SEO is a three-letter word that is so powerful it drives marketing strategy for pretty much every company with an online presence. There’s a good reason for that. A successful approach to SEO can lead to significant increases in your bottom line. Good SEO practices can also help you level up your recruiting efforts.
What Is SEO?
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. It is a collection of practices used to optimize web content to be more appealing for search engine algorithms.
When SEO is applied correctly, your content ranks high in relevant search results. The traffic to your web pages from a search engine results page (SERP) is known as “organic” or SEO traffic. It is differentiated from traffic that arrives from advertisements, which is known as “paid search.”
Which Factors Influence SEO?
Search engines have been fairly secretive about the factors that influence SEO. However, SEO experts have been able to use what little information Google provides and identify several elements that can impact search engine optimization. These include:
- Page performance (loading speed)
- High authority links
- User experience
- Off-page factors (backlinks and social signals)
- Bounce rate
- Ease of indexing (the ability of search engines to read and index the content)
- Use of keywords
- Search intent (relevance)
There have been books devoted to the practice of SEO and entire professions dedicated to its perfection. While it’s a good investment to have your company and career pages optimized for search, you can accomplish quite a bit by simply creating relevant, high-quality content that links to authoritative sites and is mobile-friendly.
How Does SEO Relate to Recruiting?
While SEO is mostly discussed within the sales and marketing framework, it’s also a good practice for recruiting. The same strategies that get your company top-of-page rankings to sell your products can also help you reach job-seekers. Start with the following SEO recruiting tips:
Use Relevant Keywords
If someone was interested in finding your career page or a particular job listing you’ve published, what would they enter into the search bar? Those are the keywords you need to optimize your content to highlight.
This mental exercise is just one way to identify keywords that you should include in your content. You can find others through keyword research, including:
- Creating master lists of industry and job-related keywords
- Analyzing competitors’ job listings and career sites for keywords
- Using keyword research tools
Once you’ve identified the right keywords to use, you have to incorporate them into your content. The key here is relevance. Avoid “stuffing” your content with keywords in an attempt to earn higher page rankings.
Instead, limit your keywords to two or three per several hundred words. Finally, remember that quality content should take priority over the use of keywords.
Publish Content Useful to Job Seekers
When you publish content of interest to candidates, you hit on several of the most important SEO points. When your content is relevant to them, visitors will:
- Stay on your website longer (improving bounce rates)
- Answer your call to action (improving bounce rates and time on page)
- Find the information they need (improving relevance and user experience)
- Share or link your content (improving trust and social signals)
Remember to publish content frequently and update existing content. This approach will help search engines find and index your pages. Finally, add videos, images, and other interactive elements to create interest.
Make Career Pages Mobile Friendly
Anyone with a mobile device should be able to open and navigate any of your career pages or job listings. They should also be able to conduct any employment-related activities, such as uploading their resume or filling out your online job application.
Test your recruiting pages on mobile. You shouldn’t have to pinch or zoom to view your content, and everything should load just as quickly as it does on a desktop computer.
Share Recruiting Content and Updates on Social Media
Increase your reach and earn more traffic for your recruiting content by publishing on social media. Share new job listings, link to your career pages, and create a positive buzz with employee spotlight testimonials. This strategy will help your SEO efforts and make your social pages more “searchable” as well.
Earn Mentions from Other Sites
When other websites link to your pages, those backlinks go a long way towards boosting your SEO efforts. It’s one of the most powerful, impactful actions there is as far as optimization goes. A backlink is an off-page action that indicates other people find your content to be credible.
However, it’s important to remember that not all backlinks are the same. The best links will come from trusted sites and will be included in content that is relevant. Google considers the reputation of the site that links to your content. Trusted sites have more credibility that is essentially passed over to your company when you earn backlinks.
SEO and the Bottom Line
It’s fairly easy to see the connection between SEO and behaviors that increase the bottom line. High-ranking landing pages get more traffic, and more people answer their calls to action. That generates more leads and increases sales. There are even analytics tools available to help you see how well your pages are optimized for SEO.
Recruiting SEO also impacts the bottom line in powerful ways. Remember that every product or service is created, managed, sold, and delivered by a person. Good SEO recruiting practices ensure that your company is in the best position to reach out to talented prospects who can fill those positions.