I never thought I would make a career out of recipe writing. After all, there are thousands of recipe blogs, Pinterest posts, and online cookbooks available for the home cook to choose from. What made me think I was a better cookbook author than them? How would I rise above everyone else, showing that my meatballs were, in fact, world-famous?
The AIR method, that’s how.
You see, be it writing about recipes or baseball or whatever, you need to have these three attributes to stand out and make your work shine. Otherwise, no amount of SEO will help you!
Nothing grinds my gears more than “recipe monologuing.” You know the one, where you have to scroll through some semi-awkward story, nine ads, and a pop-up just to get to the four-line recipe? So, while these sites may be fine for others (and hey, good for them for the ad revenue), it does not fit with my personal style. Being authentic to myself and how I prefer my recipes to appear is step one; if you think it seems ingenuine, the reader will too, and they will go elsewhere.
In my experience, 80% of all recipes on the internet are nothing more than taking an existing recipe from an established expert, changing one or two minor things, then passing it off as unique. Sure, there are only so many ways a meatball can be made, but frankly, you’re not going to rank your page better than tried-and-true recipes anyway. Challenge yourself to find a new method or ingredient, whether big or small. Not only will this make the recipe-writing process more interesting, but it will help with recipe SEO later on.
This seems obvious, but it needs to be stated. Actually make the recipe you post. Make it twice even. Nothing will tank a recipe more than poor reviews! Be meticulous with the words you choose, double-check the ingredient list, and, above all, verify the cooking times!
The AIR method is the foundation for any recipe written online. With no other help, this will be a solid backbone for your site.
Empowering writers, not replacing them.
Now that you’ve secured your AIR, let’s make your work known to the world. As discussed in the Outranking.io blog, SEO is about first establishing authority and then meeting the user’s search needs. In the food and recipe arena, you will be competing with dozens of other cooks… or will you? This is where precise SEO will mean everything. Say you wrote a recipe about Chex Mix. Let’s see how many results there are on Google:
Ouch. Six million results! Certainly, we need better SEO keywords. So, dive back into your recipe. Do you use any unique ingredients? How about equipment? For mine, I tinkered with using the Instant Pot, air fryer, oven, and other equipment. Let’s see how many results there are if we look for Instant Pot Chex Mix:
Better! Let’s go one step further. Are there any recipes that actually use the Instant Pot, or is Google swapping “Instant Pot” for other slow cookers?
Looks like I’m the only one that uses “Instant Pot” in the title… which is why my Instant Pot Chex Mix is ranked first!
So, the lesson here is: write the recipe, then search for terms related to the recipe. Go after one specific ingredient or technique that is underrepresented. That will push your recipe towards the top. With enough recipes, your website will gain that authority needed to excel!
Empowering writers, not replacing them.
You can use both online searches and personal inspiration for recipes. I chose Chex Mix because it’s my toddler’s favorite food. In case you haven’t had homemade Chex Mix before, it’s crunchy, savory, and tangy, with a bit of spice. It’s also easy to make.
I adapted the traditional oven method to work with the Instant Pot and other multicookers. This turned out to be crispier and faster to make than the original. I also listed optional modifications to the recipe for vegans.
You can also work with Outranking’s AI-powered recipe-building tools. Click Methods in the right menu and find the recipe commands in the public methods:
Seven functions allow you to generate complete, custom recipes. You can start with your own title and have Outranking create a description. Then, generate the ingredients list, cooking instructions, and possible variations. Next, automatically create some pairings, storage instructions, and closing notes. You can even generate nutritional information.
Along the way, you can modify each step to make the recipe your own. This helps bring your ideas to life and leaves you more time to cook, test, and create.
So, what have we learned? We need our recipes to be written with the AIR method: Authentic, Innovative, and Researched. Then, we need to target one attribute of the recipe as our SEO keyword to stand out. These steps will help you gain site authority and ultimately clicks. Good luck and happy blogging!
Jim Cooks Food Good, a brand committed to healthy living and eating, was created by Jim Mumford in July 2018. His site is home to recipes and posts focused on “healthy comfort food.” Jim has written and co-written several cookbooks, and he hopes to be a part of your dinner-time rotation!