Candidates on the hunt for a new position almost always begin their quest on search engines. Their queries are often related to their region and desired position. This makes engines such as Google, Bing, and Yahoo, (Mainly Google) very valuable channels for talent acquisition, especially if your own job vacancies are listed on the first SERP (Search Engine Results Page). Seeing as Google is the most used search engine of all, we’ll be focusing on its SEO details for this article.
While appearing on the first page might sound like a difficult task, it’s actually not out of reach. Ranking on the first page of Google’s results requires a bit of work, but it’s mostly about utilizing the right tools and the right strategy through relevant and useful content, especially in writing the vacant position’s description. This is where knowledge of basic SEO practices can come in handy.
SEO stands for 'Search Engine Optimization'. It refers to all activities and efforts that go into ensuring that a webpage scores high within the organic search results of search engines such as Google, Yahoo, and Bing. Different search engines follow roughly the same rules, with a few differences in the algorithms here and there. Web pages that appear on the first page of Google’s search results are naturally the most visited. The fact that they rank so high on the first page suggests that Google’s algorithms consider these pages, the website they’re on, and the content itself the most relevant to the user’s search.
The average click-through rate for results ranking at the first position of Google’s SERP is an astounding 30% compared to the second page’s 1.5% click-through rate. The difference between the first and second pages is vast. The former ensures high traffic and public interest, whereas the latter produces few -if any- results.
Google deems a webpage relevant depending on a few factors, chief among them the various words used on the page. These words are otherwise known as “keywords”, and their mission is to capture what search engine users are looking for on your web page. The way that these keywords are used on a webpage, as well as the length of the text, its authenticity, and the user-friendliness of the website, are all factors through which Google determines the relevance and importance of your content. Your web page is then indexed into Google’s results. This is where your SERP ranking becomes clear.
When users create a Manatal-hosted career page, the rules of search engine algorithms apply to all content they publish. This is why it’s very important to ensure that the text you include for your open positions is optimized for search engines. Google’s algorithms, for example, are capable of determining the degree of relevance. As such, when writing your open position text, the focus should be first and foremost placed on reaching your target audience.
Remember that the way search engines communicate with websites is always subject to change as their algorithms are constantly updated. For example, plagiarizing content from other websites can cause your content to rank low on search results, so it’s vital for your content to be unique. Search engines can also be misled when your website contains different pages with identical content. For optimal results, users should create a page with headings, clear concise paragraphs, original content, and a clear well-defined structure.
With all these basics covered, it’s time to determine the various keywords you want your content to rank for. Remember that these keywords are the direct line of contact between your content and Google, making it the key method through which your web page is indexed and ranked. When determining your keywords, it’s best to research the industry, the competitors, and the high volume variations of the keyword itself. Generic keywords such as “IT” or “Tech” are very competitive in the SEO world, making them very difficult to rank for. Try to make your keywords as specific to your audience as possible. Use “IT Developers in X location” or “Head of Tech in Y location” to better optimize your open positions for your specific audience.
Consider phrases that are otherwise known as “Long-tail keywords” which are longer variations of any given keyword. These phrases are less competitive, given how specific they can be. However, the low volume of traffic they deliver is still valuable, as they can generate high-quality leads through highly specific searches.
Once you’ve defined your keywords, you’re ready to start writing. It’s important to know where content optimization is needed, and where it is not. It’s also vital to understand that “stuffing” your web page with keywords just to rank on Google is considered a punishable offense. There are four areas of focus for your SEO efforts when publishing a job position on your career page:
The title - The title shouldn’t exceed 65 characters and should contain your main keyword at least once. For better results, it’s best to place your keyword at the beginning of the title. Make sure that your title is an enticing one, structured and written to appeal to your audience. Don’t write for Google, write for your desired candidates.
The paragraph (job description) - The first paragraph is where potential candidates consider whether or not to keep reading. Their interest reaches a critical point here, one that would either rise as they read, or cause them to leave your web page altogether. Your keyword should appear at least once here, but should the content require its inclusion more than once, it wouldn’t be harmful to your SEO efforts so long as it isn’t intentional stuffing. Google sees stuffing as a cheating method to score high on search results. The algorithm can ensure that your content is either dropped from search results completely or that it ranks significantly lower. Paragraphs for your job description shouldn’t exceed 150 words each. Make sure your sentences are short, as Google considered 20-word sentences to be an ideal length.
Paragraph titles - This refers to the titles you place before each section or paragraph. Every single piece of content can contribute to your SEO, so don’t underestimate the importance of these titles. Try to insert your keywords and their synonyms in the beginning.
The layout - This is where the user-friendliness makes a difference. Your layout needs to be clear and easy to navigate. Action buttons such as “Apply now” can make a huge difference. Remember that SEO isn’t just about getting traffic to your web page, you also need to take measures to ensure that readers are hooked enough to engage with your content.
The Manatal-Hosted career pages come with a variety of layouts that can be customized to fit your brand and company. Moreover, the available templates were designed to be user and SEO friendly. Manipulating the various elements provided allows users to frame the page for their company identity and make the most of SEO activities.
SEO is a constantly changing aspect of the internet. It’s a living organism of its own and it’s best to be familiar with its unchanging basics before moving forward with execution. To make it easier, we’ve compiled a list of “Do’s” and “Don’ts” for search engine optimization.
Keeping these tips in mind while creating your open position text helps you meet Google’s search engine requirements for relevant content and high SERP ranking. Keep in mind that search engine updates and the indexing process require a good amount of time before a change can be observed.
Our team at Manatal has developed the career page function to help users recruit in the best way possible. Our ATS provides various features that cater to your sourcing, vetting, and onboarding stages of the recruitment process. However, healthy SEO efforts can take a company’s hiring to another level of incoming applications and public interest, so long as it’s done correctly.