Is a Jump-to-Recipe Button Good for SEO?
If you’re a food blogger, most likely you will know what a jump-to-recipe button is. 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 of having that button on your recipe articles.
I am not a food blogger and as such I have always tried to not get involved in these discussions. But in this article I am sharing my thoughts on these jump and print recipe buttons and how they relate to SEO and ad revenue.
Here is an example of a jump-to-recipe and print-recipe button placed at the top of a recipe article:
Okay, so you may wondering, why on earth does that innocent little button (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 Mediavine review that I published earlier.
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, 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 closed 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 minority.
Introducing… Casey Markee
Have you heard of Casey Markee? He’s an SEO expert who provides services such as site and content audits. A lot of his clients are food bloggers. He has a 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 the 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 typically advise against using that button because it negatively impacts ad revenue. Casey believes that’s wrong because user experience is much 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, via SEMrush
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 on 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 it’s exactly those beautiful things 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.
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 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:
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:
- They genuinely believe they need to publish long-form content in order to rank in Google. Sigh…
- 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, it’s not fun.
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. 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
Some recipe plugins, such as WP Tasty Recipes, have jump and print recipe buttons built in. Otherwise, you can simply add some code to your blog post to create these jump and print recipe buttons manually.
The below piece of code adds a recipe jump button at the post level using an anchor tag. If you’d like to automatically insert a jump button on each post with a recipe, you will need to make sitewide PHP code changes, which I won’t be covering here.
So 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:
So all you 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>
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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So if you’re a food blogger, I do hope 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.
I also want to make clear that I am not criticizing Mediavine here. Yes, Mediavine is strongly advising against using jump-to-recipe, because of ad revenue. They are very open about that, they are not covering up their reasons.
They are also putting a lot of effort into helping bloggers making their sites better, more user friendly and ultimately more successful. They give lots of advice around site-speed, SEO, content writing, etc. I don’t always agree with their advice, but that’s cool.
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…