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SEO: How to get your job advert higher in job board search results

Online recruitment advertising is all about getting your job seen by the right job seekers so that you have a healthy and quality pool of applicants to take to interview and ultimately hire. If you’re familiar with online recruitment you’ll know it’s very different to other traditional methods of recruitment advertising – it’s not enough to have a great job, salary and location but you also need to sell it in an advert...and then get it seen too!

This week’s blog looks at how to get your job advert seen by top applicants by moving up the search results on online job websites (job boards). For some background on SEO see our previous post on the Value of SEO in your Recruitment here. 

How do job board website searches work?

Job boards work in a similar way to Google in that you use the search bar facility to search a key term and the results generated are meant to be directly relevant to that key term. So if you were an applicant searching ‘Sales Executive’ in ‘Manchester’ the job board should pull up the most relevant/recent jobs relating to this search first, before suggesting alternative jobs. 

But think about how many variations of sales jobs there are out there...off the top of my head I’m already thinking: Sales Advisor, Business Development Executive, Account Manager, Sales Executive, Field Sales, Sales Consultant, Sales Representative etc. Unlike Google, which has a complex algorithm behind its search results which picks out other search terms within the same semantic field, job boards aren’t this technical. With job boards the key search term is essential. 

How to key word your job advert  

Like Google, the entire job advert is indexed – i.e. the job boards don’t just look at the job title and posting date before creating a search result list. They look at the whole job advert itself and rank each advert against each other...this decides which advert comes up higher than another. Weighting is given heavier to key terms such as the title but the text in the body of the advert shouldn’t be ignored either as it does contribute to your search ranking! That means you can cleverly, and correctly, key word your advert to come up top in applicant searches. 

Because the job title often carried more gravitas on the job board rankings we’ll start here. Always think sensibly about your job title – in-house terms don’t mean anything to job seekers and highly specialised terms are unlikely to be searched. Think generically – if you were a job seeker what would you search? Don’t forget you always put a specialism or industry in brackets too i.e. Sales Executive (IT Infrastructure). 

Now, within the body of the advert job boards recommend you key word throughout, fitting in text the words you think applicants will search. 3-5 key words distributed evenly throughout your advert will ensure that you have your bases covered in terms of what applicants are likely to search and also put you in good stead of re-iterating the relevance of your job advert. In the Sales Executive (IT Infrastructure) example you might want to include sentences such as:

• A new sales opportunity has arisen within our Technical Sales team in Manchester...
• You’ll be responsible for generating new sales leads and business development opportunities...
• You’ll be responsible for account management...
• A background within IT or technical sales would be advantageous...

As long as your key words aren’t overdone and all packed together (technical term ‘stuffed’) then this style of writing will work in your favour. Your job will be seen as relevant and you’ll have your bases covered for all the variations of Sales roles that an applicant might be searching. 

Check out more handy hints and tips on writing job adverts here. 

There’s a whole bunch of stuff to say about online recruitment advertising, that’s why we’ve dedicated a whole category to it on our website. Check out our other articles on Recruitment Advertising here.