Job Board SEO checklist & tips for successful job site optimization: initial opportunities review, keyword optimization, copywriting, link exchange, dynamic landing pages, jobs indexing, technology choice, positions tracking and links management.
Pre-launch SEO opportunities review:
It is feasible for your job board to get well ranked by Google for target keywords and generate sufficient job seeker traffic? Assess domain and job board potential for the website to be launched or upgraded:
1. Competition review
Run keyword search on Google for the popular keyword terms competitors optimized for (i.e. finance jobs). Google page 1 websites would obtain majority of organic search engine visits. Check the competitors’ websites for the following data to assess effort required for gaining similar ranking & traffic:
a) Google PageRank
Install Google Toolbar to review website PageRank information.
Competitor job boards PageRank is to be matched or exceeded in order to achieve higher ranking.
b) Jobs number
- What is the active jobs number competitors offer?
- How many of those are indexed (cached) by Google?
- Are these jobs unique or duplicates from other website? (and Google has same jobs within its index originated from other sites, so jobs posted on job board can be considered duplicates by Google).
- How many unique jobs do you plan to have on your job board? How would that number compare to competition?
SEO software and manipulations put aside, your keyword ranking will depend on number of relevant and unique jobs cached by Google (in comparison with competitors).
job wrapping and aggregation can be used to increase jobs number.
c) Jobs and pages indexed by Google
- How well are competitor’s jobs are indexed by Google?
- How frequently jobs are indexed?
- What is the approximate share of jobs indexed? (within both active and expired)
Job indexing status / Google cache can be checked by left-clicking the PageRank icon of a Google Toolbar or by following indexing check instructions.
d) Google ranking for Popular and Long Tail keyword positions
How well your competitors rank for both popular (i.e. finance jobs) and Long Tail keyword combinations (i.e. software project manager jobs in new york). Are they getting the organic Long Tail traffic for job titles, locations, functions or category based keyword queries?
e) Current competitors’ job sites traffic numbers
Sources available for approximate traffic predictions: Alexa.com, compete.com. Some of the job boards would also publish monthly job seekers figure in press releases, industry portals, ads and reviews on job distribution partner websites.
f) Aggregators and Adwords usage
Would your competitors’ job boards appear on Indeed, SimplyHired, Juju? Aggregators may represent substantial share in overall job board traffic.
Similarly, review the keywords and approximate pay per click ads budgets competitors spend via Google Adwords. One of the websites to get this information: spyfu.com.
g) Links number, PageRanks and pages keyword positions
What kind of effort would be required to match / exceed your competitors’ linking strategy: what is the number of links from relevant websites (similar industry, close keyword ranking on Google) and PageRanks?
2. New or existing domain?
Existing job board (careers website) with jobs content indexed by Google for some time will help website achieve positions faster. Existing website pages / URLs with Google PageRank (PR) of higher than zero would help too. New domain will take longer to obtain Google trust (and PageRank) and achieve keyword ranking.
3. Estimate job seeker traffic potential
Use Google Keyword Tool to assess potential traffic your target keywords may generate once you succeed in optimizing you job board software.
Check both popular (i.e. finance jobs) and Long Tail (accountant job new york) keyword combinations. Some niche websites may obtain 80% traffic from Long Tail keyword combinations.
Job Board Software Optimization Checklist
1. Content, Layout, HTML/CSS and Sitemap
Remove navigation bottlenecks for search engine spiders. Website texts are to be organized in well structured and inter-linked sections. Headings, Meta tags, titles are to be unique (non repetitive throughout the website) and use keywords job seekers would type in whilst doing searches.
Highlight important keywords (bold, italic, etc.), use multiple variations of target phrases. Make regular content updates, but make those not too frequent.
Auto-generate sitemap.xml and edit robots.txt to manage spider activity.
Tip: Job page title optimization
Improve your job adverts HTML title optimization by considering the following:
- adding “a, and, to, the, from, as, by…” won’t change the Google perception of title – they are ignored.
- adding new words like, careers, jobs, vacancies will increase keyword coverage
- making the phrase closer to real search, i.e. “Accountant job in Houston, Texas” will help get it higher in results
- still make it as short as possible (60-120 symbols)
Job title example:
Accountant job in Houston, Texas – Insurance vacancies
2. Keywords management
Research the keywords you wish to optimize the job board for. Supply relevant keywords on target landing pages, prioritize them by highlighting and using in headings/titles.
JobMount automates keywords management: bulk upload keywords and phrases, use job categories, identify synonyms, prioritize or skip usage, review search statistics.
3. Landing pages
Use job titles, locations, functions, industries, categories to create landing pages based on keywords job seeker would use. Landing pages are to have titles, meta names, headings and URLs optimized for job seekers and search engines.
JobMount software will automatically create dynamic landing pages and link relevant jobs based on popularity of jobs, indexing status (cached by Google), applicant’s searches, season, and keyword priority.
(click to enlarge)
JobMount software support: Landing Pages Configuration.
4. External linking
Research relevant sites for link placements and link exchange. Optimize both home page and key landing pages.
5. Track ranking, visitors statistics and job indexing
a) Google ranking
Monitor dynamics for target keywords organic search engines positions via SEO ranking software.
b) Visitors statistics
Use Google Analytics free statistics package to track visits, keywords that lead visitors to website, bounce rates and conversion / goals.
c) Jobs indexing
Improve your jobs indexing by Google. Use Google Webmaster Tools to track sitemap indexing.
More info on job board SEO:
- How long does it take to reach Google page 1?
- Automated SEO Dashboard: Professional Job Board SEO
- Job board traffic sources checklist
- Frequency of SEO maintenance and updates