On-Page SEO For Recruiters:
The Definitive Guide

Everything you need to know about SEO for recruiters is included in this definitive guide.

If you want to:

  • Understand how SEO works
  • Use keywords to improve your SEO rankings
  • Design each page to max out the SEO potential of your website

Then the detailed strategies in this guide will give you the tools you need.

Let’s get started.

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Contents

Chapter 1

On-Page SEO 101

In this section, I’m going to cover the basics of on-page SEO, including:

  • The purpose of SEO
  • What on-page SEO is and how it differs from off-page SEO
  • Why both on-page and off-page SEO are important
  • Why keywords are the name of the game
  • The core keywords for recruiters

Let’s get started.

section-1

The Purpose Of SEO

SEO (which is short for search engine optimization) is a strategy to get your recruiting website ranked more highly in Internet searches (mostly Google but I guess Bing too).

To search for a recruiter, people use certain keywords or phrases. When you identify those keywords and use them strategically on your pages, the ranking of your site will improve.

Manufacturing-Recruiter-1

What Is On-Page SEO? And How Is It Different from Off-Page SEO?

There are two complementary SEO strategies: on-page and off-page. Using both strategies will get you the best results.

On-Page SEO

On-page SEO is the way to optimize your site’s rankings by using the right keywords on your pages.

While using keywords in your visible content improves your on-page SEO more than any other step, you can further increase the optimization by using keywords in your title tags, internal links, and URLs.

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Off-Page SEO

Off-page SEO helps to improve your site’s rankings through backlinks.

Backlinks are links to your own site that are hosted on other sites. For example, someone might write a blog and use information from your site for reference. A backlink could be provided as a citation.

003-Backlink-Example

Backlinks are essentially a vote for your website that says, “This site has useful and credible information.”

Search engines find those votes valuable in determining SEO rankings.

On-Page And Off-Page SEO Are BOTH Important

To fully optimize your search engine rankings, it’s important to use both on-page and off-page SEO strategies.

However, we will focus on on-page SEO only in this guide.

Keywords Are The Name Of The Game

When someone is looking for a product or service online, they type a word or phrase into a search engine. That word or phrase is called a keyword or search term.

Keywords are the building blocks of an SEO strategy.

Core Keywords

Core keywords are those words that people will most likely search for.

For recruiting websites, core keywords include variations of:

  • recruiter
  • recruiting
  • recruitment

As examples:

  • A hiring manager looking for a new employee in the e-commerce industry might search for “e-commerce recruiter” or “e-commerce recruiting”
  • An HR representative looking to find a recruiter for their search for a sales manager might search for “sales recruiter” or “sales recruitment”
004-Google-Search-E-Commerce-Recruiter

Additional Keywords

Of course, people don’t always search for a core keyword. They might use a synonym or a regional variation of a word. (For instance, the drink called “soda” by most Americans is called “pop” by Canadians.)

With your thinking cap on and a little research, it’s not difficult to come up with relevant additional keywords.

For recruitment websites, strong additional keywords are:

  • executive search
  • retained search
  • headhunter
  • search firm
  • staffing (this would apply only to a staffing firm)

Now that you know what keywords are, the next step is learning how to use them strategically.

Chapter 2

Practice Areas

In this section, I’m going to explain how practice area pages can boost your SEO. Let’s talk about:

  • What a practice area is
  • How to create a strong practice area page and a terrific page title
  • How to write powerful and keyword-rich introductory content
  • How to use keywords within case studies, typical roles, and testimonials

Are you ready? Let’s dive in.

section-2

What’s A Practice Area Anyway?

Many recruiters focus on a specific industry. A practice area is an industry entity or unit. It can be broad or narrow in scope.

For example, a practice area could be the name of the industry itself, e.g., manufacturing or biotech. A practice area could also be a department within a company, e.g., sales or marketing. It might also be some other type of grouping. For example, a recruiter specializing in pharma and medical devices might use a practice area called life sciences.

When people search for a recruiter, they will typically use keywords related to the practice area. For example, they might search for “energy recruiter” (top-level category) or “oil and gas recruiter” (more specific category).

005-Practice-Areas

How To Create A Strong Practice Area Page

Creating content for each practice area allows you to use more keywords and improve your on-page SEO.

A strong practice area page has well-defined sections, each with keyword-rich text.

Sections to develop for each practice area page include:

006-Practice-Area-Example

How To Create Terrific Titles For Your Practice Area Pages

For best SEO results, the titles of your practice area pages should be keyword rich.

Using a formulaic approach, like this one, makes it easy to enhance your keywords:

Name of practice area + one of the core keywords + additional keywords

This formula creates page titles like:

  • Healthcare Recruiting and Executive Search
  • Oil and Gas Recruitment in the Energy Sector
  • Medical Device Recruiters and Headhunters

This same formula can be used to create titles for all your practice area pages.

