How to Maximize SEO for Job Boards

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If you have a job board, then you know that you’re competing with other job boards for visitors and, ultimately, candidates for open positions. Writing effective job board postings is important, another way to maintain an advantage over your competitors is to optimize your website for search engine ranking.

Research shows that as many as 2/3 of people searching for a job begin with a search engine. As a result, it’s definitely in your best interest to ensure that your website ranks high among search results for relevant keywords. In short, an SEO strategy is a must for websites that contain job listings.

Here’s how you can maximize SEO for your job board.

1. Start With The Obvious: Optimize The Listing Pages

You want to display job listings under a single URL with keyword-rich titles. It’s best to typically combine similar jobs, or jobs within the same industry, in one listing. That way, candidates can find the job that they’re searching for in as few clicks as possible.

Also, use introductory text relevant to the job listings. Once again, you’ll want to use your keywords here, but be careful you don’t create too much keyword density within one listing page. Google might penalize your site for that.

For your page title, try to put your keyword within the first few words, as opposed to towards the end of the title. That maximizes your optimization.

You also have a meta description. You can get more verbal in the meta description than you can in the title, and it’s advised that you do so. Here, you want an accurate description of the page contents that essentially elaborates on the keyword.

Use header tags as well. These are the H1 tags that are a best friend to SEO professionals. They improve your rankings with the search engines and also provide a more pleasant user experience.

2. Supplement Your Listings With Blog Posts

Content is still king. That’s true even if you are a webmaster for a job search board.

Ensure that your job listings are not only optimized, but also ensure that you have timely, shareable, relevant content on your site as well. That will give your site a boost which will, in turn, give your job listing pages a boost.

A good blog can increase traffic by as much as 434%. As a result, your job search board is not only exposed to active candidates (candidates who are actively searching for a job) but also to passive candidates (candidate who aren’t actively searching for a job but are open to a change if they see the right opportunity).

Also, take advantage of Google Authorship when it comes to blog posts. You’ll find that a search result has a little more authority when the author’s profile picture is prominently displayed next to the result. Once again, you get more clicks and more clicks means more traffic, better search rankings, increased visibility, and more candidates to fill those open positions.

3. Build Backlinks

Backlinks are still one of the best ways to improve your page rank. A backlink, in case you don’t know, is just what it sounds like: a link back to your site from somewhere else.

The best way to get a backlink to your site is by guest blogging on a non-competitor’s site. You probably have some friends in the same industry who own their own websites, right? Ask if you can guest blog on their sites. Find a way to work in a backlink to one of your great blog posts. However, you should avoid spammy guest blogging. Earlier this year, Matt Cutts of Google announced that guest blogging as a way to gain links is dead. You should be very cautious when deciding which website to do guest blogging. Google will crack down on guest post links that are irrelevant to the site’s theme. So try to stay within your industry. Second, Google will also tighten the penalties on optimized anchors. The content of your guest blog should be relevant and high quality as well. Right now, guest blogging is still a great way to improve your site’s SEO. However, you need to be extremely careful.

SEO is just as important for job boards as it is for any other website. With just a few simple changes, you can ensure that your job listings have a better chance at appearing near the top of specific keyword search results.

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9 Thoughts on “How to Maximize SEO for Job Boards

  1. Doctors Choice Placement on April 14, 2014 at 9:45 am said:

    This was a great help. I enjoyed where you talked about making the listings themselves better.

  2. Pete Metz on April 15, 2014 at 10:29 am said:

    Great info. Thanks for posting! As for #3, it’s a lot easier said than done. It seems like Google wants to penalize for everything nowadays 🙁

    • Agreed! Building backlinks are extremely difficult nowadays. My suggestion will be focusing on creating great content that people like to share on their sites. Then those backlinks will come naturally. For the time being, this is the only Google update-proof method. I am glad you found the info useful. 🙂

  3. I have a job board that is specialized in helping local companies hire nationals. I struggled at the beginning but after reading this great article I believe that I am ready for a new start

    • Hi Ali,
      Thank you for your comment. it’s always hard in the beginning. It takes time to see results, especially in SEO. Good luck with your job site and let us know if you need any help.

  4. I really liked the article, what are your thoughts on other methods of seo? Obviously content on a blog is awesome, I just started a job board with very little competition and I was wondering if there have been any huge seo changes since this post was written.I know that mobile sites are much better for seo now as well as pageload time.

    • Randy Stancovici on October 27, 2015 at 10:05 am said:

      Hi Matthew,

      Since you have very little competition for your job board, you have the opportunity to seize relevant keywords and rank first for them on Google. This will give you a huge SEO advantage once there are more job boards that enter your niche market (I’m assuming it’s niche since there is little competition for you). Asked for huge SEO changes, Google is really cracking down on blackhat SEO tactics such as keyword stuffing, spam, and using unrelated keywords. Also, there are an increasing number of websites that are using the “no follow” option. Overall, I would say that the biggest change to SEO is that it’s becoming more competitive and more challenging.

  5. I’m still at a loss after reading this article. It’s suggested that I guest blog post somewhere while saying that Google says it’s dead and also warns me to be careful doing it. Essentially, it offers me no solution at all. Having a job board (especially in a niche area like mine) makes it tricky to do proper SEO. I’m a noob when it comes to this so I have been looking for some good, easy-to-follow suggestions for it. Anything deeper? Thanks!

    • Yoav Guttman on February 1, 2016 at 10:32 am said:

      I think the idea here is unified by one concept – content. If you generate content, whether on your site, your job board, or as a guest on another site, that will draw traffic to your site. Guest blogging is good because it increases you and your job boards’ visibility. All this, in terms of relevance (aka SEO) will help.

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