Just what are SEO and recruitment, these two terms doing in the same article? If you think there is no relation between them, then you are far from the truth. HRs need to know about SEO just as much as a digital marketer does. There are many areas where HRs will need to use their SEO skills and knowledge, but today we will particularly see how SEO can be used for recruiting new employees.
Recruiting new employees requires pretty good marketing efforts and the most cost-efficient and effective way of marketing anything today is via the internet.
On the internet the competition is high. To increase your visibility you will have to put in a lot of effort. Search engines have laid out certain rules and requirements for ranking each webpage on the internet. As long as you follow these guidelines, the chances of your recruitment post being visible to more prospective candidates are higher. Following these guidelines is what we call SEO or Search Engine Optimization.
If you are new to SEO or SEO for recruitment, this simple guide will help you. We will be discussing the basics of SEO, the need for SEO in the recruitment process, and SEO tips to reach more candidates.
What is SEO
After you search for something on Google or any other search engine, you’ll see some links appearing on the search result page. The one on the first page has a higher chance of getting visitors than the ones that appear on the second or third page of the search results. So how did one website manage to get on the top and the other didn’t? Magic? No, a very strategically planned and well-executed SEO strategy led them to this first-page ranking.
Search engines have a way of finding web pages and then ranking them. If you design your website in a way that gives you a higher ranking then your page will sooner or later rank on the first page.
Optimizing your website for a particular search engine, to get a higher rank in the SERP (Search engine Results Page) is what we call SEO.
The ads you see on Google. They are not a part of your SEO strategy. SEO is strictly unpaid and organic efforts to increase your rank.
There are 3 different parts of an SEO plan:
Technical SEO: Deals with the back-end optimization of your website. Things like image size, loading speed, and responsive designs are taken care of by your technical SEO team.
On-Page SEO: This refers to the content on your webpage. The keyword, keyword density, images, graphics, etc are some things to consider here.
Off-Page SEO: These are things you do outside of your website and its structure and design. For example, creating backlinks.
How can SEO help in recruiting
Now let us tackle an important question. You are probably trying to figure out an answer for it this whole time. How is SEO going to help us in recruitment?
Do you know how most people look for a job? Of course, LinkedIn and Indeed. But more importantly, people use Google to hunt for new jobs.
As we are all aware, there are ample ways of reaching out to your prospective candidates. For example, you can create a page on your website, post on social media, and use job-finding portals like indeed.com.
There is no doubt that you should be using all these methods, but the way you use them should be favored by Google. The words you use should be meticulously chosen keywords that will help you rank higher. There are a hundred other things that you can do to make sure your job vacancy posts are SEO-optimized.
Why do this though?
Most people don’t sign-up on different job portals and pay for using their filters and tools to find the job they are looking for. Instead, they Google it.
When you enter something like, “copywriter jobs in Mumbai” on the search bar. You will find this portion on the SERP.
If you look closely, you can see the first one says “via Cutshort” and the second one says “ via LinkedIn”.
Google scans through every possible website and webpage to show the users relevant jobs. There are many filters that people can use without paying a penny and find a job they are interested in.
So instead of searching for a job on 10 different platforms, people can just use Google and make their search easier.
Also, this is exactly where SEO comes into action. Your recruiting offer is more likely to appear on the first page of search results if your descriptions on these various portals and pages are optimized for Google.
There is another important thing we need to discuss here and that is, using SEO to directly reach out to your audience. Job portals are fantastic for people looking for a job but you need to get a chance to talk directly with your prospective candidates.
Your website, specifically your career page, is where you can effectively communicate with your candidates. Other than the specific job-related information that goes on the job portals you can communicate your work culture and try to give them a glimpse of working for you. This particular page which has all the information for candidates should be optimized so well that when the related query is entered your website will flash on the first page of the search results.
The image below is the career page of Apple. It is a very beautifully made career page that talks bout their work culture, and different career opportunities, and has used a lot of emotional appeal in its content. Click here to check out the entire page.
Before we get into some awesome tips and tricks that you can implement to reach more candidates, there is one very important thing you need to know and that is an SEO Audit.
An SEO audit helps you find the gaps in your SEO plan.
Just like a doctor conducts multiple tests to find the current state of a person and the actual problem that needs to be solved, HRs need to conduct an SEO audit to analyze the current state of their career page and recruitment posts. Once you have this data you can figure out a plan to rank higher on search results.
One thing you should remember is that an SEO audit will not give you an SEO strategy to implement, rather it will point out the fundamental mistakes and flaws that you can rectify and work on to improve your SEO game.
Performing an SEO audit is not something that can help you throughout. You should conduct an audit at regular intervals to figure out the issues early on.
There are ample SEO audit tools available that you can use to conduct this very essential research before applying any strategy.
Types of SEO audit
There aren’t any differentiated types of audits. Based on what aspect of your online presence are you inspecting, you can come up with your own names like keyword audit, backlink audit, mobile SEO audit, and more. However, we can segregate all these different audit types into 3 major categories.
Remember we talked about technical SEO? A technical audit also inspects the back-end performance of your website and other web pages. You will get a clear understanding of mistakes in your website’s structure and design.
