In 2015, any business not using Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) as a tool in its sales and marketing arsenal is lagging dangerously behind. The recruitment industry is no exception: SEO provides a powerful and highly effective way to attract candidates and stay ahead of the curve. With 67% of jobseekers starting their job hunt on search engines, even a simple SEO strategy will help you achieve drastically improved online rankings.

The phrase “candidate driven market” has been thrown around extensively in recent months, and every recruiter will have repeatedly heard about the need to stay relevant and competitive. Not only is SEO a great way to stand out in a saturated market, it also wins direct and considerable results. Recruitment is generally not renowned for being at the forefront of digital advancement, and embracing SEO is a great way for the industry to push forwards and challenge perceptions. Top performing recruitment brands have long been incorporating SEO into their strategies. Now, any recruiters serious about their longevity need to follow suit.

Without the need to be an SEO expert, here’s 5 simple steps you can take to optimise your jobs for better results: 

1. Conduct keyword research

With a Google Adwords account or a similar alternative, recruiters can find out the monthly search volume of specific job titles. It might sound like a pointless task, but knowing which terms are most searched for is one of the quickest and easiest ways to get greater traction for your job listings.

For example, digital marketing jobs are renowned for having creative and often diverse titles. By conducting keyword research, you can find out if these titles are helpful or harmful when it comes to candidate attraction. To use a straightforward example, the term “Blogger” is searched for 246,000 per month, as opposed to “Copywriter” which garners 4,400 monthly searches and “Content Executive” which wins a mere 40. Armed with this kind of knowledge, recruiters can make strategic decisions about the best terms to list their vacancies under. Extravagant job titles might sound impressive on paper, but they aren’t going to get searched for and won’t receive a great deal of organic clicks. 

2. Customise your listings

Customising URL titles is a swift and straightforward job on most website hosts, as is customising meta descriptions and setting a focus keyword. By simply setting your focus keyword as the job title you’ve researched, you will get more visibility for your listing. If you also ensure that this job title keyword is used in your URL and within your 200 character meta description, you’ll have a job post that is optimised for search engines within a matter of seconds. Without the need to hire a PPC Executive or spend a length of extra time, customising your listing will give the vacancy a stronger chance of attracting more clicks and more candidate applications.

3. Post unique job descriptions

When writing a job advert, the first thing any recruiter should do is ensure that content is original and engaging. Aside from being uninspired, using stock copy or duplicated wording will be recognised by Google’s plagiarism technology and get penalised – meaning lower ranking for your ads. As recruitment increasingly overlaps into marketing, the best recruiters know how to write unique job adverts that have the candidate’s interests at heart. They also know how to be smart when it comes to incorporating SEO into their posts.

For example, although writing original content is the chief way to optimise your vacancy for search engines, it’s also important to repeat your job title keyword throughout the copy. This shouldn’t be done in an obvious or spammy way – just enough so that search engines can clearly understand what your vacancy is about and gauge its relevance to the keyword in use. Again, this is by no means a specialist or complex task and should be part of every successful recruiter’s advertising process.

4. Localise

Using geolocation software, search engines can roughly identify where you live and will by default try to detect your location. One of the beauties of this is that when candidates search to find a new job, Google includes results specific to their location.

For recruiters, this  creates the opportunity to capitalise on geolocation and include locations within your advert. The location should always be set as a city or county: broadly speaking, algorithms match locations in the country you’re posting from, but don’t offer a full address match. Plus, if you get too specific, Google will whittle the search area down to a point where competitors can guess what company your role is for. So, localise your vacancy with a city or county so that search engines can use this information when offering results to job-hunters.

5. Use SEO as part of a broader content plan

Using SEO in job vacancies is a fantastic starting point, but it’s when you begin to use the keywords you’re targeting in editorial company content that the pay-offs really start to roll in. If your recruitment brand specializes in sourcing candidates for retail jobs for example, your website should feature relevant articles that contain a series of retail keywords and job titles.

Keeping your recruitment website updated with fresh content is a great way of winning return visits from clients, as well as getting the attention of search engines. In simple terms, Google loves new and original content, and regularly publishing new posts will push your website up the search engine results. With a news section or a company blog, you can share content that matches your focus keywords and links to your jobs, over time building an SEO rich website that will attract more applications. It’s a proven fact: companies that blog have 434% more indexed pages, and companies with more indexed pages get more leads. 

So, if you really want to win more results, start using SEO recruitment even at this simple level. A smart, persistent SEO strategy will elevate your brand and improve your candidate attraction efforts: get started with your next job advert.

Views: 1105

Comment by John P Carty on March 19, 2015 at 10:01am

This is a good article on SEO.  Sometimes the numbers on Google Adwords get inflated, such as people searching for  One way to deal with this is to cross-reference the search volume with what recruiters use in their job postings, which can be found using Indeed Job Trends.

Comment by Roxanne Abercrombie on March 19, 2015 at 11:45am

That's a great tip John, thanks!


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