There is a lot of confusion surrounding recruitment search engine optimisation and it could be easy for HR professionals to assume that a corporate career website will never be able to beat the job boards and agency recruiters to high page rankings.
The truth is that a well optimised career website can be more attractive to Google than a job board, for the simple reason that a corporate career website publishes original content.
The full blog on Recruitment SEO: The facts for corporate recruiters, can be read here
, but the following is an overview of how this has resulted in the new RWE npower
career website, integrated with the Lumesse TalentLink applicant tracking system, has increased its Google rankings.
Google loves original content and hates aggregated content
Earlier this year Google launched the first of the Panda algorithm changes. Each of these updates was designed to seek out quality content over aggregated content. This was achieved by reviewing websites from a human visitor’s perspective not a machine.
As a corporate recruitment tool, your career website has a huge amount of original content, which is relevant to the active and passive candidate. The problem is that Google can’t easily find the vacancies, which are the most regularly updated and therefore the ‘freshest’ content pages; for the simple reason that they are normally hidden on the applicant tracking system on another domain names and poorly optimised.
These vacancies are the meat of your website. The supporting pages of content are the job family pages, the testimonials, the employee videos, the blogs and news. It is these pages which help convert visitors from browsers into applicants, by enhancing the vacancy pages.
A lot of career websites bury this content deep in the site, without linking it together, or in the case of the vacancies on the applicant tracking system
supplier’s domain, its not possible to do this dynamically. This means a visitor (and Google) has to search for the content, rather than having it ‘pushed’ to them, which makes life difficult for the visitor and Google doesn’t like that.
The new RWE npower career website
Consumer focussed e-commerce sites such as Amazon provided a model for the new RWE npower career website, focussing on an enhanced candidate experience. Controlling where a visitor lands and what content is displayed is critical to visitor engagement and the aim of engagement is to convert visitors into candidates by applying for a vacancy or joining the talent community.
This linking of original content is extremely important to Google as it states that this page has authority and because the website has been designed to deliver relevant content to the visitor it consists of a well designed navigation structure with lots of interlinked relevant content.
Why landing pages are important
Landing pages can be used to group content together, typically by job families and locations, which creates a hub of interest for visitors. By understanding what job seekers are searching for, these pages can be optimised to include relevant page titles, urls and specific keywords in the content.
The new RWE npower career website dynamically links relevant content into these landing pages with specific calls to action, relevant jobs, news, articles, employee videos and blogs. All of which helps to engage the visitor, keep their interest and ultimately convert them into an applicant.
It goes beyond vacancies with interlinked supporting pages of relevant content and is one of the reasons Google views it as a higher authority than many of the job boards.
- Over 800 pages indexed by Google (previous site 103, as no vacancies could be indexed)
- Vacancies ranking at number 1 in Google
- Achieving page 1 and 2 rankings for general job family searches
- Achieving first employer positioning for general job family searches
- Time on site up by 30%.
David Johnston is a corporate web consultant at recruitment website design firm, 4Mat.
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