Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Feature - “aka” How to Get More Applicants
If you’re not familiar with SEO or why it is important for your careers portal and your job listings - that’s okay. All you need to really know is that its important and you should optimize your careers portal for search whenever possible. The good news is that you can easily do it with the click of a button using the ATS! According to Wikipedia, “search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of affecting the visibility of a website or a web page in a search engine's "natural" or un-paid ("organic") search results.”
For your job listings, that means giving the pages within your careers portal multiple chances to appear at the top of the search engine results list when your potential applicants are doing keyword searches. The more pages of content you have on your career portal, the better chances your site has for ranking highly for a number of different keyword combinations.
NOTE: Different applicants will look for jobs using different keywords - for example, job title; geographic location; job category or department; and employment type. Therefore, an important component to optimizing your careers portal for search is to have as many different targeted page URLs within your ATS as possible.
More Applicants...From Where?
Before we get into the details of how the SEO feature works, please note the following:
This feature won’t affect the version of your “Jobs” page seen by the following types of applicants:
- Applicants who first click on another site that links directly back to a page on your ATS (i.e. referrals from your own company site and external job boards where you have current positions listed)
- Applicants who are already familiar with your brand and know the URL address for your ATS - they will type it in directly to land on your careers page
This feature works to increase the number of applicants you receive who don’t necessarily know about your company yet - the applicants who are starting with search engines (i.e. Google, Yahoo, etc.) to do keyword searches to look for job openings.
How Does It Work?
If you have the premium SEO feature enabled in your ATS, then your site will automatically create multiple URLs on which to feature your job listing pages. Here’s how it looks:
When enabled, there will be a small “Job Map” link at the bottom of your ATS portal. Applicants referred from search engines will probably never notice or use this link - but that’s not important as they will land directly on some of the subsequent pages (that have unique URL addresses) described instead. Knowledge of this link’s whereabouts is just an FYI for you (as a site Admin) in case you would like to explore the breakdown of the different page URLs. To do so, simply click the “Job Map” link.
When the “Job Map” link is clicked, the job listing page changes to display a new set of filtering links near the top and the URL becomes (for ex.) https://exacthire.hirecentric.com/jobsandemployment rather than the default job listing page URL of https://exacthire.hirecentric.com/jobsearch/. From here, you may take subsequent deeper dives to more narrowly target your job listings. For example, click the “Search by Location” link.
The “Search By Location” URL is https://exacthire.hirecentric.com/jobsandemployment/location/
Then, click on “Jobs in Indiana...”
The “Jobs in Indiana” URL is https://exacthire.hirecentric.com/jobsandemployment/location/state/Indiana/15/
Here’s where the power of SEO through multiple job listing pages starts to pay off. For example, an applicant who does a general keyword search for “business development manager” on Google might run across your company’s “Business Development Manager” position, but probably not on the first page of Google’s search results since many other companies post positions with this same job title.
However, if an applicant does a search for “business development manager indiana” (people in the SEO biz call this a “long-tail keyword”), then your job listing page is more likely to appear higher in the search results because your ATS has a page that is optimized especially for a Business Development Manager position in Indiana.
In the following examples, the keyword search gets more specific for an applicant searching for jobs of a certain employment type in a specific location, and the more specific the search is (the longer the “tail”), the more likely one of your ATS page URLs will appear at the top of an applicant’s search results.
And, that’s critical because the listings at the top have the highest click-through rates - which means more traffic to your careers site and more potential applicants in your pool.
Next, click on “Jobs in Carmel...”
The “Jobs in Carmel, Indiana” URL is https://exacthire.hirecentric.com/jobsandemployment/location/state/Indiana/15/city/Carmel/
Then, click on “Carmel, Indiana Jobs by Employment Type...”
The “Carmel, Indiana Jobs by Employment Type” URL is
Finally, click on “Full Time Jobs...”
The “Full Time Jobs” URL is https://exacthire.hirecentric.com/jobsandemployment/location/state/Indiana/15/city/Carmel/employment-type/Full-Time/2505/
We’re now at a highly-targeted page that is optimized especially for applicants doing a search like “full time jobs carmel indiana.” If we had done a “Search by Common Job Titles” or “Search by Department Unit” query at the beginning of this exercise instead of “Search by Location,” then we’d have similar targeted results - but based on position title and/or functional department unit instead. So, we’re covering all applicant keyword search bases with this feature.
How Are ATS Admin Users Affected?
The best part of ATS’s SEO feature is that it is automated and there’s only one small area in which you, as an Administrator of the ATS, can optionally make a selection to further optimize your job listings. Here’s the tip...
When adding or editing a job template, near the top of your edit screen you will find a field named “Show this template on Common Job Titles for SEO.” Make sure that you always mark “yes” in the drop-down box for this field to further boost your job listing SEO efforts.
When selected, it allows the job template title to be used as another means by which additional, optimized page URLs may be created in your ATS. For example, within the “Search by Common Job Titles” link, one would find the following page listing all of the site’s current job templates with clickable links.
Click on “Search by Common Job Titles...”
The “Search by Common Job Titles” URL is https://exacthire.hirecentric.com/jobsandemployment/common-job-titles/
Then, click on “Sales Positions Jobs...”
The “Sales Positions Jobs” URL is https://exacthire.hirecentric.com/jobsandemployment/common-job-titles/Sales-Positions-jobs-507.html
Going back to the “Business Development Manager” position (which happens to be a sales position) example, without the SEO feature enabled it is less likely that an applicant who does a keyword search for “sales jobs indiana” will find your career site in search - simply because neither your job title or the URL for your page would include the word “sales.”
However, with the feature enabled, your applicant is more likely to find your career site because the Business Development Manager job listing was built using your “Sales Positions” job template - and that template has a distinct page on your site optimized for words like “sales” (because the word is present in both the URL and in bolded headers on that page) and “business development manager.”
As you can see, the ATS Search Engine Optimization (SEO) feature allows your ATS portal the ability to create multiple different URLs featuring your job listings so that Google (and other search engines) have multiple opportunities to “crawl” your ATS site and rank your different pages for distinct types of keyword searches (like location, job title, employment type, etc.).
Need Help With This Feature?
If you have questions about this feature or any features, or would like to implement it for the first time, simply contact us using the form on this site, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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