Is a Jump to Recipe Button Good for SEO?

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If you’re a food blogger, most likely you will be familiar with the jump-to-recipe button. And you may also know that this little button is often the cause of heated debates.

These debates evolve around SEO and advertising revenue. Some say you should never use that button, as it negatively impacts ad revenue. Others say that there are SEO benefits in having that button at the top of your recipe articles.

I am not a food blogger and therefore I’ve always tried to stay out of these discussions. But being the SEO nerd that I am, I couldn’t resist diving a little deeper into this.

So in this article I am sharing my thoughts on these jump (and print) recipe buttons and how they relate to SEO and ad revenue.

Some Background…

Let’s start with a few examples of Jump to Recipe buttons on various food blogs:

Jump to Recipe button example 1
Credit: Ask Chef Dennis
Jump to Recipe button example 2
Credit: Stress Baking
Jump to Recipe button example 3
Credit: Kitchen Treaty

Okay, so you may wondering, why on earth does that innocent little button (or a simple link, really) cause so much stir? Good question.

Most food blogs out there run ads on their sites to make money. A lot of these food bloggers use ad managers such as Mediavine and AdThrive to place ads on their sites.

There is some good money to be made with display advertising, as you can read in my comprehensive Mediavine review.

The “issue” with jump-to-recipe is that it allows the reader to skip most of the content and jump straight to – you guessed it – the recipe. In other words, ads in the middle section of the article won’t be displayed or seen, which negatively impacts ad revenue.

It’s no surprise that ad managers advise against using a jump-to-recipe button for that reason. But then there are others who say that having jump and print recipe buttons has SEO benefits.

In the private Mediavine Publishers Facebook group, that I am a member of, the ones saying that a jump-to-recipe button is a good thing typically do not get a lot of support.

And when they mention that there is an SEO benefit in having that button, they easily get slammed. Okay, “slammed” is a big word, but trust me when I say that these pro-button people are a very tiny and quiet minority.

Update December 2019:
After years of opposition, Mediavine have decided to include a Jump to Recipe feature in their Create WordPress plugin, finally recognizing the demand for, and user experience benefits of, this button. Totally unexpected, so well done, Mediavine!

Introducing Casey Markee

Casey Markee is an SEO consultant who provides services such as site and content audits, with a lot of his clients being food bloggers. He has a fairly good reputation in the SEO industry and he seems to know his stuff.

Now, Casey is a very outspoken supporter of the jump-to-recipe button. He claims this button has SEO benefits and always recommends his food blogging clients to include that button in their recipe articles.

Casey did an interview with Semrush a while back in which he mentioned the jump-to-recipe and print-recipe buttons, and why he recommends food bloggers to use them.

In that same interview he had a bit of a dig at ad companies, because ad companies obviously advise against using that button because it negatively impacts ad revenue. Casey believes that’s wrong because user experience is more important.

Fair point, right?

“But do you know who loves these buttons? Google! And that is because it is the most visible example of YOU the blogger trying to meet the needs of your users.” Casey Markee, SEMrush.Click to Tweet

That very same interview has led to several discussions in the Mediavine Facebook group, and most people are simply not taking it.

Think about it. That group is heavily populated with food bloggers and is managed by an ad manager (Mediavine) that strongly advises against using the jump-to-recipe button. Of course everyone’s going to hate on Casey in these discussions.

And I find that somewhat frustrating, because a lot of these food bloggers typically don’t understand SEO very well. They’re good at creating recipes with beautiful photos, and they’re good at playing the Pinterest game. And some of these blogs are actually very successful and get tons of traffic.

But SEO usually is not their expertise at all. So they often don’t really understand that there is in fact a relationship between a jump-to-recipe button and SEO.

How? Let me explain.

Yes, a Jump-to-Recipe Button Has SEO Benefits

But no, you won’t see a jump in rankings when you add a jump-to-recipe button to your recipe articles, not going to happen. Similarly, you won’t see a drop in rankings when you take that button out either.

But does that button improve user experience, even just a tiny little bit? Yes, absolutely. And is user experience important in regards to SEO? Yes, it’s super important.

That button is one of so many aspects of a website that can influence user experience in a positive way, even if it’s just a tiny little bit. And a better user experience leads to longer time-on-page, less pogo-sticking, and all of those beautiful things.

And you guessed it, it’s exactly those beautiful things combined that can ultimately have a significant impact on your organic rankings.

So no, Google is absolutely not going to look for a jump or print button on an article and move it up in the rankings if it can find one. It’s not at all a ranking factor.

But that’s not the point…

User Experience

What matters, is user experience, and that little jump-to-recipe button can improve overall user experience. Just like so many other things can lead to an improved user experience.

I’ll be honest here though. If I were a food blogger, I would probably take that button out, for the sake if increasing my ad revenue. But if ad revenue wasn’t a factor to consider, I would 100% include the jump-to-recipe and print buttons in my recipe articles.

