Easy SEO Tips to Boost Your Food Business (That You Can Use Today)

June 19, 2023

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June 14, 2023

Marketing is limited in strength without strong SEO in today’s digital age. Like the man behind the curtain, SEO controls whether or not your business pops up on Google when someone searches for your product, and it’s up to you to convince Google to show your business to the world. 

SEO stands for search engine optimization (a.k.a. making Google searches work for you instead of against you). When you work to improve your SEO, you are working behind the scenes with search engines like Google but also Bing, YouTube, and other search tools to make your website show up as high as possible on search engine result pages. We have all been guilty of it: despite a platform like Google giving us millions of options when we search for something, we only pay attention to the first few results of our search and fail to scan the rest of the page, let alone the hundreds of pages and search results behind it. 

Without putting a little bit of effort toward SEO, your website is likely to be buried in the hundreds of unviewed search results. Therefore, it is important that your website is landing in those first few search results! You can optimize how your website shows up in those results by  making changes to your website so that search engines can better understand what your website is about and rank it higher as a result. 

Unfortunately, there is no “cure-all” solution for SEO. Convincing search engines that your website should rank at the top of search results requires effort on many fronts, For example, here are fourteen different areas where you could work to improve your search results with SEO:

  • User Experience and behavior metrics
  • Domain age and authority 
  • Alt tags for images and videos 
  • Freshness and frequency of content updates 
  • Geographic location and targeting 
  • Content accessibility and readability 
  • Website analytics and tracking 
  • Content quality and relevance
  • Keyword usage 
  • Title tags and meta descriptions 
  • Page load speed
  • Mobile friendliness and responsive design
  • Backlinks from other reputable websites
  • Social signals and engagement

Now we get it — having fourteen things to conquer sounds super overwhelming! Where do you even begin? Start here with the help of Cyd Mitchell from our Cooking Up Sales series on YouTube as we delve deeper into five of these factors so you can start positively impacting your SEO today. 

It Pays to Be Old: Domain Age and Authority

Just like how you would likely trust a mom-and-pop pizza shop that's been around for 20 years more than a brand new pizza place that just opened down the street to serve up some great food, search engines do the same thing! Google and other platforms take into consideration how old your domain is when ranking websites on search result pages. The older the domain, the more Google assumes that it can trust the quality of the content in the website, meaning it may be more willing to rank it higher in the search results. 

So how can you leverage this when age is not a factor you can manipulate? Get started ASAP and purchase your domain. If you are just getting started in your food business, you can purchase a domain name without having a website. All you need is the name of your business, and you can purchase your domain. Like with any investment, the sooner you start the better. Even if it will be weeks or months before you set up your website, buy the domain now. (Castiron can help you with this!)

Lock Down Your Search Results with Keywords 

Have you ever wondered how search engines are able to pull up results for random searches and magically know which web pages answer the user’s questions? Well it's not magic, and the answer is with keywords. Keywords are search terms that searchers like you enter into a search engine when looking into various products or services. They’re the secret to how search engines know where to find all of the information you’re searching for on the web.

Here’s how it works, but way simplified. For your website to appear on that first page of search results, there must be a connection between your business and the words being searched… which is where SEO comes in! A good place to start is by brainstorming a list of all of the possible words someone would use when searching for something like your products and services or specific business online. Then, use those keywords on your website to maximize your ranking. If you use these keywords on your website frequently enough with quality content, then Google and similar platforms may begin to understand that your website is a good place to send people who are searching for those terms. Using these words on your website establishes the “connection” mentioned for Google to be able to know what your website is about. 

The more detailed your list is, the better, and if you draft this list now you can use it any time in the future when you are writing product descriptions, page descriptions, or more. Setting up your website or online store on Castiron is also a great way to hit the ground running with SEO, because we handle so much of the SEO behind-the-scenes processes for you, from baseline keywords to meta descriptions and title tags.

Tackling Title Tags and Meta Descriptions

Title tags and meta descriptions are small but crucial elements of SEO. Title tags tell search engines and users what a web page is about, while meta descriptions give brief summaries of the page’s content.

Think about these elements like a book. Your title tags are the title, and the meta descriptions are the little blurb written on the inside cover that pulls you in and leaves you wanting to read more. Using the keyword list you made from the section above, weave keywords into your title tags and meta descriptions to have the most possible connections for your SEO. 

Bulk Up Your Credibility with Backlinks

One of the fastest ways to build your credibility with Google as a website is to have backlinks pointing to the various pages of your website. Backlinks connect one website to another, and they improve your search rankings when used correctly by working like a “vote” in your favor for the validity of your website. Having information on your site linked to another valuable and authoritative source of information on the topic at hand boosts SEO. For example, if your local news channel highlights your business, you should ask them to include a link to your website in the digital version of their article, because that would be a backlink from their trusted news site to your website.

However, it should be mentioned that not all backlinks are created equal. Only backlinks to reputable and relevant websites are valuable, and you should avoid backlinking to web pages that are low quality or packed with ads and clickbait. It’s possible to buy them, but you should avoid the temptation, as page quality is typically low. Plus, if Google catches on, they might penalize your website and you may not show up in search at all. 

Keep It Fresh 

Picture a warm fresh plate of donuts, and then picture one that has been sitting out for two hours. Which plate would you grab a donut from? Obviously, all of us would choose a fresh donut, and Google is the same. Regularly update your content to let search engines know that your website is still active and serving up fresh content every week! Easy ways to do this are by:

  • Updating your menu with seasonal or limited time offerings
  • Uploading photos of your newest creations to your gallery
  • Updating product information like ingredients used in different products
  • Sharing suggestions and ideas of how to use your product creatively

Overall, a lot of work can be done to improve your search engine optimization and the tips listed here are just the beginning. If boosting your SEO feels overwhelming, we recommend breaking it down into small pieces and taking it a piece at a time. 

For those still shaky on SEO or anyone wishing for more insider tips on making the most of search engines in promoting your business, watch the full session with Cyd Mitchell below or on our YouTube channel (and make sure to like and subscribe while you’re at it for more insider food business tips to make your food business flourish!).

About the Author
Zoee Huxford

Marketing Intern, Castiron

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