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Recruitment SEO
Wondering about recruitment SEO and want to learn more? Read on for the complete HR guide to recruitment SEO!

What Is Recruitment SEO?

SEO stands for search engine optimization, a term usually used in reference to marketing. The term recruitment SEO refers to borrowing the strategies of search engine optimization to increase your recruitment search engine search ranking. Recruitment SEO is used to increase your visibility to job seekers. Traditional marketing SEO is used to reach a broader audience with a product offering, while recruitment SEO works to reach the right job seeker audience. Learn more about recruitment marketing here.

How Recruitment SEO Works

Search engine optimization is the process of improving your website or job posting so that it appears in job searches. There are more jobs posted and websites in existence than can fit on the first page of a search engine search. Since there is limited space and high demand for those limited spaces, search engine optimization helps place your website in the few coveted spots at the top of a search. Search engines read words, so SEO primarily uses keywords to meet the requirements of a search engine algorithm.

Why Is Recruitment SEO Important?

Every month, between 50 and 150 million job searches are entered on Google. In addition, around 80% of all job searches are performed online and there are over 11 million job openings in the United States. These statistics paint the picture of why recruitment SEO is important. There are a lot of jobs online, and with millions of job openings, there is a lot of competition to be on the first page of Google results. Recruitment SEO is all about landing a prime position to get your jobs in front of the right people where there is a lot of competition to get ads to different target audiences.
  • Expand the reach. SEO helps drive quality applications to your talent pool by expanding who can see your job posting. The more people who see the ad, the likelier it is that a good fit will apply.
  • Target audience. SEO is a tool that helps you get your job ad in front of the right people. Since your job has specific requirements, you want your posting to be visible to those who meet those requirements.
  • Geo targeting. If your job needs to be performed in a specific location, SEO lets you target a specific geographic area. In addition, if there are specific geographic regions where you want your job to have increased visibility, SEO can boost visibility in those areas.
  • Visibility. The only way your job opening is going to get applications is if the job ad or posting is visible to the target audience. Recruitment SEO increases the visibility of the job so that the desired applicants can apply for it.

Recruitment SEO Tips for Employers

Getting started in SEO can feel a little bit like trying to learn a new language. SEO is a marketing tool that professionals dedicate their entire careers to, so it’s alright if it feels daunting. Here are a few tips for employers beginning to optimize their recruitment SEO.

Tip 1: Research Keywords

Part of SEO is knowing your target audience and understanding what they are searching for. If your keywords are not aligned with what the end user is organically searching, you will never get your content in front of them. Take the time to research and understand the keywords your target demographic is searching for so you can optimize your content to match. Be sure to also research related terms. If you are hiring someone for a marketing position and 1,000 other companies are optimizing their career postings with the word “marketing,” the competition will be much higher. Research related words that end users might use to find a marketing role. For example, if you are looking for a manager of product led growth marketing you could try: Product led growth marketing manager, marketing manager (PLG), product marketing manager, marketing manager — product led growth. All of these terms could mean the same thing, but different wording could make a big difference.

Tip 2: Incorporate Keywords

Keyword incorporation is major to SEO. The title should have your most important keywords, and important keywords should be used throughout the content of your careers website or job post. Search engines are sophisticated enough that they can also read keywords in images and videos. Beware, however, of keyword stuffing. While it is important to use keywords throughout the content of your site or post, you need to make sure they fit within the right context. Google and other search engines scan the context of words, so keywords will not help optimize your SEO if they do not fit within a quality context. Focus on quality over quantity for your content.

Tip 3: Focus on Quality Content

Search engines like Google consider the quality of content as part of their ranking algorithm. Even with the right keywords, your website or job ad may not rank well if the search engine feels the content is poor. Quality is measured by how helpful visitors find it, incorporated images and overall design ease of use.

Tip 4: Measure Results

Define your goals and then track your progress. Setting up SEO metrics tracking can be complicated and convoluted, but here are a few areas that will help narrow your focus.
  • Focus on organic growth. Organic reach is the reach you have on a search engine without paying for boosts. Organic traffic is a great measure because it is targeted traffic. Think of it as the views you naturally get from what people put into their search engines.
  • Measure paid reach. Just like you measure your organic reach, you will also want to measure your paid reach. Paid reach can be effective when you need to boost views beyond your organic reach. When you measure both organic and paid reach, you can recognize trends on where you see the most growth and which type of growth converts to applications.
  • Perform A/B testing. This is a marketing strategy you can incorporate into your recruitment SEO. A/B testing makes two versions of the same posting with a single variable changed. You then launch the two versions and see which version performs better. A/B testing helps continually improve your SEO results. It is important only to change one variable at a time so you can gain accurate insight into what is affecting your SEO.