I would also make sure that there are other elements on my site that improve the overall user experience so that my readers will stay on my site and not immediately leave to find the recipe on a different site.

Things like no clutter, no annoying popups, good site-speed, no fluff content, all the good things. Because if a large portion of my readers, who find my recipe via Google, consistently leave my site within a matter of seconds, I’d be in trouble!

Online Recipes… A Nuisance?

Check out this tweet by Chelsea Peretti, which sparked a huge debate in the Mediavine Facebook group:

Recipe tweet

She’s a comedian and obviously she’s just being cynical here. But she’s also making a very valid point. And it’s a bit of a sensitive point. Some people in the group actually took this tweet very seriously and became quite defensive about it.

Reality is though, a lot of food bloggers add tons of “unnecessary” content to their recipe articles. They typically do this for two reasons:

  1. They genuinely believe they need to publish long-form content in order to rank in Google. Sigh…
  2. They want to increase their ad revenue. The longer the content, the more ads will be displayed, the higher the ad revenue.

In all fairness, some bloggers are actually very decent writers and the “extra” content they add can sometimes be very good, entertaining and useful.

But if you do a bit of browsing on food blogs you will see that the struggle is actually real. Too many food bloggers add tons of fluff content to their recipes with only one goal and that’s to increase their ad revenue.

Fluff content

In these cases, I personally think a jump-to-recipe button is a good solution. Those who want to read your content will do so. Those who only want to read your recipe can jump straight to it.

And the better the user experience, the more Google will appreciate your website in the long-term. A win-win situation.

It all comes down to finding that perfect balance between user experience, growing your blog and maximizing ad revenue. It really isn’t all about the money…

How to Add a Jump to Recipe Button to a Post

Most recipe plugins, such as WP Tasty Recipes and WPRM, have jump and print recipe buttons built in.

If your recipe plugin doesn’t include this feature, you can try and add some code to your recipe post to create these jump and print recipe buttons manually.

To create a jump to recipe button (or just a link, really) you need to create a text link that links to an internal element within the page. That internal element will have an ID.

If you’re using WPRM for example, the recipe card will have an ID like this:

id="wprm-recipe-container"

All you would need to do is link to that ID and your reader will be able to jump straight to the recipe by clicking on that link.

<a href="#wprm-recipe-container">Jump to Recipe</a>

Very easy! But it’s even easier to use the short-codes that WPRM provides, which automatically includes the jump links in your content.

You can leave the links as they are, or you can apply some CSS to make them look pretty and consistent with your theme.

Read this article about page jumps for more information about how to implement this.

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Final Thoughts

If you’re a food blogger, hopefully the above makes sense. There is indeed an SEO benefit in having that jump-to-recipe button in your recipe articles. A tiny benefit perhaps, but the correlation between the two most definitely exists.

But it’s important to understand why, so you can make an informed decision on whether or not you’re going to include it. There are always two sides to a story, and there’s never a one-size-fits-all solution.

Long story short, having a jump-to-recipe button on your food blog is a personal choice. User experience, SEO, ad revenue, a lot of things to consider…

 

Jump to recipe button and SEO

 
Categories SEO
AJ Mens

I have been running an online business since 2015 and am using Blog Pioneer to help you achieve financial success online.

10 Comments
  1. Hey AJ, thanks for the shout-out, that’s very kind. You hit the nail-on-the-head here:

    “That group is heavily populated with food bloggers and is managed by an ad manager (Mediavine) that strongly advises against using the jump-to-recipe button. Of course everyone’s going to hate on Casey in these discussions.”

    Boy, you would think after conducting 500 audits, training SEO teams on five continents and auditing as of today 17 of the Top 30 Food Blogs in the World you’d get a little more “consideration” from the non-SEO talking heads in these groups, but I’m not surprised.

    You did a great job summarizing the arguments but as I try to tell everyone in the audits, I find running LESS ADS and focusing on the user is always the best long-term decision for most bloggers.

    Also, that comedic tweet you linked to actually had a great reply to it that is pertinent to this discussion, here’s the link:

    https://twitter.com/sneksandletters/status/1065644734645886978

    “Shout out to the people who have a “Jump to the recipe” button at the top of their blog”

    You can see how popular that tweet reply in that thread really was. And that’s NOT surprising. Run a focus group, ask ten random people visiting a blog, and they all say the same thing “give me the buttons.”

    100% meeting user intent is never a bad thing. It’s a shame a simple concept like that gets such hate. But it is what it is.

    Good luck to your blog in 2019.

    Reply
    • Thanks Casey, I was actually hoping you would stumble upon this post so you could add your two cents. You’re right, it’s a pity that such a small thing can get people fired up so much haha. I just wanted to share my thoughts on this matter, because it’s often such a one-sided discussion.

