The Ultimate Guide to SEO for Job Boards

The number of job board websites increases by the minute. So it probably doesn’t come as a big surprise that your job board competes with countless others for the attention of job-seeking adults. What may surprise you is that there is an effective, powerful measure you can take to make your site one of the first ones people seek.

According to CareerBuilder, almost 75 percent of job seekers start their job search with a search engine. So if you want to get your board to stand out in the large and growing sea of competitors, your most important task is to get your job board as high up in the list of search engine results as possible. The higher up on the results list your site appears, the higher the ranking your site has, the more job board traffic you’ll receive.

That is where search engine optimization (SEO) techniques come in to play. And we are going to teach you everything you need to know about what it takes to improve your job board traffic so you can recruit the best and brightest talent available.

Research by Job Board Doctor indicates that SEO is the most converted traffic source for job websites; making it one of the most important tool, you can use to promote your job board.

jbd-research

If you take charge of your job board SEO, you are investing in the future of your company and securing for yourself a spot that’s exactly where you want to be: in plain view of desirable employees looking for jobs.

Keywords: The Building Blocks of Your Job Board SEO Strategy

Choosing and placing keywords is one of the most important job board marketing strategies. If you don’t have the right keywords placed effectively throughout your site, you can bet that your ranking will take a dive in favor of competitors with a better SEO plan.

The thing about keywords is: you can’t just guess which ones to use. It takes careful research to find search words associated with your job board.

After you compile the list it’s a process of elimination to narrow it down to the words that will boost your board’s rank.

Here is a breakdown of the process so you can get an idea of what it takes to get the most out of your keywords:

Learn to speak the language of job seekers.

Your first task is to begin your research by diving into the language of your desirable job seekers. You need to find out who they are and learn what specific words they are typing into search engines in order to yield results similar to your job board.

The best places to seek answers to your keyword questions are forums, Reddit, and question/answer websites like Quora.

reddit

Search for blogs in your niche to see what keywords bloggers and their commenters use to describe these topics. You can also look for keywords among the feedback responses from your past and current job board users.

Finally, see what your competitors are using for their main keywords.

Put it all together in a list.

Combine all your research to compile a comprehensive list of keywords that relate to your job board SEO. This list might include terms like: content marketing jobs, advertising jobs, management jobs, etc. Don’t leave out any possibilities, because you will narrow them down later.

Even when you have listed all the keywords you can think of there are ways to find more. There are great tools available that will help you expand your list to be as comprehensive as possible by suggesting additional terms that may be related to the keywords you type in. Some of these tools include Keyword Tool and Über Suggest.

keyword-tool

Narrow your list to the most effective keywords.

Your final task with keywords is to narrow them down so the ones you choose are the most powerful and useful for putting your site at the top of the results.

There are numerous SEO tools out there to help you make the best choices, including Google Keyword Planner and Google Trends.

Using Keyword planner you can easily get the average number of monthly searches (search volume) for each of your term. Which will give you an idea of which terms are the most popular.

kw-plannner

There is also the MozBar, which is the best tool for determining the PA (page authority) and DA (domain authority) of top 10 results for your search query.

PA refers to the probability that a specific page on a site will be found on a search engine, while DA means the amount of power a domain name has depending on its age, popularity, and size.

moz-bar

Keywords you want to get rid of include those with a low search volume and high page authority (PA) and domain authority (DA). If you type in a search query and the top ten results give you pages with high PA’s and DA’s then the keywords are too competitive and it’s unlikely you will be able to outrank them.

Keyword research is crucial to SEO for job boards, because it gives you the words you need to optimize the different aspects of your site for a higher ranking. Once you have the right keywords, you can proceed to the next steps.

Find Your Job Board Site Bugs and Exterminate Them

Believe it or not, the way your site loads and appears on different internet browsers, computers and mobile devices affects your job board SEO.

If your site is buggy, less than user friendly, or unresponsive for mobile users, then you will fall down on the results list. Identify problems with your site and fix them to make your SEO strategy most effective.

Two of the biggest problems that can tank your rank include site speed and mobile friendliness, both of which your developer and designer can fix or improve.

Check your site speed and pump it up.

Your site speed is the time it takes your site to load in the browser after the link has been clicked. Google admits that site speed is a page ranking algorithm factor, so the faster you can make your site, the more your job board traffic will improve.

You can check your website speed using Google’s Page Speed Insights tool. If you find that the site is slow, you can speed it up by optimizing your code, compressing your files, and reducing the number of redirects, among other speed-boosting techniques.

Keep your mobile users in mind.

