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Why is SEO so essential?





Talent Attraction, SEO, Careers Insider

During the course of an average month I will usually have ten to fifteen conversations with HR leaders for companies all over the world who are all realizing the value SEO can bring and the difference it can make to the general awareness of an employer brand and the specific visibility of open job roles.

In most cases, the vacant job roles are costing companies money every day and the cost of marketing the open roles can be high and never ending. This is where SEO can make an incredible difference.

For some reason, SEO is still being massively under utilized despite a plethora of widely available evidence that shows that SEO can often be the most cost effective means of consistently reaching an active audience. 

Admittedly SEO can be a daunting subject, Google has over 200 ranking factors in its core algorithm this alone can be enough for some to run for the hills and not consider it as a viable marketing channel for talent attraction. However, the clients we do work with who have adopted it as one of their core marketing channels have soon learned that a well-managed and executed SEO campaign can be paramount to writing your own checks when it comes to attracting the right talent.

Why is SEO so essential?

Cost per hire

A client approached us a few years ago complaining that they felt that their $3,000 cost per hire was excessive and they wanted to reduce it. By implementing an SEO and content strategy where the focus was good on-page SEO structure, writing content which resonated with their core personas, and gaining valuable backlinks to their website from reputable sources, we reduced this average cost per hire from $3,000 to just $69.74. This is quite a common occurrence when it comes to SEO at Ph.Creative and it enabled the client to reduce their paid media and job board spend significantly as well.

1 billion job searches per day on Google

When you consider the number of job searches being performed on Google each day, then throw into the mix that over 50% of candidates prefer to get their information about a role from a company’s website, ensuring that your careers website is as visible and well optimized as possible is absolutely essential to long-term talent attraction success. It still amazes me how much money is spent on creating fantastic employer brand strategies, EVPs and talent attraction campaigns all with the aim of bringing candidates to a careers site to really showcase a company’s culture and then not implement an SEO campaign to really get the site visible on the search engines results pages. At Ph.Creative we have an analogy which goes along the lines of, “having a careers website and not implementing an SEO strategy is like owning a brand new car and never filling it with fuel!”.


After a recent conversation with a prospective client who wanted to discuss SEO with me because they were spending thousands per month on job boards and wanted to reduce this spend, I decided that by creating a library of simple SEO tutorials for both existing and prospective clients it could provide some much needed clarity and simplicity to the subject of SEO without confusing or scaring people.

When I learnt SEO 10 years ago, the one thing that petrified me was being spoken to in technical SEO language, it always made me feel so inferior when being taught something, so I always made a point of ensuring that I kept it as simple and as clear as possible when discussing SEO.

What is SEO

In episode one, we take a look at just what SEO is and provide an explanation on the difference between on-page, off-page and technical SEO.

Why SEO is essential to employer branding

In Bryan Adams & Charlotte Marshall’s recent book, ‘Employer Branding Give & Get’, they speak passionately about repelling the many and compelling only the few when it comes to recruitment. SEO can play such an important part in this philosophy where recruiters don’t need more applicants to sift through, they just need the right ones. SEO can ensure that your website is the shop window to candidates who can find out more about a company first and decide after whether they will be a good match or not. 

Episode two provides some really compelling statistics about why SEO should be part of your marketing budget, now and for many years to come.

Google for Jobs

On any given day there are between 175,000 & 200,000 job listings posted on Google for Jobs in the US alone!

This equates to over 5 million jobs per month. Staggering statistics right? However, Google for Jobs is just one small part of a well-rounded SEO strategy which needs to encompass optimizing a website so both users and search engines can understand and navigate around the site effectively, a great content strategy which resonates with the target audience, and also ensures that the key pages on the website load quickly and aren’t taking an eternity to display. For every additional 1 second it takes a page to load, conversion rate on a website can reduce by up to 7%. Episode three takes a look at 3 key aspects of SEO that should always be considered when optimizing a careers website. 

SEO at Ph.Creative

Search engine optimization has been the cornerstone of almost all of our client strategies at Ph since we started 16 years ago. We’re lucky to have optimized hundreds of websites during that time and we’re really proud to say many of these clients are still with us to this day.

Part of the reason for this is because of our transparency and honesty. There are hundreds of black hat SEO agencies out there who will cut corners, use dubious techniques or work in a dishonest manner. I’m very proud to say we’ve never been one of them. In fact, in the 16 years we’ve been around none of our clients have ever been hit with a Google penalty or fallen foul of an algorithm change, and the reason for this is fairly simple. We follow Google’s quality rater guidelines when it comes to SEO and we’ve always been 100% transparent in all our client SEO strategies.

Episode four takes a look at how we work when it comes to SEO.

Keywords still matter!

We live in an age where Google’s algorithms are so complex, they can understand the context and meaning of a webpage without the need for a specific keyword describing the subject on the page. When it comes to talent attraction however, keywords are still undoubtedly very important especially when it comes to job titles in job descriptions. I’ve lost count how many times a client has approached us to take a look at their SEO and specifically why they may not be ranking well in the search engines results pages over the years, only to find that their job titles and page titles aren’t correctly written based on what candidates are searching for. Keywords still very much matter when it comes to SEO for our recruitment marketing clients and in episode five we provide a glimpse into why they are still important to talent attraction.


I hope you enjoyed watching these short videos as much as I enjoyed putting them together. They were very much inspired by numerous conversations with clients over the past twelve months who wanted to find out a little more about why SEO is so important to long term sustainable growth when it comes to talent attraction. In an age where billions are being spent yearly on job boards, more and more HR Directors and Talent Attraction Leaders are implementing SEO to attract candidates for a fraction of the cost and showcasing their employer brand and culture at the same time, repelling the many and compelling the few who they want within their organization.

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