Content audit deals with all on-page content. The major focus is on keywords, keyword density, and keyword stuffing.
Off-page SEO will give you an analysis of how things outside your website are contributing to your SEO efforts. Checking the quality and quantity of your backlinks is an important aspect of this audit.
Once the audit is done, you are left with a lot of information on how well your website is and the areas it needs to improve. Your task now is to come up with a good strategy. Below are some of the best SEO tips for HRs to attract more candidates. Make sure you use these tips in your strategy to get better results.
Tips to improve your SEO game and attract more candidates
Title is the Hero
Crafting job titles is the most important part of SEO for recruiting. The job posting’s headline dictates if applicants can discover it on search engines. Moreover, if they decide to click on the title to learn more or not also depends on the title. This makes it necessary for you to take the time and effort necessary to create the ideal job title.
Keep it crisp and to the point. Avoid adding too many details into the description like the location. You want to use the job title to draw in your viewers. If you give away too much information in the title, the chances of them clicking on your job title is far less.
Avoid adding any unnecessary words like, “This is your chance to …” No! Nobody needs to know what ultimate chance you are offering. Just tell people what is it that you are looking for in 4-5 words.
Add relevant keywords to your job title. Do your keyword research and add a relevant keyword to your title.
Here are 3 things you should consider adding to your job title:
The actual job
The applicants need to know what they would be doing in this job if they get selected. Your description will certainly have a lot of details but make sure your title also reflects what the employees will be doing in the company.
For example, graphic design.
If you think naming the position would work better for describing the job of your employees then you can skip the previous option and just put the name of the position.
For example, Senior Visual Designer or graphic design intern
Area of expertise
If you need expertise in certain areas, you should mention it to reduce your bounce rate. Bounce rate is the percentage of people who click but leave the page after spending a very negligible amount of time going through it. So for example, a candidate read “Jr. Graphic Designer” on the title and clicked on it. But the description reads 2-3 years of experience. Now before reading anything else, the person will click on the back button and look for other options. This is what we refer to as bouncing and the percentage is called the bounce rate.
For example, Graphic design intern – Corel Draw
Use keywords like salt
Keywords are one magical thing that can help you rank. However, adding too many keywords ( also known as keyword stuffing ) to your career page or job post is a big no-no. Use keywords like you add salt to your dishes. Just the right amount. Not too less, not too much.
Design your career page effectively
The keywords and other things can help you rank higher, but after that, it is the content on your page that needs to do its job.
Make sure that the career page is easy to navigate and that all the details are clearly visible. Use creative graphics to ensure that things are easily readable.
Most people don’t use their laptops to search for jobs. They like to browse while they are on the go. You have to make sure that your webpage has a mobile-friendly design. Here is something you probably don’t know. Say your webpage ranks #1 for certain keywords, when searched on a laptop or computer. But it is very much possible that it would rank 3rd or 4th on a mobile device. Why so? Your webpage probably got a low score on mobile friendliness. Hence the results for a desktop device are different from a mobile device.
If your SEO audit reveals that your website is not very mobile-friendly, then you should certainly work on optimizing it.
Focus on Local SEO
The process of optimizing your website for a particular local location is known as local SEO. So if a specific location is your concern then you should focus on Local SEO. You don’t need to put in efforts that help you reach the world when you want to hire people from a local city only.
Copy-Pasta isn’t great for your SEO health
It can be tempting to copy-paste a beautiful job description written for a similar job post, but don’t. Even if your job description is not the most beautifully written piece of material, it should be sufficient, provided it is original. Plagiarism is a major red flag when it comes to SEO. A poor copy could receive a higher grade than one that has been plagiarized. In the worst situation, plagiarism would result in the entire disqualification of your webpage.
Use social media and blogger outreach campaigns
Make use of your own social media platform. Post about your vacancy. Ask people to share this post with relevant people in their social group. You can even try targeted ads to make your post more visible.
Blogger outreach campaigns are the ones where businesses reach out to bloggers for promotion. For example, there is a blogger who posts about job vacancies and other stuff related to career development. If a mention of a job at your company is made on this blogger’s website, you will be able to reach a wider audience and the right audience as well. You can take help from a blogger outreach agency to make things easier.
Use videos on your career page
Google can rank you higher if there is a video on your website. The video should make it easier for the candidates to understand what you are looking for and why you need them.
There is no proven strategy for SEO. You have to figure it out on your own. Moreover, search engines keep updating their algorithms so you should also be up-to-date with the latest SEO news. The SEO audit will help you tremendously to find what’s going wrong and then come up with an ideal solution. Conduct an audit every few months and rework your current strategy. When HR is recruiting new people they turn into marketers and sales persons. You will be marketing the job offer and the number of candidates who apply for the job is your sale. Wear your marketer hats and become an SEO expert for a while. With proper SEO efforts, you should be able to attract more applicants easily.
Vaibhav Kakkar is the Founder and CEO of Digital Web Solutions, a globally trusted agency with a full suite of digital marketing services and development solutions. Vaibhav believes in building systems over services, and has helped scale up agencies from scratch to niche-leaders with million dollar turnovers.