How To Write Powerful Introductory Text

Now that you have your keyword-rich title, the next step is to write keyword-rich content. But “keyword-rich” does not mean overkill.

Keep this content relatively short (1-3 paragraphs or a max of about 400 words).

007-Practice-Area-Intro-Text

Create introductory-level text about the specific practice area and work in your keywords.

Use the keywords liberally in a natural, subtle way. Don’t jam the words in to make awkward or nonsensical sentences.

Overusing or “stuffing” keywords where they don’t naturally belong can actually backfire as Google might penalize your site if you cram in keywords willy nilly, which could lower it in search rankings.

Add More Keywords With Case Studies

A case study gives you another chance to add in relevant keyword-rich content.

The case study should present information about a recruiting challenge that you successfully resolved. It can be structured with the following sections:

  • The Challenge
  • The Solution
  • The Outcome
008-Practice-Area-Case-Study

As with the introductory text, keep this content relatively short (1-3 paragraphs, to a max of 400 words).

While keywords should be used liberally in this section as well, they shouldn’t be crammed in, but worked in subtly.

List Typical Roles In the Practice Area To Boost SEO

You can also improve your SEO rankings by including a section that lists the roles or jobs typically filled by that practice area.

For instance, a life sciences recruiter with a Healthcare Recruiting and Executive Search practice area page might list roles like these:

009-Practice-Area-Typical-Roles

Remember to use synonyms to increase your keyword usage and optimize your search engine results.

For example, a physician might also be also called a doctor, a surgeon, a specialist, or an MD.

Peppering Testimonials With Keywords

On the surface, testimonials are a terrific way to enhance your credibility.

But they are also one more way to work more keywords into your practice area pages.

010-Practice-Area-Testimonial

Credible testimonials are written by clients who’ve used your services. If a provided testimonial is not keyword-rich, consider adding a title where keywords can be worked in.

Now that you have the tools to build terrific search-optimized practice area pages, let’s move on.

Chapter 3

Locations

In this section, let’s look at how including pages for each location you serve can help to optimize your search engine results.

Specifically, let’s talk about:

  • How do we define “location”?
  • How to create a strong location page and terrific page title
  • How to write relevant keyword rich introductory content
  • Why you should link to the practice area pages

Ready to get started?

section-3

How Do We Define “Location”?

It’s intuitive to think of your location as the place where YOU are located — namely, where your office is.

But location pages should be about the cities that you are hoping to recruit in.

011-US-Map

This gives you a leg up in terms of SEO when someone searches for a location-specific recruiter.

As well, including a page for each location you are hoping to recruit in can add a large number of pages to your website.

Each of those pages can be sprinkled liberally with keywords to boost your SEO results.

How to Create a Strong Location Page

A strong location page has a keyword rich title and well-defined sections that:

  • Describe the actual location/city/geographic area
  • Talk about the role of your recruiters at that location
  • Link to your practice area pages
012-Location-Page-Example

All content on each location page should be well-written with liberal — but natural — use of keywords.

How to Create a Terrific Title For Each Location Page

Make the titles of your location pages rich with keywords.

It’s easy to do that when you use this formula:

Location + Practice Area + Recruiting/Recruiter/Recruitment Agency + Additional Keywords

Sample results include:

  • Aberdeen Renewable Energy Recruiters and Executive Search
  • Chicago Pharmaceutical Recruitment Agency and Executive Search
  • Brisbane Manufacturing Recruitment for Corporate and Executive Roles

This formula can be used to create titles for all your location pages.

How to Write Relevant, Keyword-Rich Content for Location Pages

Although you’ll want to use recruitment-specific keywords on these pages, it’s important to also include content about the actual location.

Starting with geoeconomic content that summarizes how your target practice areas are performing at the location is a terrific way to work in keyword-rich text.

For example:

013-Location-Top-Text

You should also add a section that discusses the work that your recruiters do at each location. Again, this is a chance to load up your content with keywords.

What If You Don’t Have A Physical Office At A Location?

What if your recruitment team doesn’t have a physical presence at the location you are featuring? Remember that a lot of the work that recruiting professionals do isn’t limited by geopolitical boundaries.

Think about what kind of work your recruiting team does at its physical office location. They likely:

  • Work to identify top talent
  • Screen and interview candidates
  • Market recruitment opportunities
  • Stay on top of recruitment trends and legalities

All this work can be done remotely, reaching clients and candidates in each location you want to recruit in.

Take this opportunity to optimize your content for search engines and market yourself as a recruiter available to work in all the locations you specify.