      Also, I agree with you when you say that running less ads is a better long-term decision. It’s hard to explain that to bloggers though when the income is so good. When you run ads as a blogger, it’s very easy to forget about your readers who have to consume your content.

      Best of luck to you too, and thanks for stepping by.

      Reply
  2. Thank you so much for this well-written piece on the Jump to Recipe Button. I’m one of the advocates that gets slammed when I mention it… lol

    I love Mediavine and would never willingly leave them, but they’re an Ad company not an SEO company. I have Casey for my SEO needs.

    Reply
  3. As an SEO and web developer, I could not agree more. I completely understand why this is such a sensitive subject though. Earning ad revenue from a blog is crucial to being able to support the site, continued production of quality content and of course, the bloggers themselves.

    I do my best to objectively look at a situation from all sides. I’ve been an SEO and developer going on 17 years now so taking off my SEO hat for a while can be impossible at times, but in regards to this particular issue I feel comfortable commenting because I frequently visit food blogs in search of a good recipe as a user and not from a business perspective.

    I visit food bloggers typically at three different times, but 90% of the time I’m on my phone. When I’m preparing in advance, I take my time and enjoy reading through the post, reading the bloggers stories, and I take the time to read through all the instructions, even watching the videos. I’ll leave the page open in my browser to reference at the grocery store. This is when I’m organized, typically I’m not. Most likely, I will need a last min recipe. Load times are critical. If the first link I click won’t load fast enough and I can’t quickly get to the ingredients, I hit the back button and move on to the next site. Same goes when I’m in the kitchen and I’m in the middle of cooking and reading the instructions but need to quickly jump to recipe so I can see the exact measurements. If I’ve had a good experience on a website and loved the recipe, I bookmark the blog for future reference. I might follow the blogger on social media, subscribe to their newsletter and in the future I might even search for a recipe directly on their site.

    That loyalty and repeat visits would never happen if I’d initially had a poor user experience on their website. The sites that provided a poor experience, I’d remember their names and would avoid clicking on them at all when they’d pop up in future Google searches.

    So adding the jump to print button to your website might lower your ad revenue initially, but without a doubt that’s a short-term loss. Long term, you’ll make more money by investing in creating the best UX you possibly can for your users.

    Reply
    • Thanks for sharing your insights on the jump to recipe button, Shelly. You’re right, a good UX will attract more loyal readers who will come back to a site for more recipes. I’d like to add that a user’s behavior on a site as a result of a good UX sends positive signals to Google which will improve a site’s organic rankings long term, so it’s a win win.

      Reply
  4. This post was great! I actually came searching for it after the Jump to Recipe button conversation popped up again in the Mediavine FB group. I have the button and have ever since I originally spoke with Casey about my site back in 2018. It’s yet another facet of blogging that is trial-and-error and a total balancing act. I increase user-experience, but that typically coincides with decreased ad revenue.

    Reply
    • Thanks Sara!
      I’m not a food blogger but I would test RPM for 3 months WITH the jump button and compare these stats to the same months in the year before. If RPM doesn’t suffer as much, I would definitely keep the jump to recipe button in place. Also look at factors such as time-on-page, bounce rate and pogo-sticking as these are important user experience signals, and that is ultimately what this is about, not the presence of the actual button itself. I think we can all agree that the jump-to-recipe provides a good user experience, but how that ultimately translates into better SEO is extremely difficult, if not impossible, to isolate and test. Anyone saying they tested this on a given site and claiming there were no SEO benefits or ranking improvements after one month, they don’t really know what they’re doing. A proper SEO test would involve so much more than that. I also think that people saying that ad revenue completely tanks as a result of this button are exaggerating, but I’m happy to stand corrected on that.

      Reply
  5. There seems to be a real disconnect when it comes to the food blogger community and understanding of SEO. I’m sort-of-but-sort-of-not a food blogger. I’m a homemaking blogger, so I do post recipes, but they aren’t the entirety of my content. And I routinely hear from bloggers annoyed and offended by commentary like the tweet above that they have to include those essays at the beginning of their posts if they want to rank in Google. They seem oblivious to the fact that if the “essay about their husband, dog and kids… and the changing of the leaves” is not actually related to the recipe, it isn’t going to help them rank for what they want to rank for.

    An essay about family and fall doesn’t help you rank in Google for “best hot cocoa ever”. An essay about childhood in France doesn’t help you rank for “chicken casserole”. They help you rank for things like “family and fall” or “childhood in France”. This seems so elementary in the world of SEO, I find it truly baffling.

    Reply
    • Yeah, I mostly agree. Word count isn’t a ranking factor, and adding unrelated fluff content isn’t helping Google. If you do want to up that word count, it’s best to go into more detail about the recipe, where to buy the ingredients, insider cooking tips, etc. That said, there is of course nothing wrong with adding a few anecdotal sentences explaining how you got the idea about the recipe and such.

      Reply
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