Search engine optimisation can be a primary driver of attaining new candidates and clients to your recruitment agency or business. The great thing about SEO is you begin to appear in relevant searches made by your target audience. All you have to do is identify what your target audience is searching for and meet their needs with the content you provide.
Here, we’ll take you through steps that recruitment businesses can use to ensure they’re growing their organic visibility. More organic exposure means more traffic, and more traffic means more candidates!
Recruitment agencies often turn to social media to headhunt their ideal candidates and SEO is can be forgotten. However, candidates are searching for you as much as you’re searching for them and these stats prove it:
- The term “Graduate jobs” has a volume of 63K searches a month.
- The location-based search “jobs in Glasgow” has 24K searches a month.
- “Work from home jobs” has a search volume of 39K a month.
What is SEO & why do I need it?
Put simply, Search Engine Optimisation involves getting a website to the top of the results page on search engines such as Google & Bing. The majority of users remain on the first page of Google and 75% of people click on the first or second result.
You might be thinking, but I have a PPC campaign that gets me to the top of the results, right? Well, 72% of respondents stated that they either click only on organic results, or on organic results the majority of the time. However, not only do you need to appear for the recruitment searches you desire, you need to convert these to applying for jobs or signing up to your email list; you can’t do that if they land on the wrong page. SEO is much more than just appearing high in the search rankings, it focuses on pleasing search engines and users.
What Search Opportunities are there in Recruitment?
Recruitment is a competitive industry and it’s no different when it comes to keywords opportunities. Keywords such as ‘recruitment’ have a search volume of 23K, but, the keyword difficulty is 30. This means you’d need around 36 backlinks to rank in the top 10. The intent of this keyword is very broad so although it has a huge amount of traffic, using long tail keywords will attract traffic with more specific intent.
What is a backlink?
A backlink is when one website links to another through a hyperlink or URL. Backlinks can significantly improve search engine results as websites with relevant and valuable backlinks are seen as trusted. You can think of backlinks as referrals, one website referring traffic to another because they think it’s valuable. If your website has high authority websites linking to it, you can see why this would positively impact your rankings within search engines.
As recruitment is heavily industry based, we’ll conduct an example of opportunities for industry-specific keywords. Below you can see the results for ‘engineering jobs’ not only does this keyword have a lower difficulty, but it also has a 59% click-through rate and 64% of those clicks are for organic results.
‘Engineering jobs’ is a targeted search term that brings in traffic with specific search intent, as opposed to just ‘recruitment’. When we say targeted search intent, in this case, we mean attracting users that are looking for a job in engineering.
There are around 7.3K searches a month for the term ‘engineering jobs’ but that is only data for one keyword. According to Ahrefs, there are 17,000 keyword opportunities under the parent topic of ‘engineering jobs’. That’s thousands of similar keywords within just one industry.
How to Create Content that Attracts Candidates
Now you know what kinds of opportunities there are, how do you get them? There are three types of content you can create to attract new candidates.
Awareness content is focused on answering questions. Sticking to our opportunities for ‘engineering jobs’. Ahrefs returns the following questions that those users are searching for, but you can also use Answer The Public. If you enter your keyword into their search they’ll provide all questions being asked related to the search query that is categorised into ‘who’, ‘will’, ‘where’, ‘can’, ‘which’, ‘what’, ‘when’, ‘why’, ‘how’ and ‘are’. These are all words associated with awareness-based questions.
These users are looking for an informative piece of content that will answer their questions. They’re not ready to start looking at engineering jobs just yet but they might be at the next stage, so hang in there.
In fact, they may not be ready to search for engineering jobs in this sitting, the next week or even month and in that case, they may have forgotten about your recruitment business altogether.
There is more potential value in focusing your efforts on the next two stages (consideration & intent).
Awareness content is great for attaining backlinks though so it’s still very useful for your SEO strategy. It’s unlikely that other businesses will link to your engineering jobs page as it isn’t informative content and it provides little value to an average reader. However, creating helpful and/or unique content can result in the achievement of great links that improve your overall rankings and see your rankings improve fast. SEO isn’t a quick win, you’ll have to play the long game.
At the consideration stage, users would have done some initial research and know which service they’re searching for. Knowing what service they need, users at the consideration stage are looking for informative content to help make their decision. The best way to ensure you’re covering the consideration stage is to take a look at all of the popular industries your recruitment agency cover and create a page where the content is tailored to what you have to offer.
Your home page often ranks for broad keywords as well as your main offering. So you may rank for ‘finance recruitment agency’ on your home page but your other pages rank for accounting recruitment or associate recruitment consultant.
Staying in line with the engineering example, consideration content could be:
- A category page titled: “Engineering recruitment agency in Manchester”
- A category page titled: “Engineering Manufacturing jobs”
- A category page titled: “Aerospace recruitment agency in Liverpool”
Users at the intent stage know exactly what they want, they’ve been through the awareness stage of looking at the ‘what’, ‘when’, ‘do’ questions they have around engineering and have decided to look further into engineering opportunities. Then, they land on your tailored pages that provide them with specific and valuable information around engineering areas. Now at the intent stage, they’ve decided engineering is for them and they’re looking to contact you, register their CV or sign up.
