Posting jobs, if done correctly, can be one of the largest sources of targeted traffic for a website. Some job boards are loaded through iframes which pull content directly from other websites. When this happens, it provides no SEO value to your website since the content isn’t actually on your site. The workaround here is to make sure your job listings are posted to your website and have individual, optimized pages dedicated to each post.
If you don’t optimize your job listings, it’s like having a secret weapon to bring a ton of hungry job candidates but never actually using it. So what goes into the optimization of a job post? Quite a bit actually, and much of it was covered in our recent webinar, Six Strategies for Staffing Success in 2015.
On-page SEO can be a bit complex at times, and the truth is, we can never truly know every piece of the puzzle. If Google and other search engines revealed their algorithm for ranking websites, it would be too easy to manipulate. But there are some items that have withstood the test of time for SEO—best practices that worked several years ago and still work today. This blog will not focus on how you optimize these items since every website and job board is different. Instead, we’re going to focus on what you should optimize.
Here are some quick tips to squeeze the most out of your job board.
Place the name of the job and geographic location in key areas
This sounds easy, but what exactly are the key areas? When optimizing any page on a website, we need to remember that search engines are not humans. We can’t rank a page for “administrative assistant jobs in Buffalo” if we don’t have the words anywhere on the page. Search engines are smart, but they need some guidance. With that in mind, we need to focus on these primary areas:
- Page title
- Meta description
- Body copy
When optimizing other pages and blog posts, we need to consider heading tags, internal linking, external linking, alternate attributes for images, and many other on-page items. Job postings are slightly less involved, and they don’t usually contain any rich media that require additional optimization. But it’s still important to get the optimization right, and it still takes time.
The page title is designated by a line of code that gets added behind the scenes. Most WordPress installs can infer a reasonable title based on what you name your job, but that may not always be enough for proper optimization.
Let’s say you have a position open as an administrative assistant, and that’s what you name your job. Your title tag in the code might look something like this:
But that’s not really descriptive enough to be helpful in terms of SEO. What we need to do is modify the page title to include geography, without creating an extremely long job title. A better page title would be:
<title>Administrative Assistant jobs in Buffalo NY</title>
This title not only includes the word “jobs,” but it also includes the geography, and is much more SEO friendly.
The URL should be created in a similar fashion. Using the same job listing as an example, your default URL might look something like this:
Although it works, a much more effective URL would be:
Now the URL includes the word “jobs,” and your geography, much like the title. This is further strengthening the theme of your page and helps search engines better categorize your job post.
One thing to keep in mind here is the order of your keywords. The closer your keyword is to the front of the URL, the better. The same rule applies to the page title. Search engines view the initial words of a title and URL as being the most important. Let’s take this URL for an example:
If you structure your URLs in this manner, you’re telling search engines that the words “our job listings” are the most important part of the URL. This is not the case. Make sure you’re using the job title early instead of words or phrases that add no SEO value to your post.
The inclusion of keywords in your meta description, in itself, will not help to increase your organic search rankings. Google announced this back in 2009. However, when keywords are included in the meta description, they can get bolded in the search results if someone is searching for that term or phrase. This can help your website stand out in the listings.
So why is that important? Even though keywords in descriptions won’t make your website climb the rankings, user interaction with your search result will, particularly click-through-rate. When users search for the term “administrative assistant jobs in buffalo” and they consistently click on your site in Google, it’s a sign of relevancy and it may help to increase your ranking over time.
The purpose of a good meta description is to convince the end user to take an action. Having the keyword or phrase in the description is a good idea, but it should also be worded in a way that may convince someone to click on your listing.
This one is simple. Just make sure to include the job title and the geography in the body copy early on in the job post. Much like the URL and page title, placing your keyword early in the body copy is a signal to search engines that the word or phrase is of higher importance to the overall theme of your page. Try not to include the exact phrase more than once. You can reword the job title and geography somewhat to create a synonym, but avoid using the same terms over and over. Keyword stuffing and over optimization can actually have a negative impact on your website.
What else can I do?
Now that your job posts are optimized, it’s important to make sure they still convert!
- Make sure your job descriptions accurately describe your jobs. Try not to paint an overly optimistic picture about what the day-to-day activities are. Setting false expectations can hurt employee retention. Be honest.
- List all of the necessary job requirements, but don’t list so many that it scares potential applicants away. In other words, if it’s not a mandatory skill, consider leaving it off your list. Everyone wants the perfect candidate who knows everything and has all of the best skills and personality attributes, but you need to be realistic. The perfect candidate doesn’t always exist. List the necessary skills and remember that people can be trained.
- List the salary or pay rate. People are much more likely to apply to a position if they know what it pays.
- Consider listing a job multiple times using different job titles and descriptions. For example, some people may refer to a position as an “administrative assistant,” while others may simply call it a “secretary” position, or an “office assistant.” Use variety in your word choices.
- Lastly, make it quick and easy for people to apply. Skip the lengthy form in favor of something brief and to the point. Take the necessary information, leave an option to upload a resume, and make the “Apply” button easy to find.
Want a job board that does most of the work for you? The Haley Marketing job board has built in features that automatically generate page titles, URLs, and meta descriptions based on the information you provide. It’s job board SEO on autopilot. This eliminates the need to optimize each individual post for SEO, so you can focus your efforts on posting more jobs, instead of optimizing each one individually. You can automatically share your jobs to Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn. You can post jobs to Simply Hired and Glassdoor—a huge timesaver. The job board even allows for candidates to get automatically notified about new jobs! Get in touch with us today to learn more about our job board!