In today’s competitive online recruiting space, writing a job description requires a lot more finesse because of the increased competition for talent online. An SEO friendly job description will not only rank higher in search results but it will attract more quality candidates that actually want to apply.
Building a quality job posting requires more than just a click-worthy headline. You need to construct the entire post with SEO (search engine optimization) in mind. The formula that creates this effect begins with the tips below.
1. Google Jobs Inclusion
The first step to having SEO friendly job postings is to ensure it complies with the Google Jobs metadata standards which can be found here. Adhering to their guidelines is essential if you want to receive free traffic from the web’s most popular search engine. If you use a modern ATS the chances are you are all set but if you are on an older platform consider moving to a more robust piece of recruiting software.
2. Repeat the Job Title in the Description
Keyword density, which in search engine lingo is the frequency with which you use a keyword, is just one part of the very sophisticated formula used by search engines (job boards included) to understand your content and rank it accordingly. The most critical keyword in a job post is the job title and is much more effective than text that reads “this job” or “this position”. My advice to is to repeat the job title 3-5 times throughout the page.
3. Keep it Scannable
Make every word count. Jobseekers spend perhaps 30 seconds reading a job opening, and even if you have grabbed their attention there is no guarantee they will finish reading it. A job post should include short paragraphs, bullets, and headings with keywords, and should be no longer than one page. The kind of rule that also applies to resumes is good to follow for jobs.
4. Include Your Company Name
Repeating your company name in the ad is also a good idea. If you don’t have a section in your job listings about the company consider adding a paragraph about your mission and culture across all your postings. You might even call it “Working at [company name]” which is a phrase that usually ends with a click to a Glassdoor review.
5. Think Like A Seeker
Write like the only candidate who matters is the one who is reading your job posting. Avoid posting just another bland ad by telling a story and having fun with the description. Get rid of generic phrases like “the successful candidate will …” Instead, be creative and say “here’s how one employee described the job.” Or consider using a Q&A job description format which enables you to write more naturally.
6. Experiment with the Job Title
Your job title is the most important keyword of the job description. It’s the first thing a job seeker will see. Keywords are the bait leading applicants to your job. Sometimes tweaking the job title may yield different results. For example, consider the phrases “office assistant” and “administrative assistant”. If one of your jobs isn’t pulling well try using an alternative title that seekers also might be looking for. Instead of titles like Account Executive a better alternative is Sales Executive which more accurately describes the job.
7. Be Brief
Some search engines have a maximum number of characters, so your job title should be kept under 60 characters.
8. Add Context
Adding a little keyword context to your job titles will also help. For example if posting a job for a software developer at a new startup you might try “Software Developer – Mobile Startup”.
9. Avoid Slashes
A title using words separated by a slash, such as “Administrative Assistant/Office,” may be queued as a single search term. This will reduce your visibility and lower page ranking because job seekers don’t search for slashes.
So, there you have it. Following these nine SEO practices when creating your job descriptions is an effective strategy that will help you stay ahead of the game and boost your job seeker traffic.
For additional tips on voice, tone and content hierarchy, click here.