SEO for Careers Websites - Part 2
Part 2: Compelling content and the perfect job description
In part one of this series of blogs, we looked at the importance of site structure and careers categories. In part two it’s time to focus on content, and we have a simple but perhaps controversial view about the kind of content you should include….
We think it’s absolutely vital you attract the right candidates, and repel those that will never be a good fit for your business. Candidates need to hear the harsh realities of working in your business. If you’re not upfront about those harsh realities then they’ll come to light quickly once the candidate joins you, who just as quickly heads out of the door.
Would you rather be honest about what candidates will need to give to your business in order to thrive and what they’ll get from you in return, and hence attract candidates that apply with their eyes open, up for the challenge and a great fit for your culture? Or would you rather sift through numerous applications from candidates that simply aren’t the right fit or won’t be with you long term? It’s no contest, surely?
Compelling content still rules the day
To kick things off, ask yourself these questions:
- Do I truly know who my target audience is?
- What is the purpose of the page?
- What keywords are my target audience searching for online relevant to the subject matter of this page?
- What are some of the other searches performed in Google that can inform my writing “people also ask” related searches?
- What is the outcome/objective we want for this particular webpage?
If you can’t tick all these boxes just yet then never fear, you’re in luck, we have all the help you need in this blog.
There’s no point in talking about apples if your audience wants to read about oranges. Which is why personas are important. Personas are profiles of the different candidates who will visit your website, so understanding their traits, motivations and the types of content they engage with is absolutely crucial.
To create personas, speak to employees from across your business to learn about the characteristics, traits, and online habits of a specific talent group such as finance, customer service, HR, project managers, or whoever it is you’re looking to attract.
Creating personas is a fantastic way of ensuring you know as much detail as possible about your core audience before you start writing to try and attract them. And it's a great way to write compelling job descriptions, as we’ll explain later.
If you already have an employer brand, and you really, really should, then incorporating your values into your writing is absolutely vital to your website content, alongside your SEO efforts. The content contained within your website is your chance to show the real you, and demonstrate exactly who you are. Candidates will then get an honest and authentic impression of your business and whether they see themselves as a good fit or not. Content across your website should always be authentic, honest, and written well enough that it keeps candidates engaged and wanting to look at more of your website before ultimately applying for a role.
Keep the quality high and keep Google happy
Google has always been fairly transparent about the content written and published on the internet. Google’s Webmaster page has great insight, but in summary, it’s not rocket science:
- Make web pages primarily for users, not search engines
- Don’t deceive your visitors
- Avoid tricks to manipulate search engines
- Ask yourself questions such as “would this content help my candidates?”
- Think about what makes your website unique, valuable, or engaging. Make your website stand out from others in your field.
- Create a useful, information-rich website and write pages that clearly and accurately describe your content.
The internet has come a long way since those early days of dial-up modems and Netscape browsers - remember them? Ask your Dad. But something has stayed the distance and remains uber-important. Keywords. It’s important to ensure that there is search volume for your chosen keywords. As we discussed earlier, there are many tools that can help you here. Some of our favorites at Ph.Creative include SEMRush and Ah Refs, two software tools that have been around for a long time and are highly respected across the SEO industry.
If we were looking for keywords that are relevant to, for example, a data scientist role, we would take a look at Google first to see if we could obtain insight from the results pages. Doing so will direct some of our thinking for the data scientist page and guide us with our content, including location markers, graduate roles, and whether we want to be a little more specific with longer-tail keywords within our content, such as “junior data scientist roles London.”
It’s also good practice to pay close attention to the “people also ask” results. This can be a goldmine of hints from Google based on actual searches conducted on their search engine... Don’t forget to take a look at your competitors and see what types of keywords they are ranking well for in Google, too. You can do this through Google search or by using SEM Rush, which can provide you with a wealth of useful information.
Writing the perfect job description
This is a topic close to our hearts, and it’s one to pay close attention to. We know there’s plenty of opinions out there about what makes a great job description. But we think that our approach is the right one to use. It’s based on a Hollywood story-telling formula we’ve adapted to resonate with candidates no matter what your available opportunity. And it works.
It starts with making sure that the job title reflects what your candidates are searching for, and that it’s a true representation of the role. For example, if you are recruiting for a “digital marketing executive,” don’t feel compelled to write in the job title “digital ninja” as it’s annoying as well as unhelpful.
With the right title in place, it’s on with the content. Lead with empathy and address the persona, in particular, address their wants and needs, and pain points. Maybe there’s a statement to make that connects with their interests and emotions. Then create curiosity, playing on your experiences or culture to create a sense of curiosity in the candidate's mind. Add something surprising by revealing a secret thing candidates might not have known about working with you. Then reveal some insight and information into what it’s like to work at your organisation, and weave in role responsibilities. Finally, inspire some action with a final statement that makes a candidate hit the apply button. That’s a lot to take in, we know, but take it one step at a time and you’ll soon get into the swing of it.
So that’s part two all wrapped up. For more insight, download our Ultimate Guide to SEO for Careers Websites. Look out for part 3, where we’ll look at effective housekeeping of expired vacancies and getting the most from Google for jobs.