An increasing number of job seekers use mobile devices and apps to search for jobs. If your site isn’t mobile friendly, then you could be missing out on a large and growing portion of your intended audience.

In addition to your audience’s needs, Google has made mobile friendliness a factor in determining a mobile site’s page rank. If a mobile user conducts a search for job boards and you don’t have a mobile site or a site with a mobile-friendly design, you probably won’t be appearing in the top of the results list. Fortunately, you can use Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test to find out if you need to make changes.

mobile-test

Make sure you address these two important areas where rank-ruining bugs most often occur to optimize your site for improved job board marketing strategies.

Use Your Keywords to Optimize Your Job Board Pages

Now that you have the words you need and a fast, user-friendly site, you’re ready to optimize your pages. Concentrate your efforts on the most important pages, meaning the home page, job category pages, and job posting page. Here we will share some of the most effective job board SEO tactics for each of these pages, so you can raise your search engine ranking.

Start with your home page.

Your home page is usually the first page people see and it has a huge effect on your job board traffic. Here are some of the most important areas to optimize:

  • Domain name – Your domain name is your address on the internet, and it doesn’t need to have keywords in it, though it is a popular practice among job board sites.
  • Page title – the title of your home page should serve as a brief, accurate description of its content. A title with good keywords improves your SEO. Your title should contain the most important keywords, be shorter than 72 characters and possibly contain the location name, if your board is area specific. E.g. “Sales jobs in New York”.
  •  Meta description – your meta description will be displayed in google search results, so it should engage users to click and visit the site. It should be no longer than 165 characters including spaces, and contain your most important keywords, brand name and location, if applicable.
  • Heading – The headings are the bold lines of text in your page that separate the different content sections. Headings should contain main keywords as well for the best SEO.

home-page2

Next are job category pages.

Job categories allow you to use keywords that are specifically tailored to each job category. Here are some job board SEO tactics you can use:

  • URLs – Place main keywords in job category URLs. For example, if your page is for accounting jobs, the URL should contain /accounting-jobs/.
  • Titles – Titles should contain the category name and the word jobs. An example for a job board called Hot Jobs might look like this: “Accounting Jobs | Hot Jobs Atlanta”.
  • Meta descriptions – Include the category name in the meta description along with any other main keywords.
  • Headings – Headings should be roughly the same as your title.

If you have location-specific pages in your categories, make sure to include the location as a main keyword, too.

Here is an example of an existing job category page on a successful job board site.

category-page

Don’t forget job posting pages.

One of the most important things to remember about job postings is that they need to become unavailable when the job expires. The best practice is to redirect expired job pages to the search results page to show similar jobs, instead of displaying 404 page.

Here are some SEO tips for job boards and their individual job post pages:

  • URLs – Make sure the URL contains the job title. If possible, it should also have the job location and/or company name, such as /account-manager-in-new-york/.
  • Title – The job title should appear in the page title, as should the company name and/or location.
  • Meta description – Use the job description in the Meta description, while obeying the 165-character length.
  • Heading – The job title should be placed in the heading.

Job pages should be shareable for better job board marketing, so consider including social media buttons on your pages.

Backlinks Make Your Job Board Pages More Popular

Incoming links to a website are called backlinks. Backlinks are crucial because Google uses them as one of the most important signals to determine rank. The more backlinks you have from authoritative resources the higher your ranking will be and the more job board traffic you will see.

Basically, you want other sites and web pages to have links leading back to your job board. Backlinks need to connect to popular, reputable sites that are relevant to your topic and purpose.

The best way to generate quality backlinks for your site is to create quality content that people will want to reference and link back to your pages. You can write and publish informative and authoritative articles for your site or comment on other sites’ related material.

What you don’t want to do is pay a service to create backlinks for you. Search engine algorithms detect this strategy and penalize sites that use it. This strategy hurts your page ranking, so don’t use these services.

The best resources for job board backlinks include college career service pages, job-related blogs and even other job boards. Work to build quality backlinks and your job board SEO will drive your page much higher in search results.

In this article on JobBoardSecrets you can find a few useful tips on placing backlinks for a job board.

Below is a list of web resources (free and paid) you can use to post backlinks to your site.

Online directories

There are not many online directories created specifically for job boards. However, here are some I’ve found:

Blog website

Some recruitment blogs are gladly allow you to post articles on their sites for free. Below are some of them:

Job board lists

It’s quite popular to create different kind of lists and post it online. The same goes for job board lists. If you make a search for “job board list” or “niche job boards” you can easily find several resources that list  job websites. Here are some I’ve found:

You may ask list authors to also include your site. And if you lucky, you will be listed. You may also check all the sites in the list and see if any of them are out of business today (yes, this happens sometimes). Then let the author know about broken link in the list and suggest your site instead.

