What is Search Engine Optimization (SEO) for Recruiters?

Every agency recruiter and search consultant needs to have a search engine optimization (SEO) strategy for their website. LONG gone are the days of searching for jobs in the newspaper or bulletin board. Today, candidates turn to search engines first—usually on a smartphone. If your website doesn’t rank on the first page of search engines, you’re missing out on many potential placements. You don’t need to be an expert, but implementing an SEO strategy will help you attract the top qualified candidates and fill jobs faster.

What is Search Engine Optimization (SEO)?

SEO stands for search engine optimization and it’s a fundamental online marketing practice focused on driving organic (non-paid) traffic to your website from search engine results. The major search engines use algorithms to rank search results based on what they consider most relevant and valuable to the user.

The world of SEO is always evolving and many businesses have professionals dedicated to ensuring their page ranks on top of search engines, but there are many free resources to help you learn how to optimize your website. Web improvements can be as simple as using specific keywords when you’re updating blog posts and as complex as knowing whether to use a 301 or 302 redirect for missing or duplicate pages.

Why Does SEO Matter For Recruiters?

Congratulations! Step one is complete. You know what search engine optimization is, but the most important thing is that you have a plan to create and implement an SEO plan for your website. You can have the most unique and useful website, but you’re leaving money on the table if candidates aren’t landing on your page.

Where and how a recruiters spend their time is crucial to the success of their business. Too much time in the wrong area can dramatically decrease their billings. Unfortunately, time-wasting activities sneak up on you like a thief in the night. Before you know it, those activities you thought were harmless and helpful turn out to be destructive and detrimental.

Take, for example, website optimization. Recruiters all want massive amounts of traffic to flow through their website so they have an endless supply of candidates and clients from which to choose. Organic traffic can be a cornerstone of your recruitment sourcing strategy. Unfortunately, with more traffic comes more fender benders, breakdowns, and wear and tear on the vehicle. You can spend tons of time optimizing your site, but is that the best use of your time? Is that where you make the most money? If the increased traffic leads to increased leads, will your recruiting software be able to handle it?

One thing is for certain: a website is crucial in today’s market. Most people don’t use phone books these days. In fact, most people under the age of 30 may never have seen one. They jump right on their smartphone and run a search on Google to find the phone number of the local pizza parlor. That’s why a website is a “must-have” business tool. It’s your store front. It’s your calling card. It legitimizes your business on the web.

What do you think when you do a search for a company you might do business with and you discover that they don’t have a website? Are your first thoughts, “What kind of company doesn’t have a website these days?” and  “Do I even want to do business with them?” Those are thoughts that run through my mind and is the same impression you may be leaving on potential candidates.

Today, in many cases, your website is your storefront. Your website is your company’s brochure that describes your services. Your website is a selling tool. But first, people have to find you. That’s why optimizing your website for search engines like Google or Bing is so important.

To get started, here are a few things that can help and hurt your pagerank on search engines:

Search Engines Like

  • Fresh content: Be creative and become a resource to your visitors. Maybe even offer post guidelines for audience members that can create content for you.
  • Mobile-friendly websites: Nobody likes to see the spinning wheel. Think mobile first.
  • In-bound links: Become remarkable and increase the number of links that point to your page.
  • Out-bound links: Link to relevant material that provides additional information.

Search Engines Don’t Like

  • Short content: Aim for at least 300 to 500 words for blog posts.
  • Duplicate content: If your content appears on the internet in more than one place, web crawlers have a hard time determining which page to rank.
  • Trying to trick the crawlers: Sure, these tips will help. However, search engines prefer your page to appear authentic. You could be penalized if they deem you as a cheater.
  • Keyword spam: Don’t stuff the same word into paragraphs to rank higher for that keyword or it may be considered a stuffy sentence and nobody wants to see this kind of stuffing. Keyword stuffing does not sound natural.

In our next blog post, we’ll address the difference between “on-page” and “off-page” SEO for agency recruiters and search consultants.