Around 18 months ago, I wrote an article on content marketing tactics for your dating profile. That article proved very popular so I thought I would carry on the series. The great thing about being a content writer is that it makes you think about writing as a science as well as an art. The way I see it, job descriptions are blighted with several problems that make bad SEO.
Uniqueness of Description
“We are offering an exciting opportunity for dynamic young professionals just like you. Are you a self-starter willing to go that extra mile for one of Europe’s fastest growing businesses in this industry?”
Seen it all before? You can guarantee your audience has. These stock phrases and variations on them appear in almost every job advert. Aside from being boring and ensuring your advert won’t stand out to the right people, it’s guaranteed SEO oblivion. Search engines look for uniqueness; you won’t achieve this by copying every other advert.
What to do instead: Spend more time and effort on getting to the point than bigging up the job. It doesn’t matter whether you’re looking for a cleaner, admin assistant or global CEO, you need to stand out to get noticed.
Think About Local SEO Keywords
While you may initially be thinking of appealing to site users (for example when listing on Monster or Jobsite), you will need to consider your local SEO tactics too. This is especially critical if you list vacancies on your business’ website. You might not be looking to hire only locally, but your local SEO will help. Putting a geographic location after your job title will certainly help to appeal to the right people in the right location. Technical Director Role in London is better than Technical Director Role for [COMPANY NAME]. Few employees will really care about which company it is – even if they have heard of you, but they are concerned with where you are. Somebody in London will rarely want the upheaval of moving to rural Cumbria even for the perfect job and a massive pay rise.
For this, you need to think about searchable terms. That will usually mean simplifying your job description, focusing on the sort of terms you think a potential employer might put in. Spend more time on this than littering the description with nonsense such as “ninja”, “guru” and “rockstar”. You do need to present an air of professionalism to your prospective employees just as they need to present the same to you.
You use these tactics to appeal to your customers and clients, so why abandon them when you are trying to hire new talent? You’re looking for people who will improve your business. While the economic situation is loaded in favour of the employer right now and has been for around a decade, there is no reason not to offer a few carrots to make sure you get the right people.
Similarly to above, drop cliched terms such as “exciting opportunity”. You should also dispense with describing your market share in the first paragraph. Everybody claims to be “Europe’s fastest growing business” right now so much that your audience has become blind to it. Benefit selling should focus on what your new employee will get from working for you: salary, benefits, career prospects and training opportunity. It’s no longer all your initiative, especially when you are hiring top talent and wish to retain them for more than two years – the period after which most people looking to develop their career will look for the next challenge.