How to Use Search Engine Optimization (SEO) to Improve the Ranking for Your Employer Brand

By Richard Mosley

Search engine optimization (SEO) is an element all employer brands need to consider. Go to Google, search for your company name followed by “jobs,” and then scroll through the search results to see where the link to your career website shows up. If it’s not on the first page, you have some work to do. Here are a few suggestions to place you on the path to improving the search engine ranking for your online career content via SEO:

  • Make your site mobile friendly. Search engines can determine whether a user is conducting a search from a mobile device, and it may exclude from its search results links to any content that’s not mobile-friendly.
  • Post great content regularly. The best way to achieve a high search engine ranking is to earn it with content that’s relevant and valuable to the job seekers you’re trying to attract.
  • Harness the power of keywords and phrases. Search engines may use keyword density (the ratio of keywords to total words on a page) to determine how relevant that content is to something a user is searching for. Be aware of keywords and phrases, and use them as a way to “describe” content, but don’t overuse them. Use them strategically on your career site, in job descriptions, and in all your online recruitment marketing.
  • Engage visitors. When you engage visitors, and they post comments, they’re constantly updating your site with fresh content, which search engines love. Be sure your career site has a way for visitors to post comments.

Consider adding a blog to your career site, if you haven’t already. By posting relevant content regularly (at least twice a week) and having visitors post content, you build a large target for search engines. Invite employees to share content, as well.

  • Leverage the power of backlinks. Links that point to your site from other sites may raise your search engine rank. Link everything you post on the web back to your career site or page, including any social properties you manage, such as a LinkedIn or Facebook Page. Likewise, when you post an opening on a job board, include a link that points back to your career site.

Have your recruiters and employees include a link to your career site on their LinkedIn and other social profiles. The more pages referring web users to your site, the better your chances of getting a higher ranking.

  • Use internal links to help search engines crawl your career site. Search engines index only the pages they can find. Structure the content on your site in a hierarchy so that all pages ultimately link to the site’s home page.
  • Submit your career site to search engine indexes. Most search engines will find your career site on their own, but it doesn’t hurt, especially if your career site is new, to submit it to the top search engines, including Google, Bing, Yahoo!, and Ask.com.
  • Avoid cheap tricks. Packing content with keywords is likely to result in having your site penalized by search engines for cheating.

You’re not entirely in control of your search engine ranking. Search engines customize the search results for users based on the user’s location, browsing history, social settings, and so forth. Two users searching for the same job are likely to receive a different arrangement of search results.

For more about SEO, SEM, and other forms of online promotion, check out Digital Marketing For Dummies, by Ryan Deiss and Russ Henneberry (Wiley). For more specific coverage of SEO, pick up a copy of SEO For Dummies, by Peter Kent (Wiley).