Recruiting Hack: Why investing in optimising your company's SEO pays off at the end of the year
More than half of website visits result from organic searches. Consequently , this means that companies that do not implement SEO measures on their website lose more than 50% of potential leads – and thus also potential applicants. Fortunately, it is never too late to start with SEO!
Following the "new year, new me" mindset, many implement drastic changes into their lives, even quitting their jobs as part of their New Year's resolutions. In the coming year, this could actually be more than usual. The reason: the willingness to change jobs is already higher than in the past. A recent XING study shows that in 2022, almost four out of ten Germans are open to something new or have already taken steps to find a new job.
With the new year approaching, companies have to not only focus on filling empty vacancies but present their benefits to appeal to applicants. Let's take a closer look at how potential applicants search for jobs online! The first place applicants look for information about potential employers are careers websites. Over 68% of people searching on the internet use a search engine, more specifically Google.
Thus, ranking high on a search is key! If you don't rank, you lose. And many websites lose: The SEO consultancy Ahrefs examined around two million pages in 2020 – and a whopping 94.3% could not generate a single visitor from Google. The reason: A lack of search engine optimization in the way the vacancies were set up.
So what does the “War for Talents” have to do with SEO?
Search engine optimization, or SEO for short, is what makes it possible for a website to be found via Google. The measures serve to improve the user experience and performance of the website. Google itself has published around 200 such measures – both technical and content-related – and written them down in a Google guide. Since the end of November, the tech giant has further simplified the work and made the most important ranking factors available in a dedicated guide.
The goal is to land among the organic top 10 search results (‘organic’ referring to search placements that are not generated through advertisement). Thus, companies need to optimize their vacancies to be featured on the first page of search results. Every company should be ambitious here – because the probability of being clicked on at number one in an organic search is ten times higher than for a page at number 10. Only 0.63% of Google searches click on results on the second page. And the other pages? Most of them are completely lost.
The argument that is often thrown into the room, "But we have placed ads", can be quickly refuted. It is true that ads are usually positioned on the first page of Google. At the same time, however, it is generally known that they do not even account for 10% of the total clicks on the search engine.
A survey by the business analytics platform Databox also shows that 70% of marketers consider SEO to be more effective than pay-per-click. It isn't one way or the other when it comes to gaining the benefits of search engine placements, but a well-rounded mixture is needed. Therefore, the best results can be achieved through a combination of several marketing measures, such as paid and organic.
Importantly: If you want to be found by applicants, you should make sure that your website – especially your career page – ranks on the first page of Google.
We must never forget: People have little time – and don't want to struggle with confusing websites with long loading times. In 2017, a US marketing specialist analyzed that 79% of users, who do not find what they are looking for on a website, leave the site and continue searching on other websites.
A no-go in a skilled worker shortage, where one click away can result in losing out on the perfect match for your vacancy.
SEO for your own website
Of course the question arises: Where do you start with SEO? The first thing you need to consider is whether you want to take on the topic in-house or prefer to outsource it.
The US market research institute Borrell Associates has published an interesting report that shows that those who do SEO in-house (at least in the context of local businesses) have higher costs and a lower return than companies that hire a consultancy or agency to do it.
But how expensive can this get? In a blog post, American SEO expert Bruce Clay recommends investing at least 5-10% of turnover in SEO. If the topic is to be pushed quickly? More. Because: SEO is complex – and the list of measures is long.
Set up an SEO agenda - for resources or budget calculation
Implementing search engine optimisation on the career side alone is like an incomplete spring cleaning focus on just the kitchen. If you aim to land in the top Google results and attract potential applicants, you have to apply SEO strategies to your entire website.
A quick overview of what is involved in SEO and should be considered when calculating the budget or planning resources:
Strategy: Setting up a global SEO strategy in connection with the company's goals.
Analysis: The insights to be incorporated into the SEO strategy.
Content creation: Any content that is optimised for the search engines based on the goals and strategy.
Onpage SEO: The optimisation of web pages and content to maximise visibility in search engines.
Offpage SEO: Optimisation of offpage signals through link building, placement of content on quality pages, reviews and other factors outside the website.
Technical SEO: Optimising and maintaining the technical performance of the website (load times, mobile optimisation, URLs, etc.).
SEO tools: Tools to be used in each phase of the SEO strategy: Keyword research, competitive analysis, content planning, automated content creation if necessary, etc.
Agency/consultancy fees: SEO services that need to be undertaken by consultants or agencies.
Outsourcing: Tasks that need to be outsourced to freelancers or external talent, such as content creation, web design, etc.
It doesn't just sound like a lot of work, it is a lot of work. But – small spoiler in advance – the company's career page will most likely achieve success faster than many other pages on the company's website.
The reason: an essential part of content SEO is the placement of keywords that are in the context of the search intention. This means that if someone searches for a company's career page on Google, they will combine their keywords with the company name, for example "career Spotify". Due to the logical combination of the company name, competition will be low – and success will be quickly visible.
By the way: Search engine optimisation will also really pay off in other places. An analysis shows: B2B companies generate twice more turnover via organic reach than via any other channel.
With this in mind: Ready for 2023?