Recipe databases are a goldmine, filled with tradition, innovation, and lots of great meals waiting to be cooked. If not organized and optimized, these databases can also be a nightmare. More often than not, recipe databases are inherited from past brands and can be rather large. The content, structure, quality, and consistency between recipes can vary drastically. After an acquisition like this (or even every few years), a recipe database audit should be conducted to smooth out these inconsistencies, ensure all recipes are optimized for search, and provide the most value possible to the consumer.
Here are our top five reasons to conduct a recipe database audit:
Identify opportunities and gaps
When you inherit a database of several hundred recipes, it’s important to know what exactly is contained in the database. There may be some glaring gaps in content. It is also important to clean up recipes that may no longer be popular or do not resonate with your audience. Perhaps a recipe calls for an ingredient that is no longer readily available or discontinued. It is important to weed out these dated recipes to ensure maximum relevancy. You will also be able to see what you are missing in terms of food trends (and you wouldn’t want to miss out on an influx of consumers looking for recipes that feature a hot new food fad).
Create brand consistency
Inherited databases, regardless of whether they are from one or several sources, will be inconsistent. Inconsistencies can include units of measurement, recipe layout, tone of language, tenses, use of imagery, tags, and so on. It is important for recipes to follow an outlined structure, so consumers know exactly what they are going to get when they come to your database. This will create a clear brand identity, which is important to your brand as a whole.
We call it #foodporn for a reason! People love seeing photos of food. Incorporating images and, more importantly, video content, can really sell a recipe. It’s unnecessary to create an original video for each and every recipe in your database, however, it is a great move to pull out the top performing recipes and develop immersive content for them. Not only do videos keep your audience on a recipe page for longer, they can also really sell the ease of a recipe. Plus, they’re great for leveraging on social!
Your recipe database should be SEO optimized. Without a proper SEO strategy in place, no matter how delicious your spinach and goat cheese stuffed chicken is, no one will find your recipe in a Google search. Ensure each recipe is rich with keywords and that all meta descriptions and tags are relevant. It is also important for your website to be easily searchable for consumers. Ensure all recipes are tagged appropriately (by ingredient, cook time, meal type, etc.) so consumers can quickly and easily find a recipe.
Recently, structured data has allowed brands to tell Google exactly what is held on an individual webpage. In fact, Google provides you with the ability to mark up your recipe content with structured data to provide rich results and host-specific lists for your recipes, such as reviewer ratings, cooking and preparation times, and nutrition information.
Minimize budget waste by understanding assets
Without a thorough audit of your existing recipes, valuable time and budget could be wasted developing new recipes. Recipe development can be costly, but if you understand what content is in the database, many recipes could just be updated instead of completely reworked or created from scratch.
Recipes are certainly having a resurgence. People are conscious of what they are putting into their bodies and the ritual of a home cooked meal is making a comeback. Having an organized, optimized, and visually immersive database is important for converting new users and retaining current consumers. Conducting a recipe database audit is important for any brand that has inherited a database or is sitting on a ton of recipes. Don’t let your delicious content get lost (or waste budget on new recipe development) when your database is already rich with mouth-watering recipes.
Looking to do a recipe database audit? As the number one service provider in North America, our recipe database audit is a popular service! Find out why over 680 brands from around the world choose THP for their food and beverage marketing needs. Our 100% on demand model means you only buy what you need, when you need it. No retainers. No long term contracts.