The 5 Things Everyone Should Know About SEO In Job Descriptions

No one but Larry and Sergey know the secret sauce in Google’s algorithm, but there are 5 principles to help you “think like Google” that will help your SEO (search engine optimization) for your job descriptions.

1) The URL Should Be In Plain English

Let’s start at the top: the URL.

The URL of a job description should contain employer, title and location

The basic rule of thumb with a URL is to structure it in “Plain English” so that a candidate would look at it and know what it describes. We recommend you include:

  • Name of employer
  • Name of title you’re looking for
  • Name of city/location

The Right Way:

e.g. if IBM is hiring a software developer in Armonk, NY, then they should use this URL:

Remember that Google spends $billions to be a proxy for humans — if you can make the URL simple enough for Google to understand, they will make sure to share it with candidates making relevant searches.

The Wrong Way:

A URL in a job description is to use strange characters and syntax like:


2) Make the Job Description Specific

Google loves specifics!

They are looking at the countless search terms candidates are using and then scanning the billions of Web pages for exact or close matches to send those searches to.

Check out this recent search that led to a job description on Ongig:

“how much does an emerging small business account executive at salesforce make?”

Google sent that candidate to this Enterprise Business Representative job description for 2 reasons:

1) had some of those exact words (“Emerging Small Business Account Executives”) in its job description and

2) had close matches to the compensation part of the search term in its job description:

  • “a 65/35 base vs. commission structure”
  • “the opportunity…to exceed the targets and earn more money…”
  • “a great incentive program!”

The Right Way

What was doing right?

It was being very specific about the job — and Google eats that stuff up!

The Wrong Way

If had included only vague information in the job description such as this:

“we’re looking for a sales person who’s a team player”

…then Google would not have sent that Googler their way!

3) Give Your Job Longevity

This tip is awesome.

The longer you have a job description up on the Web, assuming it’s relevant information, the better you’ll do with Google.

I know what you’re thinking:

I want a job description up for a short time because I want to fill that job!

Well, this isn’t always the case.

You may have an “open/rolling” job (e.g. software engineer, account executive sales rep, etc.) that you hire for on a regular basis.

If you do, you should consider creating one job description page and leaving it up over time, because Google values longevity/staying power.

The Right Way

Consider testing out an open/rolling job that you leave up. We suggest you add content to it over time (perhaps with input from existing people who have occupied the job) such as, for example, highlights of the positives and the challenges.

If Google sees that your page is growing in content and longevity (not to mention some links to it here and there (including social media sharing (see below!), your page (all other things equal) will come up higher in Google results.

The Wrong Way

If you have a job description that goes up and then you delete it as soon as it gets filled.

You lose all that “Google juice.”

4) Use Videos & Pictures

Using video or images in a job description increase the chance that Google will show a thumbnail of that visual in its search results (like the search in the screenshot below):

Using video in a job description has another advantage for SEO, according to Wordtracker’s 5 Ways Video Can Help Your SEO: it will likely increase the average visit time a person spends on the page (and Google values a page more highly when Googlers click on a job and stay there for a while).

Many job descriptions on Ongig are viewed for over 4 minutes because of the 90+ second videos that are on each job — that has helped the SEO of those job descriptions enormously.

Using images also allows you to use descriptive words in the image’s file name and alt attribute text, according to this Ultimate Guide for Web Images & SEO.

If you are IBM and included a picture of your marketing team on a job page, Google is going to send you more traffic if you name that image “IBM-Marketing-Team.jpg” then they will if you name it “Team.jpg.”

The Right Way

Use images & video.

The Wrong Way

Limit yourself to text.

5) Get Links To Your Job Description

All other things equal, the more places that link to a Web page, the more highly Google ranks that page in its search results (for relevant searches).

A few ways to get links to your Web page:

  • Social Share — Put a “social share bar” (buttons to Tweet, Facebook Like, Share on LinkedIn, etc.) up on your job description. Google and Bing have both admitted that they put some value into the “social signals” that they see sent to a page from Twitter and Facebook.
  • Embed Video — If you put a video up on your job description (like Ongig does for all of its jobs), then you should also include an embed button with the embed code that others can use to embed the video of your job on their site (this may even include your employees).
  • Internal Links — Link to your job description from within your other internal Web pages such as your Careers section, Home Page or blog.

The Right Way

Make your job description sexy, with awesome details, visuals and social sharing.

The Wrong Way

Make your job description boring.

If you can follow most or all of these 5 SEO tips for your jobs, get ready for a nice bump in Google/search engine traffic.

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