Want Your Job Postings to Rank Well in Google for Jobs? Follow These 7 Optimization Strategies

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Jul 7, 2017

Google for Jobs launched last week to much fanfare. And now we have a good idea which job boards will be giving your postings exposure, and which ones won’t. Congratulations if you’re in the index and reaping the rewards of traffic flowing in from the world’s biggest, baddest search engine.

Now for the bad news. Your work is just beginning, because it’s time to optimize your job postings to make sure the candidate traffic keeps flowing and you stay in good standing with almighty Google.

Worried? Don’t be. Here’s your playbook based on the most recent information publicly available, as well as what insiders are buzzing about. A little bit of my own SEO experience is sprinkled in for good measure.

Want to stay in Google for Jobs’ good graces? Do the following:

  • Job titles. If you don’t get clicked in the first place, don’t expect Google to give you much love. Start thinking like a journalist, or at least a blogger, and write a great job title that gets noticed.
  • Relevancy. Now that your job title has hooked a prospect, make sure the resulting page is relevant. If your job posting gets clicked, but then the user clicks back to the results page immediately, that’s likely to hurt your ranking, because Google translates that action as a bad search result.
  • Clarity. Keeping a prospect on your job posting must include clarity. People decide within three seconds whether or not they want to stick around on a web page. Telling them they’re in the right place immediately is a big positive. That could mean sub-headlines and engaging opening copy.
  • Engagement. The longer a user is on your posting, the better. That means providing a lot of detail and being interesting while doing it. Providing details such as salary range, benefits, office addresses, education requirements, and the like will all go toward engaging a visitor and, in the process, relay to Google that “this search result was spot on, engaging, and it should start ranking higher as a result.”
  • Be original. Job content duplicated all around the web will get weeded out. By launching Google for Jobs, Google has accepted the unenviable task of figuring out which job postings, of the many out there, on a wide variety of job sites, should get credit for being the first online. This variable plays into the hands of the corporate career site and its corresponding applicant tracking system in the long term.
  • Get the apply. This makes the most sense, and it’s been reinforced with a handful of my contacts. If your posting gets the apply over the other search results, your rankings are going to rock. If your apply process sucks, you’re going to lose. Further, I believe this reality plays into Google getting its one-touch apply buttons everywhere, because it helps Google rank job postings more effectively based on this datapoint.
  • Ignore Indeed. Time will tell whether this is a sound strategy or not, but Indeed is taking its ball and going home when it comes to Google for Jobs. That means your native job postings on Indeed will get you zero benefit when it comes to Google for Jobs.

Google getting into the job search game is the most disruptive thing to happen in a long time. An acquaintance recently compared it to an old western where everyone in a bar is fighting each other, breaking bottles and shooting up chandeliers, until the sheriff walks in and restores law-and-order.

Like it or not, Google may be the new law of the land. But you can still win, and stay out of search ranking jail, by following the rules I’ve outlined above. If you’ve been paying attention the last 10 years, then you’ve also been dedicating more marketing talent to your recruitment strategy, and this thing called search engine optimization won’t be so alien.

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