Jan 23

There are lots of discussions over the web about SEO, its advantages and practices. In this article I’d like to share my experience, I’ve got during customizing job board software for my clients, in using SEO specifically for job sites.
Search engine optimization is one of the most important issues taken into attention when promoting job board sites. It allows job seeker to find relevant job postings on your job site via search engines, such as Google, Yahoo!, MSN and etc. For example when job seeker searches for a “quality assurance specialist” in Google, quality assurance jobs from your site will be in top results if you’ve made right optimization of your job board.  That will benefit you in getting relevant traffic to your career site from search engines.
Below I’ve listed basic tips and tricks you can use to take top positions in organic search results.

Browsing

First of all search engines should be able to easily index all job posting on your site. In other words there should be an ability on your site to browse any job posting by simply clicking on a few links. A good example of browsing function you can see on many job sites is a “Browse jobs by location”. This function displays a list of locations with links to separate pages for each location with a list of jobs within that location.
It will give your site SEO advantage since all that location pages will be indexed by search engines, and job seekers will be able to find them when searching jobs in a particular location.
For example search in Google by “jobs in Georgia” gave me the following results: http://www.google.com/search?q=jobs+in+georgia
Among these results you can see links to pages with jobs in Georgia on popular job boards that have browse by location functionality.

So here is the list of SEO suggestion you can use when optimizing your Browse by location pages:

  1. Each location page should include location name in the Title of that page. E.g. “Jobs in Georgia”.
  2. URL of each location page should include this location name in it. E.g. http://georgia.jobs.com/ or http://www.smartjobboard.com/demo/browse_by_city/Raleigh/

You can also add other browse functions such as “Browse by job category” and etc. A good example if different browsing functions could be found on Indeed.com (Browse by Job Title, Company, State, and Category).
To make sure your job postings are indexed by search engine you can make a search by job posting URL on your site (e.g. http://www.smartjobboard.com/demo/display_job/25/Quality_Assurance_Specialist.html). And if you can see your page in search results, search engine has successfully indexed your job postings.

Job Details Page Optimization

Now when search engines are able to index all your job postings, it’s time to optimize job details page. It should improve the position of this page in search results by relevant keywords.

First of all include relevant keywords (by which you’d like your posting to be found in search engines) to the title of that page. In most cases these keywords consist of job title. But you can also include location or any other information you find relevant to job postings on your site (e.g. job category, company name and etc.).

It would be also useful to include these keywords to the page URL e.g. http://www.smartjobboard.com/demo/display_job/25/Quality_Assurance_Specialist.html. Google takes into attention page URLs and this will give you additional advantages.
Adding job posting info to the Keywords and Description meta tags will also be useful but not necessary. Google doesn’t use Keywords tags info, but some other search engines do, so it will do no harm in any case.

Keep in mind that all described above is for optimizing content of your job site only. This will help search engines to determine the relevance of job postings content to the keywords that job seekers will use in their searches. But you should also have a high page rank of your site to be in the top results. You can read more about getting higher page rank here.

These are the basic steps to make your job postings appear in search results in top positions. Hope these advices will be helpful. If anyone has anything to add fell free to post your comments.

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