How to Improve Your SEO with Microformats for Recipes

 

How do you make your recipes stand out among millions of recipes available on the web? Identify the food trends before they arise? Make sure the flavours are the ones your audience will savour? Yes and yes! But recipe creators today also need to think about the way they structure their recipes and make sure that their recipes take up a significant spot (both in size and ranking) in the search results.

Microformatting for recipes is not news, yet a lot of recipe creators are either not clear on what microformats are or why they matter.

In this blog post we’ve summed up some of the benefits of using microformats for recipes as well as how to get started with microformatting.

But, first things first…

 

What is microformatting?

The same way HTML tags such as H1 tell the search engines that what is between those tags is the most important headline for the post, microformats tell the search engine what that content actually means.

For example, peanut butter can mean an ingredient to a recipe called Peanut Butter Chocolate Cookies. But it can also mean the recipe for how to make a peanut butter that contains a number of different ingredients. In the first case, you’d classify Peanut Butter Chocolate Cookies with recipe markup, whereas in the latter case you’d use ingredient. That way search engines can understand what “peanut butter” means in both of these cases.

Example of a recipe result in Google Search with microformatting
Example of a recipe result in Google Search with microformatting

All major search engines support microformats and their simple format is easily read and understood by humans as well.

 

5 compelling reasons why you need microformats for recipes

If your website doesn’t contain microdata or microformat on recipe pages, here is a summary of benefits that might make you want to consider implementing microformatting to your pages.

  • Microformats help your content be easily discovered as major search engines use them in site indexing.
  • Microformats improve the look and feel of your organic listings helping you get a higher click-through rate.
  • Microformats attach extra meaning to the information published on your recipe page. To learn how you can enhance your recipe content, check out our post on 8 Reasons Recipe Creators Are Embracing AI.
  • Forget about manually updating the information on relevant Rich Pins after every change you make to your recipe page. Well-structured pages allow Pinterest to pull the data from your website automatically.
  • Structured data helps you prepare for the future of search, the rise of the connected kitchen and hyper-personalisation. Learn how you can future-proof your recipe content.
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    How do microformats boost SEO?

    Though there is no direct link between improved ranking and microformatting, by improving click-through rate for your recipe pages, you’re giving Google and other search engines a signal that the page is relevant for the searcher, which in turn helps your position in SERP.

    Rich results take up more space in SERP and are more compelling for the user compared to regular results.

    Results in search for recipes with and without microformatting
    Results in search for recipes with and without microformatting

    Additionally, to make your recipes show up in featured areas of SERP, for example, Google carousels, you will need to structure your pages with microformats.

    Example of a recipe carousel in Google search results using microformatting
    Example of a recipe carousel in Google search results using microformatting

    Finally, apart from showing individual recipe pages in a more eye-grabbing way, you can structure your pages with a list of recipes in such a way to show related recipes in one result. For example, when someone looks up “vegan recipes”, they might see a results like the ones below.

    Example of using microformatting for pages with a list of recipes
    Example of using microformatting for pages with a list of recipes

     

    How do microformats help with Rich Pins?

    Example of a Recipe Rich Pin showing cooking time and ingredients
    Example of a Recipe Rich Pin showing cooking time and ingredients. Source: Pinterest

    To have a Rich Pin show like in the example above, it is important to have each of your individual pages marked up with structured data. While a regular pin will only show a title and a description, a Rich Pin will give the searcher detailed information about recipes, cooking time, etc.

    The main benefit for using Rich Pins is that they update automatically when you change your recipe page. Let’s say that you created a recipe with a title for a homemade peanut butter that contains 6 ingredients, but after a while, you’ve updated a page with an additional ingredient. You will not have to go back to find your Pins to add the additional ingredient there as the Pin will have updated automatically.

    Just as with the results in Google search, using Rich Pins make your Pins stand out and they are more likely to get noticed by the searcher. After skimming cooking time and ingredients, user can decide whether they want to click through to read the instructions for your recipe as well.

    Additionally, by tagging your recipes with, for example, different diets you’re making your recipes more discoverable both on Pinterest and other search engines.

    Find more information about how to get started with Rich Pins here.

     

    How to implement micro-formatting for your recipe website

    Two industry-standard microformats include Schema.org/recipe and hRecipe. To learn more about recipe formatting best practices according to these two common approaches, check out our help article or watch the video below for a quick tutorial.

     
    Just make sure you avoid some of the common mistakes when using microformats for recipes, such as marking up categories or lists of items with markup for a single entity!

     

    Conclusion

    Microformatting is a great way to improve search results for your recipes. Adding relevant tags and enriching your content with additional data such as health score, nutritional information, diets, preferences and avoidances, you’re creating a better and more engaging user experience that makes your audience want to come back for more tasty recipes.

    The more engaging your website is and the more return users you have, the more it will give a signal to the search engines that your website is relevant for the searcher which will help you rank higher and make your recipes be seen and cooked!

     
    To learn how you can automate the never-ending data work and create personalised experiences for your recipe website, get in touch with Whisk.

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