Basic Search Engine Optimization for Recruitment Site

This post dated back from 2009 and might need a refresh 😉

This post is somewhat in the beginner range of SEO. Did that to help TMP Worldwide clients to have quick, actionable item. As the Digital Strategist for the Montreal office its definitely more toward people new to this and especially HR people. I’ve cut all the extra stuff to just keep it to the core elements. Of course, these principles make complete sense for every site, not just recruitment.

The importance of websites to a recruiting strategy is indisputable. The websites’ efficiency and effectiveness are imperative and is growing more valuable every day. A unified Web presence, part of a long- and short-term global marketing and communications strategy adapted to recruitment needs, is key.

Let’s look at some important basic technical website marketing guidelines you should consider when marketing your Web presence to future employees. Most of these elements involve search engine optimization (SEO), using a site’s integral elements (title, HTML code, incoming links, outgoing links, etc.) to improve its ranking in search results.

Page Title

The Page Title is not the visible title, but rather your site’s HTML tag seen at the top of your browser window.

tmp worldwide page title on google search.jpgThis page element, which is often underestimated and poorly used, is essential for SEO as well as users as it boost’s your web pages’ accessibility and usability. Each page must have its own title which is less than 65 characters including spaces, easy to understand and reveals information about the content of the actual page, not the site.

Paying attention to the page title will  improve the volume and quality of traffic to your website!

Meta Description

This information, used mainly by user agents (e.g. search engine robots), is hidden in your pages’ HTML source code and not normally visible. Search engines such as Google, however, will recognize this information and display it as the page description, as seen in the example below.

tmp_worldwide_meta_description_on_google

The meta description, which must be less than 150 characters including spaces, is, therefore the first contact you’ll have with your candidate through search results. As with titles, each page must have its meta description.  It’s  a powerful marketing tool that allows you to be noticed, to make Internet users want to click on the link and visit your site.

Programming Code

Your pages’ HTML code is the technological structure that supports visitors and search engines. You would never buy a house with a shaky foundation, would you? Well, the same goes for your Web pages. Good structure is the mark of skilled work and can promote enhanced search engine optimization.

You can quickly check the code on your Web pages with the markup validation service offered by W3C, the consortium that sets Web standards.

Outgoing Links

External links pointing to your pages and job offers are the most important indicators used by search engines to rank your site among the billions of indexed pages. On the Web, a link to your page is a vote from the site displaying the link. The more prominent the site, the stronger the vote of confidence!  You can check the number of links to your website and where they originate. Take http://www.samuellavoie.com, for example. If you go to the Yahoo! Search engine, you can enter the following search:

linkdomain:http://www.samuellavoie.com -site:www.samuellavoie.com

This request will find the links to this site.

SEO basics to implement for you “jobs site”

This short list of criteria can be used to sharpen your Web presence and give you an edge in the Wild West that is today’s Web. Competition for traffic and high-quality candidates who are active users of the Internet is on the upswing and will continue to increase.

There are more than one hundred guidelines for search engine optimization to consider if you want to improve the presence of your job offers on the Web. Comments as always appreciated or contact me.

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