Did you know that each month there are approximately 226 million job-related searches on Google alone? If you’re not ranking high on search results pages, you could be missing out on great candidates. This is just one of many compelling reasons you need to implement an SEO strategy.

DirectEmployers joined forces with Carrie Corbin of Member company AT&T and Jessica Miller-Merrell of Blogging4Jobs to provide SEO basics for HR practitioners. In addition, Jessica authored a helpful post introducing some basic terminology around SEO for HR and recruitment strategies. She was kind enough to let us republish her post for our readers. Please keep in the mind the webinar referenced was 6/14/12, but don’t despair – it’s available on her webinars page. The best part is you can earn 1.0 HRCI credits.

SEO Strategies to Build a Qualified Candidate Pipeline

When it comes to job posting and recruitment strategies, I favor a mix between social media, SEO, content distribution, and the use of more traditional job boards. Strategies like this are not one size fits all but involve a number of moving parts driving web traffic in the form of qualified candidates, a pipeline if you will to your company career pages and job announcements.

Picture your company careers page as the center of your online recruitment strategy. Different websites, methods, and strategies help drive traffic, conversations, and build relationships all with one goal in mind — to increase candidate quality saving you time and money in your recruiting efforts.

That is in fact in what you see in the graphic above. It’s a strategy I employ myself as a consultant to companies for streamlining their recruiting strategy but also when working with HR vendors or other businesses who are looking to build and grow their online presence and influence. My conversations in each of these rings is listed by priority and dries traffic to one place which in my case is my blog but your is your company website or career page.

Career Page Content and SEO for the Job Search

On Thursday, I’m hosting a webinar on 7 Strategies to Hire Better & Lower Cost with SEO. The hour long session is free and participants are eligible to receive an HRCI recertification credit. You can Register Here.

Carrie Corbin from AT&T as well as Katie Pfledderer from DirectEmployers will be providing insights into SEO strategies for HR and Recruiting. But before, the webinar happens on Thursday, I wanted to introduce you to some basic terminology and definitions when it comes to using SEO for HR and recruitment strategies.

  • Search Engines. These are websites that index the web. They are the yellow pages of the internet combing, evaluating, and finding the millions of pages of content that is produced on a daily basis. The results from theses evaluations produce search results based on keywords. These are the keywords and combinations in which you actually plug into the search engine itself.
  • URL. This is short for uniform resource locator. It’s essentially your web address and serves as the location of your content housed on the web.
  • Career Page. This is the landing page or pages where your job seekers apply for your jobs via your company website or applicant tracking system (ATS). Individual job openings have their individual and often custom urls and content.
  • Domain. The label that denotes the Internet address (IP address) of a server. Global Top-level domains (gTLDs) include countries such as .co, .uk, .fr, .de as well as .com, .net, and .jobs.
  • Search Engine Marketing (SEM) Promoting an organization through search engines to deliver relevant content in the search listings.
  • Search Engine Optimization (also known as organic search or SEO) is the process of improving the visibility of a website or web page in search engines’ organic or algorithmic results.
  • Indexing. This is the number and proportion of all the pages on a domain which are included within the index of each search engine.
  • Aggregators. Vertical search engines for jobs. They search the internet looking for job postings and pull them or scrape them onto their site where visitors and job seekers can easily search for the job listings directing the job seeker back to your career page and job posting.

This isn’t the first time I’ve written about SEO as a recruiter or HR professional, optimized career pages or job postings, or even as a blogger.  Search engine optimization is a large part of my blog strategy. You can view that here. With so many pages being indexed, its hard for good, quality content and resources to shine through. Having the right keywords and combinations of those words along with other strategies can help you target traffic that makes sense to your job postings, career page, or blog. It’s worked for me as my web traffic has grown and yet my bounce rate on my blog has remained under 2%. Bounce rates are the likelihood that a visitor will immediately leave your site. My keywords and content are so targeted that 98 out of 100 visitors visit more than one page on my blog diving deeper into the site. Fans, candidates, or readers who spend more time on your website are more likely to be buyers of your product, more qualified candidates, or more passionate advocates for your business or brand.

Best SEO Marketing Strategies for HR & Recruiting

The job market for top candidates is competitive with hundreds if not thousands of candidates applying for a single position. Using SEO can help you take a more targeted approach to sharing your job openings instead of the spray and pray method that many newspaper listings and job boards use. I’m not saying that I haven’t used this strategy myself but I’m of the opinion that 1 qualified lead is better than 25 or random shots in the dark.

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