Start a Blog for Your Job Board to Draw In Job Seekers

Google ranks sites first and foremost by the quality of their content, which is why content marketing is so important. No matter how many updates Google makes, quality content will always work for increasing backlinks and improving SEO.

Blogging is one of the best ways to fill your site with quality content. Create authoritative articles about topics related to your specific job board niche. For example, if you have an IT job board you can post technical articles that will interest an IT audience.

The idea is to show that your site is an authority on information in your specific field to draw in readers from around the internet who will use and share your material. The more readers you have and the more they share your content, the better your job board SEO will perform.

You can get blog topic ideas from research forums, question-and-answer sites, user feedback, current news in your field and so on.

You can also do some guest blogging, where you write articles for other blogs related to your field, or feature blogs by other people with authority in your subject.

Even if you aren’t a writer, you still need a blog. Instead of skipping this important SEO resource, hire a professional writer to blog for you. Resources like Express Writers, WriterAccess and Fiverr will help you to find a writer and create relevant content for a decent fee.

Once you have your job board blog, promote it through social media and influencer marketing. The more you promote your blog, the better it will be for your SEO.


If you have any questions about job board SEO marketing strategies, or would like to share  some of the SEO techniques that you already used for your own job board, please comment below.

The more we discuss SEO tactics and learn from one another, the better we can understand what yields the greatest success.

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is the CEO & Founder of Smartjobboard (job board software) who loves to build awesome websites.

  • http://www.careercloud.com/ chrisr2

    Excellent post Rodion. This is a good starter guide for anyone in the job board business.

    • https://www.smartjobboard.com Rodion Telpizov

      Thank you Chris!
      Glad you like it

  • Root Jobs

    Excellent SEO information provided for jobboards. We are facing SEO issue for our job board. If you have any good SEO professionals, please suggest for my site ( https://www.rootjobs.com )

    • https://www.smartjobboard.com Rodion Telpizov

      Thanks!
      Sure, I’ll see if I can find some one to help

  • Дмитрий Жушман

    Rodion, thanks for the detailed information. I decided to take advantage of your instructions apply them all to new site http://nelest.com/

    • https://www.smartjobboard.com Rodion Telpizov

      Thanks Dmitry,
      Great site by the way

  • Construction Jobs

    Rodion, the most detailed SEO quide for job boards we have come across. We run http://www.operativehire.co.uk a new UK construction job board and was considering out sourcing our SEO but reading your guide has persuaded us to do it in house, thanks for the info and we cant wait to implement.

    • https://www.smartjobboard.com Rodion Telpizov

      Thank you!
      Glad it’s useful for you!

  • Pingback: Job Aggregators: How to Syndicate Your Jobs and Increase Traffic - Smartjobboard blog()

  • Max

    Great Info, thanks! Quick question, why do you recommend to redirect job posts after they expire instead of e.g. rewriting and putting some extra unique text on job post pages in order to make them juicier and tackle long tail keywords?

    • https://www.smartjobboard.com Rodion Telpizov

      Thanks for your question Max!
      Well, after job posting expires it means that the company has closed the opening and doesn’t want the job ad to be available anymore. Otherwize your job board will be overwhelmed with outdated job offerings.

      • Max

        But what if after a job expires you simply disable the “Apply” button and replace it with e.g. ” this job has expired, please choose another job below” and you show a list of similar jobs.. so that you make it clear for the user that the job is not active anymore.

        • https://www.smartjobboard.com Rodion Telpizov

          I think employers may not like it. If the job is expired and position is taken, they won’t want to show it anymore.

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  • Sanu Hitt

    Very good information regarding SEO for job boards. You covered all the topics from on page to off page SEO. I will follow your instructions to optimize my job website http://www.yesdubaijobs.com/

  • Omar Dada

    A well expounded guide to jobboard SEO.
    As an emerging job board targeting the Africa continent, I find this very informative for the online success of
    http://www.jobdirecta.com

  • https://www.select-jobs.co.uk/ Select Jobs

    Great article Rodion.

    https://www.Select-Jobs.co.uk

  • Mayur Sunfra

    Nice and informative post.
    Visit http://www.69jobs.com for so jobs.

  • Lilia Stoyanov

    Great article! I will be super thankful if you include Transformify HR Blog to the Blog Website list. We welcome guest bloggers and quality articles on HR topics.
    https://www.transformify.org/blog

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