Boost Your Job Post’s SEO With These 8 Simple Steps
April 13, 2015
The point of any job posting is obvious: get it in front of as many of the right people as possible. The more of those people you can reach, the better talent pool you’ll be able to pick from and the better chance you’ll have of landing a great person.
So, how do you get more of those people to see it?
Make Google (and countless other search engines, including job search engines) your friend by making sure your postings are as search-engine optimized (SEO) as possible.
Here are eight super-easy tips on how to do that:
1. Avoid gimmicky titles
We get it - you want to be fun and exciting and have catchy job titles like digital overlord, legal ninja or digital prophet. While this seems to be the new fad, from a SEO perspective, it's devastating.
Thats because very few people are going to search “chief chatter” instead of "call center manager" or “dream alchemist” instead of "head of creative." While they might be boring, plain old software engineer or social media manager is going to reach far more people than happiness advocate or hyphenated-specialist .
2. Put title and location high – really high
Building off that point, you want to have the title of the job as search-friendly as possible (i.e. director of marketing) and put it high in the posting, along with the location. This includes the URL, the post title and again in the first few sentences.
For example, if you're looking for a public relations director in Anchorage, Alaska, “public relations director” and “Anchorage, Alaska” should be in the URL of the post, the title of the post and within the first paragraph or two of the body (and in the meta description if possible). This will ensure that if someone searches “public relations jobs in Anchorage” – something many job seekers will do – your job will be one of the first to pop up.
What if it's a telecommute job? In that case, put "telecommute" as the location. After all, one of the great benefits of recruiting for telecommuting jobs is they hit a much wider audience, and can garner much more search traffic.
3. Brainstorm other terms that might be used – and list them
Here’s the part where you need to start brainstorming what other people will search for when looking for your job, aside from just the job title, and include those keywords. For example, if the job title is "marketing associate" but the hire is going to work with social media, it's smart to put both “social media” and the actual social media platforms they will use (i.e. “Instagram”) in the post.
4. But don’t overuse them
I’ll touch more on this in point eight, but don’t go too far and make your posting little more than a random collection of keywords. Search engines like Google are really smart, and they actually punish posts that overuse keywords in an attempt to get traffic.
Really, the golden rule in SEO is to just be as clear and specific as possible, which is why listing specific keywords is good. But over-listing them for the sake of SEO will make the content less clear, and therefore less SEO-friendly.
5. Share your posts
The more a post is shared, the better search engines treat them. So it definitely makes sense to: a) ensure that your job posting has a quick share on it, a plugin not all companies put on in job posts, b) share that post, and c) use some best practices to build a large social following for your careers page so that sharing it on those pages reaches a lot of people and gets even more shares.
6. And link
The right links to a search engine are like bones are to dogs. Again, don’t over-link. But if you can add links to a well-respected site (like your company homepage) within your job posting, you are really helping yourself out SEO-wise.
For example, let’s say you're XYZ company looking for a sales guy. You should hyperlink to your company homepage, XYZ.com, and potentially other company pages – such as product offerings the salesman would have to sell – throughout your job post. Not only will it make the post rank higher, it will make for a better user experience as well.
7. Make sure your site is responsive
Again, search engines are really smart and want to create the best experience possible for users. So, if the site you’re job posting is on is responsive – which just means it looks good on a tablet, phone, computer or any other device – it makes for a better experience for all users and therefore is ranked higher.
Plus, with mobile recruiting exploding, this is increasingly becoming a must-have for any career site, aside from the SEO benefits.
8. Never compromise quality for SEO
You know the real key to SEO? Producing informative, helpful, clearly-written content. Above all else, that’s what search engines are looking for and ultimately reward.
Just look at all the steps listed: they all make the content more user-friendly. An intuitive job title and location help people quickly understand what the post is. The right keywords help people understand what skills are needed. The right links help illuminate the position. And a responsive site and a social media presence both help people find and consume your content.
So instead of asking the question “is this SEO-friendly,” ask yourself “is this job posting as clear and as detailed as it should be?” If the answer is yes, then search engines will reward you.
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