A big part of my job as VP of Technology is planning out the course for the technology that powers Chicory. Lately, that's meant lots and lots of time getting to know the ins and outs of how food bloggers build their sites. It's also meant a lot of time with my friend Wordpress.

About 90% of our recipe partners use Wordpress to host their food blogs or recipe sites. (In fact, WordPress accounts for 18.9% of all websites, according to this article—that's HUGE!) For users, that makes things very easy. With Wordpress, installing Chicory is as simple as turning on a simple plugin. In fact, there are a ton of great plugins a blogger can use to make the most of their recipe posts.

Aside from recommending that you all install the Chicory plugin, I'm here to recommend that all food bloggers make use of a recipe formatting plugin. It will completely transform your food blog SEO. It also makes it much easier for Chicory to integrate with your site, but that's secondary. ;) This isn't just a solution that Wordpress bloggers should consider, though Wordpress's plugin environment makes it a lot simpler.  

Why should you use a recipe formatting plugin? It all comes down to richer HTML markup. Many webpages on the Internet are marked up just using only standard HTML tags. For recipes, that might come down to bolding a recipe title, or putting ingredients in a bulleted list. But those formatting changes don't differentiate your bold recipe title from any other bold text on the web.

Enter Schema.org and microdata, an initiative to identify types of data points that websites use consistently and create a way for search engines to recognize those "types." That means that by using the recommended microdata markup from Schema.org, you're basically telling search engines hey, this is a recipe!! That will take your recipe from looking like any old search result, to showing a "rich snippet" in search results—and people are way more likely to click your recipe if there's a rich snippet. This is the same technology that powers Pinterest's rich pins, and we all know that rich pins are a food blogger's best friend when it comes to building traffic!

Recipe plugins like Wordpress Ultimate Recipe, Easy Recipe or Ziplist take care of this formatting for you. If you're not on Wordpress (or if you are, but you don't want to weigh your site down with another plugin) you can also tag your recipes manually in your HTML editor. Here's a guide for how to use those tags, or here's a little tool that will generate the HTML for you!

Got questions? We're here to answer them for you! Let us know in the comments or tweet at us!

Photo via Skirt Collective

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