MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – April 15, 2007 –How can recruiters ensure their career pages on their company websites are listed in the top 10 of a Google search

For most HR people posting career content online is simply writing the content and passing it on to the people in charge of the company website to handle.

Leaving it up to IT reduces opportunities which companies can’t afford in this candidate short market. One of the biggest challenges for recruiters is to accept that managing their careers page is not as difficult as it sounds.

If a website is optimised, that is it is made to be fully readable for search engines to browse, organisations could start putting their faith into Google, Yahoo and ninemsn to fill their positions reducing the cost of advertising on job boards – which can be an enormous drain to the company.

In this final article in a two-part series on how to improve your attraction technology techniques, I’ll explain 13 ways on how to optimise your career pages to improve the probability that more people will read your website and that your organisation is continually listed in the top 10 of search engines.

TIP 1: Before you embark on your online strategy revamp review some company websites that do search optimisation well. These include; Valero, Microsoft, First Credit and most job boards.

TIP 2: Determine your target audiences, e.g. what demographics are you trying to attract employees and for what roles: older, younger, part-time, full-time, engineers, marketing, etc. Focus on the areas of greatest need / most critical roles for your organisation.

TIP 3: Before you write an ad, plan your search words first in line with your target. Build in team-word meanings or phrases opposed to generic common words, which everyone else uses. If it’s for a legal position, write “legal firm – legal job – legal counsel”. There is no limitation to the number of search words you register. The more words the better the chance you’ll reach the top 10.

TIP 4: Always write great content. The more uniquely written it is and the more often keywords are woven into your content the more visitors will visit your site.

TIP 5: Ensure your content is readable to search engines. Many companies use a third party solution to post jobs on their website, such as Seek or MyCareer. A big negative is that their pages are invisible to search engines. To find out if a job description on your site is readable, do the following:

  1. Go to the page with your job description
  2. Highlight and copy the URL
  3. Go to Google and paste in the URL
  4. Click search

If the page does not appear in Google’s index, you’ll see a “sorry, no information is available for the URL” message.

TIP 6: Check with your IT department that your site is not constructed using “frame” technology. Most search engines cannot index a framed page.

TIP 7: Search engine recognise statistics and numbers. If statistics are relevant to your page, ensure you include them.

TIP 8: Ensure you keep the important content at the top of the page. Think how a newspaper article is written. The keywords should be in the first sentence. Search engines (spiders) read this to determine rankings. Some engines will place a higher rating of importance based on where they find the text on the page. Keywords should also be peppered through the page as it develops a theme, and this is important too for the search engine to pick up.

TIP 9: Search engine read the content in your title tags. Make sure that your career pages have titles that represent your pages content and that the title is short – less than 60 characters – and always include your primary keyword(s). For example, legal counsel for law firm.

TIP 10: Always keep your career pages updated. Search engines are attracted to fresh content and constantly updated websites. Make it a goal to add a new page of content every month. Writing about an employee or new company developments works well. Also, check links often. Make sure the links are still active. Dead links are not only inconvenient but also negatively influence your rankings, especially if you have reached the top 10.

TIP 11: Target your design on your audience. Great design does not impact your rating as search engines don’t have eyes for beautifully formatted text or images. All they see is content. Although, once you get in the top 10 ranking and people click through, you want to ensure your site is appealing to those people.

TIP 12: Search engines are attracted to lots of links on a page. They view the page as live and active. A site map is a good way to link all your website pages, including a link to your careers page. Make sure you don’t have too many links, keep them down to less than 50.

TIP 13: Encourage other organisations to link to your careers site by having valuable content. A site linking to yours means your site is worthwhile viewing. The more links you have the more attracted the search engine is to your site.

TIP 14: Make a point to always check, at least once a month, that your site is in the top 10 list according to your search words. The way search engines search rank changes constantly, so make sure you cover every component of this list to keep your site on top.