Last month at Recruit DC, I had the opportunity to sit down with Neil Costa of HireClix to discuss the best ways to improve search engine optimization (SEO) in recruiting. SEO, according to Wikipedia, is the process impacting your job opening’s (in this case) visibility in a search engine’s or site’s (such as Indeed.com) “natural” (organic) search results. The better your visibility (earlier in the results), the more clicks your job opening is likely to get. SEO matters and can have impact on the effectiveness of your recruitment advertising and your employment brand. And, most importantly, it doesn’t cost much to make improvements.
Here are the top 4 ways to get the best visibility with online job openings:
- The URL for each job posting should include natural language about the opening, including Company Name, Job Title, Job Location (City and State) and the word “jobs”.
- Be sure that the first line of each job advertisement includes the key information: Company Name, Job Title and Job Location (City and State).
- Meta Data (or meta tags) are 140 to 170 characters in length and should include the meta description of your job opening, typically the first two lines of the job advertisement. This should include Company Name, Job Title, Job Location (City and State) and the word “jobs.”
- Indeed, which posts about 30,000 jobs a day, is all fresh content fed to search engines, such as Google and Bing. Indeed will generally index the first sentence of your job advertisement, thus you will want to ensure they include Company Name, Job Title, and Job Location (City and State). Having better SEO on Indeed will improve your overall SEO on other search engines.
Buying ad words on Google or Indeed can be expensive—for some words, bidding can be as high as $10 per click. However, Neil explained, improving your company’s SEO can allow you to compete without buying ad words and paying per click on sites like these.
There are some vendors to help you improve your SEO by creating customized career landing pages to maximize your SEO, including snaphop, OptiJob, jibe and TMP’s TalentBrew. Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) are also stepping up their SEO–iCIMS’ career portal now includes a few SEO enhancements. You can also create an XML feed out of your ATS to a customized career landing page to allow for total customization of your ad URLs and Meta Data without an outside vendor.
Neil also reminds us that improving SEO is not a quick process, it takes time. As you implement these changes, you will work your way up the “organic” search ladder. Watch your progress and make adjustments as you go along.
Improving your recruiting SEO can lead to many positive results including increased visibility of your jobs and increased traffic to your career site. In the end, the goal is to attract more highly qualified applicants to your openings and by maximizing SEO, your company’s chances of making that happen can go way up.
For other suggestions on how to improve your recruiting practices, feel free to contact me at 703-860-3882 X 133.