All job postings are made with one goal in mind: to be viewed by potential candidates. The more prospective candidates that view your job openings, the higher the chance top-notch candidates will apply. While you always want to value quality over quantity, there are ways to promote a job opening to a large, yet niche group. How do you do this, you might wonder? The answer is simple: SEO for job posting.
Whether you are individually posting on job boards or streamlining the process with an ATS (Applicant Tracking System), SEO will help your job openings come up higher in search results.
It might sound mysterious and untouchable, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Here at Recruitee, we have helped our users attract more candidates by making their job openings searchable with SEO. With the implementation of keywords and backlinks, we will show you exactly how to optimize your job posting for search engines.
Keywords in SEO for job posting
1 — Positive & negative keywords
Have you posted a vacancy stating that you are looking for a “Blogging Superstar” or a “Social Media Wizard”? Don’t worry. We’ve all been there. There’s still time to get your SEO in check.
Negative keywords include gimmicky “buzzwords” that appear to have become popular in job descriptions. Here are some examples of what we mean from this article on nine buzzwords you want to avoid:
- Black belt
On the surface, these quirky additions to a job description may seem like a good idea. However, candidates see them as outdated and desperate. Buzzwords like this can make it seem like you are trying to mask a grueling job with “fun times ahead!” They can also be downright offensive or a turnoff to candidates. In terms of SEO for job posting, most job seekers are searching for a specific title and not looking to be your next wizard. Those who do search for that, may not be the experienced professionals you’re looking for.
What are positive keywords then when it comes to SEO for job postings? Start by brainstorming keywords relevant to your job openings. Use a resource like the Keyword Tool that helps show the search rankings related to your keywords, as well as other associated keywords. Once you have your keyword list, try to put them and their synonyms into your job description. This is one of the most effective ways to maximize your chance of being indexed by search engines, without being censored for keyword stuffing.
If you’re struggling to come up with some good positive keywords, think about a potential candidate searching for a graphic design job. A potential search is more likely to be “Graphic Designer” than “Digital Art Connoisseur.” For that job title of “Graphic Designer,” you could include synonyms in the job description, like “digital,” “creative design,” “visual communication,” and “web design.” Think about what your target candidates might be logically searching for and make your description relevant to that search.
Bonus tip: The body text of your job description should be around 500 words and contain unique content. A good place to start is with job description templates (keywords optimized), but make sure that you edit them to reflect your own hiring needs and company culture.
Ultimately, there are two positive keywords that you should always include in your job description:
- The job title (avoid abbreviations!)
- The location
It may seem simple, but it’s super effective when you put the job title and location in:
- The job title of your job description
- The first paragraph of your job description
- Your job opening’s URL
- Your job opening’s meta title
- Your job opening’s meta description
Then if someone searches for “X job in X location,” your job opening will be one of the first to pop up. (If it’s remote work, you can put “remote” as the location.)
You might already know what to do with the first two bullet points, but not sure about the last three? Don’t worry, we tackle them head-on below.
2 — Your job opening’s URL
It’s important to have a URL that is searchable and making the most of SEO for job posting. Here are the best practices for creating a job opening’s URL that does well in searches, as well as guides potential candidates to your careers site:
- Keep it simple and relevant (including your keywords!)
- Don’t use numbers or special characters (unless it’s in your product or job description)
- Use hyphens, not underscores, when needed (not too many!)
Search engines and page viewers, alike, appreciate when your URL is self-explanatory. This can improve your ranking and allow the anchor text (the text that you embed a link in) to be similar to the actual URL. Keeping it short allows your job opening more chances of being indexed.
If you use Recruitee, you can have an optimized URL by typing the exact words you want as the job title, itself. For example, if the job title is “Software Developer,” the job opening’s URL will become: “https://yourcompany.recruitee.com/o/software-developer/”
3 — Your job opening’s meta titles and meta descriptions
Meta titles and meta descriptions are the two fields that show up on a Search Engine Results Page (SERP). The meta title must be simple and straight to the point, allowing job seekers to know the job opening once they are interested in it. The meta description is the caption underneath the title, describing the web page’s content in more detail.
It is essential to make a custom meta title and meta description for your job opening. If you’re a Recruitee user, you can do this with Recruitee’s Careers Site editor.
With meta tags, you want to be as clear and concise as possible. Meta titles should be under 60 characters, and meta descriptions should be under 160. The shorter, the better. You want a potential candidate to be able to quickly glance at your job opening and know it’s what they are looking for. Don’t make the first words your company title, unless you are sure that people will be searching for you, specifically. A clear and concise title and description should do the trick in most cases.
Backlinks in SEO for job posting
Backlinking is the process of placing your link on other reputable sites, therefore “linking back” to your original site. This helps with SEO for job posting, and it will take more time to build up than other practices in this list. Don’t worry, though. This is the guide you need to successfully backlink your job opening:
4 — Share your job opening on social media
This ups the chances that others will share your content. The more the job opening is shared, the better it will rank in relevant searches. Search engines look into traffic and shares to generate an algorithm for search results. Just remember, there are always rules to each social media platform. Here is a quick overview of SEO for job posting best practices on social media:
- Share the job’s URL consistently across platforms
- Make content more shareable by writing valuable or entertaining copy
- Include visuals in your social media posts (they get way more engagement than any other types of posts). In order to vary the visuals, Recruitee allows you to specify different photos for each vacancy. Use this when sharing on social media to keep it consistent!
Social media allows you to not only target an innovative, (generally) younger audience, it allows your job opening to be viewed by a potentially huge number of professionals in your extended network. This gives them the opportunity to share your job opening to like-minded professionals. LinkedIn, for instance, has particularly high domain authority. The more sharing, the higher the ranking and the better your SEO for job postings will become.
5 — Post your job opening on high-traffic job boards
6 — Share your job opening in popular forums
Make sure to stay relevant and informative. This way, you can link back to your job opening without appearing “spammy.” Reddit is an example of a popular forum to look into. It is a huge community of “Redditors” with niche “subreddits” to peruse. Find one relevant to your job listing, such as http://reddit.com/r/humanresources for an HR position. Other popular forums include Slack and Quora.
7 — Write a blog about your hiring process with a link to your job opening
Write your own blog post detailing your hiring process, or guest blog on other, higher-ranked blogs aside from your own. Mention recruitment tips and employee characteristics, like Basecamp does in this article, and link back to your careers site.
8 — Put a link to your careers site on your own website
Why not? Let job seekers know you are looking, too. This gives your careers site one more credible backlink for SEO, as well.
If you combine all of these tips and tricks for SEO for job posting within and outside of your careers site, your job openings are well on their way to becoming more searchable. While you want passive candidates, as well, it’s comforting to know that if the right candidate is seeking you out, they can find you. Make sure that your vacancies achieve visibility and, more importantly, make the right candidates want to check out your job openings and become a valuable part of your team.