Thursday, January 10, 2013

SEO for Food Bloggers | Part I – Intro

SEO for food bloggers

Let me start by saying that I am not an expert on search engine optimization (SEO.)  I’m just a person who pushed the “publish” button a couple of years ago, who happened to do a bit of research and who, along the way, has learned a few things about what search engines like to see on our blogs.

There are so many posts about blogging out there: how to start; why to start; how to market; how to photograph, etc.  And there are many blog posts specifically about food blogging.  But SEO for food blogging involves some specifics and detailed information and unless you have sat through a few conferences, you might have missed it and food blog-specific SEO posts are not widely found.

Kansas City has a local community of bloggers who meet monthly and a few months ago I (along with a local photographer and family blogger) led a discussion on search engine optimization.  The group is diverse and there were many questions about food blog SEO…which led me to the decision to do a quick three-week series on the topic.  This group is so amazing and it helps remind me constantly to share the knowledge that I have on various subjects.  So here you are, SEO for Food Blogs 101.

Today is the intro. 

And again, I am not an expert.  What I will tell you here is basic and I hope it will provide you a foundation for beginning solid SEO practices on your blog.  I’m still learning.  In fact, I love learning.  The geek in me loves this stuff.  So ask away.  Make a list, send it to me in an email, post it on my Facebook page.  If I can’t answer you, I’ll do the research and ask around so that we can figure it out together.  Let’s use this as an opportunity to build community.

First things first: let’s define Search Engine Optimization. 

Wikipedia explains that SEO is the process of affecting the visibility of a website in a search engine’s natural or organic search results.  In other words, search engine optimization involves practices that you employ on your website which help search engines recognize what kind of content you have on your site.  SEO is writing and formatting your content in a way for search engines to be able to read and index blog content.

Why do you need to optimize your site for search engines?

  1. It’s free.
  2. It’s simple (after you learn the basics)
  3. If you want your content to show up in search results, It’s necessary

SEO strategies not only build credibility with search engines but also for people who are searching the web.  How many times to you make it to page 10 of your Google results?  How many times do you click the first few results that pop up?  See what I mean?

Search Engine Optimization is a long-term strategy.  It’s not a “set it and forget it” type of thing.  It builds on itself over time through consist and quality content.  It’s not overly time consuming but will require you a few minutes per post to make sure everything is titled, tagged, and key-worded correctly.  If you are WordPress.org, this will be even simpler because there are plugins that do a lot of the work for you – we’ll get to that in a couple of weeks.

So, how is that for an introduction?  Here is my plan for the next few weeks: each Thursday, I will publish a new post about a different SEO topic –

January 17: Keywords & Titles

January 24: Links 

February 7: Recipe Formatting & Rich Snippets

February 14: Tips, Tools, Plugins & Resources

The posts for the above-named topics are subject to change because they are not yet written…and because I want your questions!  What do you want to know?  I have an idea of where they will go but I would love to know where you stand on these topics.  What do you currently know, what do you feel like is most important, etc.  You can email me or leave your suggestion/question in the comment below.

Also, if this goes over well, I will plan to continue posts like these from time-to-time so if you have any questions about blogging or food blogging in general, leave them in the comments below and I’ll add them to my list!

 

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