SEO for job boards isn’t the sexiest topic, but it’s one that digital publishers need to understand if they want their websites to flourish.
If you have been reading along for any length of time, you know that SEO is an acronym that stands for search engine optimization. Search engine optimization is the process of getting traffic from free or organic search results on search engines, like Google and Bing.
The most successful publishers have already optimized their websites with SEO best practices in mind, but job boards are a unique beast. SEO for job boards is somewhat different than SEO for traditional websites. In this article, we will dig deeper into what publishers should be doing to make sure their job boards are discoverable on the major search engines.
Why Is SEO for Job Boards So Important?
A whopping 30% of all Google searches—around 300 million per month—are job-related, which means the potential here for digital publishers is enormous. Publishers with job boards are in a fantastic position to capitalize on this market, but that only works if their job boards are discoverable on the major search engines.
How does that discoverability begin? For starters, publishers need to make sure Google’s robots are able to crawl their job boards to determine what the website is about. Google includes this data in a large database and uses it to determine which websites are shown when people search for certain keywords online.
Job board publishers want their websites to appear in the first page of results when someone types “[niche] jobs in [city]” into a search bar. It’s very important to be on the first page of results, ideally in the top one or two spots, if you are relying on organic traffic for website growth. Research shows that links in the first position in Google results have a 20% click-through rate, while those in the second and third spots have just 13% click-through rates. Links in position #9, near the bottom of the first page, have click-through rates of just 5%. That number drops off even further beyond the first page of search results.
That’s where SEO for job boards comes into play. The following strategies and tactics have been shown to improve rankings in search engines, boosting the number of organic visitors and increasing profits for publishers with online job boards.
Choosing the Right Keywords
One of the most important decisions a digital publisher makes, when it comes to SEO for job boards, is to select the best keywords. Keywords are the terms people search for when they look for content on Google.
Rather than blindly guessing which keywords will bring in the most visitors, we recommend that publishers research which search terms are actually being used by job seekers online. Read blogs, forums, and other websites in your job board’s niche to get a sense of the terminology, and look up competing job boards to see which keywords they are including in headers and categories. You can also use a research tool like Keyword Tool or Ubersuggest for keyword ideas. The results should be pulled together into a list, and sprinkled throughout your website in content and section headers.
Adding Category Pages
Keywords are at the heart of every strategy when it comes to SEO for job boards, but categories are an important feature here, as well. Optimized job boards should include job category pages. For example, the job board JournalismJobs.com includes categories by industry (newspaper, TV, digital media, radio, etc.), state, and job type (full-time, part-time, freelance).
To maximize the benefits of categories, from an SEO perspective, make sure category titles use the keywords you identified as being particularly relevant to your niche. Category titles should be included in the URLs, titles, meta descriptions, and headings for each category page.
Making the Most of Job Postings
Most job boards have individual pages for each job posting, which we refer to as job post pages. For SEO purposes, we recommend that the URLs for these post pages contain some combination of job title, company name, and location. URLs do not need to contain all three of these, but at least two is ideal.
Job titles should also appear in the page titles and headings on job post pages. The job description should appear in the Meta description section.
Making Expired Job Postings Unavailable
Unlike business directories, job board postings are setup to expire after a certain number of days or after a position has been filled. Most publishers don’t realize that what happens to their postings after they expire plays an important in SEO.
To maximize SEO for job boards, we recommend that expired job posting pages be redirected to a search results page that shows similar results. This is instead of showing a 404 page, which can negatively impact search engine rankings.
If you have more questions about SEO for job boards, reach out to our team here at Web Publisher PRO.