One of the first things SEO professionals must focus on is identifying where they want to concentrate their efforts (i.e. which pages would work best for users landing on the site from a search engine). This same process could work in recruitment, but the question remains – is optimizing a job details page worth it the effort?
Recruitment SEO and the Job Search
During a job search, users typically search in three ways: by job type or category (e.g. nurse manager jobs or engineering jobs); by metro area (jobs in New York or jobs in Seattle); and using long tail combination phrases (process engineer jobs in San Francisco). For most of these search queries, the job results page (where you see a list of jobs) and the job details page (where you see detailed information for a single job) could be optimal landing targets. But focusing your SEO efforts on the job details page is not a smart move for many reasons.
- Job details pages expire. One of the biggest challenges with recruitment SEO is the short lifespan of a job posting and thus the job details page. The life of a job is – on average – 30-60 days. That means that in 30-60 days, the job expires and the job details page comes down. Not only is that not enough time to index and rank but even a good rank would be worthless as soon as the job expired.
- Language doesn’t always align with search. Job titles and job descriptions are typically created in payroll systems and flow into the ATS when the requisition becomes open. Most often, we see that the job titles and job descriptions a company uses don’t necessarily align with the simple phrases that users enter during a job search. If you are a small or midsize company, changing a single job title and description to match search-friendly terms might be an easy task. However, for large enterprise companies, it can be daunting.
- Job details pages are often analogues to a retail product page. However, in retail, if you have 100 of a particular item available, you don’t have to create 100 separate pages. There is only one product page. On a careers site, if you have 10 openings for a software developer position in Chicago, you have to create 10 separate job details pages, as these are 10 different requisitions in your ATS. And even though the content is the same, you’re forced to create 10 separate pages – leading to what may be perceived as duplicate content.
- Job details pages are picked up by aggregators. And if you post on several job boards, the same page is presented on several sites – leading to less unique content and no differentiation for the page that exists on your careers site. In other words, if a job details page is present on job boards and aggregators, does the page on your careers site even stand a chance?
Skip the Optimization
Because of these challenges, optimizing your job details page is not worth the effort. That does not mean you should completely ignore them. Continue to tag them properly, use clean URLs and take advantage of the new job posting micro data tag. Enhance the location signals by adding maps, and improve shareability by adding social buttons. But don’t spend too much time and effort on them. Your SEO dollars are better utilized on job results pages because they do not face the challenges above.
Treat your job results pages as targeted SEO landing pages on your careers site. Have multiple levels (category, sub category, state, city, etc…), and target a range of keywords.
Want more on how to optimize your job results pages? Check out our whitepaper for the details.