Search engine traffic remains one of the biggest drivers to staffing and recruiting websites. Targeted search traffic is also one of the highest converting sources of traffic (right there with social media) for staffing and recruiting firms.
If you want to attract more candidates and clients that convert, you need a search optimized website.
Well duh! But over the last year, SEO has really changed, and will continue to change over the next year. In the past, you could optimize some page titles, drop some keywords in your URL, stuff keywords into content, build a few links and BAM … better rankings. Today, that’s not necessarily the case. Let’s take a closer look at SEO as we head into the new year.
SEO: 3 Things You Must Do to Rank Well in 2016
The search algorithms take into account hundreds of different ranking factors. But for the purposes of this post, I’m going to key in on three of the biggest factors driving search rankings today that will carry through into 2016:
Add quality content. Don’t keyword stuff.
As I mentioned above, you used to be able to stuff a page with the keyword you wanted to rank well for and in many cases do pretty well. That no longer works. Sites that rank well have placed a strong emphasis on creating a deep library of valuable content (that includes keywords but is not stuffed with them). Instead of focusing on filling your website with keywords, focus on consistently filling it with great content. Google has a sophisticated search-ranking algorithm that looks at the semantics of your content to infer value for the end searcher.
Also, Google looks closely at related search terms and overall topics–not just individual keywords. So for staffing firms, if you want to rank well for a phrase like “Staffing Agencies in Tampa,” you need to cast a wider net. It’s no longer OK to just focus on that one sole keyword phrase. While Google may still search your site and see that phrase, it’s also looking at related terms to judge your relevancy. So a site that includes “Staffing Agencies in Tampa” in their content, along with other terms like staffing agency, temp firm, staffing company, HR services, recruiting, hiring, etc., will have a better chance of ranking well.
So, instead of focusing on a small set of keywords, expand your reach. On your static Web pages (services pages, about us, etc.), include your “core” keywords, then use blog content, white papers, and other resources to surround those core keywords with complimentary terms. Our clients who have employed this strategy over the last several years continue to see strong growth in organic search traffic. While those that rest on their laurels and don’t add new content to their website continue to share their share of search engine traffic decline (and it will get worse for them in 2016).
Make sure you have a good user experience.
High-ranking sites tend to be very easy to use and provide a great user experience. Here are some key components of the user experience that ALL staffing firms need to examine:
– Have a job board on your domain. One key element of user experience that search engines examine is “bounce rate.” A bounce is someone that lands on your site and leaves after only visiting one page. Sites with high bounce rates show Google that maybe your site isn’t relevant for the user–after all they left after visiting only one page. The problem in the staffing industry is that many companies use a job board that is on someone else’s domain! That means when someone visits your site and immediately clicks to search jobs, they leave your site (counting as a bounce because they are no longer on your domain). When choosing a job board, choose one that allows you to keep everything on your site. To check this on your site, just visit your jobs and look at the URL.
– Build a responsive website. Responsive websites are designed to automatically adjust to fit the screen size of the device you’re on. From desktop to tablet to mobile, the site conforms to provide the best possible user experience. If your desktop site loads on your mobile device, fix it! We now see about 30% of all traffic to staffing firm sites coming from mobile devices (and it’s even higher for light industrial staffing firms).
– Use bullets and buttons. Sites that are user-friendly organize content in an easy-to-read way and provide users with a simple way to get more information. Make sure that your copy is presented in a nice way by using bullets, headlines and subheadings. Make sure that your calls to action and other complimentary navigation buttons are easy to use on desktop and mobile.
– Look at analytics. Take a close look at site analytics and determine where visitors are falling off. Fix those pages by adjusting copy, adding calls to action, or eliminating the page if it’s unnecessary. Pages with high Exit and Bounce rates could hurt your overall user experience.
– Add more valuable content (see item 1 above). Sites that offer valuable content, beyond just your services and history, provide a better user experience. Visitors don’t bounce as frequently, they visit more pages and stay on your site longer — all indicators that you should rank higher in search results! Take the time to build out a library of great content.
STOP buying backlinks. Focus on content and organic links.
This isn’t new for 2016, but it’s worth repeating. Buying links will KILL your search rankings. Google will find out and even if it helped in the short term, it will kill your rankings in the long run. Instead of buying backlinks, create good content that people want to share and engage with. Once you write a good article, share that on industry association sites, college career sites, business group sites, chamber sites, etc. Look for other organizations that would see value from your content and allow them to freely post it (as long as they provide a link back to your website). This strategy will help you build not only more links, but more valuable links that drive SEO value .
Need help with SEO for your staffing website?
Contact Haley Marketing today. We will provide an in-depth analysis of your current website and offer suggestions for improving search rankings and converting more visitors. You can learn more about our SEO for staffing websites here.