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Google wants the search results to be as close to the query as possible. For this reason, the search engine developed an algorithm. This algorithm looks at issues that are important to website visitors, such as quick loading speed, information corresponding to the query and a structured text.
By applying SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) you can be more visible to search engines and potential applicants. But what are the most important SEO components for your career website nowadays? There are several technical and non technical aspects to keep in mind.
SEO for career websites?
Let's start with sharing some do's and don'ts for the technique of your career website.
Your website should be technically well-organised with at least a clear site structure and internal link structure. It should also load fast and have a secured connection in order to get higher SEO-ranking. Let's have a closer look at these components.
Your pages need quick loading time: the speed at which a page is loaded into different devices. Google does not like to wait, and (mobile) visitors even less.
Did you know you only have 8 seconds to convince your visitor for continuing his journey on your career website? Moreover, 40% of your visitors drop out when the loading time of your website is 3 seconds. On mobile sites this is even 53%! So with a loading time of 3 seconds, you only have 5 seconds left to convince a candidate.
Visitors of a career website seem to care more for speeds than the bells and whistles we'd like to add to our sites. This makes loading time one of the most important issues for your (mobile) career website. And even more important for search engines.
Clear site structure
Make sure that your career site has a good site structure, including clear URLs without strange parameters.
Internal link structure
Pay attention to the connections of related content; your internal linking structure. By implementing internal links, you help Google with indexing your page and this helps to improve your position.
Offering a secured connection through SSL / HTTPS is also a ranking factor, so don’t forget about that. SSL / HTTPS means that there is a safe connection in between the web server and the browser.
There are more opportunities for higher SEO-ranking, namely: the non-technical components. As a recruiter you can easily influence these components. Like content, a very important factor for the SEO ranking of your career website.
Obviously, high-quality pages get a higher ranking in Google. Make sure to focus on the user, but do not over-optimise your page by using too many keywords or lots of bold terms. However, Google loves a well-structured text, and so does your online visitor. The online reading behaviour is different from offline reading.
Your visitors don't read texts, they scan it. Therefore it is important to make every page easy to scan. Also, web users don't take much time for scanning so put the most important information at the top and be brief.
Job detail pages are usually temporary, so they build less value for SEO. Fixed content pages, on the other hand, do build more SEO value. Enriching your content is therefore essential. Like employer branding pages with information about the company, the departments or testimonials from future colleagues.
So the content is ok, and your website is also technically well-structured, but anyway, Google doesn’t like it at all. It is very likely you should start collecting backlinks. In summary: not enough other websites placed a link to your website. Do you want to know how many backlinks you have and where they come from? You can use the Open Site Explorer by Moz.
Interactive and (positive) visitor reactions are a constant flow of new content. Google loves it. Just as interaction by means of shares, likes and tweets, reactions generally result in a higher Google ranking.
So if you want your job posting to be picked up quickly, it is important to distribute it over different social networks. Also create an outstanding job posting, that is worth sharing. A good referral tool simplifies sharing of vacancies and other pages super easy.
It is all about the user and it is therefore not surprising that Google uses visitor data to determine the ranking in the search results.
Important signals to determine your position are:
- bounce percentage
- click through rate from Google to your website
- time spent on your website
This is of course a direct consequence of the quality of your content and the structure of your pages.
You can check your user's behaviour in Google Analytics or with other tools like heat mapping.
How SEO optimised is your career site?
Wondering how your organisation scores on this topic? SEO is 1 out of 6 topics of the ‘Career website checklist’. Complete the checklist, improve where needed and increase the quality of your hirings.
Once you've finished the test you receive the whitepaper 'Career website checklist', with background information and practical examples.