Although SEO seems to be the new buzz in recruiting web 2.0 strategies, it has actually been used for years as a tactic to increase sales for online businesses.

SEO and how it fits into the recruiting industry is greatly misunderstood. I completely agree with Marvin in that SEO is not enough , but it makes me wonder who said that it was the golden ticket to begin with.

SEO Is just a tool

At the end of the day, SEO is not the end all be all. It is one tool that can be very effective to have in your tool box. No doubt, if done correctly, search engine optimization can work wonders for getting your jobs seen by people using search engines but it goes beyond just a platform or technique that helps to get your jobs visible in Google. In fact, it’s really about optimizing your entire employment brand on the Internet.

SEO may not be for everyone
There's more than just keywords and a few meta tags that go into a successful SEO strategy, if you’re not willing to look at SEO as a long term investment, it might not be the best fit for you. Maybe something more instant like SEM (PPC) might be more what you’re after.

Go where your candidates are – If the jobs you have available are not what people are searching for within the search engines then maybe you don’t need to do a whole comprehensive strategy. Maybe you just run a basic SEO strategy that strengthens your employment brand.

Note: Keep in mind that 70% of search engine queries are unique, just because a keyword research tool like the Google Adwords tool says that a phrase was not searched does not necessarily mean that it won’t be in the future.

SEO Misconceptions

Can a service provider guarantee a first page ranking? No one can guarantee a #1 ranking on Google - Beware of SEOs that claim to guarantee rankings, allege a "special relationship" with Google, or advertise a "priority submit" to Google. See Google webmaster tools.

Using the .jobs domain extension will ensure search engine visibility. The .jobs domain in itself will not automatically help with your search engine visibility. Those who believe otherwise don’t fully understand the way a search engine treats newly-registered domains. Search engine trust is a very important factor in the visibility of your career site. A newly established domain -- .jobs or otherwise -- has not had time to build search engine trust.

Search engine trust includes a variety of factors including but not limited to: when was the domain registered, is there quality content on the domain, is content updated frequently, are there quality links pointing to the domain, etc. In reality, the .jobs domain has more of an employment brand benefit than SEO.

Search engines cannot access my content if using an ATS - It is true that most Applicant tracking systems put up technical barriers that prevent the search engines from being able to access their job content. But there is a work around: If you can get an RSS/XML feed of your jobs and upload the feed to search engines as well as place the feed on a page that search engines can access, your job content will be indexed. This is not an SEO solution but it will allow content that was once hidden to be found.
At the end of the day candidates use a variety of sources to look for jobs. Find out where your candidates are and advertise/be visible in those places, simple as that.

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