How to optimise vacancy texts (SEO) in 10 steps

Written by: Endouble Endouble

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) for your vacancy texts can make a big difference in the results of your recruitment website / talent acquisition platform. A benchmark for several vacancy-websites shows us that more than a third of the visitors come from search engines.

Although in some cases it spreads out to almost 50%, this might not sound as that much. However, it is a fact that SEO-traffic (from search engines) converts good. Which means; the percentage of visitors who are applying, is higher than for other traffic sources. This is largely due to the intention of the visitor: that is indeed actively looking for specific vacancies. That intention makes SEO traffic a very profitable source of traffic for your recruitment website.

SEO for job-postings

So you could write an amazing vacancy text that convinces each candidate to apply directly. Much more interesting, however, is to also make the text easy to find by optimising it for search engines. You won't only pull more but also the right visitors to your job-opening: let's check how to write SEO for job-postings!

10 tips for SEO-proof vacancy texts

There are many guidelines for optimising vacancies for search engines. I'll give you 10 SEO-tips that will help you easily on the right track.


  1. Important keywords

    The first step in writing your vacancy text is to determine what the target audience of your job is looking for. After all, you want to align the text to the search traffic. Often this is the job title but not always (example: 'parttime job 15 years Amsterdam). Use the Google search engine to find out which words are common, read what the competition writes and check search volumes with a tool such as the Google Keyword Planner Google Keyword Planner.

  2. The right title for your vacancy

    This seems more easy than it is. Often this leads to job titles that are common within your business but not what you candidates searches for. For example, what is a 'december job'? Better use your 'side job', also if the competition on this keyword is bigger. Would you assume that your candidate searches in combination with the location of the job (example: vacature projectmanager Amsterdam)? Than add this to your title.

  3. A catchy intro

    You'll have about six seconds to seduce the visitor to read your job description. Including 1 second for loading the page. A catchy character of the intro for your job (the first approximately 100 words) is therefore crucial. Google often chooses the intro as a description of the search result. By using the main keywords in the first sentence of your intro, you will increase this possibility. To make it stand out you could even make it bold.

  4. Keywords and the word 'vacancy'

    Your candidate will often search for a keyword in combination with the word 'vacancy' or 'vacancies'. That's a reason to combine the important keywords with 'vacancy' several times in your description. For example in the intro but also further in your text, this will have a positive effect.

  5. (The right) numeration

    Numeration (bullet lists) read easily. They are nice and clear. You're visitor knows but this is also recognised by the search engine. Both will therefore pay just a little more attention to the words in a numeration, then to the rest of the text. The condition is that you have to use the layout toolbar button for editing the list (instead of punctuation (dashes) with a space).

  6. Keyword density

    It is of course important to include a sufficient amount of the most important keywords in your job description. This is called the keyword density. According to a guideline it says that it's ok that 2 to 3% of your job description are keywords. You can easily measure this percentage with tools as Live Keyword Analysis.

  7. Enough words

    Just like your visitor, the search engine will be more able to determine what your vacancy is about if you use enough keywords. I recommend the guideline of using a minimum of 300 words, preferably more. You will have plenty of space to include your important keywords sufficiently, without being annoying for the reader.

  8. Important information

    We know that the visitor of your website does more scanning than reading. The lower on the page, the less attention there is. Therefore, place important informations (such as job description and requirements) higher than the company-description. You're important keywords will appear first (above) in the text. And the text that is identical across several vacancies will end up lower on the page. Good for the candidate en for the search engine! This last one loves unique texts and it makes similar content less easy to find.

  9. External links (linkbuilding)

    The more external pages point to your vacancy, the better your vacancy will appear in search results. This is called linkbuilding. Important websites thereby have a greater impact than the 'little ones'. Linkbuilding is definitely easy and usually takes time. You can therefore start by sharing your vacancy on social media. For traineeships, internships and graduate jobs, interesting referral sources can be websites of student associations. Remember that the republication of your vacancy usually changes the URL, whereby existing links disappear.

  10. Balanced focus on candidate and search engine

    The tenth - but by far the most important - tip to optimise vacancy texts is to maintain a balanced focus on your visitor and the search engine. By focussing on your visitor only, you'll miss SEO traffic. Vise versa, if you focus mostly on the search engine, your text is almost unreadable for your visitor. And that's not good for your percentage of applications. So try to find the right balance!

SEO & Universal Analytics: measuring is improving

I wouldn't work at Endouble if I didn't want to measure the results of your optimisation-efforts. That can be easily visualised in Universal Analytics. For example, with a customised SEO dashboard that shows the applications derived from SEO traffic. Additionally, you can use custom reports to analyse the characteristics of your SEO traffic. This knowledge allows you to further optimise your vacancy texts.

Would you like to know more about optimising vacancy texts? It might be useful to actively train your team of recruiters in SEO for job texts. Or did you make the first steps already and would you like to see the results? Please contact us for these and other questions. Our content, SEO and Analytics specialists would love to help you out with your next step.