For months (and years) I’ve wondered what the number of monthly searches was for job-related keywords on Google. I always knew it was a big number, but I was shocked to see it was over 100 million searches just in June — with June being the “dog days” of recruiting and job searching. The average month is more around 124 million searches.
Historically, the search engines haven’t shared numbers on how many specific keyword searches there were for targeted keywords, but recently Google has changed its external keyword research tool to show us the search numbers for the previous month and the average number of searches for exact keywords. This helps to shed light on exactly how much job- and career-related search activity is happening monthly on Google.
Anyone can access this free tool at Google by typing in this URL to view how many people are searching for jobs in your locations and/or hiring need areas:
Some interesting facts, which you can validate using the tool above:
TOP CAREER AREAS: (Monthly)
• Sales jobs – 2.2 million searches
• Customer services jobs – 1 million searches
• Administrative jobs – 823,000 searches
• Accounting jobs – 673,000 searches
• Human Resource jobs – 673,000 searches
• Nursing jobs – 673,000 searches
• Finance jobs – 368,000 searches
• Legal jobs – 301,000 searches
TOP LOCATIONS: (Monthly)
• Georgia jobs – 2.7 million searches
• Illinois jobs – 2.2 million searches
• Arizona jobs – 1.5 million searches
• Massachusetts jobs – 1.5 million searches
• Michigan jobs – 1.5 million searches
• New Jersey jobs – 1.5 million
• Jobs In Chicago – 823,000 searches
• Dallas Jobs – 673,000 searches
• San Diego jobs – 550,000
After you play with this Google keyword research tool, you’ll see how huge the opportunity is for employers who optimize their career site and job content, so that you can drive these Google users directly to your career site.
While most corporate career sites look very snazzy and are designed for employer branding, those efforts can in many cases hurt your chances at getting your career site optimized. By using flash animations, pop up windows, pull down selections, and frames, you could be making your site very cool for users to experience, but at the same time making it so that nobody will find your cool site to visit in the first place.
Try it yourself. Try to Google one of your own job titles and see if you can find your job online.
Unfortunately, search engine optimization is a difficult game, and it’s not helped by most of the ATS players out there, who never built their platforms for marketing purposes, only to manage the recruiting process.
Most employers’ job content is hidden behind a keyword search engine which is great for a candidate who knows what they’re looking for. Google does not, and therefore won’t execute the keyword search, thereby never seeing your job content.
Even if Google did find your job content online, in many cases the basics of optimization aren’t followed by most ATS systems, which means the job titles, locations, zip codes, and other important content components aren’t put into the key areas of each job (titles, headers, meta tags, filename, etc.), which would be necessary to achieve any level of search engine placement. There are dozens of other aspects to optimization that need to be executed in addition to these, but we’ll save those for another day.
Another problem with getting your career site found by Google (using job content only) is that jobs go on and off your career site on a daily basis, which makes it difficult for you to get a higher placement ranking with the search engines using job content which is very dynamic.
Employers would be better off developing “talent landing pages,” which are job profiles for their key hiring need areas that stay online constantly (whether you have open jobs in that category or not), so that Google can always find that page, and that the content within it holds your currently open jobs matching that job profile.
If you’re a smaller employer, then you might be able to do this with HTML pages (talk to your webmaster) that you create and put online for a few of your locations and job titles.
However, enterprise clients with hiring needs in multiple locations and categories will need to seek an alternative. First, try a solution that can interface with your ATS system and automatically pull the open jobs into these pages. Second, the solution will then route candidates back to your ATS system when they want to apply.
This provides candidates with the best possible experience and gets you highly placed in the search engine rankings on Google and other search engines. (By the way, this is a similar strategy to how job boards do their search engine marketing, but rarely do we see employers using the same tactics in their interactive marketing).
In summary, innovative employers (or those looking to go beyond using job boards to do online recruiting) will learn how to compete for these candidates at their first search for jobs on Google, and drive them directly to their career site using either search engine optimization, or search engine marketing to cut recruiting costs dramatically.
Now’s the time to get started. Fall is coming faster than you think, and you’ll need to get started today in order to get on Google’s first page of search results if you hope to be there by September or October.