Online job postings whether on your company careers page or on an online job board are an effective way to reach active job seekers while also providing insights into job specifics as well as your company's culture and employment brand. These job announcements can serve as third function as they build links and drive very targeted and qualified job seeker traffic to your job openings online. Called SEO, or search engine optimization, recruiters can use what are considered online marketing tactics to extend the life of a traditional online job posting, help increase your company's search engine page ranking, and reach a very specific audience of job seekers all online.
Before SEO, if a recruiter wanted to gain the attention of job seekers, he/she would post and re-post a job opening sometimes every single week to stay on the first page of the job board's job listings. SEO optimized job posts provide an alternative to this common practice as job seekers are taking their job search beyond the job board and using the power of search engines.
With an estimated 226,000,000 searches for the term 'jobs,' search engines like Yahoo, Bing, and Google are quickly becoming a job seeker's job search tool of choice. Knowing this when developing and implementing your recruitment strategy, especially when considering SEO, can put your company at a distinct advantage.
Here are 5 tips to optimize your job ads:
- Use Keywords to Optimize Job Ads. Keywords are words commonly searched throughout your job ads. A job description that does not leverage SEO keyword optimization will no longer do. Include the city where your job opening is located, commonly searched for word combinations, and even city or certification abbreviations. Check out Google AdWords Keyword Tool to get started. Optimizing your job posts with keywords is a free way to generate traffic to your job.
- Be Bold for SEO Job Posting Best Practices. After researching your keywords, choose 2-4 combinations you want to focus on. Bold these keywords using larger text to call attention to these word combinations' importance, as search engines score and evaluate a text's importance contained with a web page by a number of facts including size, bold, and the number of times it's used with a web page. Web crawlers see H1 and H2 sized headings first as well as bold keywords, but it is important to not overdo it.
- Custom URL's for Added Importance. In addition to using keywords within your job posting, I recommend customizing your web addresses to include the city and job title or common keyword. This is just another way to emphasize the importance of the keyword and combinations, but remember to limit your url to just 3-5 additional words after your domain name. Remove common words like 'the,' 'and', and 'an'. (Example: wwww.company.com/careers/java-developer-dallas-texas-dfw)
- Use Video to Engage Visitors. Search engines love video and web visitors do, too. Videos keep job seekers on the page longer, learning more about your organization, and driving more qualified candidates. Video is great for blogs, job openings on your career site and job board postings. If possible, include a transcript of the video on your website or job posting making your page even more optimized for SEO.
- Landing Pages for Positions That Are Always Open. Because online job postings come and go, they are removed from the web making SEO a challenge. By using landing pages to help drive candidates for specific positions like those that are hard to fill or are always open, you can drive job seekers to your career page even if you aren't hiring right now. These landing pages and web addresses are optimized and include keywords making them easily found by web crawlers and job seekers alike.
While SEO isn't new, it is new to the world of recruitment. Just as the web constantly changes, so does SEO for job ads. It is a moving target that if used correctly can lower your cost per hire and help you reach job seekers where your competition is not.