To attract the best applicants for a job opening within your organization, ensuring people know the role exists is essential. One effective way to do this is by optimizing your job postings so that they will show up at the top of search engine results when job seekers are looking for employment. This is where search engine optimization (SEO) comes into play.
What does SEO mean, and why is it important?
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. It is the process of improving the visibility and ranking of a website in a search engine's unpaid results. By optimizing for SEO, you can increase both the quality and quantity of website traffic by creating content that matches your audience's intent, boosting your site's ranking.
A robust and SEO-optimized job description is crucial to successfully marketing your open position. The more SEO-friendly your website and job descriptions are, the more traffic you'll receive. To reach your targeted audience, you must use the correct keywords and formatting.
Job Description Versus Job Posting
- A job description is an internal document that captures a position's responsibilities and is the official document that follows the guidelines of the company's HR policies.
- A job posting is a job advertisement to market and attract job applicants. This nuance is exceptionally important for digital marketing.
All job postings are created with the same goal: to be viewed by candidates to get qualified candidates to apply.
The more potential candidates see your job posting(s), the better your chances of attracting top-notch applicants. With so many ways to reach candidates, you want your posts to be strong and stand out amongst a sea of job postings. Writing a job posting with substantial SEO is vital to that.
Writing a strong SEO-optimized job posting
To write a strong SEO-optimized job posting, start by asking yourself these four questions:
- Is your content relevant to what the visitor is searching for? Does the job posting use specific terminology related to the roles of the position? Does it explain what the role consists of without fluffy or excessive language?
- Are your job postings and links appealing and trustworthy? Do they lead back to secure sites and use professional language?
- Do you have a solid online presence? Are you established on social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.)? Do you have a secure website?
- Does Google (and other search engines) consider you trustworthy? Are you verified on search engines (check your website status using Google Safe Browsing if you are unsure)?
The more effective you are with your placement and choice of keywords, the more people searching for those terms will have visibility to your job openings.
Here is an SEO checklist you can use for your job postings.
- 1. Identify the Correct Job Title - Starting with the job title, you'll want to avoid any internal names, marketing words, or abbreviations. Only use relevant titles that your ideal candidate would type into Google. A great way of figuring out the job posting's title is to type it into a search engine followed by the word "jobs" and look at the results. Do the top results use the same or a similar job title? Are the jobs that appear seeking to fill the same role as you? If not, consider revisiting the title you plan to use.
- 2. Identify Job Promotion Strategies - Now that you've optimized your job posting for search engines, it's time to get the word out. You'll want to share your posting on social media, high-traffic job boards, and your company website to reach a wider audience.
- 3. Identify Top Keywords - To optimize your job posting, you'll need to find out what people are typing into search engines like Google to find your job posting. You can use tools like Google Keyword Planner, Google Trends, and the search engine to research keywords. Make sure to include the job location as a keyword.
- 4. Include a Keyword Rich Introduction - Write a keyword-rich introduction that includes the job title, employment type (full or part-time), location, and why a candidate would want to work in this role at your organization.
- 5. Include Bulleted Lists - List the primary duties, responsibilities, qualifications, and skills using related terms and keywords after introducing the role. This section should clearly define the scope of the role. Make sure to include the exact names of any software, tools, or technology that an employee will use. This will help with optimization.
- 6. Use Your Keywords Conversationally - A job posting should feel like a person, not a machine, wrote it. Work the keywords you've identified as relevant into the posting, don't stuff them in.
- 7. Check Keyword Density - The keywords you use in the job description essentially create an SEO "word web" around your job title. However, don't stuff your posting with keywords. This can adversely affect your job posting's rankings. Aim for a 2 – 3% ratio of keywords.
- 8. Check Your Word Count - Some job descriptions will be longer than others, depending on the role. However, a good rule is to aim for a length of around 300 – 800 words.
- 9. Refresh Your Postings Every 30 Days - Search engines love fresh content. To ensure you provide candidates and search engines with the most up-to-date information about an open role, you should update it every 30 days.
When writing a job posting, rely on this motto--Write for Humans, optimize for Google. A strong, search-engine-optimized job post will rank you higher on search engines and generate more applications for your position. Following our SEO checklist, you can build a strong job description that reaches a larger audience and ranks high on search engines.
Would you be interested in learning more about job posting best practices and how to attract quality candidates? Download our latest eBook, The World-Class Recruitment Guide, for everything you need to know.