How a career site can perform better than a job board.
There is a lot of confusion about recruitment SEO and it could be easy for an HR Professional to assume that a corporate career website will never be able to beat the job boards and agency recruiters to high page rankings.
The truth is that a well optimised career website can be more attractive to Google than a job board, for the simple reason that a corporate career website publishes original content.
Google loves original content and hates aggregated content
Earlier this year Google launched the first of the Panda algorithm changes. Each of these updates was designed to seek out quality content over aggregated content. This was achieved by reviewing websites from a human visitor’s perspective not a machine.
Why Google wants to love your career website, but often can’t
A great explanation of how Panda changed SEO in favour of the corporate recruiter can be found here, but here are 5 facts why Google wants to love your career website
- FACT – an aggregator job board’s content is made up of adverts and syndicated content from other job boards and recruitment websites
- FACT – a job board’s content consists of duplicated agency and corporate vacancy adverts – The multi-posting services make it so easy to advertise the same jobs on different websites
- FACT – a corporate career website consists of original relevant content
- FACT – vacancies are pages of fresh content (but they are often hidden in the ATS on a different domain)
- FACT – 13-15 million people are searching for jobs each month: 50% type job titles into Google (again your vacancies are effectively hidden in the ATS)
Where’s the Beef?
Do you ever look at a website and ask ‘Where’s the Beef?’ – OK so you might not unless you’re an American, but watch this Wendy’s advert from the 1980s and think about this from a job seekers perspective.
As a corporate recruitment your career website has a huge amount of original content, which is relevant to the active and passive candidate. The problem is that Google can’t easily find the vacancies, which are the most regularly updated and therefore the ‘freshest’ content pages; for the simple reason that they are normally hidden on the ATS on another domain names and poorly optimised.
These vacancies are the two all beef patties. The special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions (Yes I know that’s McDonalds) are the supporting pages of content; the job family pages, the testimonials, the employee videos, the blogs and news.
A lot of career websites bury this content deep in the site, without linking it together or in the case of the vacancies on the ATS supplier’s domain. This means a visitor (and Google) has to search for the content, rather than having it ‘pushed’ to them. This makes life difficult for the visitor and Google also doesn’t like that.
Think Amazon – Google does
If Amazon were selling the ingredients to the Big Mac you can assured that they would provide the user with a clear easy to use navigation structure, so that if you were looking at purchasing ‘Two all beef patties’ then alongside this you would have links to reviews of the beef, associated ingredients and ingredients that other people bought.
This linking of original content is extremely important to Google its states that this page has authority and because the website has been designed to deliver relevant content to the visitor it consists of lots of interlinked relevant content.
Why Landing Pages are Important?
Landing pages can be used to group content together, typically by job families and locations, which creates a hub of interest for visitors. By understanding what job seekers are searching for, these pages can be optimised to include relevant page titles, urls and specific keywords in the content.
A modern career website will dynamically link relevant content into these landing pages with specific calls to action, relevant jobs, news, articles, employee videos and blogs. All of which helps to engage the visitor, keep their interest and ultimately convert them into an applicant.
The most successful career sites will be those that go beyond vacancies with interlinked supporting pages of relevant content and will be the ones which Google views as a higher authority than job boards.
Getting SEO Right: The Results
RWE npower soft launched www.npowerjobs.com mid October 2011 integrated with Lumesse using 4MAT’s Career Website API
After 4 weeks:
- Over 800 pages indexed by Google (previous site 103, as no vacancies could be indexed)
- Vacancies ranking at number 1 in Google
- Achieving page 1 and 2 rankings for general job family searches
- Achieving first employer positioning for general job family searches
- Time on Site up by 30%
- Page views up by 35%
Read more about the RWE npower career website project in their case study
If you’re interested in talking about what is possible for your own career website, please feel free to contact me on 020 7392 1711