SEO for job posting has gone through a lot of significant changes over the last 5 years. From a more heavily focused employer aspect to a much more refined process for job seekers. The main reason for this is simply numbers, there are a lot more job seekers than there are job postings. So search engines, mainly Google at the moment have put some extra resources into making job searching a little easier. From new featured snippets for job searching related queries, to new schema to define “remote” and “at home” job listings. And the on page SEO required to make sure a job listing appears in a featured snippet or at all even only gets more detailed.

Microdata markup sample

In this article, we’re going to talk more about:

First Rule Of SEO Is Organization

Organization is the key to many success stories and that doesn’t stop with SEO. A well thought out content strategy is only as good as it’s execution. This is why it’s imperative that job listings are categorized correctly for visibility. With Google search now part of the job search ecosystem, standing out among the rest of the job posts will take some good SEO and marketing sense.

On Page SEO

Keyword research and user profiling are going to be the best steps to start with. Knowing what jobs are available will give a good understanding of what types of users to target 1st. Using Google Sheets or Excel, plotting user groups and finding keywords of intent for the job listings will save a lot of time with conversion rate optimization later. Organizing job listings by various keywords can help users not only find the listings they want, but will also help the website organize URL structure going forward.

User Interface / User Design

Organization for SEO doesn’t stop with development, it’s apart of design. Heavy focus on user optimization so the website is self service. An intuitive design is the goal of a job listing website. Just as users will leave a slow website, the same is true for a confusing website. Job applicants are stressed enough as it is looking for a new position, adding to that will only create a high bounce rate.

Website Index Optimization

Users aren’t the only ones searching for these posts. Searchbots are crawling these webpages too and the more organized and relevant they are the easier crawling will be and there for more complete website indexing will be. This type of organization will only help the content strategy of the website take shape. The phrase “out of sight, out of mind” is a big one for any development process.

Job Listing Categories Matter

Image result for blank organization structure

How job posts are categorized matters greatly with user engagement. If all listings are being called “Digital Marketer“, that’s a very vague keyword to go after. A lot of people are digital marketers, since that’s just a general umbrella term for many job titles that rest underneath. A Search engine optimization manager is a digital marketer who only handles the SEO for client accounts. While a Digital marketing Manager might handle the overall marketing logistics for client account. Both are digital marketers with pretty different skillsets and experiences.

Smaller company job listings might just need a “Digital Marketer” requiring a general understanding of all digital marketing. While other larger companies want to breakup jobs into more focused sections and skillsets. Whatever categories are used, including unique content is the key to ranking category pages. Now we’re not talking about categories in a CMS, we’re talking about actual job listing webpages that list available and relevant job posts.

Without original content, these listings will never see a spot on SERPs. Many job listings are exactly that, lists of jobs, which Google doesn’t really like aggregated content. This is why the small act of writing informative and helpful content related to that webpage can go a long way in both user conversions and keyword ranking. Location categories are also something to think about. In order to rank on mobile searches for locational job queries, organizing job listings by location is another way to further make sure there are a few avenues to find job posts.

Keyword Usage Highlights Intent

Location keywords are crucial for job post SEO. With the release of the Pigeon update that made search results change based by the users location. It’s even more important to focus on using the right location keywords for the job listed. Even going a step above and beyond and create tag pages like “Maryland Digital Marketer Jobs” then break down sub categories or job listings underneath. This way you’d rank job listings for “Maryland” as well as for “Digital Marketer“.

The more avenues a user has to find a particular job listing the more visible that job listing will be. So it’s important to organize and map out jobs beforehand so all possible relationships can be established and integrated into the url structure. Creating further ways for potential job applicants to find deeper level job listings with just a click or two. This is what it means to have an accessible url structure.

Not every search engine uses advanced algorithms to read context. Some website listings are still using basic search engines and using the right keywords is still a ranking signal. So using keywords only when they are needed to describe the posting is important. The old saying from Dragnet “Just the Facts” is the way to go. This is why having an organized user profile to help with keyword research can lead to a more focused approach towards users. Keywords shape website user interactions, whether it be from ranking for search terms or tone of content.

A main rule of thumb is, “If you don’t want to rank for the keyword, don’t use it“. Let’s take “remote” job listings for one, countless amounts of listings will include “not available for remote“. What do you think a listing will rank for, when it includes “not for remote“. Exactly the term the job lister didn’t want to rank for. So what do you think the result of placing that statement does? Exactly the opposite of what is intended, instead of preventing further inquiries about “remote” work, there is an influx of inquiries about “remote” work. 

Savvy searchers use advanced operators to search and will find listings like this when they don’t want too

Use Job Schema For Visibility

Example from

When used correctly, structured data for job posting can help highlight variables like “remote or in-house“. Especially with Google recent April 2019 article about the “remote job posting schema” being released. There is an obvious push by Google to utilize the new remote job schema. Even if most of the job listings will be in-house, schema will still add benefits to a job post. With many using mobile voice search as a means to get results on the go, appearing in the featured snippet is always a desired place for webpages.

Especially 3 job schema properties if offering remote positions! Google has been pushing these properties for a little while now and using them will only help job applicants find your job listing faster!

3 Important job schema properties for remote positions

3 main ways to make sure a job listing is shown by Google is to:

  1. Have no website indexing issues
  2. Have valid job posting structured data
  3. Submit sitemap with a date for each job listing

Without good website indexing, there is a good chance searchbots won’t be able to even find the job listings. So make sure 1st that webpage indexing is doing good. And structured data isn’t everyone’s favorite but running a schema markup through Google’s structured data testing tool can help. Job listing dates are also something that needs to be present for sitemap processing.

Search engines want to know how fresh the job listing is, so they can provide an age to job seekers. Make sure to double check dates for job posts, since wrapping current job schema around expired job listings could result in manual penalties. Depending on the website size, how expired jobs are handled may vary. As long as posts are removed within 3 to 6 months there shouldn’t be an issue.

Almost All Job Applications Involve Mobile

Close to 90% of job seekers now utilize a mobile device when looking for a new opportunity.

With job searches from mobile devices exceeding 1 billion per month, it’s just leaving traffic on the table to no optimize for mobile. Job listings should use keywords that are being searched by mobile users, 23% of all keywords searched on mobile devices contain the word “job” in them. So that’s some data to act upon and make sure the listing contains at the very least “job” somewhere.

Whether it starts as a search or ends with an application sent, mobile optimization is growing more important for SEO. Not fixing the button layout or content formatting for mobile is just part of the battle. Using Google ranking factors like AMP, schema and even https will help make ranking a little easier. But ultimately recruitment SEO is up to the website’s overall SEO and the ability to market content.

Need help with job posting visibility?

Contact SEOByMichael to schedule an SEO audit consultation and let’s get your job posts seen by more potential applicants!