Tip 5: Optimize for Mobile

Job seekers are not only using desktops and laptops for job searches. 89% of job seekers search for jobs on mobile devices. Since mobile devices are so commonly used, optimizing your careers page to be mobile friendly is a critical part of recruitment SEO. Need an example on how important this is? You may be reading this article on a mobile device!

How to Get Started With Recruitment SEO

You don’t have to be an SEO expert to get started in recruitment SEO. The biggest tip? Simply get started. Here are a few more suggestions to help you start recruitment SEO today.

Step 1: Research

The focus of SEO in organic growth is quality over quantity, so this is the first step to research in recruitment SEO. Brainstorm first about what you are trying to accomplish. Once you understand your goals—whether they be people clicking on posts, submitting applications or something else—research keywords you need to see performance. If you are creating a job description or a job title, think of the most important duties, competencies or outcomes of the role and incorporate those words.

Step 2: Track What Matters

SEO is so complex that there is almost an immeasurable number of things you could track, so invest your time focusing on what matters most to you and your organization. Track user behavior so you can understand the pathways to how things are happening. For example, if what matters most to you is increasing the number of applications for a job opening, you will obviously track the number of applications. Beyond that though, you want to understand what paths people take to get to your application. Essentially, what is their journey? Understanding this will help you track important moments in that journey that influence whether they apply. Maybe you see a drop off rate on your site because your “Apply Now” button is not easily accessible, or maybe you notice that people are starting applications but not finishing them because submitting the application takes too long. Track what matters most and what influences it.

Step 3: Make Adjustments

It is important to monitor your SEO performance and conduct necessary maintenance to ensure your site stays optimized. SEO is not a one and done type of project. Search engine algorithms are constantly changing their rules and functions. Job seeker behaviors are also highly volatile as they are not always searching for the same thing. There are many software solutions that track SEO optimization, and there are organic ways to do it as well. SEO software solutions are ideal for sophisticated SEO maintenance, but it is possible to do some SEO tracking on your own. If you do not have access to SEO monitoring software, be sure to keep careful track of your site and post performance in the ways that you can track.

Specific Challenges to Recruitment SEO

Recruitment SEO comes with its own challenges that can be as difficult to navigate as the initial setting up process. Here are some of the specific challenges you may run into and some tips to move past them.

Challenge 1: Recruitment Technology

Many websites today are created using SEO enhancing software, which automatically enhances their SEO capabilities. If your career page is built on a software that does not automatically optimize for SEO, you will have to manually optimize your site.

Challenge 2: Unhelpful Content

Many people make the mistake of posting a lot of content thinking that more content generated will equate to better SEO. This can in fact be the opposite. Algorithms take quality and posting cadence into account. It is better to have helpful quality content instead of a lot of content for the sake of content.

Challenge 3: Tracking SEO ROI

Recruitment SEO doesn’t have to be expensive but it can be, and in order to increase your available budget you will want to be able to show your ROI. ROI stands for return on investment and it is how you show through objective data that your SEO is working. You can show this in a few ways: increased number of applications, increased number of qualified applications, decreased application drop out rate, increased application click rate, decreased cost per hire, decreased time to fill, and others. Tracking metrics and understanding your data is a challenge in SEO. The easiest solution is to invest in technology that is designed to help organizations optimize SEO. Your marketing team may already have access to this type of solution and you may be able to partner directly with them to gain access to the data analytics and insights you need. If you do not have access to a software solution that can help you set up, track, monitor and adjust your SEO, one of the best things you can do is to optimize where you can and continue to utilize A/B testing. Another recommended strategy when you don’t have access to SEO software is to stick with organic growth. Don’t invest budget into paid media when you don’t have the ability to track its performance.
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Tyler Fisher, PHR

Tyler Fisher, PHR

Tyler empowers Talent Acquisition professionals, HR business leaders, and key stake holders to develop and execute talent management strategies. He is igniting the talent acquisition process through: team building, accurate time to fill forecasting, driving creative talent sourcing, and fine-tuning recruiting team effectiveness.
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