If you have already considered or attempted search engine optimization, you've probably read a thing or two about it. As SEO consultants for the recruiting industry, we constantly engage with clients eager to improve their rankings and visibility; however, many have picked up bad SEO habits or have been misinformed about how to best approach SEO. Each firm's unique focus, audience and message make recruiter website SEO different than it is for traditional businesses.
We have created a shortlist of common recruiter website SEO misconceptions. Begin each heading with the phrase “SEO isn’t…”:
…a tool for self-search.
“I want to rank higher for my name.”
We hear this often. The recruiter website SEO goal is to make you more visible to clients and/or candidates who don’t know you. People searching your name are most likely already aware of who you are and the business you represent. Optimizing a page to focus on one’s name is more than just a wasted effort. It’s also a wasted opportunity for a more relevant search term that would drive more users to your website. When thinking of optimal search phrases, consider the likelihood of someone typing that phrase into their search engine. If you view SEO as a better way to find yourself, maybe visit Tibet or Burning Man instead.
“Make me show up at the top of search engine results.”
This is a bold request, and I can’t fault anyone for demanding it. Can we or anyone else (beyond Google and Bing themselves) absolutely deliver on this? If we are speaking in terms of organic SEO, of course not. Can we greatly improve your ranking, probably get you to the front page and possibly take you to the top? You bet. But this is where we get honest. There is no magic switch that we flip and instantly improve your visibility. Recruiter website SEO is not a single event or action. It is a process that must be continually monitored and maintained. If someone is promising to take you to the top, remember that even if they do deliver (they probably won’t) your success will last as long as it takes for another competitor in your space to tackle the same keyword phrase.
…a replacement for the phone.
No amount of technological assistance will replace the deeply personal work that is recruiting. Connecting with clients and candidates on a human level is the foundation for a successful recruiting and staffing organization. Recruiter website SEO should maximize and enhance the work you do on a day-to-day basis. If you are approaching SEO as an equivalent alternative to hitting the phone and reaching out, then you are setting yourself and your recruiter website SEO efforts up for failure.
There aren’t shortcuts to success and there certainly aren’t shortcuts to improving recruiter website SEO. The cliché that “anything too good to be true probably is” is as relevant as ever. A successful recruiting firm and successful SEO efforts require commitment to the process and objectivity when concerning the metrics and best practices. If you are committed to success, then it only makes sense to partner with a firm that values the honesty and tenacity required to achieve that success.