Jan 04, 2024

Recruitment SEO Step 2: Off-Page SEO a Recruiter's Guide

Recruitment SEO Step 2: Off-Page SEO a Recruiter's Guide

Please note this post was written by Darren Revell, our founder, who has severe dyslexia. While he has used Grammarly, Word and Chrome spellchecks, they don't all agree, so please respect our intent in providing this advice, if not the grammatical accuracy. Advice which has stood the test of the past 20 years and counting.


On-page SEO refers to mainly optimising the text content (though images and URL structures all are part of On-Page SEO) of your website and the myriad of places that text can be used in the settings of a website to trigger a ranking response from search engines. This content in SEO speak is made up of "Head terms", "Shoulder terms", and "Long-tail" terms (some SEOs refer to "Shoulder terms" as Mid-tail terms").

The number one thing to know about SEO, and in particular On-page SEO, is you can't be ranked for something you have not written about, and when you do write about a topic, subject to how much competition there is for the content you have written you may or may not gain ranking for your content without some help from Off-page SEO (Off-page SEO is covered in another post.

"Head terms" in SEO refer to broad, high-volume keywords that are typically shorter and more generic. People use these general, often one- or two-word, terms when searching for information online. Head terms are characterised by high search volume and broad search intent. Examples of "Head terms" for recruiters would be jobs, sales jobs, finance jobs, and part-time jobs.


"Shoulder terms" in SEO refer to broad terms with additional broad filtering added to them, or they can be a term in their own right. Examples of "Shoulder terms" for recruiters would be "sales jobs near me", "finance jobs London", and "part-time jobs Edinburgh".


"Long-tail terms" tend to be very precise search terms where the user intends to gain some specific result. Examples of "Long-tail" for recruiters would be "SaaS sales jobs in Dartford", "Financial control jobs near Cannon Street London", and "part-time childminding jobs in Edinburgh".


On-page SEO task to perform as part of a recurring SEO strategy


Keyword Research: Research relevant keywords related to your recruitment niche, considering how keywords work in the explanation above. Ensure you have sufficient pages and content to meet the needs of the "Head terms", "Shoulder terms", and "Long-tail" terms (some SEOs refer to "Shoulder terms" as Mid-tail terms") for your recruitment niche/ niches.


Title Tags: Title tags must be unique per page and include keywords that reflect the page. Keep it this simple within 50-60 characters to ensure it displays well in search engine results.


Meta Descriptions: This is your call to action pitch to get a user to read your page; try to make an engaging statement using up to 170 characters to convince a user to read your page.


Header Tags (H1, H2, H3, etc.): Structure your content using header tags to create a hierarchy. The H1 tag should contain the main heading of the page, and subsequent tags (H2, H3, etc.) should be used to organise subheadings. These can be keyword-rich.


URL Structure: Create descriptive URLs that include relevant keywords. 


Content Quality: Google tells us of the 350 billion daily searches, 30% are about employment. Jobs are always top and, thenthou have things like pay queries etc. The bulk of these searches conform to the "Long-tail term" variety. Matching your content to "Long-tails" provides a massive opportunity for recruiters to attack the low-hanging, highly valued source of rankings.


Keyword Placement: Place keywords strategically throughout the content. However, avoid keyword stuffing (too many keywords for the text to be a natural example). Aim always for a natural/how you speak type of voice to keep the readability of the text well balanced. Include keywords in the title, meta description, headers, and throughout the content.


Internal Linking: Link to other relevant pages within your website. Internal links help search engines understand the structure of your site and improve user navigation. Ensure that anchor text is descriptive and relevant. (Anchor text is the wording you give to the search engine to describe the link. Typically, your website editing tool will show you where to put this)


External Linking: When you can link to sites with authority on the subject you are covering. This strategy is beneficial for your blog pages, as the links help gain authority/trust for your web page/website.


Image Optimisation: Optimise images by using descriptive filenames and adding alt text. This helps search engines understand the content of images and improves accessibility. (The alt text is the wording you give to the search engine to describe the image. Usually, your website editing tool will show you where to put this)


Mobile-Friendliness: Ensure that your content is mobile-friendly. While Google flip-flops on mobile as a ranking factor, SEO is also about users. So think and text how your content reads ont the mobile view of your page.


Page Speed: This is in part about Technical SEO and in part about On-page SEO. The On-page part it to ensure you do the simple stuff right. Put a 5000 x 4000 pixel in your image library and use it for a space that only needs a 600 x 600 pixel image, and you will destroy your page speed scores. 


Also, ensure that whatever image you load is optimised for its file weight. You can have the best website CMS in the world and still kill your page speak by loading oversized heavy images.


User Experience (UX): Always create a positive user experience. This includes easy navigation, clear calls to action, and a well-designed layout. A good user experience can indirectly impact your site's performance in search engines. But above all else, create content that gives users a reason to come back time after or if they are reading a post on LinkedIn or other socials that links to a page on your website; make the post intriguing enough to get the user to follow the link and end up on your website.


On-Page SEO: a Recruiter Guide to content that converts


  1. Jobs that match the Long-tail terms candidates use to search for jobs in their tens of millions daily.
  2. Run client microsites to get ranked for their jobs/brand name; most of your clients' career sites will be sat on unrankable website tech.
  3. Advertise candidates you are marketing.
  4. Convert your placed job posts to testimonials and case study pages in your blog so you have a permanently paged for Google and users to find long after the job is filled.
  5. Make case study pages with keywords for recruitment services and your niche/niches.
  6. Make candidate testimonial pages with keywords for recruitment services and your niche/niches.
  7. Make client testimonial pages with keywords for recruitment services and your niche/niches.
  8. Make pages that cover the who, what, when, where, and why type questions asked in Google daily about employment in your niche/niches.
  9. Make pages that share sources from other useful sites with keywords for recruitment services and your niche/niches. This is called content curation.
  10. Share all this content on your social channels.


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