Jobseeker habits and search engines
Before we can move forward, I need to explain a little of how search engines work and how job seekers search for jobs in search engines. Basically, we enter words into search engines to explain what we are looking for; the web promotion industry/search engines call these ‘keywords’. The job of the job site is to organise their web pages/content and web promotion strategy to gain rankings for those terms so that you get job seekers to your job ads.
Keywords come in three forms. The first form is a search term that can be explained in one or two words. Examples would be accountants, or in the case of job seekers, ‘accounting jobs’. The web promotion industry calls this a ‘head term’. The second form of keywords would be ones that have more words added to make them filter results. An example would be ‘accounting jobs London’; the web promotion industry calls these search terms ‘shoulder terms’ or ‘mid tails’. The third form of keywords is those that have more words again and/or very detailed word combinations; in the case of our accounting theme this would be something like ‘Group accounting jobs in London permanent’ or ‘Group accounting jobs in London charity sector’. The web promotion community calls these ‘long tail keywords’.
So why is the aforesaid important?
About 10% of job searches are head term driven, another 20% are shoulder term driven and 70% are ‘long tails’. At 450 million-plus job searches in all combinations in Google per month, and the nature of the long tail being very specific and likely to be from a candidate that has the exact skills you need for the job… now you see why it is important job boards have rankings and a web promotion strategy that mirrors what you need and what job seekers do.