I don’t believe in SEO, at least not in the way I’m supposed to. The very best Search Engine Optimisation is website activity, not the black arts of keyword stuffing second guessing Google’s algorithms.
The central premise of SEO is not specifically to optimise your website for search engines. Rather, it is to put in place a sequence of events, which will are designed to bring suitable individuals to your website, in greater frequencies. Optimising for a search engine does not in itself bring you candidates, clients, or indeed generate fees. Whether your intention is to bring your website as much (or more) traffic as you believe it deserves, or to deprive your competitors of those same visitors, the overall effect is the same as any marketing – to communicate clearly with your target audience and elicit a response.
1. Take a good look at your site from a candidate’s perspective. How would you describe it? If a stranger landed on any single page, would they understand clearly what your firm does?
2. Take an inventory of how many pages there are? Of those, how many are static, and never change (the About Us page, for example), and how many are continually changing? Those dynamic pages would include any news or blog section (especially if you invite comments), and of course your job adverts.
3. It shouldn't need saying, but every individual job advert must be on a unique page of its own. If your website has 50 job adverts, they all need their own page, and a unique page address.
4. Each page address (URL) must contain the details you want Google to index, including the job title, location, and even employer’s name if you can.
5. When reaching your website from a Google search, most people DO NOT come via your homepage. If every page is indexed by Google, as it should be, then every page must also work as an entry page.
6. This means that the page has to make immediate sense to all visitors, including Google, and have consistent navigation to the rest of your site.
7. Do not waste your time trying to follow rules about how many times to mention keywords on pages.
8. Describe the job vacancy in depth, include specific language and technical terms regarding the vacancy, and concentrate on persuading good candidates to apply. Frankly, that is far more important than contrived language patterns that some SEO experts would recommend.
9. If including any images on the page (and we know those pages generate more applications), make sure you tag the image with the job title, location, and client name (where possible).
10. Candidates love to see your client's logo, as it reassures them that you are formally acting on behalf of the employer. Do not worry overly about alerting your competitors to the identity of your clients - they already know this, as they are interviewing the same candidates as you anyway. Think of it as claiming your clients, not simply naming them.
Consider this; a page with the title https://www.be-itresourcing.com/Advert/54-Senior-Business-Analyst-Jobs-Scotland-North-Aberdeen.aspx , with a detailed job description, salary, and named recruiter, has many reasons why it would appear highly in a Google search for any permutation of those criteria. This includes date, title, location and employer description. In the (virtual) eyes of Google, you are advertising a unique opportunity. The same goes for candidates too.
Think about it this way, how is this job advert any more unique than 1,000 other adverts for business analysts in Scotland? Your ad is also competing with every advert that's ever been posted, but never been deleted, for the same type of job. Yes, there are hundreds of thousands of old job ads on the internet, which have expired, but have never been removed. That's why it's vital to date your advert clearly in the copy. Google specifically biases searches results to recently generated web pages.
Almost all of these measures are easier to implement than you might think, as they can be controlled by the content within your job ads themselves, and your recruiter’s normal recruitment activity. Technical changes, like having SEO-friendly page URL’s can be implemented easily by your web developer.
SEO for busy recruitment websites does call for of attention to detail, but you’ll find it pays valuable dividends in today’s competitive market and the best software out there does this for you automatically.
Stephen is the MD of PC Evaluate, which delivers online personality profiling services to UK employers.