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SEO Strategies for 2020, Part 1: Welcome to the New School

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It’s never been more important to get found by employers and job seekers online. In this series, we’ll walk you through how to improve your SEO for 2020, rank higher in search engines and bring more inbound traffic to your website from employers and candidates!

How many times have you opened your email to find a message from an SEO salesperson telling you they Googled something like, ‘best human capital management and talent acquisition agencies’ and you weren’t #1 in search results?

Staffing company owners receive emails like this on a fairly regular basis, and they can be upsetting, to be sure. If no one can find you in Google, how will you attract new clients and candidates?

Before you panic…take a breath. Ask yourself how many people are really searching for a phrase like best human capital management and talent acquisition agencies? Those aggressive SEO salespeople, while doing their jobs, are using scare tactics to attract your attention.


SEO is the process of driving targeted traffic to your website from people that are using search engines to look for the products, services or information you provide.

SEO is NOT ranking #1 for an obscure term!

So while you don’t want to panic about your SEO, you do want to ensure you are following SEO best practices, and you are keeping up with the times. If it’s been a while since you’ve looked at your SEO strategies, now is a great time to join the New School of SEO to start boosting traffic.

Class is in session; let’s get started!



Unlearn Everything You Thought You Knew

The best place to begin is with keyword research.

Old School Keyword Research: Singular keyword research; ranking focused.

New School Keyword Research: Engagement and user-intent focused; ROI and conversion focused.

Fifteen years ago, companies could build an entire business off of ranking #1 for just one or two significant keywords. That led many website owners to stuff the same keyword phrase every place they could find on a page.

While that strategy worked, it made for terrible reading for visitors, yielded poor results, and Google put an end to that practice long ago.

Despite the fact that the practice ended, many website owners still obsess over one or two keywords. Getting hung up on one or two “critical” keywords isn’t worth a staffing company’s time or money today. Where you can score great rankings – and traffic – is by focusing on user intent and engagement.


Think holistically.

It’s better to rank well for a variety of commonly searched terms than it is to rank #1 for a single term. Rather than putting all your eggs in one basket, you’re spreading them out and attracting more people. Users search in many ways, and the more you focus on user intent and behavior, the better off you will be.

So, How Do I Know How My Target Audience Behaves 

You don’t have to be psychic or hire an expensive market research company to learn about your target audience’s behavior when they search online. You just need some great tools.
Haley Marketing recommends SEMRush, Google Console, or ahrefs.
These tools allow you to see user metrics, exact phrases people are typing into search bars when looking for your services, how popular each keyword phrase is, and how easy or difficult it will be to rank for those terms.

What to Look for When Deciding Which Keywords to Optimize For:

  1. Buyer intent: Find the keywords that indicate the user is actually looking for your services and wants to buy (or apply) right now.
  2. Competitive analysis: SEO is a competition, to rank well, you have to unseat someone else. So you need to analyze your competition, see who is ranking in the top spots and determine whether you have a shot at beating them.
  3. Breadth: Remember, you don’t want to get hung up on a single term. There are thousands of keyword combinations people use to find staffing and recruiting services. You just need to find the ones that are popular, but not too difficult to rank for. The more keywords you can rank for, the more opportunities you have to drive traffic to the site.
  4. Context: Google isn’t just looking for exact keywords on a page anymore (which is why keyword stuffing is so old school). Google will look at the context of your content to make sure the page actually provides relevant information for the searcher
  5. Their terms, not yours: You must think like a user, not like a staffing company owner. Many staffing and recruiting companies reject “temp” terminology in favor of “contract” terminology, but if users are typing “temp” into the search bar, you’re going to miss out on those people.

Up Next: Basic Optimization

Next week’s post will cover basic optimization tips and tricks, including metadata, content structure, and more. If you can’t wait until then, download the full, FREE eBook “SEO Strategies for 2020: Welcome to the New School” here!


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