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SEO has always been a part of recruitment but we just havent really had to think of it before now.Job Boards have taken money from our industry for years because they could get our jobs on Page 1 of Google. They were just better at SEO than we were but now we have started to hire SEO specalists to work for us. Our social networks Until 2 years ago, Facebook was not indexable by Google; LinkedIn started with a small amount of data but has since then expanded it’s indexable content to most of the activity that happens on LinkedIn. Social Media sites have switched from being almost 100% closed to being 100% open with the exception of Twitter which was always open; the search engines just couldnt figure out how to index their data.So as a recruiter, how do you get your job to be listed as number one when someone types in “Java Jobs, Leeds” into Google, etc. In Ireland, Irishjobs is number one in terms of Job SEO. That site has nearly half a million unique pages that all have Jobs written on them. They are not all jobs, many are articles about jobs, recruitment etc. The volume of pages helps get them to number one.So where do you get the titles from? Ivan suggests that a bottle of wine helps get your juices flowing but you need to think about what job seekers are typing into Google to find you (or more precisely, your jobs).For example, Google presents very different results on mobile devices than desktop devices. Google prioritises mobile optimised sites, it tends to demote or ignore mobile unfriendly sites.
Google started including blogs in their normal search results about 2 years ago. Modern blogging platforms like WordPress automatically send a ping every time you create a new post which forces Google to index that post within 2 seconds. The downside is that they start falling fairly quickly off the first page. But if you have used good keywords with links from other quality pages on that post or job spec, it will probably start to climb again just like other organic results.
Tweets are also very time limited; Google promotes them when they are tweeted but as time passes, it decides that they are less relevant (because they are less current). If you know that your market searches for jobs at 8pm on a Tuesday, then you need to blog and tweet about it at 7:55pm. If you examine any Google heatmaps then you will see that people look at the first few results, maybe 6 (result 7 is “below the fold” on most laptops) and that’s about it. You don’t need to be number one, just in the Top 6 somewhere.
Ivan recommends WordPress as a content management system above anything else. It does the SEO for you.
Apart from the platform, the next most important thing is content. Fresh, relevant content is really important. The keywords are also very important.
Google looks at about 200 parameters to decide where you appear on the Google rank. An important thing to look at is your page load time. Google expects pages to load in about 1.5 seconds. Only 20% of sites actually load that quickly. Most recruitment sites don’t load that fast, our code is often poor and if you host on a shared site such as godaddy.com you really dont have a clue who you are sharing load speed with. Google knows this by looking at the CSS styling (for example) and seeing what screen width you display to mobile devices. It should be around 300px for a mobile device, not 1024. Whether your site runs flash or not also influences your Google Mobile results.
Keywords on a page are still very important. If you want to get found for searches under “iPhone”, your page must state “iphone”, in fact it may be good to say it a few times. But not too many! Keywords stuffing is not allowed; Google will analyse your keyword density and make sure that it is all written in a natural flow. Blogs feature highly because they contain unique content in proper, natural English. If there are 100 words on the page, you’ll probably get away with 3 or 4 mentions.
Links: how do you get them? You ask other people to link to you.
The originality of content is definitely relevant and Google looks to see that what you are saying has not been repeated word for word elsewhere, after you. However, Ivan believes that frequency of content is not relevant at all. He has sites that he created 7 years ago that are still getting ranked highly.
CPL, whom Ivan works for and who are the largest recruitment agency in Ireland, recently decided to stop advertising on the major job boards in Ireland. They maintain a low key presence for generic branding and have focused on ensuring that their own site beats the job boards in terms of SEO listings. Interesting they actively advertise on jobsites that have poor SEO but they only advertise a small number of jobs and it is done for branding, i.e. to be seen “everywhere”!
CPL grew their own traffic by 400% in 12 months by focusing on better SEO’ing. The group has multiple brands so they are now trying to replicate this across all their sites and brands.
Top tip from Ivan: ensure that your keywords are contained in the URL, Title and 3 times in the Page as a minimum.
Your LinkedIn result comes up top in Google when people search for you because your name is on the URL, your name in the Title, and your name is in the Meta data. Not many other sites have that much SEO’ing of your name.
URL shorteners damage your link referrals as you end up promoting bit.ly and not your own site.
To figure out your keywords, you need to use tools to figure out what people are searching for. You can use Google Insights for the word suggestions, and Google Adwords for the volume estimates. Ivan reckons that there is no one tool you can use to get it perfect, you have to use many, with a dash of “Pinot Grigio” (there’s that link between search engine optimisation and alcoholism again!).
But at the end of the day, job spec SEO only targets active job seekers but as a recruiter you can SEO content for passive candidates by writing post and content for what they are generally looking at on-line, not just about jobs.
We are running a webinar on Recruitment SEO on Wednesday 29th June. To register, click here.