Using SEO Techniques to Optimize Job Descriptions

Most companies post job openings on their website, where they describe the position and qualifications, and invite candidates to submit an application. This is a great recruiting tactic, but works even better when SEO techniques are applied to these pages. In doing so, job opening pages are more likely to:

  • Be found by job seekers using Google to search for employment

  • Be shared more on social media by people interested in helping members of their social network discover new opportunities

Here are the 5 key SEO ingredients of a great job opening page

  • First, have a unique page for each position. This makes it easier for Google to match your job opportunity with people searching for that job. It also makes it simpler for social media users to share the page of content. They can post, “Here’s a great job for a graphic designer,” rather than, “See the graphic designer job, third from the bottom.”
  • Add an optimized title tag to each job opening page. A title tag tells Google crawlers about a web page. If the title tag includes keywords and, in the example below, a branding message, the page will rank better because Google will understand its relevance to search engine users. The page will be shared by more people because the title tag, which gets picked up automatically in most social media shares, will be descriptive, saving the sharer time to compose original text. Examples of good title tags:

  1. Graphic Designer Job Opening | ABC Corporation
  2. Graphic Designer Job Available, Chicago | ABC Corp.
  3. Entry B2B Graphic Design Job | ABC Corp.
  • Add relevant keywords to the page text, especially in the page title and subtitles. Be careful not to “stuff” keywords—2 to 3 mentions per keyword, with some variation, is fine. Also, do not try to optimize for too many keywords—4 to 5 per page is generally enough.

  • Your in-house SEO expert or SEO outsource can help you identify good potential keywords fairly quickly. It’s worthwhile to do the research, though. Keywords are selected based on popularity, how competitive they are, the user’s intent, and, of course, relevance. In some cases, a lower-volume, more specific keyword (see the third example in the title tag section) makes more sense than a very popular one (first example), since it’s less competitive and more likely to rank highly on Google.

  • Try to get links to your job opening pages from authoritative, highly relevant websites and blogs. Backlinks, like title tags, are a very important SEO ranking factor. For job opening pages, local chambers of commerce, industry association websites, blogs devoted to the field in question (e.g., graphic design blogs) and industry news sites are great places to consider. Send a brief email to the publishers that include a link to your job opening page, and ask if they would mind linking to it and/or alerting their audience to the opportunity.

Think like a marketer

If your company is engaged in SEO, chances are most of these techniques are already being applied to your website’s homepage and product pages. Job opening pages sometimes fall through the cracks, however, because they are not seen as high priority (or as any priority) for SEO campaigns. Although SEO is mainly geared towards generating sales leads or online revenue, attracting search from job seekers is a worthy goal. Increasing sales and revenue are certainly crucial, but a company will be only as good as its people.

Want even more marketing tips and tricks to apply to your recruiting efforts? Download a copy of Greenhouse's “Think Like a Marketer” eBook.

Brad Shorr

Brad Shorr is Director of Content Strategy at Straight North, one of the leading Internet marketing companies in Chicago that provides SEO, PPC and web design services. With more than 25 years of sales and marketing experience, Brad has been featured in leading online publications including Moz, American Marketing Association, and Entrepreneur.

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