SEO for Staffing Agencies (9-minute educational video)

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What’s the best SEO strategy for your staffing agency?

In this short Snack Time video, Co-CEO David Searns explains how to improve rankings by providing relevant answers to employers’ and job seekers’ top questions:

How do I rank on page one for my staffing company?

It’s a question we get all the time from clients. And if we go back in time just a few years, SEO was all about keywords. And for a lot of the staffing industry, many people think that’s where it still is.

In 2015 our best practices were keywords, keywords, keywords.

Back then, we looked at branded keywords around your company name, your lines of business, keywords around the services you provide, the kinds of staffing that you do, job keywords around the types of positions that you fill. Keywords had to be in the URLs, in the page titles, in the headlines.

We thought about keyword density: how often we had keywords on a web page.

We wanted to make inbound links around every keyword and understanding the words people really used to find a staffing company, which may have been employment agency or temp help, and words that we don’t love as an industry. But we had to use those words in SEO strategy, because those are the words people used in search on Google.

Fast forward to 2021.

In 2021, SEO is about providing answers.

Providing great answers requires you to really understand your clients and candidates, and be relevant for the things people are trying to find. Google talks about something called user or searcher intent: what are they looking for. Well, your content has to answer their questions and help people find what they’re looking for.

These days, it’s not about optimizing your site for one or two keywords, but it’s about getting found as often as you can. For example, one of our long-term clients is now ranking for 2,300 keywords. A year ago that was half that number, but they’ve been found to be relevant for more search terms because of their content strategy.

What we’re looking for with a strong SEO strategy is month over month, year over year improvements in Google Analytics, and the traffic coming to your website from search engines. It’s not just about being number one for “staffing company in Buffalo New York,” it’s about every employer in Buffalo, New York finding your staffing company because of the things they’re looking for.

How can your staffing agency rank well in more of the right types of searches?

It starts with a strategy.

You start with keyword research.

Yes, you know we still do that; we did it five years ago, we do it today. We want to think about: How are people looking for staffing companies? What are the words are they using when they’re searching for information on hiring, on workforce management, on finding a job?

We want to focus on words with buyer intent, meaning phrases people are typing in with an intent to hire someone, with an intent to look for a job. We want to then find different types of search strings people are using. To find that intent, we want to look at, for every word or every phrase, how much competition is there for that word, that phrase, and how much volume of traffic is searching it? Search volume and search difficulty are both important, and what we’re looking for is that balance where are words that have a decent volume, but they’re not incredibly competitive, so that you have a real chance of ranking on page one and ideally in the top 3 results.

We want to look at the words your clients and candidates use. We did that in 2015, we do that today and even if it’s the words you don’t love, we have to use the words your audience is using to find you.

Then we need a game plan for content.

This is really the name of the game in SEO right now: creating high-quality, unique content for your website. You want to be consistently developing content over time. I know a lot of you are probably regularly writing blog posts. Some of you may struggle to get them done, but this is why you do it – so that you are consistently, multiple times every month, producing fresh content for your website.

How often should you blog?

It depends. We’ve done blogging challenges here at Haley Marketing, and what we’ve learned is that the more you blog, the more people come to your website. More is better; there is no limit to what “more is better” has told us; however, there’s a practical limit. So, we recommend people produce something good for their blog at least once per week.

Then you want to make sure that your website is engaging people and it’s user-intent focused.

This way, if somebody’s coming to your website for information about job hunting, they’re finding that information easily. They’re staying on your site reading the article, and then you’re driving them deeper to more information. So one post leads to the next. The longer you can keep people engaged on your website, the more it helps your SEO.

You also want content that’s focused on getting people to take action.

It’s not just about giving away information and about people reading blog posts; it’s about getting them to apply to a job or contact you about staffing services. So, we need to think about how to embed calls to action on the content pages or within the content itself to drive more response.

When you write information, don’t worry about writing for Google; write for a human being. You want the content to be easy to read, skimmable, great information for a real human being. Answer their questions, make sure that it’s mobile-friendly so that I can get that content on my phone or my desktop or my tablet. Anywhere I want to consume your company’s content, I need to be able to consume it.

Finally, do the technical stuff right.

  • Try to get your content all in one domain; don’t have lots of different company URLs because that means it’s harder to make every domain rank. The more content you have on one domain, the better it is for that domain’s authority.
  • Include tags and meta descriptions. Your pictures should have tags and every page should have a description, not because Google’s indexing those descriptions, but because when your website shows up in search results, people read those meta descriptions. That helps them determine if are they going to click on your page. Each page should have unique meta descriptions, unique tags so that in Google’s mind it stands out.
  • Keywords must be relevant to the content on the page. Don’t try to fool people by having keywords in a page title (or in the beginning of an article) that have nothing to do with the rest of the content. I’ve seen people do that on website pages or they just try to pretend the page is about something it’s not. Google will penalize you for that.
  • Use heading tags with keywords, so Google figures out the hierarchy of your content based on headings. H1 are bigger headings than subheadings H2, H3 and H4, but those H1s and H2s should have keywords in them.
  • Make sure your site is secure on SSL hosting and built responsively. Your site has to be secure and work great on mobile. Why? Google pays a lot of attention to how people use your website on mobile to determine how well you rank. And then for your jobs, you need to have Google schema markup, so they show up in that blue “Google for Jobs” box.

A few more SEO pointers…

  • Try to earn featured snippets. You’ve probably seen them: You type a question into Google and there’s an answer right in the Google search results. If you have frequently asked questions, that’s a great starting point for content that might earn a featured snippet. When you write this type of content, address people’s questions with very succinct answers. Google finds that stuff and will show it to people. They refer to it in the SEO world as “position zero,” above the rest of the search results.
  • Improve user engagement. When people come to your website, experiment with ways to get them to stay longer (e.g., recommend related articles within your blog posts). Look for ways to get them to click on things to stay on your site, because the more people are engaged with your website, the better your SEO.
  • Try creating pillar content. Create a big piece of content like an eBook. Then break it down into smaller pieces, like a series of blog posts, and optimize and interlink all those blog posts. That series of content is great for your website because one piece can direct someone to another, increasing user engagement. It also creates multiple things to be optimized on your website.
  • Add video to your website. Videos can be optimized on YouTube, the world’s number two search engine. You can also get transcripts made of your videos to turn them into long-format written content for your website (sort of like what we did with this post!).
  • Write about things going on in your local market. Google loves local search results. Google wants to know that your website focuses on local jobs, local employers and local events.

What’s the right SEO approach for your staffing or recruiting agency?

Schedule a free consultation with a marketing educator today!

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