As far as the actual content, use keywords liberally, but do so in a natural, organic way. Make sure the content flows well and is highly readable.

Linking Practice Area Pages And Location Pages

Providing links between your practice area pages and your location pages is an organic and intuitive way to further boost your SEO. The linked text provides additional keywords for each page.

Links to your location pages work well in the footer of your practice area pages.

014-Location-Links

On your location pages, links to your practice area pages can make terrific sidebar content.

015-Location-Practice-Areas

Once you’ve added in these links, your location pages should be complete, with plenty of relevant keyword-rich content.

Chapter 4

Homepage

A strong homepage is clear, concise, intuitive, and keyword rich. It is not, however, content heavy.

To help your homepage achieve these goals, in this section, let’s look at:

  • How to craft a clear and keyword-rich headline
  • >Why you should include links to your practice area and location pages

Let’s start.

section-4
016-Stylized-Home-Page

How To Craft An Optimal Headline

The headline on your homepage should make clear that the lead is in the right place. It should also be keyword rich.

When crafting your headline, use core keywords plus additional keywords.

Some examples of a terrific headlines include:

  • High Impact Recruiting and Executive Search For Today’s Energy Industry
  • Expert Technical, Manufacturing and Engineering Recruitment Agency
  • We’re Taking Technical Recruitment In A New Direction

TIP: You might find it easier to craft a compelling headline first, and then work your keywords in. It can be more difficult to start with the keywords and turn them into a headline.

How to Create An Effective Subheadline

Some web gurus suggest that the optimal length for a headline is 6 to 12 words.

Six to twelve words is not a lot of text.

A subheadline is an impactful way to add more content to clarify your focus and to add more keywords to boost your SEO.

When you craft your subheadline, use your practice area keywords.

Some examples of terrific subheadlines are:

  • As leaders in healthcare recruitment, our goal is simple: we want to help you find the best person for the job.
  • We are Canada’s top-rated recruitment agency for the oil and gas sector.
  • With locations around the globe, our recruiters are uniquely positioned to locate top engineering talent.

And, again, you may find it easier to just brainstorm your ideal subheadline without any consideration of keywords to start. You can always work the keywords in later.

Don’t Skip The Practice Areas!

Linking your practice areas on your homepage can optimize your search engine rankings and provide clarity to your visitors about your services and focus.

As we’ve seen on the location pages, your practice areas contain important keywords.

Don’t overlook the importance of linking your practice areas on your homepage.

Don’t Forget About The Location Pages!

As with the practice areas, linking your location pages on your homepage can define your focus for your visitors and help with SEO rankings

A tidy and easy way to list these links is in the page footer.

A headline, a subheadline, and links to your practice areas and locations will provide a solid backbone for your homepage but of course, remember that it will also include other non-SEO related content.

Chapter 5

Job Postings

Of course, any recruitment website will have job postings. But job postings are handled differently than other site content.

In this section, we’re going to briefly explore:

  • Why job postings don’t need to be specifically optimized with keywords
  • What kind of information a job posting should have

That’s it! Let’s get started.

section-5

Why Job Postings Don’t Need Keywords

Google for Jobs exists for job postings. It’s an enhanced search feature that pulls in listings from job boards and career sites.

017-Google-Jobs-Search

Most jobs postings will naturally have all the keywords that you need to rank in Google for Jobs so I wouldn’t recommend spending any real amount of time specifically adding them in.

More importantly though, job postings need to have their data structured in a way that allows Google for Jobs to index them.

Structuring the data using Google for Jobs schema requires a fair bit of technical knowledge. It’s best to consult a developer.

TIP: If you want to check out the schema yourself, you can find it here.

Job Posting Content

Since you don’t need to worry about adding keywords, just focus on creating a clear and well-defined job posting.

Any job posting should include these sections:

018-Stylized-Job-Posting

Most of your job postings should be able to follow this structuring.

Chapter 6

The Blog

Blog posts can provide many benefits but they aren’t a core part of SEO rankings. As such, you don’t need to worry about keyword use in your blog posts.

TIP: A more advanced blogging strategy may have a bit of an SEO focus but this should be the last thing on your to-do list. Don’t worry about optimizing your blog until you’ve implemented everything else in this post.

Don’t skip the blog though! Blogs are terrific marketing tools. Blogs can:

    • Drive traffic to your site
    • Establish authority
    • Help to build stronger client relationships

Even though they might not make a huge difference to your SEO rankings, blogs still have an important role in your online presence.

section-6

Conclusion

I hope my new On-Page SEO Guide for Recruiters was helpful to you.

I’d welcome your thoughts about it.

Which tips are you most keen to try?

Let me know by leaving a comment below.

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