Seven simple ways to boost your SEO
Ranking highly in search results is the single most important thing you can do for your marketing strategy - if not for your entire business.
A high ranking signals that you’re a key player in your industry. A lower ranking will almost certainly create the wrong impression - that you’re a new business, you’re not well known and you either don’t take your digital strategy seriously (and therefore can’t be bothered to communicate with your customers properly) or that you don’t have the budget to be able to afford to boost your rankings.
You’ll know from your own experience that if you don’t come in on the first page of the search results, you’ll have virtually no search visibility. No-one will scroll far to find you.
It’s for this reason, we’ve put together seven top tips for recruiters to use to boost their SEO.
1 Create a strong UX
Search engines want to see mobile-friendly design, good user signals (high time on site, low bounce rates, etc) and integration of relevant photos and videos. These elements also combine to provide a good experience for your visitors as well - in other words, optimising your site for SEO improves your user experience. And a great user experience means higher conversion rates, more trust and increased brand loyalty.
2 Create great content
It’s critical for recruiters to build a healthy content profile on their websites, as this is a key factor that Google evaluates when looking at your site.
A good content strategy will answer people’s needs rather than deliver simple facts.
The starting point of all content is to develop your buyer personas. Identifying your target market by breaking down your audience into typical buyer types will help shape your content to deliver the results you are setting out to achieve, while allowing you to target relevant keywords.
3 How do I pick the right keywords?
The term 'keyword' refers to the words people use when they search. This is different from the words that you think they might be searching with.
Tools such as Google’s free Keyword Planner can help you build a list of keywords to be used in a campaign for SEO and content. Take a look at your own website and consider which words Google believes you rank for by logging into the Adwords area. If you’ve never used Adwords, it’s an effective tool for driving free or paid traffic to your site.
Once you’ve built your list of keywords, start to target their position by producing content written with keywords in mind. Review these every month - it may seem like a chore, but its well worth the effort. These keywords form the bedrock of your content strategy.
4 Landgrab your space
The next step is to build your SEO reputation. Ideally, you want to target a keyword or phrase that has a relatively low search volume as opposed to keywords that are popular.
Focusing your effort on the most popular search means you’ll struggle to score high in the rankings. Choosing a keyword that has a lower volume of traffic will help you achieve a better ranking for this word. The more keywords you rank for, the higher your site’s reputation becomes, which then means you have a better chance of ranking for the associated higher keywords.
5 Keyword stuffing and why to avoid it
Most recruiters already know that content is an SEO superpower - but this has helped create the practice of keyword stuffing, ie shoehorning as many of your keywords as possible into every piece of content you write.
Keyword stuffing is counter-productive. Not only does it make for a poor user experience, you’ll end up damaging your SEO because the search engines are on to you.
6 Monitor and fine-tune
Adjusting your SEO is particularly true in the face of the constantly changing and ever more sophisticated algorithms that govern search.
The best place to start is to look at your organic traffic. Visitor engagement and time on site are also keys metric as it shows the depth to which a user goes, usually measured by the number of pages viewed and which pages they visit.
Improvements to your content quickly become obvious - if a whitepaper on a particular subject is particularly popular, continue the theme or, on the flip side, if a page is getting no views, ask yourself why.
7 Where should I start?
A few simple top tips for best practice include:
Use SEO-friendly human readable URLs
Use keywords in page titles - essential for on-page SEO
Add modifiers to your title to describe the who, what, how, why and where. For example, The best ways to… or Top tips for… attract attention and have a positive effect on SEO
Add a H1 heading to your title. This not only looks good, it serves a valuable purpose in providing the signpost to lead search engines to your page
Use structured data to describe and classify your page content. Worthy of a whole post in itself, it is structured data that tells search engines what your data actually means. If it’s not there, search engines can only determine what your data says. Making it easy for the search engine to crawl your website will give you a massive SEO advantage.
For further help and advice, download our free Recruiter’s Guide to SEO.