How to Create Rich Snippet For Food and Recipe Websites in 2019
December 10, 2018
One of the cornerstones of inbound marketing is search engine optimization or SEO. If you have come here and are reading this, then there are two assumptions that can be drawn. Firstly, you know what is SEO and its importance, and secondly, you have a food and recipe website which is not getting the top ranks on SERP (Search Engine Results Page).
So why is your website not getting the top ranks?
There are many reasons and one of them is the lack of use of a schema markup. Many food and recipe websites do not know about this. If they do, then they are either underutilizing it or not using it correctly.
What is Schema Markup?
Consider schema markup to be a vocabulary which is used all across the World Wide Web to provide a universally understood structure identification. They are used by search engines to index the content and understand and categorize it. However, unlike meta tags, schema is incorporated in the body of your website’s code to highlight particular snippets of the text to the search engine.
It first came into existence when Google, Bing, Yahoo, and Yandex came together to create a community which is known as Schema.org whose purpose is to help create, maintain, and promote schemas for structured data.
There are a few different types of schema markup including Microdata, RDFa, and JSON-LD. Of these, the best option is to use JSON-LD which is the preferred markup scheme for almost all of the search engines.
Schema markup also helps websites rank better than the ones which have not incorporated it. In fact, in a study conducted by Techmagnate, it was found that websites which use schema markup will rank four positions higher than the ones which don’t. There is a data markup for almost every type of website including local businesses, book reviews, movies, software application, and food and recipe websites which are supposed to use recipe schema.
Why Use Recipe Schema?
Let us consider that you have used the word “barfi” in one of your recipes. When Google or any other search engine crawls your website, how do you think it will differentiate whether it is a recipe in your recipe book or the name of a Ranbir Kapoor movie released in 2012?
On its own, it cannot. But, if you use the schema markup to show the bot that Barfi is a recipe, it will show your recipe in the relevant searches.
For this reason, it is essential to use a recipe markup which acts as an interpreter between the search engine and your website’s content. When using the markup, all that you need to do is enter a piece of code along with the word “salt” so that the search engine knows that it is not the movie being discussed here and display the results accordingly.
How Does Schema Markup Look Like?
If we are to talk about the movie Barfi, then it would appear like this –
However, if the same code was to be used for salt as an ingredient, then it would appear like this:
What are Rich Snippets?
A snippet refers to a search result which is shown by any search engine to the user. For instance, if we search for the movie Barfi on Google, it will show us results which will contain both normal and rich snippets. A normal snippet will look like this
Here Google shows the title in blue, the URL colored in green and a description of what the page is all about. This is what is known as a snippet.
On the other hand, a rich snippet will show extra information between the description and the URL. A rich snippet will appear like this –
In this snippet, you can see a picture of barfi, the rating, the preparation time, the number of calories, and a truncated version of the recipe. As you can see a rich snippet provides a lot more information when compared to a normal snippet.
How to Create Rich Snippets For your Food Website?
Creating rich snippets involves implementing recipe schema involves adding some additional HTML to each of the important pieces of text. This is referred to as microdata. We’re going to go through some of the types of microdata and explain how they’re used.
Go to the following address – https://schema.org/Recipe
Here, you will find a number of additional schema.org vocabulary which needs to be added to your existing HTML code. You will see them as follows –
The above vocabulary is just indicative as there are a number of other codes recipe schemas which can be used, some of which are as follows –
recipeCategory – this is mandatory to specify the category of the recipe.
cookTime – this is used to determine the amount of time it would take to cook the recipe. The values entered here must be in the ISO 8601 duration format. For instance, 90 minutes would be PT90M or PT1H30M
prepTime – the total time taken to prepare the recipe. The values should be in ISO 8601 format
totalTime – refers to the total time which will be needed to cook the recipe. The values should again be in ISO 8601 format.
calories – the number of calories in the recipe
recipeIngredient – a list of ingredients to be used in the recipe and are separated by a semi-colon (;)
recipeInstructions – will contain step-by-step instructions for the recipe and are separated by a semi-colon (;)
recipeCuisine – refers to the region associated with your recipe. e.g. French, American, Moroccan etc.
Apart from the above-mentioned values, the following are optional. This means that you do not enter their values, then JSON-LD schema markup for SEO will them up from your blog itself-
name – or the recipe name. This will also serve as the default name of the blog post title
description – description of the recipe. This will serve as the default blog post description
author – the name of the author of the blog
image – image for the recipe. This will serve as the default image of the blog post in the search results.
Once all the above-mentioned fields have been enter into the HTML code of your blog post and saved, you can make use of Google’s Structured Data Testing Tool to verify if the entered values are correct or not.
Must Read How to Optimize for Google’s Featured Snippets in 2019
Interview With Our SEO Team
We understood that despite everything that has been explained above, not all our readers may understand this new technology. This is why we decided to interview one of our in-house SEO expert Sandy to shed some more light on this topic.
Interviewer: Sandy, first tell us why should food and recipe websites make use of recipe schema?
Sandy: With the rise in the number of searches being conducted, a need was felt to differentiate same terms having different to provide users with more relevant data. Recipe schema ensures that food items or names of ingredients which have other meanings are not shown by the search engine. For instance, if you search for the term ‘Chocolate’, and if have not used recipe schema, then chances are that the search engine will end up showing search results for the movie by the same name.
I: What are recipe schemas?
S: I find a number of people asking me this question because they are very confused about this term. So allow me to break it down. Think of schema as a repository of different types of HTML codes for books, movies, TV shows, events, organizations and so on. Among the different types of codes included are also those for food and recipe websites. These codes are known as recipe schema. It also helps in showing a lot more information in the search results such as ratings by users, the cooking time, the preparation time, and an image of the recipe. All this was not possible before schema was not introduced where it was just the same boring search results for every term that was keyed in and users had to waste a lot of time in getting to the website which they were searching for.
I: Alright. I have the code. How do I use it?
S: It is very simple. You do not need to learn any other language for it. You just need to insert these codes in the HTML code for your website.
I: So what is the consequence of using recipe schema?
S: Using recipe schema helps search engines better understand what kind of website it is that you have. Thus, if you have a food and recipe website, it will display the information contained in it accordingly. This not only helps in getting more traffic but also betters your SERP (Search Engine Results’ Page) rankings in the long run.
I: What does the term ‘rich snippets’ mean?
S: The additional information which can be shown along with your website in the search results are known as rich snippets.
It takes time to achieve results.
However, here it should be understood that the results may not pour in immediately. The time taken to increase organic traffic will depend on the number of competitors you have. Despite this, if your food and recipe website is of a small size, you can still derive a lot of success from the search engines.
Now that it has been established beyond doubt that SEO helps you attract traffic including customers who are looking forward to purchasing your products and services, the next step involves how to attract the right audiences. The answer lies in schema markup.
Schema has greatly revolutionized the way in which information is presented to the target audiences. Implementing it is very easy as just the HTML code of your website needs to be tinkered with. However, this little change in the code can go a long way in determining the position of your food and recipe website on the search results page and its reputation. It helps provide a lot of additional information at a glance without requiring any additional on-screen real estate.