Staying in line with the engineering example, intent content could be:
- A branded search such as: “James Page email address”
- A branded search such as: “James Page Engineering Jobs page”
- A branded search such as: “Sarah & co phone number”
There you have it, an overall insight to what your SEO strategy could look like. Whilst we have focused mainly on the opportunities your recruitment agency or business has within creating and optimising content, there is a much bigger picture and even more opportunities available. As a business with extensive experience working with recruitment clients, we have a great understanding on how to create an SEO strategy that really works. Not convinced? Check out our case study below to see the work we have done for Careermap so far.
[Case Study] How we boosted Careermap’s organic search traffic by over 150%
We worked closely with Careermap to create an SEO strategy that aligned with their goals. Careermap wanted to increase their traffic as well as focus on increasing conversions such as the number of CV resignations, the number of users downloading their magazine and number of applicants. In just over 6 months, we increased their number of users by 151% and their new users by 156%. Although their bounce rate was nothing of concern, we also decreased their bounce rate by 13%.
So how did we do it?
First, we worked on their site structure to ensure that the website was easily crawlable for search engines. We also spent some time on ensuring the website was easy to navigate through as a user. We then conducted an SEO audit to identify any foundational issues that were affecting their organic search performance.
At the same time as the SEO audit, we set up new goals in their analytics to track conversions. Next, we analysed keyword opportunities within their industry and assessed their current email campaign. We also worked on user experience (UX) to identify pain points users were having.
And, whilst all this was going on, we spent some time bringing in new and industry-relevant backlinks to boost their rankings.
- Optimising Site Structure
Where all great SEO strategies start, optimising site structure. Site structure is not only a crucial element to your SEO strategy, but it’s also crucial from a UX point. Careermap’s site structure wasn’t reaching it’s full potential, meaning the website needed improvements to enhance its crawlability and usability.
What is site structure?
Site structure is how your content is organised on your website. Usually, this content consists of a variety of related topics. Site structure considers how this content is grouped, linked and presented to a user. An organised site structure enables a user to easily navigate around your website.
When it comes to Google’s web crawlers visiting your website, a good site structure allows them to easily access and index your content. Site structure is not only appealing to users but also Google too!
Another crucial element to site structure is internal linking. We worked on Careermap’s internal linking in order to help solidify their site structure and let search engines really know which pages were the most important as well as divert traffic to the appropriate places.
Internal linking is an important factor that allows Google to understand which pages are the most important. Your home page will be classed as a high authority page, there should be links from your home page to category pages such as ‘just added’ jobs or’ industry’ specific pages. Why? Your home page is often the page that has the most backlinks, Google will spread this link equity between all of the links on the home page.
Your site structure is the core to your SEO strategy, once this is optimised you have the foundations to continue.
2. SEO Audit
We conducted an SEO audit which completely assesses their website and highlights any red flags that may be affecting their SEO. One of the things we identified with Careermap was the need for technical fixes.
Technical fixes will often be the first stop after an audit as it is at the base of everything you do. Their technical fixes ensured that their website was accessible and indexable.
These can be anything from page speed improvements, metadata optimisation or XML sitemap amendments to ensure we only submit content to Google that we want indexed.
Technical fixes make sure that search engines can index and crawl your website with ease. In addition to this, technical fixes also make sure that the website is able to provide a user-friendly experience.
We also identified the need for improvement on Careermap’s titles and meta descriptions. These are both really important in SEO as they are the only elements you see on a results page before you click onto a website. Having compelling meta descriptions that use important and relevant keywords is crucial. You’ll also need an eye-catching title that will speak to the searcher’s needs or pain points.
Optimising your titles and metadata can improve click-through rate. You can be number one in the rankings but if your title isn’t optimised and you’re not getting clicks it doesn’t matter.
- Tracking (Goals)
Careermap did not have effective goals set up in Google Analytics which meant the data available for things like sign-ups and the number of people emailing was limited. Conversion data enables you to assess the effectiveness of your content and website so it was crucial that all conversion opportunities were tracked. From this, we could assess how the website and content were performing in relation to their goals as well as identify areas of improvement.
- Keyword Research
We compared the keywords that Careermap were visible for in comparison to their competitors and focused on ranking on new keyword opportunities that were achievable. By achievable we mean long tail keywords, those that are of a lower difficulty but more specific search term. Below you can see the growth Careermap has experienced. When we started working with Careermap they had 3,500 keywords and now they have nearly 16,500.
In order to grow Careermap’s organic visibility further, we focused on attaining backlinks. Below you can see how their backlink profile has recently started growing, along with this came new keyword ranking, fresh content and with an improved site structure supporting them, they experienced exponential growth due to their SEO strategy.
- Google Jobs
Google Jobs are pulled from job-related schema on the site and was implemented by the web team. Google Jobs aggregates listings from job boards and careers sites and displays them prominently in the Google Search. The Google job search displays job openings in a dedicated space at the top of the search results which is an invaluable position to be in. Since ensuring Google can pull Careermap’s vacancies, they have received nearly 35,000 visitors through this source.
We hope that you find this guide informative and you feel as though you can begin to develop an SEO strategy that suits you.