Competition for candidates online is fierce. A Google search for “recruitment agency” today turns up 53,900,000 results; “London jobs” returns 1,180,000,000; “accountancy jobs” 5,550,000. With around 10 results to each page, that’s a lot of recruitment websites being overlooked entirely by browsing candidates.
How did Google decide which websites to show first for these searches? It’s a complex process, but one important aspect is PageRank. Google describes PageRank as “the measure of importance of a page based on the incoming links from other pages”.
Inbound links are valuable for two reasons:
i) Search engines use the number of relevant, authoritative sites linking to yours to help decide how high up a search results page to show your web pages
ii) A link from a relevant site can refer candidates directly to yours without having to
rely on a search engine
So links can help your recruitment website to get found on Google; that’s great, but how can a recruitment agency go about getting more inbound links? Here are 4 ideas to help you get started:
Start a Blog or Industry News Page
Google advise, “The best way to get other sites to create relevant links to yours is to create unique, relevant content”. Content creation takes a little time and effort but will pack a serious punch for your search engine ranking. If your content is good enough, people will link to it without you having to ask – and in cases where you are approaching someone to ask for a link, it gives you something desirable to ask them to link to.
What kind of content can a recruitment agency produce that’s likely to encourage inbound links? An industry blog and/or news page is a good place to start. Focus on quality, commit to post regularly, and you’ll begin to attract natural links – the best kind.
Place a Call to Action on Your Job Ads
Here’s an easy one: as standard, add a call to action to the bottom of all your job ads. Some recruitment software will do this for you in the form of social media sharing buttons. Although links from social media may not factor directly in your PageRank, they will still provide valuable referral traffic.
Another good way of approaching this is a “Refer a friend” link at the bottom of your ads. Again, some recruitment software will build this into your ads automatically but if yours doesn’t, make sure you add a written suggestion at the bottom of each add to encourage referrals.
Sponsor Relevant Events/Awards
If you’ve got some money to spend, sponsoring an event more or less guarantees you a link on the event’s website. For example, if you’re looking for graduate talent for the pharmaceutical industry then it might be beneficial to sponsor a University Chemistry Society event. Their members should be happy to return the favour with a link on their website and a good word for you. Similarly, sponsoring (or even competing for) awards in your industry will generally guarantee a linkback on the event website.
Learn Where Your Competitors Are Getting Theirs
Open Site Explorer is a key weapon in any link builder’s arsenal. Which of your competitors is ranking higher in search results than you? Fire their URL into Open Site Explorer and it’ll tell you exactly where their links are coming from, including their anchor text. This kind of competitor analysis can help you shortlist websites to target for links yourselves.
Ailsa is a technical writer and solutions engineer working at Instructure in London.