the Yoast SEO plugin to guide you with your keyword planning. I love this plugin because it really is user friendly and reminds me of my SEO “to do list” of each new (and old) blog post.
First things First
The first thing you need to do when you choose the title for a new blog post, for your food blog, is to head over to the Google Keyword Planner Tool (which is free by the way) and start playing with some title suggestions to find your long tailed keywords!
Find those long tailed keywords
This is what the guys say over at Yoast.com about long tail keywords: “Long tail keywords are more specific and less common. They focus more on a niche. It is much easier to rank for long tail keywords than for more common keywords”.
You need to search for various keywords that describe your blog post and then cleverly form them into a long tail keyword/phrase. A one word keyword will not get you anywhere. Why? Because the chances are that you are competing against millions of other Food Blogs for the exact same term!
When I did my SEO planning for this post, I saw that 165,000 people search on a monthly basis (I added the Countries of my highest % readers) for the term “SEO”. Around 30,000 searched for the term “Search Engine Optimization”. There was no way I could rank for that! So instead I searched for the term “Easy SEO” and found that 110 people per month search for that. This was much more achievable for me. I knew I had more chances to be noticed/ranked.
Then I searched the term “Food Bloggers” and saw that 2,400 people searched for this term. I did some further investigation and searched for the term “SEO for Food Bloggers” and saw that 10 people searched for this term per month.
I then decided that my long tail keyword would be: Easy SEO for Food Bloggers. This way I rank for 3 keyword phrases:
- Easy SEO
- SEO for Food Bloggers
- Food Bloggers
Use your long tail keyword in your Images
The next step is to ensure you use your long tail keyword is visible in your:
- blog title
- header and subject tags (H2 and H3)
- meta description (the Yoast plugin will help you with that but basically it´s a description that will be visible in the searches in Google. So make it catchy, to the point and powerful!)
- and the alt tags in your images.
According to Hobo-Web.co.uk, “Google seems to count the first 16 words in the ALT tag text. Also, having 16 words to work with might prove very useful if you are using ALT tags to describe more complex images. There is potentially plenty of available space to describe images properly for accessibility purposes and SEO impact“.
BIG Tip: make sure content is natural and only use your keywords that naturally enchance your content. You want your readers to resonate with you. Beth Anne at Brilliant Business Moms says: “Google picks up on awkward, forced language, and especially those sites that push out hundreds of poorly written, weird articles. Don’t be weird. Be a person”. This is so true! When I learnt about SEO and tried to incorporate (or should I say forced) the keywords into my blog posts so that Google would find me, it turned out to be a disaster! The words felt forced and I wasn´t sharing who I really was. Remember your blog is something you built up from the ground, something you´re proud of, don´t sell your “SEO” soul to be ranked. Be you, be real!
Commenting on other authority blogs, not only gets you more traffic, exposure and new relationships, it also counts as a backlink. You can use Market Samurai to see where your competitors are getting their backlinks from. You might find that a bunch of them come from comments on well ranked blog posts… One thing! Never buy backlinks! Google is on to them!
Also, It´s important to share relevant content of other trusted sites on the same topic and make sure you interlink between your posts. If you have written a great post, and it´s relevant to what you´re writing, like this one I wrote about the Yoast SEO plugin, share it with your audience. Whatever you link to, your content or others, make sure that the anchor text (the clickable text in a hyperlink. SEO best practices dictate that anchor text be relevant to the page you’re linking to, rather than generic text).
Oh and one more thing, don´t forget to install a Google Sitemap plugin. This gives a full map of all your posts, pages and archives. I use Google XML Sitemaps for this. This plugin gives Google a map of your site so they can index it better.
Don´t forget to do SEO on your posts AND pages of your site!
We´ve come to the end of the post and my fingers are nearly raw (how dramatic! *smile*). I´m pretty sure that I´ve missed something in this post about other great SEO Strategies out there, therefore please share your best SEO tips in the comments below and let´s help each other rank our blogs in the search engines *smile*.
Happy Blogging guys!