Structured data is an essential part of giving Google the resources to display what are called rich search results.
As you can see in this screenshot, rich recipe results function much differently than typical Google search results.
Rich snippets for recipes contain the following elements:
- Cooking time
- Cooking methods
- Nutrition facts
- Recipe Category
- Ingredient List
- Instruction List
- Recipe Yield
Recipe schema is quite in-depth and online recipe creators everywhere are learning how essential schema is to how often their results will be shown to users.
Why Recipe Schema Matters
As new recipes are released across the web each day, custom schema helps Google better identify your recipe so they can show it to people who care.
If you don’t have schema currently, you may notice that you don’t see much organic traffic to your recipes as they may be in the same keyword space as many high ranking recipes platforms like AllRecipes.com or Food Network.
If your recipe has a specific demographic of people who are interested, use your on-page content as well as your schema to target them effectively.
How Do I Create Recipe Schema?
Once you have recipes on your website, you will want to start adding a custom schema to each one so they will display rich information as they are served to people organically.
If you have a WordPress website, this article explains exactly how to add schema to your recipes. If you are not a developer, you can install a plugin that allows you to individually add script tags to the headers of your pages.
Using a schema markup generator, you will have to go through each recipe and fill out the appropriate information for the schema.
In the case of our website, we had a group of our interns work to generate the custom schemas as we were working with over 100 recipes to start. As we created the schemas, we went through each custom post and added the script into the header of the tag.
Was Adding Recipe Schema Effective?
In our experience, adding recipe schema increased our organic impressions and made our recipe categories more effective as landing pages.
For our recipe categories, we saw a 30% increase in sessions 2 months after adding the custom schema to each recipe. The schema helped Google organize our recipes per each category to begin displaying some of our low performing recipes
In terms of organic impressions, we went through the Google Search Console to look specifically at how our rich snippets were served. We saw a steady increase in our impressions of our recipes which led to more clicks.
Moving forward, we expect the implementation of the schema to work as an organic SEO engine, hopefully bringing thousands of more people through to our recipe pages.
Update After 6 Months
After 6 months of working with this client, we have seen some major successes when it comes to recipe schema. Looking specifically at rich results traction in Google search console, we can see how specific recipes performed and how adding structured data to the pages worked in gaining traction.
Looking at this 12-month overview screenshot you can see how by adding recipe schema we generated over 600K impressions for the website (and counting).
What Is The Dip in Traction From?
As you can see, in August we had a severe drop in traffic coming from rich results. Why did that happen? Google is often updating how they read and analyze structured data and it’s important that you stay up to date with how they are seeing your website.
My team and I watch Google search console every day to ensure that structured data and organic search is staying consistent and is growing in favor of your goals. Over time, the Google search algorithms will change and affect how you are ranking, and it’s the job of your SEM team to manage these changes.